Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cleaning Out the Bloglines

Some old, some new, but all stuff I never got to posting about, despite my excellent (I swear!) intentions.

* Alicublog: Moral Guidebook - Copiously Illustrated! Anyone who's ever spent more than a few minutes reading Ace of Spades will recognize the irony here.

* The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum: In Solidarity and Love. More on Little Light's post and one of the uncharitable reactions to it.

Well, Heart, I think Robin Morgan would be proud of seeing her words, of realizing a kindred spirit has felt the same wounds and emerged from the same ashes. I neither do nor want to speak for all feminists. I don’t subscribe to a moratorium of personal thought and feeling. I respect boundaries, and I take accusations of transcending boundaries seriously. But I see no transgression; all I see is a woman asserting her identity as a beautiful human being.

And your Audre Lorde example is bunk, in my opinion. I’ve seen many people talk about the master’s house and the master’s tools in context after context. Before I knew Lorde’s name, I knew those words. If I wrote something personal about myself with that reference incorporated, and I encountered a reaction like yours, I’d have two reactions. I would jump at the excitement of figuring out where the words originated, but I would also feel a sense of regret at sharing my experience at all. There’s a difference between comparing voices and using one voice to suppress another, especially when both painfully need to speak.

Bold and underline that last sentence especially. Some posts make me want to cheer; this was one of them.

* Echidne of the Snakes: A Sexist - And Proud of It. Something I don't acknowledge enough when I write is the debt I owe other writers. Amanda was right to credit Faludi as a strong influence on this post, but Echidne's another woman who got there first on the topic of exceptionalism:

The problem for the women who have drunk patriarchy's KoolAid has always been the schizophrenia of looking down on all women yet being one of that despised species. How to solve this dilemma? The obvious solution is to ask for an exemption: Though women are headless hens cackling away and good-for-nothing but taking care of children (funnily enough, the Most Important Job in other conservative contexts, yet something that can be trusted to cackling hens), the woman stating these opinions is NOT a cackling hen. In fact, she is not a woman at all, but a miniature version of the Calm and Always Logical Great Man.

"I'm not like other women" definitely goes on the Top Ten list of Phrases I Never Want to Hear Again.

* Echidne of the Snakes: Your Dream Is My Nightmare. One of those anger and civility posts that I love:

Remember political correctness? P.C.? Remember how viciously the wingnuts attacked it? Well, political correctness did have a strong flavor of civility, the idea that people should be called what they want to be called rather than what ever smearword others have invented for some group. Limbaugh decided that feminists were feminazis. I don't remember many articles on the need for Limbaugh to learn civility.

But times change, of course. Now the liberals and progressives are called traitors and terrorist-lovers and so on. But civility, well, that is a problem on the left side of the political spectrum. Because the left is ANGRY. And what is the right? Never angry, it seems. Only moral and virtuous.

The right is just as angry; it's just that they think their anger (at welfare queens, Islamofascists, illegal immigrants, NARAL, and the media) is justified, while the left's isn't. You're not bad for being angry; you're bad for being angry at the wrong stuff.

* Pandagon: How Not To Sound Like a Creepy Jackass. Yeah, from November! I am nothing if not timely. Anyway, it's about that study that tried to credit internet porn with a decline in rape, and the fellows who wanted to believe that so bad it hurt. Amanda takes them on in that nonchalant, this-is-too-easy style I love:

I said and Rob said, “Rape is caused by anger, not horniness.” This guy’s retort, “Yes, but rape is caused by horniness, which science says is about reproduction and blah blah bunch of words to disguise the fact that I’m basically saying that men rape because they are horny, an easily disprovable fact.” Bringing up the scientific theory about the main purpose of sex (though by no means the only purpose of sex) as if your audience didn’t know that erections and reproduction have anything to do with each other, does not make you sound more knowledgeable.

When I pointed out to him that all he was saying was that men rape out of some sort of animalistic horniness, he got backed up by a guy who wanted to argue that there’s no way a woman could know what motivates men to rape, since men have this animalistic horniness, you see?

I do see! Men and Women Are Different. You never really escape that one, do you?

* Plum Crazy: Boxer v. Rice. Lesley lays it out so I don't have to:

If the only price women are seen as being able to pay for their country in wartime is their children (and husbands), what does that mean for single, childless women? Given the culture we live in, it's really not hard to read that as "you're selfish." It's not as if single and/or childless women don't get fed that message constantly anyway. "Selfish." "Unwomanly." "Failure." That's the environment in which Boxer made her remarks.

I get that a lot of the outrage over Boxer's remarks was faux outrage, because equality for women is not and never has been a goal for the right; so for right-wing bloggers to pretend suddenly that they cared about the implied insult to Rice on feminist grounds is a joke. That said, I think Lesley's right, because you never escape context, either. Not even if you're Barbara Boxer.

* Slant Truth: My Lived Life Is All The Theory I Need. This was written in response to Jeff Go1dstein's post on how race is a social construct (see discussion here), so why don't we just invalidate the construct? Except that by "invalidate the construct," he really means, "you people of color just need to get over yourselves." White people don't have to do anything. Happy Martin Luther King day!

Someday someone must explain to me why anyone pays any attention whatsoever to anything Jeff says, even though he's so transparent, his agenda's right there floating in a soap bubble. But if someone must pay attention it may as well be Kevin, because he's got it:

I love me some theory, but I have a big problem with theory that doesn’t and can’t match up with lives as they are lived. This is the problem that I have with those of the “race is a fiction” crowd. In the world that I live in, race is quite real. Every time I walk outside of my door I’m confronted with the fact that race is quite real. Here’s a story: one of the earliest memories I have is of being 4 or 5 and pulling into the donut shop with my moms and watching a dude on a motorcycle jump off, lunge at me and scream “fucking niggers” while (thankfully) being held back by his friend. That’s real. All of your talk about race as socially constructed will never erase that memory from my mind.

Read the whole thing. Don't miss any of the links, either.

* Yellow Is the Color: Maureen Dowd: Bipolar, Schizophrenic, or Just An Idiot? I vote the last one; there's no call to be insulting bipolars and schizophrenics like that. Anyway, I'm saving this one for the next time a conservative gets all confused about Maureen's feminist credentials:

I finished reading “Are Men Necessary?” by Dowd over break. I remember a lot of people posting about this when it first came out, so I’m a bit behind the times, but I found the book way too immensely frustrating not to rant about it in some way.

I should have known to stop reading after the first three sentences:

I don’t understand men. I don’t even understand what I don’t understand about men. They’re a most inscrutable bunch, really.

I should have put it down right there, I really should have. There’s not much I can stand less than writers/comedians/etc. pulling out the whole “Whoa! Aren’t men and women so different?!? Isn’t that SO crazy and funny?” shtick. But for some reason I kept reading (I really think my initial decision to give the book a chance was because I so liked the pulp/noir graphics on the cover), and as I have a self-imposed rule about not quitting books once I’ve read more than a chapter or so, I soon found myself in a position where I had to finish the damn thing.

And now it's your turn to go finish the damn thing.


Sylvia said...

Thanks for linking to my post. You've compiled a lot of great links here, and you've reminded me to clean out my clippings folder. lol

ilyka said...

No, I owe you thanks. I'm still trying to wrap my head around your Godwin's-Law-violatin' post. Major handicap: I don't play chess. Arrrgh!

But it reminded me: The last Godwin's moment I had was watching this. There's a good healthy handful of right-wing bloggers who remind me of the Goebbels. And I know the minute I post that it's gonna be "Oh noes, she went for the Nazi reference!" But what do you do when the shoe fits?

belledame222 said...

i sort of knew Godwin online (that same v.c. where VdL and so on were). i have a feeling even he's sort of over that particular Law. i could be wrong.