Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Generation's Heart Torn Out

I torment The Youth of Today with my old-ass music and observe that it's Not Good when our youngest and brightest are struggling like this. This is not what a country with a future looks like.

Which Americans? Which Feminists? Which Women?

I had to sit around thinking about this post for awhile because I knew I was not getting something.

I'm a slow learner, but I've learned this much: I've learned not to draw from that itchy, uncomfortable, this-feels-wrong feeling the automatic conclusion that the stimulus must be wrong. I've learned to consider that it might be me who is wrong.

So, this post at La Chola: I didn't know what to do with it besides share it in the Google Reader, because I hoped to come back to it. I think I will just take you through what I thought at first to what I think now, and if we're lucky, what I think now will evolve into what I think later, and it will improve with more time and more thought. Why not? Most things do. Okay? Okay:

Why the particular emphasis on “Muslim countries”? Does Ms. Pollitt think that “Muslim countries” are particularly hostile to women’s rights for some reason?

At first, I thought, well, hell, BFP: Don't you know how many right-wingers like to attack American feminism on that basis?--That "American feminists" don't care, don't do enough for, don't mobilize as quickly in response to, the problems of women in "Muslim countries?" Don't you know how often we hear that? Hell, I started receiving hits on an old post at Pandagon just this weekend over that. The post from which my work was linked was titled, "Iran Oppresses Women--American Feminists Silent." So American feminists get this all the time. What are we supposed to do, ignore it? Let that meme propagate unchallenged?

That was my first thought.

My second thought was, "Of course BFP knows this happens. She never said it didn't happen. Why are you responding to that? Why aren't you addressing what she said?"

My third thought was, "Wait, what'd she say again?" Because ADD.

I had to read that post several times and then let it bake in the rusty, unevenly heated oven of my mind. And finally it occurred to me: "If feminism is FOR WOMEN--not just American women, not just white women--then women in Muslim countries are right there in women's conversations; not being talked about, not being lectured at, but being talked with and listened to. They're THERE, if feminism is working right--and thus there is no need for American feminists to write letters showing how much we care about them. They can write their own letters if they want to. Or they can be smart like American white feminists ought to have been and realize that you don't ever win anything playing purely on your opponent's terms."

The opponent's terms here are:

1. Women in Muslim countries need American feminists to do things for them.
2. Women in Muslim countries are unable to do things for themselves.
3. Women in Muslim countries lack their own feminisms and need American feminists to show them how it's done.

And, of course, the real idea behind this particular wingnut criticism:

4. This would all work out just grand if we enlightened Americans went into Muslim countries and showed them how it's done. Forcibly.


If I could pick only one thing I ought to have recalled back when I was thinking "we'll just FORCE Western democracy on folks across the globe" was, God forgive me, a good idea--if I could pick only one thing to have remembered, here's what that one thing would have been: I would have recalled that most of the Western democratic benefits I personally enjoy did not come from Republicans or conservatives.

Wasn't Republicans who ensured my reproductive rights.

Wasn't Republicans who founded the ACLU.

Wasn't Republicans who came up with Miranda rights.

Wasn't Republicans fighting police brutality.

Wasn't Republicans securing my right to vote.

None of the things conservatives and/or Republicans (they are not necessarily identical) want to export to these poor picked-on (by whom again?) "Muslim countries" are things they themselves had shit to do with--and in fact, they're things conservatives have traditionally opposed. Women don't need reproductive rights because it's God's will if you have a baby. People don't need civil liberties because you should trust the state to look out for you. People don't need Miranda rights because only hardcore criminals benefit from them. Police don't need the hassle of investigation because their jobs are very hard, you don't understand. And women don't need to vote because look at all the stupid ways they vote OH HEY LOOK, IT'S ALL ABOUT ME AGAIN.

There's no need to go sending a damn letter with a billion women's signatures on it to prove American feminists care about all the bad things going on in those crazy mysterious "Muslim countries." Repeat! There's NO NEED. What we "American feminists" NEED to do is stop playing defense. We need to stop accepting the dishonest terms being bandied about by utter jackasses with selective recollections of basic ninth-grade history.

We need to go on the offense and ask, "What have American conservatives done for the women of their own country?" We can win that one and easy, because guess what the answer is?--"Jack shit" on a good day, and "the high hard one without so much as a reach-around" on a bad day--and lately, we've had more bad days than good.

Finally, we, American feminists, for lack of a better term, need to quit thinking of other women on the globe as Far Away and Over There, as women to be talked about but never to. Yeah yeah, I repeat that a lot, but I run out of clever ways to write it, and it's true.

If Muslim women had been properly acknowledged and listened to from the start, we wouldn't be hearing this criticism because our critics wouldn't know where "American feminists" left off and "Muslim women" began. There would be no "American feminist" label with all the assumptions wingnuts tack onto it. An American feminist in the conservative view is white, heterosexual, cisgendered, unattached, middle- to upper-class, college-educated, abortion-obsessed, insular, grasping, selfish, and shallow.

And if there were such a label, it would be so obviously crafted by wingnuts and it would so obviously fit no actual people that--just as we do with swamp creatures, dragons, and wicked witches--we could, as grown women with some sense, ignore the whole damn thing.

Instead, we're ignoring each other. Perhaps this should end.

UPDATE: Magniloquence kindly emailed to say I would really like this post at Tiny Cat Pants, and as usual, Magniloquence was right. Oh, now, don't fall over dead and make me send the paramedics! I like this particularly:

. . . isn’t this the way we do it? We refuse to pay attention to what folks are telling us about their experiences, convinced as we are that we treat everyone the same, completely willfully unaware of how assinine that is.

People don’t want the right to be like me (or you, rather, because, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s good fun to be like me). They want the right to be respected on their own terms for being themselves.

Yes! Is that so crazy? I don't think that's so crazy.

Magniloquence also tells me that there are many d00ds crying butthurt in the comments to that post, something about how the marginalized are obligated to make sure they phrase everything Just Right. Yes, yes, I know: That AGAIN.

Anyway, I throw that out there for those of you who have been wondering when I was going to get back to my usual shtick of picking on the d00ds, but I am busy today. Perhaps you could gently assist the be-penised over at Tiny Cat Pants yourself? Or if you're not feeling that generous, I hear you. Me neither, at least not today. If you prefer to just point and laugh and groan and eyeroll, please consider this safe space in which to do that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sacramento Doesn't Get Many Love Letters

So I'm linking this one. Sacramento is the city my family moved to from New Jersey when I was just out of kindergarten and I am childishly pleased to see someone appreciate it. Angelenos can call Sacramento "Cowtown" all they want to; what would they know? They live in the smog capital of the U.S. The lack of oxygen affects their brains.

(Still recuperating over here. More later in the week, I hope.)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I'm Getting a Cold and You're Getting a Link Roundup

Damn it, I was just applying my frustrated maternal instincts to worrying about Nezua's health, and now I've got to worry about my own. Don't tell me you can't catch colds over the internet! I knew something didn't feel right when I was working out yesterday but I put that down to a combination of, ah, hormones, and my foolishly having let three days elapse since the last workout. Now here I am chugging green tea and, as cocaine once was to Lindsay Lohan's nose, so Zicam is to mine. I repeat: DAMN IT.

Let's get this done so I can get back to bed, huh?

The Unapologetic Mexican: Nez releases his introductory video for the MTV Street Team '08 project (Digg it here, kplsthx), chills with some brainy dude with fabulous hair, and proves that there are in fact ways to make pussy jokes that don't demean women. (Hint to the guys: Make yourself the true butt of the joke, and even feministy crabasses like myself will laugh at it. There! You're welcome.)

The Hathor Legacy: "Dear Target shoppers: We here at Target won't deal with any nontraditional media outlets who are not James Lileks, so take your outrage over this ad and shove it." Oh well, the Target near me sucks anyway. Nothing's ever in stock and all the employees have that "please kill me" look that brings the whole store down, not that I blame the employees so much as the management for that, but you know what I mean: It's frustrating and depressing to shop there. So now I just won't! Thanks, Target!

My Private Casbah: Two excellent posts examining class privilege, and one righteous rant:

You know, people with disabilities really take a lot of shit off of people. We put up with the casual use of words like "retard", "nut job", "lunatic", "vegetable", every damned day. We generally don't go around blowing up any nursing homes prisons just because we know how inhumane they are even though some folks have no problem with this sort of "direct action". We put up with shitty housing, illegally inaccessible government buildings, and condescending store clerks every effing day. We are raped and told that it was our own fault. Yet, we still put up with that shit.

Many of us just don't have the energy to fight every instance of injustice that we personally experience. Taking on the entire ableist system is more than most of us are willing to do. But here's the thing: Why should we have to do it? Why aren't YOU people fixing yourselves? Why should we have to stop you from trying to eliminate us completely?

The thing that's amazed and often horrified me in online discussions of Katie Jones' "Do Not Resuscitate" sign is how often people will quite glibly determine what is "best" for Katie based on what they would want done if they were in her shoes.

Stop and think about that for a minute.

I like to think (let's pretend I'm younger and a lot more fertile here for a moment) that I would never have an abortion outside of a very, very few extenuating circumstances. Yet I support safe, legal, accessible abortion for all women. What if I said instead, "Well, I'd never want one--the very contemplation of having one fills me with horror--so you don't need one either?" That's right! I'd be a fervent anti-choicer!

I do two things with respect to abortion: (1) I keep in mind that there are some things one can only know through direct experience, so for all I say "I would never," the fact is, I don't actually know what I'd do if I had an unplanned, dubiously-desired or not-desired-at-all pregnancy. I couldn't know until I got there. And (2), I keep in mind that not everyone is me, not everyone wants what I want, not everyone thinks what I think.

This is my polite way of saying that "I would rather be DEAD than live like that" is a shit argument, okay? You don't actually know what you'd rather, it's a grossly offensive sentiment to harbor about people with disabilities, and not everyone is You, Wonderful You. It's a shit argument. People need to stop making it.

La Chola: For Allies: How "Gender Trumps Race" Plays out in the Real World:

I just wanted to point this out so that those who are committed allies to women of color can see plainly and clearly what women of color are talking about when they say that they have serious issues with how they are written out of ‘feminism’ and ‘justice’.

Speaking purely from my own experience and no one else's (I can't emphasize that enough), what I have found is that women written out of feminism and justice are usually perfectly willing to tell me why this is so--if I listen. If I ask the question honestly, or better yet, if I take the time to go looking for the answers myself, I WILL find the reasons. It's when I enter into my query with the (unstated, often suppressed or camouflaged) aim of arguing women of color out of how they feel or what they believe that my problems arise.

I saw a white person online recently complaining that all s/he ever got told was to listen to people of color, and that was terribly unfair, because this person had So Many Good Ideas! about how to fight racism! Well, the analogy is not perfect (no analogy ever is), but I would suggest that white feminists flip that complaint around to see how it fits: How do we feel when men complain that they have such good ideas about how to fight sexism, but instead we keep telling them to start by listening to women--and our insistence that they listen more and talk less is so unfair to men? "Cry me a river, dude," is normally my response to that one.

And via La Chola again, more on life on the border:

The trip to Mexico was a privilege, not only because I literally learned the privilege that my passport afforded me, but also because I returned fundamentally changed. I thought I knew much more than your average American about the special relationship between the Southwestern US and Mexico. I grew up in the Bay Area of California, where Cesar Chavez was loved almost as much as Martin Luther King Jr. I grew up knowing about migrant labor and how the growing seasons all along the West Coast, from Oregon to Baja, complemented an itinerant, agricultural workforce. I thought I knew, since half the cities I could call to mind were Spanish – San Francisco, San Jose, Modesto, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles. I somehow knew as a child that Anglo-Californians were interlopers on an already-occupied land.

I thought I knew, but since the passage of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) things have drastically changed in the US and Mexico, especially for the working poor. The Mexican economy has tanked, and for working-class Americans, by 2000 NAFTA accounted for a job loss of more than 400,000 American manufacturing jobs (probably many, many more by now). But more significantly, when Americans found new employment, they made only 77% of their former wages. Wages in the US are now at their lowest in terms of buying power since 1955. In Mexico, the situation is much worse.

Zuky: Repost--Eight Images
You don't have to be a brilliant photographer yourself to enjoy this collection of images. I will sneak you in one here just to tempt you to view them all:


Green is the New Red: Movement Watch: Grand Juries Against Puerto Rican Activists:

According to BreakAllChains, in one recent case the FBI claimed to be investigating “the extremist group: The Welfare Poets.” The Welfare Poets is a collective of artists and activists.

The danger of grand juries is that they’re a legal black hole. The government can haul in activists, question them about their political beliefs and political associations, and throw them in jail if they refuse to cooperate. Even if activists walk in the grand jury room, but don’t answer questions, it still creates mistrust among other activists because grand jury deliberations are secret

Your tax dollars are hard at work subpoenaing social workers, graphic designers, and "artists and activists." Do you feel safer?

Writeous Sister Speaks: Gloria Steinem: Mis Dos Centavos. Out of all the excellent coverage of Steinem's atrocious op-ed, I am most partial to this post by Aaminah Hernandez:

The most obvious, to me glaring, proof that Steinem is making a sweeping statement about the feminism of women who don’t vote for Clinton is in this statement:

“…some women, perhaps especially younger ones, hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system; thus Iowa women over 50 and 60, who disproportionately supported Senator Clinton, proved once again that women are the one group that grows more radical with age. “

To me, this reads as

a) young women aren’t radical enough (i.e. not “feminist” enough)

b) young women live in a fairytale land where they “hope to deny or escape the sexual caste system” so they are simply not as smart as the rest of us (i.e. not “feminist” enough)

c) young women aren’t showing proper appreciation for the efforts of the older feminist waves by not supporting a woman for president (i.e. not “feminist” enough)

d) thank God for the older, radical, feminists who can save the young women from their misguidance by voting Clinton into office

e) women of color do not exist and have no reason to feel a squeeze between supporting a candidate of color versus a female candidate

f) heaven forbid a woman is voting based on actual politics and chooses to support a white man instead of the colored or female candidates - because then she is just a flat-out traitor (Considering how many people, including Steinem, who have said this race shouldn’t be about race or gender, it is amusing how race and gender is all they want to talk about and how clear it is to women that voting in another white man is a glaringly bad decision because for the first time we really have choices!)

Aaminah is persuasive and compelling here. Don't miss out!

Donna Darko: Third-wave Feminism. Donna looks at the formation of the third wave and contrasts it with mainstream feminism now. I winced to read it, but that was not Donna's fault. No excerpt because you really do need to read the whole thing with this one.

Finally, Jill of Feministe has an exciting new gig at Alternet. And not to diminish the significance of that achievement, but I have to take a moment now, before I run out of steam here, to defend Jill's taste in music.

Feminists, lay off bashing the pop divas. REPEAT: LAY OFF THE POP DIVAS, especially if they sing better than the Indigo Girls, WHICH THEY DO, OKAY, IT'S NOT EVEN UP FOR DEBATE.

First of all, there is nothing wrong with Mariah Carey that really good material can't fix. Mariah with 90% of her catalogue is a technically gifted singer with, as a commenter piggybacking off Dorothy Parker put it, a range of emotions that runs the gamut from A to B. But Mariah + the right song = chills up spine. And hell, YOU try packing convincing emotion into most of the pablum masquerading as pop music today. You aren't going to do any better at breathing new life and sincerity into cliché than Mariah does.

Second of all, everyone is allowed at least one Beyonce in her life. My Beyonce is named Britney Spears and she's not at her best right now, okay, but BACK OFF. Don't make me start crying.

Third of all, Shakira is amazing and that's final.

You know what all three of those women have in common? I mean, besides that they're all beautiful women of color?--Their presentation and style are full-on feminine. Why the fuck does a woman have to act like a man to get any respect from the indie music snob crowd? Or commit terrible crimes against innocent consonants like Natalie Merchant? Your rules SUCK, music snobs, and they aren't even particularly feminist. There can be ways for women to express themselves in music beyond PJ Harvey and Chrissie Hynde and Beth Ditto. Fucking accept it.

UPDATE: In fact, some diva nostalgia might be just what the doctor ordered.

Yes, AGAIN with the short-shorts.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Google Can Stop Casting my Age up to me Any Time Now

Search term: "lionel ritchie song i had a dream i had an awful dream."

No, no, no! AweSOME. He had an AWESOME dream. I had to hear about that awesome dream at least 50 million times as a teenager, via the radio or MTV, so I can see how "awesome" became "awful," because you know something?--It kind of was.

And yet I still like the damn song, even though it is pretty wretched. Let's have the Lionel I prefer for an antidote, huh?

Nothing wrong with short shorts. Those can make a comeback any time.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Heroes: Not on the Fence

I love you, Eloisa Tamez:

Tamez owns three acres of land along the Texas-Mexico border where the Department of Homeland Security would like to build a border fence. The property is a remnant of a 12,000-acre grant from Spain to her family in 1767, before the United States even existed.

"It is my history. It is my heritage," Tamez said.

This week, the Justice Department began legal action against landowners and municipalities who have refused to give government surveyors access to their land.

Tamez expects she will be sued sometime soon, but she is not intimidated.

Asked how long she will fight, she said, "As long as I have to."

Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said the fence will not be stopped by opponents like Tamez.

"Can we simply abandon an enterprise because it is a problem for a particular individual?" Chertoff told CNN. "I don't think I can accept that."

Hmm. I expect internet libertarians will be all over that last assaultive statement on civil liberties just the way they were all over Kelo. What? What's everybody laughing at?

(More here. Also related.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Remember: It Is Better to Look Good Than to Feel Good

Whole thing, read, right now, you know the drill. But I'm not kidding:

From a feminist point of view, I think that most women can fake it pretty well. I know exactly ONE person (and I’m not married to him*) who has ever caught on that I was having a struggle when I wasn’t deliberately revealing that information. It’s terribly damaging to women that we are so conscripted by a system that insists we keep up appearances. It forces us into a sort of coy mental health minuet that delays necessary assistance, often until it’s far too late.

There are certain culturally agreed-upon behaviors that women must engage in, not to make themselves feel better, but to make everyone else feel better. I have always gotten up and gotten dressed. I never go without make-up. If I did, the signal I would be sending is that I am so depressed, I have actually stopped caring if I am sexually attractive.

THEN the system takes notice.

I think the only thing I'd add is that it's even worse on other class and race levels--I can't imagine what someone who needs help, but knows that asking for that help might bring the full force of ICE down on not just her own head but the heads of others close to her, must feel like in this broken system. The point, however, is that this system fails all of us in a million different (but preventable) ways, and then it distracts us from that point with its unceasing broadcast of the not-so-cleverly-coded message that all would be well if we would Just Try Harder.

Now add on the backwards idea that if we'd just fix the outside, the inside would magically realign to match the outside, and there you have it: A proven recipe for disaster. And this happens again and again, even though if there's one thing disasters seldom are, it's pretty.

Awesome stuff, Genni. Thank you for putting it out there.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


This old post is still getting hits. And it's getting a particular kind of hit: Google searches on the phrase "feminized men."

Mind you, when I say "Google" I don't necessarily mean A lot of these hits are from, which makes me wonder what the hell is up with you people. I mean, it was only last year your judges stopped wearing powdered wigs, if my understanding is correct.

So my advice is, don't go throwing a fit because you hooked up with some fellow who uses moisturizer. And Brit dudes, don't go freaking out because your buddy reapplies deodorant in-between soccer riots and pub stops. Y'all place a respectable second in the origination of "feminized men." France places first.

And you know something?--There's nothing superficially wrong with a man who smells good.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Inspiration Week: CLICK

I got it!

I got it, I got it, I got it!

I've gotten it before and then forgotten it. Gotten it and then talked myself out of believing it. Gotten it and then puffed myself up in vanity for being so smart; forgotten it and then beat myself up for being so dumb.

Oh, but it comes back to you and then you can sing. Now you remember. Now you see it--and how nice it is to see it again! Not sad but bittersweet: You had to see it again, had to re-see it. Bittersweet that you forgot, bittersweet that you got distracted.

It's okay. It's back now and you could use the reminder, and you can trust it.

Women, this is what we do not get told and this what we variously get and forget:

We can trust ourselves.

We are not always stupid; sometimes if there is a thing we are not getting it is because we do not have all the information, and sometimes that information is cunningly hidden from us just to make someone else feel smart.

We are not always depressed (except when we are, not backing down from that one, sorry); sometimes if we are down it's because we're in an environment that would bring anyone down who spent any time in it.

We are not always our own worst enemies; sometimes we're simply pitted against each other for the sport and delight of others.

We are not always poor analysts, we do not always make bad decisions, we do not always choose poorly; sometimes we're simply stripped of the tools to do any of that right at the door. You know, for security. So it will stay a safe space.

We are not always high-strung, too emotional, needlessly inflammatory, or overly argumentative; sometimes we're just struggling to say something we worry won't be received well, and our anxiety about that becomes fear becomes anger.

And of course sometimes none of this is true and sometimes we really are a mess, but listen:


There's a little sensor in your bones and it stores all the times you thought you were stupid, but only because someone wanted to feel smart at your expense. It stores all the times you thought you were hopeless, but only because you were forced into a hopeless situation. It stores all the times you were set up to be jealous, all the times someone confiscated your toolkit, all the times you were told to calm down by the same person who enraged you to begin with.

That sensor KNOWS.

It will sound an alarm whenever a situation, place, or person matches something in the database a little too closely. When you heed that alarm and adjust the way you know from experience you have to, when you heed that alarm and do what you need to do to survive--

--that's when you get it.

When you don't--

--that's when you forget it. And shit becomes enormously confusing from that point on until the next click, until the alarm goes off again only this time, you ACT.

I love the click. I hate getting to it, it's often grueling, and damn I wish that light could just stay on all the time, but I love the click: Right, recognize this. Seen it before. Should have seen it here earlier. Shouldn't have disconnected the alarm. Won't do that again. (Oh, yes you will.) Well, no need for more of it; out ya go. That's better. Where were we?

Thank you to the people who helped me reach the switch today.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I interrupt Inspiration Week to say a few things:

First, some folks need a history review.

Second, I refuse to draw conclusions about "what I can expect a male candidate for President to do for women if elected," from "what a male candidate for President says about Senator Clinton," because there are these things called platforms on which I'd rather base my expectations. Doesn't mean I endorse or approve of everything being said about Senator Clinton right now, doesn't mean I don't hate what the pundits are putting her through either.

Third, if you ask me (and I realize you did not, but when has that ever stopped me?), those tears were phony as hell. Just because Maureen Dowd happens to say so in her typically fluffheaded, spiteful way doesn't mean there aren't others of us saying and thinking the same damn thing. And you know something? We are also women.

Fourth, if you took Pinko Feminist Hellcat out of your feed reader, it's time to put it back in. That has nothing to do with the rest of it--or does it? I report, you decide.

We now return you to your hastily scheduled Inspiration Week.

Inspiration Week: Truth-tellers, Patient and Impatient

Personally, I need both, sometimes at the same time. There are pluses and minuses to both approaches.

An impatient truth-teller is great, because that person is usually so fed to the teeth with having the exactsameconversationoverandoveragain, ohwhenwilliteverstop, that s/he will probably aim for blunt, concise, and devastating. When you only get one shot, or rather when you only want to have to take one shot, you don't fuck around. I have no patience myself, so I'm sympathetic to the urge to just quit fucking around.

And then again, an impatient truth-teller is more prone to spraying the place indiscriminately, kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out. Plus, the problem with being so damn devastating is that people wind up crawling away from you all devastated-like. I'm not saying they don't sometimes deserve all that and more; I'm just saying.

The impatient truth-teller can also attract a nice crop of people trying to do the internet equivalent of suicide-by-cop:

IMPATIENT TRUTH-TELLER: --bunch of assholes, and I--

[Someone with a frequently updated MySpace page comes barging in]

MYSPACE USER: I can't believe you just called me an asshole!

ITT: Huh? Who the fuck are you?

MYSPACE USER: And you won't stop swearing at me!

ITT: I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to--

MYSPACE USER: Now you're silencing me! My voice doesn't matter to you!

ITT: Do I know you?

MYSPACE USER: And DISMISSING ME! You really are the meanest meanie in all of Meanville! And now I am become the saddest sadster in Sadtown!

ITT: Look, I have no idea what you're doing here, who you are, or why you're upset. I was only trying to tell these assholes over here that--

MYSPACE USER: I can't believe you just called me an asshole again! [runs off to alert 400+ friends to the meanness]

Not that the patient truth-telling approach is without its own problems. The risk you take with patient truth-telling is that some folks are going to wind up conditioned to having their hands held, their dribbly chins wiped, and their nappies changed all the time; and the first person who kills this dream by saying "Clean up after yourself, Mr. Toddler," is going to hear like all this whining and crying and complaining, because Mr. Toddler was SO certain that learning would always be sweet and free and easy.

But then again, you can't rush learning, and everyone's speed is different. Someone's got to take the time and make the effort or we'll only wind up with a world full of insufferable little smartasses who think they know everything because damn it, they were in the gifted program--and if the vision of that future doesn't make you stop to give thanks for all the dumbasses among us, I don't know what will.

It would be a pretty barren landscape without the patient. In the end, all you'd have left would be 8,736,450 nation states, each home to exactly ONE impatient truth-teller apiece--or to rip off P.J. O'Rourke, a bunch of The Republic of Me and You and I'm Not Sure About Me's.

Sometimes the impatient truth-tellers get to clean up after the patient truth-tellers by taking Mr. Toddler out to the woodshed. And sometimes the patient truth-tellers wind up having to educate--gently!--the shattered victims of the impatient truth-tellers.

If anyone is fixing to get all upset about anything I've said so far, it may soothe you to know that I've been guilty of every behavior catalogued here: I have needed my hand held and my chin wiped. I have hurt innocent bystanders in the course of shooting my mouth off. I have been too patient with people who didn't deserve it, to the disappointment and frustration of friends who had Mr. Toddler's number long before I did. And way too many times to count, I have needed my conscience and my thought processes kick-started by someone all out of patience with the same old shit.

I don't say that to make this all about me; I say that to ward off complaints that I'm overgeneralizing or setting up a false binary like, oh, I don't know, "popularizers" and "purists," say, because the truth is that everyone has a little of each of these characters in them and it's all really a spectrum anyway. I've been all those people sometimes in the same conversation, and sometimes more than one of them at once, and sometimes I haven't fit neatly into any of those roles but have just sort of muddled along in the middle. And I'm sure you have too.

I wouldn't even be writing this right now if some very impatient truth-tellers hadn't kicked me in the ass, hard, over some horrifically stupid ideas I once held.

And I wouldn't be writing this right now if some very patient truth-tellers hadn't endured all my petulant little tantrums, either.

I owe both. And worse, I owe too many of them--too many to link right now. For today I think I'll just point you to some mostly patient, occasionally impatient truth-telling going on over here, with bonus cute dog pictures.

Thank you, everyone who told me the truth even, and especially, when I wasn't too eager to hear it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Inspiration Week: Blackamazon on Sex

I don't have a lot of flowery introduction for this post because you don't gild a lily:

I guess where i want to start is where I always end up starting and half finishing and failing for the past two years.

Responsibility ,accountability , and mystery.

But the big one for this entry is mystery .

Glamour ( I just quoted Glamour on this blog help us all) has this survey and it shows up every three or four months in the other magazines as well , touting the " sexual standards /Shocking thing 78.6 percent of women/ what's totally normal"

And it bothers me because once again something very intimate and personal is being normalized
First of it presents sexuality as this great mystery that needs to be unraveled by public vote. Not to mention it concentrates on doing so in a manner that emphasizes you not being " out of the norm" No seriously it's called the do's and don'ts of sex.

On one hand it's trying to convince you that your sexual expression is normal by emphasizing the fact it's not unique?!

I guess why is every one trying to convince me ( I am still young enough to be in most youth target audiences ) that sex is no big deal , no mystery, that long as we cover condoms and consent it's AOK.


This is why I don't talk about sex on mainstream feminist blogs, or even on this one. What is mysterious is powerful.

And the attempts to demystify sex, to, as Blackamazon says, "cover condoms and consent," to reduce the whole thing to dos and don'ts--well. I understand the motivation 99% of the time. If you want to reduce the incidence of sexually-transmitted infection, good practical knowledge about the best ways to prevent infection is important to get out there. If you want to reduce the incidence of sexually-transmitted infection, destigmatizing the having of one is important to get people treated; we don't want people with STIs isolated by shame, keeping their conditions secret and perhaps furthering their spread.

If you want to reduce unwanted pregnancies, knowledge about contraception is vital to disseminate. If you want to reduce unwanted pregnancies, reproductive rights are vital to secure.

We want people to be happy and healthy and having lots and lots of Dr. Ruth-brand Good Sex(TM), right? So we've got to educate them!

Knowledge is power, and let me be clear: I am all in favor of knowledge, education, and the widespread availability of both.

Sex can be a problem, sex can cause problems, and we need solutions for those problems and people need to be able to use them effectively.

What I don't want are sloppy attempts to use one power--knowledge--to whittle down another power, mystery--the power of sex--and force it to manageable scale. I would rather we encouraged people to grow bigger rather than encouraging them to see sex as smaller, and no, I don't even know if that really makes sense.

I just know I grew up with all the knowledge, all the tools, all the access, all the education--and my early sexual experiences still knocked me flat on my ass, and I don't mean in bed or during. It was as if I'd been taught how to use a cap gun and then someone handed me a rocket launcher.

"So let's see I just kind of pull back on this bit and--"


I made mistakes, because everyone does. But Blackamazon has something to say about that, something that makes me wish I could fiddle with time and space so that I could have been reading her twenty years ago:

Petit explain this to me, what the heck is with everyone ratcheting DOWN the stakes. Self care sexual care big fucking deal

and you know what we'll make mistakes.

and they'll be serious one.

Isn't it bad and wrong to be convincing people that being healthy and RESPONSIBLE is no big damn deal.

As if self care isn't hard?

OF course it is


here's my shocking belief


She gets me every time with that.

Thank you, Blackamazon.

Monday, January 07, 2008

January 7-13 is Inspiration Week

Says who?--Says me.

I have to redirect some energy, and when it came right down to it, I couldn't think of a better way to do that than to give thanks for some of the work out there that has inspired me. I don't really care if some folks think this is a trite and useless exercise; this is how we roll here in the Clown Posse, and I think maybe we can squeeze one or two more in the car yet, so feel free to hop in.

I started thinking about this while reading this beautiful post of Al's, which I found via Creek Running North (see comment number 25 in this thread). First of all, I love Al for having thought this whole "blogging" thing through way more thoroughly than I ever did, not that that would be difficult to do considering I never thought it through at all, but, well:

When I began writing online I had a lengthy chat with myself regarding the things I would, and would not do. Given the context and power of the net, two things were central for me. One, I was not going to needlessly kick the underdog. My own sense of self worth is not predicated on my ability to socially eviscerate a "likely" suspect. I'm sure you will all agree, in cyber land, the role of societal gate keeper and bully, is played out all too often, in the same cruel, humanity redcuing ways.

Now as you know my own sense of self worth IS predicated on my ability to socially eviscerate a likely suspect. So why am I praising this? Because it inspires me to stop being like that. There are good, moral reasons for not being like that:

Telling someone newly HIV infected and dealing with crystal meth issues, for example, that "maybe Darwin was right" and it's all a matter of will power, addiction is bullshit, blah, blah, blah, may garner temporary credence among the obnoxiously vapid set who regulary reach Nirvana wagging a finger from behind cover of a computer screen, but it also has some very real damage potential to human lives.

No, not because you have hurt another's feelings needlessly and for sport, but instead because you may have actually silenced a voice. One that belongs to a person you would have no way of knowing what it may have taken for them to even get to that point. The point at which, without so much as a thought beyond your own readers perception of you, you cleanly knocked them down. But hey, it no doubt got a laugh, and your attempt at sarcasm may have fooled a few into perceiving you as witty. Thanks, but I'll pass. And whenever the chance presents itself, I'll relish in calling you on your oh so brave admonishments.

I try not to silence voices, but no doubt I often do anyway. The only voices I'm actively interested in silencing, though, are the ones that make people I love cry. One fool's learning curve should not leave skid marks on another person's heart.

This is the part of Al's post that got me in the heart:

The English was awkward and halting, but the description of the night she left her life and husband behind, was none the less potent. An abused woman, living in poverty, her story is a dime a dozen. For the drama queens among you, sorry, there was really no water shed event, no final bone shattering beating. Simply, this random woman who none of us would give passing glance to on the street, finally decided she had enough.

For whatever reason, and through that odd combination of luck, fate, and circumstance, that womans resolve found its way to a helpline linked on the pages of my site. Twenty minutes later, with a single bag, her daughter, the family cat, and the phone number and address of a shelter they would spent the night at, she walked out of her house, doing what had to be one of the hardest things she had ever done, and ventured into the world head first and with a very uncertain future, alone.

I see the stagnation in parts of the blogosphere as a failure of imagination, a failure to imagine what blogs can do. No, I am not a blogging triumphalist. Yes, I am aware (albeit far too recently for a woman my age, who by now ought to know better) that other parts of the blogosphere are amazing testaments to what blogs can do. I am merely saying that if you think all they're good for is achieving ego strokes and ad revenue, perhaps you should think again. Let your imagination take you beyond AdSense and Technorati. Read what inspires you. Read a little something whenever you can that lifts you up instead of bringing you down, and remember to give credit where credit is due.

Thank you, Al.

How Many?

Too many to count.

You know, it isn't true that privilege and entitlement don't lead to mistakes, or at least it isn't true for me. They lead to my making mistakes all the TIME.

For example, I thought that if people would just make honest attempts to link to each other and engage with each other, everything would be okay--because that's how it works out for my privileged, entitled ass 99% of the time. But that was a mistake, and I see now a clarification is in order:

If when you read "linking to and quoting" you wind up doing "cherry-picking, appropriating, and reframing;" and if when you read "engaging in dialogue with" you wind up doing "what about the white ladies, don't you think you're being unfair to us? WHAT ABOUT OUR MOVEMENT?"--just don't.

It's the equivalent (and bless you R. Mildred for nailing this) of having a bunch of certified Nice Guys decide to "link to" and "engage" feminists, just to whine about all that pussy in lockdown they aren't getting. Well, whine about while simultaneously scorning and rejecting as not good enough, because after all, a Nice Guy doesn't want that stank feminist pussy, he wants Hott Gurl pussy; but it's the feminists fault that he isn't getting any of that, so it's the feminists at whom he whines the most.

I see no parallels to the present situation at all, but that's only because I've had myself blinded in order to preserve my sanity. Thank heavens I touch-type! I hope this is legible for y'all!

Anyway, that kind of engagement doesn't help--and that's putting it way too mildly.

But hey, at least it's civil and that's what matters around here, or so I am told. Now give me my motherfucking civility award.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Starting Now, Actually

Better late than never.

Fun for the Whole Fam Damily

Unpack it--if you can!

You're Right! They'd Be Better off Dead!

I can't believe what I'm reading, and I mean that in every sense:

AIDS Patients Face Downside of Living Longer


Mr. Holloway, who lives in a housing complex designed for the frail elderly, suffers from complex health problems usually associated with advanced age: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, kidney failure, a bleeding ulcer, severe depression, rectal cancer and the lingering effects of a broken hip.

Those illnesses, more severe than his 84-year-old father’s, are not what Mr. Holloway expected when lifesaving antiretroviral drugs became the standard of care in the mid-1990s.

The drugs gave Mr. Holloway back his future.

But at what cost?

That is the question, heretical to some, that is now being voiced by scientists, doctors and patients encountering a constellation of ailments showing up prematurely or in disproportionate numbers among the first wave of AIDS survivors to reach late middle age.

1. I have taken the liberty of revising the links in the first paragraph; in the Times, they direct to After reading this article, however, I wouldn't trust the Times to explain a paper cut. You'll see why shortly.

2. Emphasis mine. Relax! "At what cost?" is a question only heretical to some. And you know who those "some" are, don't you? That's right: A bunch of nasty narrow-minded purists who think life matters.

There have been only small, inconclusive studies on the causes of aging-related health problems among AIDS patients.

But don't let that stop you from asking the tough heretical questions.

Without definitive research, which has just begun, that second wave of suffering could be a coincidence, although it is hard to find anyone who thinks so.

Instead, experts are coming to believe that the immune system and organs of long-term survivors took an irreversible beating before the advent of lifesaving drugs and that those very drugs then produced additional complications because of their toxicity — a one-two punch.

That seems plausible. I can see the correlation, also known as the indication for more non-small, non-inconclusive studies.

The Multi-Site AIDS Cohort Study, or MACS, will directly examine the intersection of AIDS and aging over the next five years. Dr. John Phair, a principal investigator for the study, which has health data from both infected and uninfected men, said “prolonged survival” coupled with the “naturally occurring health issues” of old age raised pressing research questions: “Which health issues are a direct result of aging, which are a direct result of H.I.V. and what role do H.I.V. meds play?”

The MACS investigators, and other researchers, defend the slow pace of research as a function of numbers. The first generation of AIDS patients, in the mid-1980s, had no effective treatments for a decade, and died in overwhelming numbers, leaving few survivors to study.

Yeah, and about that. See, I wouldn't call that so much "a function of numbers" as I would "a failure of public health," for which failure older people with AIDS are now paying the price. THERE, fuckhead. There's your fucking story.

Mr. Holloway is uncomplaining even in the face of pneumonia and a 40-pound weight loss, both associated with his cancer treatment. Has the cost been too high? He says it has not, “considering the alternatives.”

I guess we count Mr. Holloway among the non-heretics, then. Imagine thinking your life has value! Imaging preferring being alive to being dead! Crazy!

One 69-year-old member of the group, for example, has had several heart attacks and triple bypass surgery, and his doctor predicts that heart disease is more likely to kill him than AIDS.

My grandfather had several heart attacks and bypass surgery, with his first surgical intervention occurring when he was 61. He's dead now, of, yep, another heart attack. Maybe the last 20+ years of his life weren't worth the hassle, though. Maybe he should have just, you know, died the first time.

At Rivington House, a residence for AIDS patients on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Dr. Sheree Starrett, the medical director, said that neither heart disease nor diabetes was “terribly hard to treat, except that every time you add more meds there is more chance of something else going wrong.”

If this is an actual quote and not some horrible misrendering out of context, then even though she's got "Dr." in front of her name and I don't, I feel safe calling this doctor an idiot. Heart disease IS hard to treat. Diabetes IS hard to treat. I listen to cardiologists and endocrinologists struggle to keep arteries patent and hemoglobin A1c levels below 6.5% five days a week. It's hard for the patients, it's hard for the health care providers, and holy shit, the medication complications are just insane.

Furthermore, "heart disease" is a blanket term--it could refer to atherosclerosis, prior myocardial infarction(s), valvular disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, hypercholesterolemia--I haven't covered even a fraction of the possibilities here, and of course it's possible for multiple cardiac problems to exist in combination. No. No physician in her right mind would say all that was not "terribly hard to treat," but it's a useful quote if your premise is that everything would be simpler if only patients with AIDS would stop living already.

Statins, for instance, which are the drug of choice for high cholesterol, are bad for people with abnormal liver function, also a greater risk among blacks.

Oh, I skipped that part! I skipped the part where the reporter made sure to mention how much riskier it is to get the AIDS, and the AIDS-related complications, and complications that may be related to AIDS or may be related to any number of other factors, we don't know because the only studies to date have been small and inconclusive, if you're black. I am not really sure why that was brought up, but it is first mentioned here:

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are associated with a condition called lipodystrophy, which redistributes fat, leaving the face and lower extremities wasted, the belly distended and the back humped. In addition, lipodystrophy raises cholesterol levels and causes glucose intolerance, which is especially dangerous to black people, who are already predisposed to heart disease and diabetes.

Just so you know.

Many AIDS patients have end-stage liver disease, either from intravenous drug use or alcohol abuse.

Nothing else causes end-stage liver disease--not primary biliary cirrhosis, not portal hypertension, not certain medications, not nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, not genetics--nothing. It has to be something You, the Naughty Person with AIDS, Did to Yourself, so either you shot up or you drank too much. Would it be heretical to ask whether you should still be here?

Among Dr. Starrett’s AIDS patients is 58-year-old Dominga Montanez, whose first husband died of AIDS and whose second husband is also infected.

“My liver is acting up, my diabetes is out of control and I fractured my spine” because of osteoporosis, Ms. Montanez said. “To me, the new things are worse than the AIDS.”

Of course they are, but you see, it's the AIDS we're concerned about here. We'd be fine with your continued existence, Ms. Montanez, if you just hadn't gotten that dirty old AIDS.

There are no data that compare the incidence, age of onset and cause of geriatric diseases in the general population with the long-term survivors of H.I.V. infection. But physicians and researchers say that they do not see people in their mid-50s, absent AIDS, with hip replacements associated with vascular necrosis, heart disease or diabetes related to lipodystrophy, or osteoporosis without the usual risk factors.

But they do see them with the usual risk factors, and some of those risk factors are quite common in the United States, and yet no one's written "Sedentary Diabetics Face Downside of Living Longer" yet.

You know, I get it. I get what the article was trying to say, I think, but it's just said so callously, so ineptly, and so inaccurately that I'm going to laugh extra hard the next time some wingnut starts raging about what a liberal paper the NYT is.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

An Open Letter to Sweating Through Fog

Dear Sweating Through Fog:

I began to leave this as a comment, but it grew too long and I realized that it was not really about you to begin with. It is about a trope I would like to see die, one which no amount of defining, describing, and debunking seems to be able to kill.

I do not kid myself that this will be effective in killing it either. I offer it here only in the hope that it might at least maim it a little.


You wrote:

Here is what is happening. In the view of ideological leftists, the sin of privilege - particularly that of a white, heterosexual American male - can never be washed away. It is a permanent defect of your soul. It means - to ideologues - that you have no moral worth. Despite what they say, no amount of “unpacking”, no amount of insight, no amount of loyal "ally work" can regain your humanity. In their eyes, your privilege means that that - now and forever - you have nothing of value to say. Your experiences are of no consequence. Your views are always empty. While you might be trotted out on occasion as part of a show-trial illustration of remorse, once that is done you need to shut up and move to the background. Once you are privileged, you are free only to agree.

This is a common misconception, I think--and I think you ought to recall here, as I do, that you admit right up front that this isn't a topic with which you are very familiar, nor even one you care to educate yourself about:

I don't really care about feminism, and I could care less what Jessica Valenti or the various WOC bloggers that are involved in this controversy think. What interests me is Hugo's attempt to add his voice to the mix, by trying to convince both sides that there is room for both in his big-tent view of feminism. And I care very much what Hugo thinks, because he is clearly a decent man, and a deep thinker.

See, that's privilege in action: The feelings of white feminist women?--Not important, not worthy of consideration. The feelings of women of color?--Not important, not worthy of consideration. The feelings of a fellow Christian white male?--So important, it's worth it to you to disregard entirely those with whom he engages. Except, of course, to misinterpret what they're trying to say in what has to be one of the most misguided "fiskings" I've seen recently on these internets. To return to your post:

In the view of ideological leftists, the sin of privilege - particularly that of a white, heterosexual American male - can never be washed away.

As a Christian feminist myself, I do understand the urge to draw parallels between original sin and privilege. They are not dissimilar at first glance, but a better metaphor here would be something more like fish in the sea, or maybe even those dumb old Palmolive dish soap commercials: White privilege is what white people are soaking in. It doesn't make sense to talk about "washing it away" anymore than it makes sense for schools of saltwater fish to "wash away" the sea.

You can't go back and erase the subjugation of indigenous peoples by whites, you can't go back and erase slavery, you can't go back and undo genocide--and neither can I, and neither can Hugo. We exist in an environment that has historically favored white people, and we can't change that history. (The present and the future, now, are another matter.)

Is this so far-fetched, so loony a concept? I don't think that it is. I think it's just acknowledging the reality of existing circumstance.

It means - to ideologues - that you have no moral worth. Despite what they say, no amount of “unpacking”, no amount of insight, no amount of loyal "ally work" can regain your humanity.

This, this right here, is what I mean when I say "a common misconception"--because this is patently untrue, and yet I hear it all the time. The most recent example I can think of occurred at Brownfemipower's, where a commenter basically asked, what do you want white people to do? Kill themselves? And with regards to the book discussion that doesn't interest you, but on which you nevertheless feel perfectly entitled to comment, that same sentiment has been expressed as, what do you want white feminists to do? Refuse book deals? Stop speaking at all?

This sets up a demonstrably false dichotomy: White people must either obliterate themselves, or content themselves with eternal, subhuman, racist asshole status. Oh, the humanity (that white people are losing, boo-hoo)!

I say this is demonstrably false because the very conversation you reference, this conversation at Hugo's that was so dehumanizing to Hugo, includes arguments made by white people; you cite them frequently throughout your own post. You quote a comment left by Tom of the blog Automatic Preference; Tom is a white man. Your next blockquote is from a comment by Theriomorph; Theriomorph is a white woman. You then cite a comment by R. Mildred; by now you should not be surprised to learn that R. Mildred is a white woman. And if any one of those three white people you quoted has ever felt dehumanized by people of color, I have not heard of it.

But it does happen that the white people you quoted stand in solidarity with women of color, and this brings us to your next point, which, again, I see made by so many, so often, that I beg you not to take this personally:

Once you are privileged, you are free only to agree.

I am free to argue with a neurosurgeon about the best way to repair a cerebral aneurysm. I am free to argue with a homeless person about the best way to stay safe on the streets. I am free to argue with an astronaut about the best way to prepare for outer space travel.

I am free to argue all these topics, but it should come as no surprise when other people, every bit as free as I am, think me a jackass for doing so. I'm not a neurosurgeon, I am not homeless, and I am no astronaut. I don't actually have a shred of authority to invoke in any of these discussions.

And as a white woman, I don't have a shred of authority to invoke in any discussions of racism as it is experienced by people of color, either. If a woman of color says to me, "What you are doing right now is silencing me, what you say here is patronizing, I experience it as dismissive," I am free to argue with her, all right; but Theriomorph or Tom or R. Mildred are also free to say, "Hey, Ilyka, stop that. You're being a racist douchebag. You can do better than this."

Now if I have any sense at all, I'll listen to Tom and R. Mildred and Theriomorph when they say that--but what would be even better than that would be if I resolved to listen to the woman of color who raised that concern with me in the first place. That woman is giving me the invaluable gift of the benefit of the doubt; I owe her, not the other way around! The bare-bones minimum I can do is listen to her with humility, listen to her in love.

Yes, what would be best would be if I did not need to hear criticism of myself solely from other white people in order to understand. What would be even better would be if I saw in people of color the same humanity you so passionately defend provided it belongs to Hugo, and not to those nasty leftist ideologues about whom you have bothered to learn absolutely NOTHING.

(And, Hugo, what would be even better from you would be if you would learn to discern when the devil's whispering in your ear, and stop thanking him for doing that.)

Unsurprisingly, Sweating Through Fog, your erroneous conclusion follows naturally from your erroneous premise:

So as a privileged person, Hugo has no basis from which to persuade feminists about anything.

The problem is not that Hugo is a privileged person. The problem is not who or what Hugo IS. The problem lies (pardon the Catholicism a moment) in what Hugo has done, and in what he has failed to do. The problem is that Hugo is not listening. I will note wearily here that this is a longstanding problem, Hugo-wise; and again, one shared by pretty much every white person on the planet; and finally, one that is seldom relieved by enablers whispering, "It's hopeless, you'll never please them, you can't win, just kill yourself, Whitey."

What if, instead of white feminists closing themselves off from discourse they deem unproductive ("unproductive" appears here to be synonymous with "uncomfortable"), they eagerly assumed the roles of pupils instead of demanding always the roles of teachers?

What if white feminists tried listening?

But I forget myself! You don't care about any of that. You only care about Hugo's humanity. You know what, dude? I think Hugo's humanity is going to be just fine, if by "just fine" we mean "expansive and all-consuming to the point no one else can have any." So do not fret. Be of good cheer!



Read it--and Please, No More Centering the Damn House

Donna is right (free advice: Donna is usually right): Post of the year by Brownfemipower:

Because in doing anti-racist (etc) work, differences between participants must be acknowledged, respected, honored and negotiated with. And eventually, as an act of solidarity, all those who are different from each other, but committed to each other through their differences, will either burn the damn house down and give the land back to the original inhabitants, or find some new place to build a communal living space together. All those who used to live in the Master’s house will know without fucking asking that inviting slaves to live in the house is not an option, not when there’s only one master bedroom and one master bed.

The market knows that when we need each other instead of it, it’s life will come to an end. It knows this, and thus has a vested interest in preventing that Great Reconciliation from even being imagined.


A person who is not a part of Lorde’s movement, but possibly may *think* she is, is the person who would say there’s no such thing as a master’s house, that the master’s house is big enough to hold everybody, that we shouldn’t be targeting the master’s house because the master will get mad at us and then we’ll never get into the house ourselves, that the master actually really loves us all and will stop whupping our asses if ever we’d learn to get along, that things aren’t really that bad outside the master’s house, that the master only cares about keeping women out of his house and only women’s labor was used to build the damn thing to begin with, that the *real* problem is all the jealous slaves who stand outside the master’s windows staring in, not leaving the poor master alone, that if we could just be *happy* for the master when he has a good crop, things would be so much better for all us. (and no, I am not in any way insinuating, suggesting, or otherwise implying that jessica or amanda et al are ‘the master,’ so chill out).

This person doesn’t recognize that the point has never been the master’s house, except in the most general sense. The point is the slaves. The point is justice for the slaves.

Read it all, absorb it, breathe it in like good clean air.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

And an Admin Note!

Boyfriend is taking me to a resort outside Ruidoso for a couple of days, neat neat neat. I am too excited about it, actually. I never go anywhere and I ain't had a single day off from work since last Christmas, and that vacation I spent with my parents. While I do love my parents very, very much, it isn't the same as a proper adult vacation, you know?

I will turn comment moderation off while I'm gone so y'all don't get hassled. (Genni! If you see anything super-shitty posted here, can you oblige me by deleting it mucho pronto? Everyone else!--If you see anything super-shitty posted here, can you please not feed the trolls? I don't get very many trolls, as a rule, but the ones I do get are hungry, oh so hungry. Please be spiteful and starve them to death. It's how I would want things.)

Happy New Year, everyone!