Elementary: Whoops Your Shitty Season Two Premier

Remember when I was breathlessly documenting everything awesome in Elementary before that whole "Texas Republicans hates its lady citizens" thing I got distracted by? Well, Elementary is back on and WHOOPS, my abject apologies to the eleventy billion people I recommended it to.

Liss and I discuss it in depth here.

Here's hoping next week won't suck so hard.

Open Thread: Tea

Hosted by a cup of mint tea
Do you ever wake up and just go, "I need a cup of tea"?

I need a cup of tea.

I wish I had something more entertaining or educational to say about tea, but I don't, because I need a cup of tea.

Open thread!  Do you need a cup of tea?  What kind of tea do you like?  (I'm partial to a strong Earl Grey myself.)  If you don't like tea, what other comfort food/drinks do you like?  Do you know any fun facts about tea?
 ~ Kristycat

Monday Reminder!  While I have fun coming up with pretty pictures and/or interesting “prompt” questions for open threads, you aren’t limited to those!  These threads are open - go wild, talk about whatever moves you!  (Just remember that this is still a safe space, please!)  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  


Open Thread: Writer Workshop

A couple of you have requested a special monthly open thread dedicated to talking about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). So here it is!

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Open thread writing workshop below!

Feminism: 'Splaining at Victims

[Content Note: Rape]

Richard Carrier has apparently gotten tired of rape victims (including myself) explaining that his no, really, this graphically eroticized description of a rape isn't rape because it's been graphically eroticized post is actually pure rape apologetics, and has decided that the best solution to this problem is to vomit forth a 4,700+ word follow-up post (which follows his original 7,400+ word post) in which he continues to maintain that his judgment of what is and isn't rape is totally his call to make on an Objective Platonic Universal Morality level, and that rape victims who disagree can all go suck eggs because we're all obviously emotional harpies who don't read his genius posts closely enough.

And if that description sounds just a wee bit uncharitable, it's probably because (a) I am a rape survivor who doesn't appreciate having her experiences audited by privileged white men, and (b) I am an anti-rape activist who doesn't appreciate having privileged white men 'splain how all the anti-rape activists are Doin' It Wrong for calling something which is rape rape on the grounds that the Privileged White Man doing the 'splaining thinks that that particular flavor of rape is too erotic to be rape. Which is what I'm getting from Carrier's two posts so far.

So here is a very brief run-down of some of the things wrong with Carrier's latest word salad on rape.

Open Thread: Desire

Hosted by penguins in love
Let these be your desires

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself 
But if your love and must needs have desires, 
Let these be your desires: 

To melt and be like a running brook 
That sings its melody to the night. 
To know the pain of too much tenderness. 
To be wounded by your own understanding of love; 
And to bleed willingly and joyfully. 
To wake at dawn with a winged heart 
And give thanks for another day of loving; 
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; 
To return home at eventide with gratitude; 
And then to sleep with a prayer 
For the beloved in your heart 
And a song of praise upon your lips. 
 - Khalil Gibran

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s coming up, give us something new to explore!


And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!


Feminism: We Signed The Invitations With Our Most Contempty Ink

[Content Note: Bullying, Ableism, Misogyny] 

Via Skepchick, a UK charity called Entangled Bank Events is hosting a "major science talk" in mid-November with the boast that "It’s never been done before in a venue of this scale." Astute readers will notice that the five headline speakers (Bill Bailey, Richard Fortey, Richard Dawkins, Richard Wiseman, and Quentin Cooper) are all men.

In the helpful FAQ, which includes such questions as "Is the event suitable for children?" and "Is the event accessible to wheelchair users?" and "Are there any opportunities for volunteers?" there originally was also the following question-and-answer (link courtesy of Google cache):

I am a fanatical, misandristic ‘feminist’. May I drone on about the lack of women in the line-up and despatch abusive, bigoted, mis-spelt, ungrammatical missives to the organisers and presenters?

No. Please save your talents for Twitter and Facebook, that is what they are for.

We’re actually very disappointed that none of our female invitees accepted, but that is just how it was. As scientists we have no choice but to accept reality. Wanting something to be otherwise does not make it so.
Apparently enough people pointed out that this wasn't particularly cute such that Entangled Bank Events got nervous and deleted the whole question-and-answer, and then enough people pointed out that the internet doesn't work that way such that Entangled Bank Events decided to clarify with this non-pology:
Why are there no women on the panel?

We tried. We failed. The event was set up at short notice and as it happened, of all the excellent people we approached the only ones available on the day were men. We knew this wasn’t ideal and questions would be asked, so we tried to make a joke about it.

We tried. We failed. Should have been spotted by us, but as soon as our attention was drawn to it – via Twitter – we removed it. That only added to the confusion as some people saw the reactions without always knowing what was being reacted to.

So, sorry. It’s not through lack of effort the line-up is wide-ranging in the nature of their brilliance but entirely mono-gendered, but it is our fault the attempt at levity about it fell flat. And we do appreciate the efforts of all those who drew our attention to the error.
Oh, if only the lady-internets weren't so humorless!

The thing that makes me laugh the most bitterly about all this is that an event which is ostensibly supposed to be about science and skepticism and understanding things is trying to deflect criticize by seriously claiming ("As scientists we have no choice but to accept reality. Wanting something to be otherwise does not make it so.") that scientists are helpless in the face of magical forces they cannot hope to comprehend, and that they are utterly unable to effect a change in the world, nor can they study and understand the causes of things in order to alter that which is into that which is desired. Science! It's apparently just like a straw-religion where the only action available to its followers is to cower in terror at the harsh immutability of a cruel, unchangeable reality.

The thing that makes me saddest about all this is that the (understandable) attention on this shitwipe of a "joke" (and note that "it was only a joke!" is the rallying call of all bullies everywhere) means that we necessarily have to spend less attention on asking genuinely probing questions about how the event miraculously ended up with only male speakers. Questions like "How many women did you invite to this event?" and "Did you ask the women who turned you down why they wouldn't attend or did you just assume there was a calendar conflict?" and "Was your pool of available lady speakers narrowed by one or more male speakers maintaining a blacklist against specific- and/or feminist- lady skeptics?"

The thing that makes me the angriest about this is that lady science-skeptic-atheist speakers are not stupid. There is no way, no plausible way, that an organization which would write the above "joke" and subsequent non-pology just picked up its misogynist coat of many colors after all the awesome lady invitees turned down their rainbow-scented invitations with outpourings of regret and much fist-shaking at their cluttered calendars. I will bet my hat that the invitations were just as whiffy with woman-hating as their FAQ.

And I will further bet my best shoes that the invitations in no way addressed the kinds of things which lady speakers tend to care about, like "Also, here is our anti-harassment policy" or "Though you will be sharing a stage with Richard Dawkins, we promise not to let him vent racism and sexism at you" or "Seriously, we are going to do our best to make sure Richard Dawkins doesn't start a grudge campaign against you". You know, the sorts of things that lady speakers might genuinely want to know about in advance when trying to decide whether to make room on their calendars for a scaled venue of bigness.

But this leads me to a larger point: Let's presupposed that Entangled Bank Events asked hundreds of lady speakers to their event, and asked in the nicest possible way with gift baskets of kittens and a 50-page paper on all the ways that Entangled Bank Events will make sure that the lady speakers have only a lovely time and aren't in any way harassed or harmed or heckled by their fellow speakers or their fellow speakers' fans. And let's presuppose that all those lady speakers still turned the event down, not because Entangled Bank Events wrote their invitations wrong or failed to anticipate basic needs. The onus would still be on Entangled Bank Events to ask themselves (and the lady speakers) why that is, and to then fix those issues.

Even if it's nothing more than a simple calendar conflict (HA HA NO), and somehow some of the biggest male names in science-skepticism-atheism were free, but absolutely none of the lady names in etc. etc. were free, then that's still a problem that Entangled Bank Events needs to seriously address as opposed to flinging their hands in the air and saying OH WELL in a sing-songy voice. Because diversity in your convention speakers is more than just a nice-to-have thing, up there with getting a caterer who offers the really snazzy double chocolate chunk cookies in addition to the crumbly sugar ones. Diversity in your "all proceeds go to charities and to scientific research and education" is kind of important in the sense that you're overlooking huge portions of humanity with your supposedly charitable outreach.

And overlooking huge portions of humanity is in itself is bad enough. But doing it while painting people who might object as hateful and mentally ill merely for objecting to their own exclusion is bullying, plain and simple.

Open Thread: Meerkat

Hosted by a thoughtful meerkat
Lookit that meerkat.

I'm pretty sure he (she? zie?) has just been struck with a realization of some magnitude.

Perhaps zie is coming to terms with hir own mortality.

Perhaps zie has just seen The Lion King for the first time, and Timon is now hir new hero and object of adoration.

Perhaps zie just heard the saddest, most evocative piece of music ever, and wishes to weep for the sheer beauty and pathos of it, but zie has no tear ducts.  (Note: I have no idea if this is true; a Google search on "do meerkats have tear ducts" turns up absolutely nothing.)

Perhaps zie just found out that a group of meerkats is called a "mob" or a "gang," and is sort of hurt that humans have chosen such violent terms to describe hir family.

Perhaps someone told hir the "What's brown and sticky?  A stick!" joke three months ago, and zie just got the pun (and wishes zie hadn't.)

Open thread!  What do YOU think this meerkat is thinking about?  What Deep Thoughts have you had lately?  Can you shine any light on the urgent question of meerkat tear ducts?
~ Kristycat

Wednesday Reminder!  Open threads are meant to be fun, chatty places to discuss anything that doesn’t “fit” into a deconstruction or other regular thread.  This can be something totally off-the-wall and random, or it can be something interesting that a deconstruction prompted you to think of, but which would be derailing to get into in the deconstruction thread.  When in doubt, move it over here - that’s what it’s for!  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  

Posts of the Day: Ender's Game

I've said it before, but seriously if you are not reading Will Wildman's posts on Ender's Game you are missing ALL THE FUN THINGS. Come play in the comments with us.

Feminism: Auditing Victims' Experiences

[Content Note: Sexual violence; rape apologia; auditing experiences]

Here is something that I should not have to say and yet apparently must be said: A disclosure that someone is a survivor of sexual violence is not an invitation for others to decide how that experience did (or did not) cause them to change. Nor is it an invitation for others to decide how that experience should (or should not) cause them to change. In short, a disclosure that someone is a survivor of sexual violence is not an invitation for others to audit their experiences for them.

When Richard Dawkins announced this week, speaking of his childhood molester (and inappropriately speculating on behalf of those of his peers who were also abused by the same man), that “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm”, atheist blogger PZ Myers chose to respond by saying this:

I can think of some lasting harm: he seems to have developed a callous indifference to the sexual abuse of children. 

I know of only two ways to take this statement. One is to read it as a straight-up no-kidding seriously-meant armchair-psychiatrist-diagnosis suggestion that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologist as a direct result of being molested as a child. The other is to read this as a grossly unfunny "joke" where the punchline is that Richard Dawkins is a rape apologist as a direct result of being molested as a child.

I neither know nor care whether PZ Myers meant the statement in seriousness or in jest. The suggestion, whether serious or satirical, that Richard Dawkins is engaging in rape apologism not because lots of people engage in rape apologism in order to entrench their own social privilege nor because lots of people engage in rape apologism because they were indoctrinated into rape culture from an early age nor because lots of people engage in rape apologism for the vast, wide, varied, multiplicity of reasons why lots of people engage in rape apologism, but rather that he is doing so manifestly because he is a victim of sexual abuse is a truly odious and deeply harmful suggestion to make.

It is a suggestion which harms survivors of sexual violence in order to take pot-shots at a rape apologist not because his rape apologies are rank and disgusting, but because he himself is a victim of sexual violence. It is a suggestion which is born out of, and which upholds firmly, a Rape Culture which demands that all victims of sexual violence must react in the "right" ways (or else you weren't really abused) and which suggests that all victims of sexual violence are changed -- or, to use the language of rape culture, damaged -- in the "right" ways (or else you weren't really abused), and which then deliberately uses that enforced framework as an excuse to dismiss victims of sexual violence as overly-emotional, fundamentally-damaged people who shouldn't be listened to.

Survivors of sexual violence are not a monolith. Some of us may react to our victimization with one or more emotions; some of us may not feel a strong response or an emotional reaction to our experiences with sexual violence. Some of us may have differing reactions to our victimization at different times; some of us may maintain the same unwavering reaction to our experiences for our entire life. Some of us may feel changed by our victimization; some of us may feel unchanged by our experiences with sexual violence. Some of us may label all or part of some felt change as negative or harmful; some of us may label all or part of some felt change with positive connotations. There is no right or correct or standard way to react or respond or change or not-change as a result of sexual victimization.

It is wholly and completely up to the survivor of sexual violence to decide how, if at all, hir experiences with sexual violence have affected hir. Which is one of the many, many reasons why a disclosure that someone is a survivor of sexual violence is not an invitation for others to audit their experiences for them.

Richard Dawkins is a rape apologist, but it is not our place to assume or guess or joke or psychoanalyze from afar that he is a rape apologist because he is a victim of sexual violence. And just as Richard Dawkins is wrong to assert that his peers weren't harmed (because it is their right to determine whether they were or not), it is equally wrong for others to assert that Richard Dawkins was harmed when he says he wasn't, because it is his right to decide whether he was harmed or not.



Added from the comments at Shakesville: Given the vast number of survivors of sexual violence in our society (LOTS) and the vast numbers of rape apologists in our society (LOTS), it is not surprising that there's an overlap between the two groups. Suggesting that rape apologists who are also survivors are rape apologists because they are survivors is exceedingly inappropriate.

Open Thread: Sushi

Hosted by a sushi roll and nigiri sushi
Mmmm, tasty tasty raw fishies!

I remember when I was a little girl, hearing about sushi and thinking it was the weirdest thing in the world, and maybe one day I would be brave enough to try it.  Little did I know that by age 30, I would have every sushi restaurant in my area mapped out and price-compared :P

(And yes, I do know that the word "sushi" technically only refers to the vinegared rice, and that even what we colloquially refer to as sushi doesn't always have raw fish.  But the ones I like do, so shush.  Tasty raw fishies!)

I'm not high-brow in my appreciation, I freely admit this.  There's some bizarre Americanized combinations out there that I think are perfectly tasty, and that probably says things about my palate.  I do not care they are delicious.

Open thread!  Do you like sushi and sushi-related things?  If so, what kind do you like?  Are you a purist, or do you go for the one draped in avocado and then tempura-fried and then drizzled in three different sauces?  Do you like rolls, hand-rolled sushi, or nigiri (the little blocks of rice with a slice of fish or something else over it) best?  If you don't like sushi, do you have a favorite fall-back order when your friends go to a sushi restaurant?  Do you think you might like sushi but have never had the chance to try it?
~ Kristycat

Monday Reminder!  While I have fun coming up with pretty pictures and/or interesting “prompt” questions for open threads, you aren’t limited to those!  These threads are open - go wild, talk about whatever moves you!  (Just remember that this is still a safe space, please!)  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  

Open Thread: Dance

Hosted by dancers
Everybody Is Doing It

In Hawaii they Hula
They Tango in Argentina
They Reggae in Jamaica
And they Rumba down in Cuba,
In Trinidad and Tobago
They do the Calypso
And in Spain the Spanish
They really do Flamenco. 

In the Punjab they Bhangra
How they dance Kathak in India
Over in Guatemala
They dance the sweet Marimba,
Even foxes dance a lot
They invented the Fox Trot,
In Australia it's true
They dance to the Didgeridoo. 

In Kenya they Benga
They Highlife in Ghana
They dance Ballet all over
And Rai dance in Algeria,
They Jali in Mali
In Brazil they Samba 
And the girls do Belly Dancing
In the northern parts of Africa. 

Everybody does the Disco
From Baghdad to San Francisco
Many folk with razzamataz
Cannot help dancing to Jazz,
They do the Jig in Ireland
And it is really true
They still Morris dance in England
When they can find time to." 

Benjamin Zephaniah

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s coming up, give us something new to explore!


And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!
 ~ Kristycat

Narnia: Lord Octesian's Last Will and Testament

[Content Note: Genocide]

Narnia Recap: In which Eustace is turned back into a boy.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chapter 7: How The Adventure Ended

I haven't counted up how many posts have comprised Chapter 7, but today is the big day when we leave this chapter! Someone grab a bottle of champagne and swing it against your computer monitor in celebration or something! (Note: Do not do this thing, seriously. Computer monitors smashed up with champagne makes Aslan sad.)

When we last left Edmund and Eustace, Eustace was sharing how he was made a boy again by the power of Aslan who he had somehow pretty much never heard of before (minus one or two magical utterances of the name) because no one on this ship exists if C.S. Lewis isn't looking directly at them and the people who do exist don't behave like actual human beings with messy things like superstitions and fallacious beliefs and whatnot because the natural growth of a realistically-inaccurate mythos surrounding Aslan and the Pevensies would screw with Lewis' underlying biblical message.

Open Thread: Peace Lily

Hosted by a peace lily

It probably says something about me that instead of making me think of Spring or Easter or something, peace lilies always remind me of Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz.  (When he used it to fight off the big guy, instead of going "yay he's safe," I was gasping and shouting "OH NO YOUR LILY!!!")  (...And no I haven't seen the new movie yet, no spoilers!)

I'm reminded of it now, because there is a peace lily sitting on my desk next to my computer.  Part of me feels bad, because I'm really not doing very much to take care of it, and it's starting to look a little peaky.  Part of me is impressed, though, because my benign neglect has kept it alive this long, which means that's a hardy plant!  But yes - every time I glance over at it, I am reminded of that movie.

***

On a completely unrelated note, this made my day.

***

Open thread!  Have you ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air?  Does anybody else own a peace lily?  Can you shine any light on why it appears to be immortal?  Did anyone else enjoy the Japanese peace lily scenes from that movie?  Are there any random objects in your house that remind you of a particular movie or book or song or whatever every time you see them?  Can you do an awesome backflip??

~ Kristycat

Wednesday Reminder!  Open threads are meant to be fun, chatty places to discuss anything that doesn’t “fit” into a deconstruction or other regular thread.  This can be something totally off-the-wall and random, or it can be something interesting that a deconstruction prompted you to think of, but which would be derailing to get into in the deconstruction thread.  When in doubt, move it over here - that’s what it’s for!  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  

Feminism: My Feminism Will Be Trans-Inclusive

I have signed A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism, along with nearly 200 other co-signers. The statement is open for signing by trans*, cis, binary-indentified, and/or genderqueer signatories, along with anyone else who identifies along other gender lines. The statement was developed in response to "a noticeable increase in transphobic feminist activity this summer".

We are committed to recognizing and respecting the complex construction of sexual/gender identity; to recognizing trans* women as women and including them in all women's spaces; to recognizing trans* men as men and rejecting accounts of manhood that exclude them; to recognizing the existence of genderqueer, non-binary identifying people and accepting their humanity; to rigorous, thoughtful, nuanced research and analysis of gender, sex, and sexuality that accept trans* people as authorities on their own experiences and understands that the legitimacy of their lives is not up for debate; and to fighting the twin ideologies of transphobia and patriarchy in all their guises.

Transphobic feminism ignores the identification of many trans* and genderqueer people as feminists or womanists and many cis feminists/womanists with their trans* sisters, brothers, friends, and lovers; it is feminism that has too often rejected them, and not the reverse. It ignores the historical pressures placed by the medical profession on trans* people to conform to rigid gender stereotypes in order to be "gifted" the medical aid to which they as human beings are entitled. By positing "woman" as a coherent, stable identity whose boundaries they are authorized to police, transphobic feminists reject the insights of intersectional analysis, subordinating all other identities to womanhood and all other oppressions to patriarchy. They are refusing to acknowledge their own power and privilege.

We recognize that transphobic feminists have used violence and threats of violence against trans* people and their partners and we condemn such behavior. We recognize that transphobic rhetoric has deeply harmful effects on trans* people's real lives; witness CeCe MacDonald's imprisonment in a facility for men. We further recognize the particular harm transphobia causes to trans* people of color when it combines with racism, and the violence it encourages.

When feminists exclude trans* women from women's shelters, trans* women are left vulnerable to the worst kinds of violent, abusive misogyny, whether in men's shelters, on the streets, or in abusive homes. When feminists demand that trans* women be excluded from women's bathrooms and that genderqueer people choose a binary-marked bathroom, they make participation in the public sphere near-impossible, collaborate with a rigidity of gender identities that feminism has historically fought against, and erect yet another barrier to employment. When feminists teach transphobia, they drive trans* students away from education and the opportunities it provides.

We also reject the notion that trans* activists' critiques of transphobic bigotry "silence" anybody. Criticism is not the same as silencing.

The full statement is here, as well as links (via email or comment form) for adding yourself as a signature, if you can safely do so. (And it makes it easier for everyone if you include HOW you wish to be signed. I'm signed as Ana Mardoll (blogger, Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.)

Much thanks to Melissa McEwan for making me aware of the statement.

"My feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit."—Flavia Dzodan.

Deals: The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora, popularly known around here as "that first book by that fantasy author who embraces wish-fulfillment writing and tells off people who write in demanding more sexism as seen here" is 99 cents in the Kindle store today.

Shit yes, Zamira Drakasha, leaping across the gap between burning ships with twin sabers in hand to kick in some fucking heads and sail off into the sunset with her toddlers in her arms and a hold full of plundered goods, is a wish-fulfillment fantasy from hell. I offer her up on a silver platter with a fucking bow on top; I hope she amuses and delights. In my fictional world, opportunities for butt-kicking do not cease merely because one isn’t a beautiful teenager or a muscle-wrapped font of testosterone. In my fictional universe, the main characters are a fat ugly guy and a skinny forgettable guy, with a supporting cast that includes “SBF, 41, nonsmoker, 2 children, buccaneer of no fixed abode, seeks unescorted merchant for light boarding, heavy plunder.”



(And an Ana-Update bundled with this post since I don't want to make a whole 'nother metapost: I'm still sick as a dog and stuck in the bathroom, apparently for eternity. Medication-induced morning sickness is great, I'm telling you.)

Feminism: These Things, They Are Related

by Silver Adept

[Content Note: Misogyny, sexual shaming, victim-blaming, fundamentalist religion. Additional content notes for links: Homophobia, violation of boundaries, mansplaining, victim blaming, minimization of violence, gendered expectations.]

1: Russia has outlawed the promotion of "homosexual propaganda" and is encouraging neighbours to spy on each other and report to the police anyone they suspect of being pro-gay.

2: United States society insists that the boundaries where women are justified in protecting themselves are much closer to actual assault than what is practical to prevent that assault. And that the potential confession of a murder isn't actually important enough to involve the police when it is obtained, preferring instead to frame it as a reminder to women that they are more likely to be attacked by intimates than strangers, a reminder that most women don't need and that prefers to blame victims rather than prosecute attackers.

3: United States society says bloggers aren't supposed to express a desire to get comments or kudos, but instead treasure each one as it arrives as a wonderful gift from someone who deigned to comment or click the kudos button.

These things, they are related.

They're all part of Expected Marginalized Behaviour in a kyriarchal society.

A woman who expresses a desire is, depending on whether the desire is for or against something, a [female of the Canis family], a [sex worker], or a [derogatory slang for a woman who is sexually active]. Women aren't permitted the simple function of having a desire and being able to express it openly, but are instead supposed to find a way to indirectly express their desire, preferably through a male intermediary (and even more so, a male that has an "ownership" claim on her).

When women do express direct desires, as we found out in the recent stalking incident, but also in just about every dudebro commentary on feminist issues or comments talking about the physical attractiveness of a blogger instead of their content, they are met with hordes of men chastising and insulting them for having the gall to be a woman and express an opinion outside of the acceptable channels.*

So bloggers can't ask directly for comments and kudos, because doing so risks opening them up to negative attention and scorn, based on whether their screen name is female-coded or not. (The very thing the anxious blogger wants to avoid.)

The Russian prime minister / president, Vladimir Putin, wants you to know that he is a very manly man. A macho man. So much so that he makes sure to take pictures of himself shirtless, baring his hairy chest while doing things like horseback riding. Or pictures of himself playing ice hockey against professional players (and scoring the winning goal in the third period, no less). Mr. Putin believes that the appropriate face for a Russian leader is Machismo. Anything less than full stereotypical masculinity is unacceptable. And, as Kongfuzi tried to tell the administrators of China, if the leader is a perfect example, then the country will confirm to that example, and harmony will be achieved. There is no room in Russia for effeminate, "girlie" or insufficiently macho men. So says the leader, by photo-op and deed.

So it follows that Russia is in the middle of a campaign designed to eliminate "homosexual propaganda", telling neighbors that they must spy on their fellows and be ever vigilant, because once someone falls prey to that kind of propaganda, it's only a short time before you could become infected, too. Which makes you insufficiently manly, and that is unacceptable.**

So speaking out about your identity, who you are, your fundamental being, isn't legal in Russia. Back here in the States, while you can speak out about who you are, there are still several official prohibitions against marrying, holding certain jobs, adopting, medical consent and advocacy, and many other civic and legal functions that people who aren't QUILTBAG are not subject to. And several unofficial prohibitions against being female and successful, because career-focused women are chastised for not being mothers, and mothers are chastised for not being career-focused. If you are female, you are expected to be okay with this and not complain about it, or bow to the social pressure and use a man as your shield and advocate in the world.

Ah, and speaking of social pressure, let's talk about boundaries. To horribly corrupt Jane Austen, a woman without an obvious male owner is assumed to be in want of one. For sufficiently determined men, even the socially accepted sign of having a male owner is insufficient to get them to respect personal space.

So what is a woman to do with someone who sets off the danger sense? Ignore him, of course, unless he turns out to actually be dangerous. Then she had to trust those feelings and get away from him as soon as possible. He won't actually go away? Well, what did she do to keep enticing him? Nothing? What was she wearing? Well, surely she had to be giving off some signal that she was available, and he's a nice guy, so it's not his fault he read a signal that she didn't intend.

Oh, so she loudly asserted that she had a right to her own body and that he was infringing on it? Sign her up for the Canis family. What is that uppity woman thinking, claiming she's better than men. Someone should teach her a lesson so that she understands where her place is. And if one man isn't enough, then recruit some friends and go after her wherever she goes, so that everyone can hear how wrong she is to think of herself as a person with opinions worth hearing.

Why do men have "wingmen"? Because women travel in groups for protection, and men have to strip that protection away to claim their conquest. Pay no attention to anything else that might be interpreted as a stop sign - even that can of mace in the face was just a "not now".

And if he does "accidentally" step over the line, he can feel safe that forces will be marshaled to explain what "really" happened, to place the blame on her, to discourage her from pressing charges or a suit, to sully her name and reputation, and to ensure that nobody actually cares, even at the possibility that she was hurt or killed, except hysterical feminists and the not-men who claim to be their allies. (They're probably gay, anyway.)

So what's a woman to do in these circumstances? Well, if she Knows What's Good For Her, she'll do nothing, and allow this boundaries to be drawn increasingly closer to her, until they bind her as surely as any rope or chain would. If she expresses a desire to avoid this date, she will be shouted down by men, called ungrateful for their protection, and informed upon by other women trying to protect themselves from sharing her fate. Any man trying to help her will fall under suspicion of being a not-man and will have to be monitored to ensure that his contagion doesn't spread and make other not-men.

These things, they are related.



* If this sounds suspiciously like business as usual in fundamentalist Muslim countries and fundamentalist Christian enclaves, you have found the beat. The difference is sometimes less a matter of degree and more a matter of openness - here in the States it's at least nominally considered bad form to openly claim that women should be inferior and unable to do anything without male approval and consent. If, however, you track things like abortion votes, voting rights decisions, and the wage gap, the pattern is right there for the noticing, right down to the justification that this is commanded by The Being Represented By The Tetragrammaton.

** It would be an appropriate comparison between Russia of 2013 and the Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei of the 1930s and early 1940s with regard to how they criminalize people that would wear the pink triangle, although to my knowledge Russia has not engaged in all the measures their comparison did. It's not really the point of this post, though, so I leave it as an exercise to the reader.

Open Thread: Salted Caramel

Hosted by a caramel honeycomb

So sea salt caramel gelato is a thing that exists in my world.

I could wax poetic about the glorious mingling of the soft bright spark of sea salt with the golden richness of caramel and how amazing it is that we live in an age where people combine the two...

...but instead I'll just repeat, sans commentary: sea salt caramel gelato is a thing that exists in my world.

Open thread!  What amazing awesome things exist in your world today that make you smile?

Monday Reminder!  While I have fun coming up with pretty pictures and/or interesting “prompt” questions for open threads, you aren’t limited to those!  These threads are open - go wild, talk about whatever moves you!  (Just remember that this is still a safe space, please!)  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  

Photo of the Day: Cats That Look Like Pinup Girls

If you are not following the Cats That Look Like Pinup Girls tumblr -- which ably demonstrates that the majority of "girlie" pinup poses are not merely objectifying and sexist but are also unattainable by most humans -- then you are probably not laughing as much as you could be.

Open Thread: Ruins

Hosted by castle ruins
On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness

The tusks that clashed in mighty brawls
Of mastodons, are billiard balls.

The sword of Charlemagne the Just
Is ferric oxide, known as rust.

The grizzly bear whose potent hug
Was feared by all, is now a rug.

Great Caesar's dead and on the shelf,
And I don't feel so well myself!

- Arthur Guiterman

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s coming up, give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!
 ~ Kristycat

Film Corner: 30 Days of Night (and Some Thoughts on Character Gender)

[Content Note: Violence, Vampires, Stylized Blood on the Poster Image, 30 Days of Night Spoilers]

I really like the 30 Days of Night franchise, though it's difficult for me to say precisely why. I own the movie, the book novelization, and several of the comic books, but from a critical perspective I have to admit that the comic books past the initial Barrow, Alaska incident don't really do anything for me, and the art style of the comics is very much not the sort of thing I like. (The stylized faces seriously freak me out.) And the movie and associated novelization are unperfect in some serious ways.

I think, to be honest, what I like most about the franchise is that single starting concept, and for the benefit of non-fans I'll give a brief rundown here. 30 Days of Night takes the fact that there are places on earth where the sun doesn't come up for an extended period of time (also known as Polar Nights) and asks what would happen if asshole vampires decided to take advantage of that fact to create a self-service vampire buffet that lasts a full month.

Fat Acceptance: Diagnosis FAT

[Content Note: Fat Hatred, Medical Malpractice] 

So I'm really glad that I spent $128 dollars to go to the gastroenterologist specialist today to speak to him about my daily problems with nausea and stomach upset for over a year, because he was able to take one look at me and diagnose that the problem is FAT!

WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT?!? Well, I mean, I did, obviously, which is why I basically don't go to doctors anymore unless I feel like I'm dying. (And that worked out super-well!) And why I get discouraged when people encourage me to, hey, just go find some other gastroenterologist because if you spend $128 dollars often enough, eventually you're bound to find someone who won't stop at Diagnosis: Fat! And that's totally not an invisible tax on being fat in our society and it's totally not a horrible irony when people complain about fat folks dragging down the healthcare system with their fatty bad health.

Ahem.

Also by way of updates: That uneducated upstart nurse practitioner who gave me antibiotics because all symptoms pointed to X and copious family history pointed to X and the Magic 8 Ball said it was very likely X just probably diagnosed me wrong because the Hospital Diagnose-a-tron 5000 is never wrong and also I'm statistically too young to get X and that's totally how statistics work. So the fact that the antibiotics cleared everything up in a couple of hours was probably just a coincidence or a placebo effect. Because when you've been on medications all your life and in-and-out of hospitals for years, you totally expect New Medications to fix you instantly. Total Belief In The Power Of Medication To Fix Things Instantly is definitely a phrase that should be mentally applied whenever you see my name. 

I think the gastroenterologist maybe could have ordered some tests to check to see if maybe my problems might be caused by something other than fat, but I guess that seemed hard because he didn't. He told me to lose weight, and then scheduled a follow-up visit for two months down the road to check on the whole not-being-fat thing. I'm sure that won't be a total waste of everyone's time and money! (The best part about that is that they didn't let me schedule it myself which I can weasel out of by saying "I have to go home to check my calendar, I'll call you" and then never calling. No, they handed me an appointment card saying when my visit is and now I have to work up a good lie for when I cancel that over the phone and don't reschedule.)

In conclusion: Everything about this week's foray into the American Medical Establishment has made me almost as miserable as my initial condition.

Open Thread: Penguins

Hosted by penguins
PENGUINS!

No pun intended, penguins are cool!  They're all black and white, and they waddle, and they're really really graceful underwater, and people make movies about them.  Penguins are cool.

Interestingly, the penguins in the above picture are called jackass penguins.  Now, I know NOW that this is because they make this braying noise like a donkey.  At first, however, I was examining the picture, SURE that it was going to show me, like, a penguin tripping another penguin or pushing him into some ice or something.  Oh well.

Open thread!  Talk about penguins!  Or talk about other stuff instead, I can't stop you! :P  But if, y'know, you feel inclined to talk about penguins, please don't hold back on my account!  Because penguins are cool!
~ Kristycat


Wednesday Reminder!  Open threads are meant to be fun, chatty places to discuss anything that doesn’t “fit” into a deconstruction or other regular thread.  This can be something totally off-the-wall and random, or it can be something interesting that a deconstruction prompted you to think of, but which would be derailing to get into in the deconstruction thread.  When in doubt, move it over here - that’s what it’s for!  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  

Feminism: Transcription Update

Here is an update! On the ongoing process to transcribe the Wendy Davis filibuster, the associated citizen testimony, and the associated amendment debates! It is going to have lots of exclamation points! For science!

A) That Non-Profit Company Book Link Thing You May Have Seen On Twitter! A couple of you have written me about a non-profit company that has recently published their own Wendy Davis filibuster transcript. I was actually contacted earlier in our transcription process by that company; they asked to use our online transcript in their book, and I declined because I was concerned about retaining the right to set an affordable price point. I mention this only because a few people have worried how this might affect our transcript (it doesn't; I hold a copyright on our material) and whether they might have plagiarized us (I genuinely do not believe they have). So no worries!

(But I would strongly encourage people not to link to the book in this thread, as I am concerned that the ensuing inevitable conversation over their chosen price point may be distracting and potentially contentious and difficult to moderate. It's easy to find on Google.)

B) Emails! If you have sent me an email in the last two weeks and I haven't written you back, I totally will I promise. I have had all kinds of family drama and work drama and illness drama and SO MUCH DRAMA and there's kind of this Tragedy Of The Inbox situation now where the longer your email sits in my inbox the longer I take to answer it and arrrrgh. I'm sorry about that. I swear I will totally get back to everyone soon -- ideally this weekend, but that may be optimistic.

C) Progress! We are doing really, really well. You may recall we have 5 sessions slated for transcription. The Wendy Davis filibuster (1) has been basically done (i.e., either up or in proofing) for awhile now. The House Amendments (2) have all been spliced and sent out, way back when. Most of those are in proofing stages. The Senate Amendments (3) are 80% sent out; I've stalled on the last 20% and hope to finish that soon. Most of those are being transcribed as I type this.

The remaining two sessions -- the citizen testimony sessions that I couldn't map out myself because triggers -- have been sent out to their brave volunteers. (OMG THANK YOU, YOU TWO.) One of them is halfway finished and I have the capability to splice-and-send just as soon as I find the time. The other one got hir video last night, and has plenty of time because I still have the first one to splice out which is no small task. And while that may not seem like we're doing really, really well, for context's sake, I expected that by September we'd still be on the filibuster. Seriously, you guys, we are magic.

D) Volunteers! Having said that, if you have the time and spoons, please stay with us for the final stretch. We've lost roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of our volunteers to family drama and work drama and illness drama, etc., and while we all wish you very well in sorting all that out (because seriously, drama sucks) it also means that all the remaining volunteers are that much more essential to the process. Which is totally not meant to be pressury and if you need to pull out, that's fine and I totally understand. But if you have the spoons to give, boy howdy we need them.

I think that's pretty much it! Once again, thank you all so, so much for all the support you're giving in so many supporty ways! And thank you all so, so much for being both generally and specifically awesome!

Metapost: There Are Very Good Reasons Why I Haven't Written A Real Post In Awhile

...but they're mostly depressing and you probably don't need that in your life.

Basically, I've been really, really sick (since last Friday) and while I can personally attest that antibiotics are magic, the sucky thing about being sick is that it tends to screw everything up for way longer than you'd think because suddenly you have to work overtime to catch up on everything you missed while you were out (today) and you also have to go to medical specialists to try to make sure that your illness doesn't come back when the antibiotics are done (tomorrow) and also you have to answer eleventy-billion transcription emails and at some point you need to sit down and pay your bills because those checks aren't going to write themselves.

And let me tell you: Cats do not help this process at all. Like, you can tell them all day to write checks on your behalf and they will just blink at you like the fur-butts that they are. :(

So: I will try really, really hard to post something interesting this week. And in the meantime, may I personally ask that everyone who has the time and spoons and whatnot, please thank Kristycat for coming in to the blog, rain or shine, to give us open threads that are not merely open, but are also interesting? Like, I am so useless that we pretty much wouldn't have them if it were up to me, but even if we did it would just be a picture and a blank page of comments. Whereas Kristy actually writes stuff that I enjoy reading and learning about, and I really just cannot thank you enough, lady. Thank you.

So much. 

Open Thread: Embroidery

Hosted by embroidery threads
So - I'm taking up a new hobby.  I'm learning to embroider.

It's harder than it looks!  Trying to figure things out like "what's the optimal length of thread so I don't run out but also so it doesn't tangle every 5 seconds" - not easy.  Lot of trial and error.  And of course I'm a perfectionist when it comes to crafts, so when I look at the finished product and it's not PERFECT ALREADY I get frustrated :)

But!  I am learning.  I am getting better.  Soon I will be able to embroider pretty borders on all of my clothes.  And then one day?  TAPESTRIES.  (Shush.  I know proper tapestries are woven, not embroidered, the Bayeux "Tapestry" notwithstanding.  I don't care.)

Open thread!  Does anyone here embroider, or indulge in any of the other textile arts?  What sort of problems did you run into starting up, and how did you overcome them?  Is anyone taking up a new hobby of any kind?  What about it interests you, and are you having to get over any hurdles to get into it?  (Also, does "embroider" still look like a word to you, because it sure doesn't to me...)
~ Kristycat

Monday Reminder!  While I have fun coming up with pretty pictures and/or interesting “prompt” questions for open threads, you aren’t limited to those!  These threads are open - go wild, talk about whatever moves you!  (Just remember that this is still a safe space, please!)  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  

Disability: A Brief Rant On The American Medical Establishment

[Content Note: Pain] 

Yesterday, on a Friday, I had stomach pains so intense that I was convinced I was dying. I did something that I have never done in all my adult life: I went to the Emergency Room. (Emergency Rooms are expensive, Ana. We don't go to the Emergency Room unless it's life-threatening. Are you sure it can't wait until Monday?)

At the E.R., they agreed to give me medication to dull the pain, probably because the muffled screams and moans ripping out of my throat were disturbing the other patients. But this took about thirty minutes to occur, during which they made sure to run my credit card and insurance to make absolutely sure I could pay for the medication.

After the pain medication brought me down from a 12 to a 4, they wheeled me into a CT scan and declared that they had no idea what was wrong with me, but that it wasn't life-threatening. Just very, very painful. Ulcers, maybe. Or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Or any number of other things. I needed to see a gastro/stomach specialist to find out.

"What about the pain?" I asked. The pain was still clearly there, under the haze of the drugs, and threatening to come back any minute. Not to worry, the E.R. doctor said -- he would prescribe a mixture of Maalox and Lidocaine (a numbing agent they use for tattoo-work) to coat my stomach. It would get me through the weekend until I could see a specialist. They sent me off with a prescription, and the medication worked.

Then I took a closer look at the bottle. "Take every 8 hours." There were four doses. I'd already taken two doses, just to get me through Friday. One in the afternoon when the drugs from the hospital wore off and one that night so that I could sleep through the pain. It was Saturday morning and the pain was coming back. I can't possibly get in to see a specialist until Tuesday at the earliest.

I called the pharmacy, which closes on Saturday at 1 and isn't open on Sundays. They needed the prescribing physician to call in the refill. I called the hospital. The prescribing physician isn't there today. I asked what the process is for calling in refills via another doctor and a nice doctor told me that the hospital "doesn't call in refills" and that if I wanted a refill I would need to come in to the E.R. for another visit.

"But I'll have to pay the E.R. co-pay again," I protested. "I can't afford that!"

"The E.R. is expensive, I'll give you that," he said, in the same tone of voice as if he was admitting that while Florida is a lovely place to live, it is humid (I'll give you that). He told me to call my primary care physician, who isn't in on Saturdays. He suggested that the weekend-on-call physician could help.

I called my weekend-on-call physician. I explained the situation to the nurse. I just need a totally-not-restrictive-nor-dangerous medication called in to last me over the weekend because I'm in terrible pain and I can't afford to go to the E.R. again. "It's the physician's practice not to issue prescriptions over the weekend," she said apologetically. I waited in agony. "I know it kind of defeats the purpose of having an on-call physician," she added with embarrassment. She told me that maybe the pharmacy would issue a refill anyway, if I promised to have my primary doctor call in the prescription retroactively on Monday.

I called the pharmacy. Of course they can't give out prescriptions without a script. The asked the name and number of the on-call physician and promised to call them. "Sometimes they'll talk to pharmacists when they won't talk to patients," she said soothingly. Trying not to get my hopes up. Hearing the tears behind my voice. Promising to call me back.

I'm still waiting for that call. 

I love America. I'm proud to be an American. But I hate every aspect, every detail of the American medical establishment. Not the people who make it up, most of whom seem like nice people. But the for-profit rules and regulations which turn nice people into unfeeling paperwork zombies.

Zombies who will suggest that I spend hundreds of dollars and waste hours of the E.R. staff's time to come in for a "visit" just so I can get a refill on a prescription that is in no way dangerous or controlled and which costs $25 without insurance. Medication I could probably mix myself if I knew where to get liquid Maalox and liquid Lidocaine (neither of which are controlled substances) this time of day.

Meanwhile, I'm in the kind of pain that feels like dying feels like. But it's not life-threatening, so tough it out until Monday. Or whenever you can get someone to take your call.

Open Thread: Cheesecake

Hosted by a miniature cheesecake


Cheesecake
by Faith Trekson

When your soul is listless, wan and weary
and you know not what to do;
You need a lift, a comfort zone,
to sink and curl into...

You need something to nurture you,
To heal your tired heart;
Something soothing, something soft,
A begin a fresh new start...

And so I tried some chocolate,
no good...its way too sweet;
And then I tried a cup of tea,
But I just can't take the heat..

I read somewhere that baking,
is wholesome, good and fun,
and so I thought I'd bake a cake,
and perhaps please someone...

A chocolate cake is way too rich,
Its so done and quite a bore,
And so i ventured into cheesecakes,
rich in comfort lore...

I crushed some biscuits tenderly
and formed a buttery base,
And blended eggs and cottage cheese,
in an anticipatory haze...

And as I plucked it from the heat,
my heart all filled with glee..
Blushing golden, all aglow,
Like the sun beneath the sea...

It cut like butter, soft but firm,
(just like we should be);
Eyes closed, I sat and ate it up,
knees curled underneath me...

I nearly purred in complete bliss,
as it passed my eager lips,
as it crept into my hungry heart,
and settled gently on my hips...

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s coming up, give us something new to explore!


And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

~ Kristy

Twilight: Bring On The Shackles

[Content Note: Purity Culture, Rape]

Twilight Summary: In Chapter 14, Edward and Bella spend the night together.

Twilight, Chapter 14: Mind Over Matter

If I recall correctly, we last left Twilight with Bella coming back from the shower and her "human time" and Edward sizing her up in her nightclothes and pretending that he hasn't seen her in precisely those clothes night after night for, I believe, weeks. (Nothing to see here, move along.) Oh, and Bella has run up and down the stairs to breathlessly inform Charlie that, no really, she's super-tired and going to bed now.

   “What was all that for?”
   “Charlie thinks I’m sneaking out.”
   “Oh.” He contemplated that. “Why?” As if he couldn’t know Charlie’s mind much more clearly than I could guess.

Open Thread: Behind The Scenes

Hosted by a restaurant at night
So.... this weekend, I was in a situation where I fully anticipated sitting down at a table, to be served an absolutely fantastic meal, while wearing beautiful clothes.  Instead, through the vagaries of fate, I found myself in the kitchen, serving other people an absolutely fantastic meal.  While wearing beautiful clothes.

And... I was having a blast doing it.  And it dawned on me - much as I enjoy being served and being entertained, I have far more fun when I'm actually the one behind the curtain, making it happen, seeing how the magic is done and watching the people enjoying it.  It's one of the reasons why, even though I was never a great actress, I was always involved in drama in high school - even if you're just painting scenery or working the lights, there's something special about getting to be one of the people making the magic happen for the audience.

Open thread!  Have you ever gotten to be "the man behind the curtain," helping to make an event or performance awesome?  Do you enjoy it, or would you rather relax and appreciate the show someone else puts on?  Have you had a time when your plans or expectations were completely upset, but the "consolation prize" turned out to be more fun than your original plan would have been?

~ Kristycat

Monday Reminder!  While I have fun coming up with pretty pictures and/or interesting “prompt” questions for open threads, you aren’t limited to those!  These threads are open - go wild, talk about whatever moves you!  (Just remember that this is still a safe space, please!)  

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!  

Fundraising: Monthly Donation Reminder and Thank You

For those of you who have requested it, here is the monthly reminder to donate to Ramblings and/or make sure to renew donation subscriptions that have lapsed. This is also my monthly heart-felt thank you to all of you who do donate now or in the past; I cannot strongly enough express my appreciation for those who have the ability to contribute and make the choice to donate to support this space.

The donation options on the blog donation page include one-time donations and monthly subscription options. (Subscriptions can be canceled through Paypal at any time.) I want to reiterate that I don't want anyone to donate if that donation would create financial hardship for them! But if you can afford to donate, every little bit helps. Each cheerio matters (no matter what the flavor!).

Corn, Oats, Rice, Wheat by Petr Kratochvil

This space is a strictly-moderated safe space for feminist activism, which takes a tremendous amount of time and resources, and is additionally incompatible with a number of online funding options, including content-generated advertising. Rather than seek corporate sponsorship or mandatory subscription models, both of which I feel are incompatible with my intersectional activism, I have chosen to embrace a donation/patronage crowd-funding model in order to cover blog operation costs. (And if this sounds a lot like the fundraising posts you see at Shakesville, that's partly osmosis and partly because I am deliberately trying to follow Melissa McEwan's model of valuing feminist work, and I've borrowed heavily with Liss' permission.)

I cannot afford to run this site full-time for free, but even if I could, I believe that fundraising for my work is a feminist act. I ask to be paid for my work because feminist advocacy has value and should not be undervalued or unpaid as "women's work" or a "pink collar" profession. If I do not ask to be paid for my work, then I fear I am feeding into a cultural narrative which says that society is entitled to a woman's work for free. I don't want to support that framing.

I also want to use this space to say thank you to everyone who contributes to this space: to those who donate, whether one-off or as part of a subscription, and to everyone else who contributes here with monetary and/or non-monetary support. I read and treasure every affirmation on this blog, especially those comments which note when a post has meaningfully affected them or afforded them particular pleasure. I appreciate every time a commenter checks hir privilege at the door, and encourages others to do the same. And I hold the deepest love and appreciation for our moderating team and contributing writers, all of whom I consider dear friends and colleagues in activism.

I am deeply grateful to everyone who contributes to this board, and I do not take a single comment nor the smallest donation for granted. I could not continue my work without your collective support, and this community is literally built on your active participation in this space. Thank you.

[Please note: I am not seeking suggestions on how to raise revenue in this space. And I want to repeat that I do not want anyone to feel obligated to donate if money is tight. There are numerous other non-monetary ways to contribute to this blog, should you feel moved to support this space. Thank you.]