Saturday, February 28, 2009

"No More Raids on Pot Dispensaries, Says Attorney General"

Can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. Our federal laws in this matter were a joke, all they did was hurt innocent people. One more step closer to our country formally getting it's head out of it's ass. Even this far into the Presidency, I'm still hopeful. That must be some sort of record. :P

I am extra happy about this coming out now, because only a matter of a week or something ago Tom Ammiano proposed that California legalize and regulate marijuana. Do I even have to tell you how much that regulation money is desperately needed here? I've been saying for as long as I can remember that our laws about pot are nonsensical, I'd love to see real progress in changing them.

Green Day In Rolling Stone

Info on the new album!


Friday, February 27, 2009

Sex Parties, Oh my!

This isn't something I've talked about much on this blog, generally reserving conversations about my sex life to my friends via LJ. I don't know if it's simply been a point of keeping this blog more political and less personal, or what exactly. Although looking back at posts where I thought I would have mentioned this, I haven't! With the exception of my cis-privilege post I've apparently almost never mentioned that my husband and I are non-monogamous. How odd, I've talked about my hairy legs (and now often; armpits) and my period but not this highly-contested-in-feminist-circles area of my life. I even have avoided sharing this blog with family specifically so I could feel free to post about this stuff. But, probably a lot of the lack of talk has to do with the fact that in the year and a half that I've been running The Jaded Hippy I haven't had any "trysts" of which to speak anyway.

Well, now you know. We are non-monogamous. Have been for long enough now that it seems normal (well before we got married). Yet we are "virgins" in a lot of ways. I've been with other guys privately. I've kissed another guy in front of him. But he's not been with anyone else. We've never had a threesome. I've never even kissed another woman, and to be honest the thought freaks me out (like starting over at 10 years old all over again :P). He's not even remotely bisexual, so he hasn't been with another man either.

But he's wanted to share me with another guy for a long damn time now. Which, theoretically, I'm totally down with, and we have fantasized together about. I am not down with sharing him with another woman. Yes, I am a selfish lover. This is an aspect of myself that has actually taken a lot of thought to come to terms with. I'm a femme, a bottom, sex is something I like to be done to me, and I like to just lay back and relax into it. This isn't ALWAYS true, but it does seem to be part of my sexual nature. My husband is more of a "do-er" so this works out just fine. Even admitting such goes against what I grew up thinking about sex, which was more that basically it was my duty to do the pleasing, not be pleased. I used to feel very uncomfortable just receiving oral sex and not doing anything back at the same time. My mind also needs to really be engaged for me to get horny the way people in erotica do, I don't just naturally get to that state unless I'm sex starved, which now, I never am.

On top of that I have always had major issues with feeling guilty about being attracted to anyone but my partner. Even like, actors on TV. People would talk about fantasizing about someone else and I was just scandalized, it seemed half a step away from cheating. During my great Spike obsession I finally came a bit to terms with that and didn't guilt myself when he came to my mind while having sex... But yah, this, being open about sexuality, honest with each other, etc. has been a journey.

Well, in a new chapter, the husband and I have decided to do something we've been talking about doing since we lived in Seattle, so for at least two years now; we're going to check out a "sex club" (what the hell even IS a sex club?? I don't know I've never been to one!) Kinky Salon is what we decided on to be exact, which is a sex positive community that, as far as I can tell (and hope), has equal emphasis on the community part as the sex.

I'd looked through the various offerings in the Bay Area and this was the sole one to hold my attention. Others seemed to be too specific (just leather, or just bdsm, or just swinging, whatever, not our thing really), too sex oriented, or just not our sort of people. This one though seems to have a lot of geeks, and seem to care about people being able to just come and hang out as much as come out and find sex partners. It also doesn't at all look like this caters to random hook ups, but that you actually get to know people.

So! Tomorrow, we go. And we'll see. What absolutely clinched it for us, why we decided to finally go (I found this place shortly after we moved here) is, well: 1) husband has started making just a bit more money, though we're back in the red now, should have thought about how short this month is... but 2) the theme for Feb's parties are... Hippies. :P Well, it's a "Love-In", but, yah, hippies.

We figure if we hate it, we hate it, but if there's ever a time when we'll fit in, it's this one. I'm especially wary because (as mentioned) I've mostly stopped shaving and I don't want to have to start again just to be accepted in this "scene", that would not make me feel comfy. At points I'm sure I'll FEEL like doing the high femme thing, but I don't want to feel REQUIRED. So yah, if there's ever a time to test THAT out, it's hippie night. :P

Because BART has absolutely nonsensical running times, we decided to get a hotel room for the night in the city. Found a deal being run on a place that's a mile walk (not a big deal) from the party and usually is about 117 dollars a night, for 67, after taxes. Nice. So the plan will be to go into the city on BART, get dinner, check into the hotel and shower and get dressed up and all and then head out. The party runs from 10pm-4am. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. We're up this late some nights anyway, but still, sorta almost intimidating!

I think (read: know) we're both nervous, but hopefully we'll meet some cool people (that's our only goal, btw, we're treating it as a scouting mission to see if we would want to hang out with any of these people).

And if you're curious about the outfits (yes these are costume parties) I wanted to go with a Janis Joplin style but we didn't have the money for me to get the sort of outfit I wanted. So I'll be wearing one of the outfits I already sometimes wear (cuz, I am really a hippie lol) and doing Flower Children style face (body?) painting. Husband is doing a John Lennon circa 1970's military type outfit. We're hoping to find some patches he can pin to the jacket tomorrow afternoon. I'm also hoping maybe I'll find something, but I'm not sure what exactly.

So yah, new adventure, hopefully it won't suck (no sexual innuendos intended :P)! I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who Are You Calling Radical?

This is a call I saw at Lisa's My Ecdysis which I wanted to pass on.

Are we capable of this?
Who You Calling Radical?
Conversations and analysis of media justice,
dynamics of race and racism, activism, and difference
by womyn of color and radical womyn of color.
Guidelines: Choose a question to engage, or draft a question and answer in the comments section. All questions and thought processes by womyn of color bloggers and writers who have previously or presently participated in the blogosphere, are welcome.

I am also proposing a continuation of this thread/conversation at the
Allied Media Conference in Detroit, Michigan July 16 -1 19, 2009.

Let's engage.

With as much love and directness as possible, can we come to the beginning of a series of conversations that our explore our differences and widen the table at which we all sit – as readers, writers, bloggers, and activists of color?

What does the word radical mean to you, either as a self-descriptor, or as a descriptor for others with whom you do not identify? What implications does it carry? How/has it been reclaimed?

What is media justice and media reform? What are their points of tension? Points of potential collaboration?

How does engagement with feminism divide us? Help us collaborate?

What do you envision when the word “collaborate” is used in reference to White feminists? What experiences shape your perspective?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


NYU Students Occupy Kimmel Hall
We have waited too long for the University to respond of its own volition. We have let administrators push us around through endless red tape, through never-ending tuition hikes, through unfair labor practices, through secrecy and lies, through power being consolidated in a tiny group of (mostly) rich white dudes who know nothing about our lives as students.

raven's eye
in my visions i kept seeing a women and transfolk of color blog. one that was updated daily with our news, analysis, announcements, personal reflections, conversations, and more. a location on the net where we, from our different perspectives and lives, are able to give voice to us. where we agree and disagree, and stay in conversation.
are there others who are interested in building such a space for women and transfolk of color?

More Than Just A Whore: Sex Work, Firefly and Audience Engagement

Dear Black People WOC Feminists/Womanists Do Exist

Elements of Sex-Positivity

Raped By 46 Men

Beyond Chris & Rihanna

North Dakota House Passes Bill Giving Rights to Fertilized Eggs

Article: N.B. parents outraged by race-based Grade 4 assignment
The students had three spaces in a rocket ship and they had to decide whom to save among an Acadian francophone, a Chinese person, a black African, an English person and an aboriginal person. The assignment also included images representing each of the different ethnic groups that they could choose to save.

Well At Least It's Not Racial. Sorta...
Is the Italian government now seriously authorizing citizen vigilante squads? Which will ostensibly target any immigrant who might rape somebody? Is it just me, or does this sound like an unbelievably stupid fucking idea?

International Women's Day and More
International Women's Day 2009 is coming up (March 8th ya'll) and the zapatista communities are cooking up "MAMÁ CORRAL: A POLITICAL, SPORTING, CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC EVENT" -> this is a women's event named after Doña Concepción García de Corral, a recently deceased member of the Mothers of the Disappeared of Chihuahua and an adherent to the Other Campaign.

What Is a Feminist Issue

The Strong Black Woman Is Dead

A post I put in last week's linkages (What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?) has caused quite the furor in the meantime, bringing up a lot of issues that should be looked at.
Renee: Blogging and Conversations
Shark Fu: Well, allow me to retort…
Lauren: The Story of a Blog
bfp: the latest blow up
Sylvia: On digital clusterfuck feministm
Black Amazon: On Tokenism
Amber Rhea: Freewriting on privilege, class, inaccurate words, and frustration
Lisa: My Nicaraguan Father: Reflections on Feminism, Letters, and Digital Media

Rethinking Privilege
Patriarchy, as it is actually lived by men, sucks.

Patriarchy, as lived, doesn’t feel like privilege. It feels mostly like getting beat up, and always fighting for status—always trying to live up to some insane, ever-shifting masculine ideal. Men don’t feel like they are in a better position than women. In truth, no one in a hierarchical society, not even at the top, feels like they’ve “won,” or like they’re the in-crowd. Pretty much everyone feels like they’re struggling.

Asian Women Blog Carnival!! The first! A call for submissions.

Protest Prostitution Charges against San Francisco Transgender Activist

Modern Day Witch Hunt

Native Quote of the Week
"You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round . . . The sky is round, and I have heard that the Earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours . . . . Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a person is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves." -Black Elk-Oglala Lakota Medicine Man

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


You know I haven't even seen the damn movie yet, but it's getting talked about a lot on campus and in the blogosphere, and after writing a rather large comment at Renee's place, I knew I should post here as well.

So Sean Penn won for Milk and I'm sure he was very good. (I was happier to hear of Heath Ledger's win, to be honest) And the acceptance speeches of him and writer Dustin Black are getting circulated.

Well, we talked about this in my Variations in Human Sexuality class today. My professor is a gay man who was active in the community in those days and introduced himself to us as "sex radical" on the first day of class. He gave us a quote from Harvey Milk and talked about how he didn't understand how either of these guys could tie Milk to the efforts of Prop 8.

He also told us about a rally he went to, in November, remembering 25 years since Harvey had been shot, and the first woman Supervisor spoke at it. Carol Ruth Silver got elected in the same elections as Milk and worked with him. She was also on Dan White's kill list, but was out at a meeting when he came to the offices. That day at the rally she spoke about Harvey and asked the crowd what they thought he would be working on now.

"Prop 8!!!!" many people yelled out.

No, she said, he'd be working to end the drug war. The LGBT people caught up in that horrendous national policy would be what concerned him now. Prop 8, he probably wouldn't have cared about much, and the reason why is in the quote my teacher gave us:

"As homosexuals, we can't depend on the heterosexual model. We grow up with the heterosexual model, but we don't have to and we should not follow it. We should be developing our own lifestyle. We must take the rights associated with marriage and give them to everyone. There's no reason you can't love more than one person at a time."
(1978) The Weekly Standard

My teacher went on to talk about, can you imagine if the benefits you get from marriage, you could give them to whoever you wanted? What if your sister is really the one who needs medical insurance? What if grandparents could have rights to their grandchildren to provide this stuff for them? What if everyone got these tax breaks? What if we weren't so bound by this strict nuclear heterosexual family model? He said that was the sort of change that Harvey Milk was interested in, not in replicating dominant culture norms, but figuring out better ways.

There are also some problems I have with what they chose to do with Milk, itself. Harvey was not THE leader against the Briggs Initiative. He was one of many, but the people he got to run that campaign were Bill Krause and Gwen Craig (a black lesbian). Somehow, they didn't make it in the movie (or onto Wikipedia, I had to put them in), though I hear there is a shot where a black woman who is supposed to be Craig is literally in the background of a crowd. The only reason I even know this is because I happen to go to an awesome university where another teacher of mine was one of the organizers behind a panel in San Francisco on the concerns about Milk called "Skim Milk".

I hate the way gay history gets white washed, in more ways than one. Symbols are made of people, and they are reinterpreted through our own cultural lens (hello media) and then given whatever meaning we want them to have. It makes it difficult to love these things (movies especially) as much as I want to.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who is "Alpha"?

Do you want to know?

Cuz I just found out...

ALAN TUDYK!!!! \o/

Psycho Wash!

This will be funnnnnnnnnnn....

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you haven't been watching Dollhouse, and you should, because I think it's going to be awesome soon.

Save Sexuality and Gender Studies

Via Babeland Blogs

Have you ever taken a class on sexuality, queer studies, women’s studies or gender issues? Or just liked knowing that if you want to you can?

Departments and courses in sexuality and gender studies are under attack– from legislators who are using the economic crisis to push an anti-sex agenda.

At Florida Atlantic University, the administration is trying to suspend the Women’s Studies degree and Master’s program. In Georgia, legislators Charlice Byrd and Calvin Hill inaccurately implied that “disgusting” courses were being taught on oral sex and male prostitution at Georgia State University. According to a UG spokesperson a professor there “is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar and the material he is studying is an internationally recognized field of the role of homosexuals in society, particularly as it relates to the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and the impacts those have on public policy.”

Sexuality and gender are legitimate fields of academic study. Research in the field contributes to policies, programs and interventions based on facts, not fears and stereotypes. Plus those sex & gender classes are mind-opening and fun.

Please sign the petition to save sexuality studies. And if you want more info on this and other sex-related news, check out the revamped site at the National Sexuality Resource Center.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dr. Horrible Series: Chapter 4, The Final Chapter - Archetypal Gender

Now, I have previously stated that Dr. Horrible is “birthed” after Penny’s pivotal death, however, that is a bit too simplistic. If his first pivotal decision is whether to continue in his mission to steal Wonderflonium, his second is the transformation after his confrontation with Hammer over Penny. This transformation is divided into two parts and demonstrated through two different musical numbers, “Brand New Day” and “My Eyes”.

“My Eyes” is a duet between Billy and Penny about their two very different experiences of life after the Wonderflonium heist. Penny is on a date with Captain Hammer, Billy is pouting and stalking her while she is on that date. This is also one of the moments I alluded to earlier, where Whedon hints at the audience that perhaps this story is not quite as light and happy as we might thus far believe it to be. As Billy walks through the streets of L.A., the darkness all around him speaks to his state of mind; “it’s plain to see / evil inside of me is on the rise,” he sings as he sinks away from the light and into the shadows. In contrast, Penny is consistently hit with bright light, often warming sunlight. This dualism is most striking in the two screen section of the duet when both Penny and Billy are on screen in different settings; Penny’s light, Billy’s dark.

“Brand New Day” is also cinematically interesting for many reasons; one being that it is the first time we view Billy from a cinematically “powerful” point of view. Up until then we have related to him on a peer (eye line) level, but as he confronts Captain Hammer the camera is positioned to look up at him, as it was for Hammer on our introduction to him. When we transition to Billy as giant Dr. Horrible there is the added elements of the sunlight glinting off his goggles, we literally “see the light” along with him (an interesting technique which is re-deployed later on in the finale when Dr. Horrible is revealed with the Freeze Ray before he tries and fails to kill Captain Hammer). Coupled with the aggressive, confident lyrics we know the change he alluded to in the earlier song “My Eyes” is indeed underway.

This is also the scene where Billy’s objectification of Penny takes a different turn, as he sings from his imposing super villain chair “she may cry but her tears will dry / when I hand her the keys to a shiny new Australia”. Such a common, sexist, perspective; give women something just shiny enough and they will come to terms with anything. This is not at all far off from Captain Hammer’s arrogant assumption that showing Penny around “the command center” will be the “time of her life” needed to seduce her and attain for himself “what [Billy] wants”. That it is this declaration of ownership of Penny that sends Billy into the fury of his “brand new day” is telling as to his feelings for Penny; she is an object to be had, not a person capable of making her own decisions. To sum up, what the two male characters have in common says a lot about Whedon’s view of archetypal masculinity, which is clearly not very flattering.

So, if Joss Whedon set out to critique mainstream portrayals of masculinity, he did it very well. If Dr. Horrible is meant to be a critique of the power structures we currently operate under through music and comedy, it has done so in an original and intelligent way. It is my argument that this was exactly his goal. Choosing to do so within a medium that provides the opportunity for a level of creativity often stifled in Hollywood has proved the viability of that medium, and I sincerely hope other filmmakers will take up the challenge to turn their own oppositional gazes (hooks) on the industry within which they work and produce their own web content. Perhaps those of us on the outside of that hegemonic network have finally found an effective and easily distributed way to make our voices heard.

Perhaps Penny’s death is not in vain.

P.S. Hubby thought it odd that Penny knew who Bad Horse was, and suggested to me, "perhaps she has an evil twin who is in the ELE". How awesome would that be?? And very appropriate to the "comic book" genre Whedon was pulling from!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dr. Horrible Series: Chapter 3 - Teh Menz

Read Chapters 1 and 2 first!

Both male leads are obvious masculine archetypes. Billy is the “Nice Guy” who gets walked all over and is rather socially awkward, spending his days pining after a girl he can’t get the courage to talk to and fuming that she would go out with the guy who does. Captain Hammer is the mythical captain of the football team who gives the Billy’s of the world wedgies at lunch.

To suggest that Billy is closer to Joss Whedon’s perception of himself (and more similar in this regard to his fans as well) is not a stretch. Even if this is not true for all of the audience, it is always easier to identify with the underdog, which we are encouraged to do from the opening shot. Therefore, I will begin with Billy/Dr. Horrible, as he is inarguably the main (and title) character.

The hard truth about Billy is that he is really no better (or at least not much better) than Captain Hammer. As much as the audience wants him to be, subtle cues let us know he is just as self absorbed and narcissistic. For example, in the first shots of the film Billy is addressing “us” via his “vlog” (video weblog) and while emphatically stating “look, I’m just trying to change the world, ok?” he looks into his screen and adjusts his goggles to make sure they’re “just so”.

These are not the actions of the self deprecating Nice Guy Billy portrays himself as, but the ego strokings of Captain Hammer. That he is so unaware of his self-centeredness and so antagonistic to the egoism of Captain Hammer does not paint a very flattering portrait. Yet we forgive him his vanity because after all, at least he cares about Penny, doesn’t he?

But, why does he care about her? As we learn during the song “My Freeze Ray” Billy has never even successfully spoken to Penny, which begs the question, how exactly has he managed to fall in love with her? In fact he objectifies her just as much as Captain Hammer does, if not as explicitly. Like so many men before him, he looks at her as a pretty accessory. One who can be bought with shiny things even; “and she may cry / but her tears will dry / when I hand her the keys / to a shiny new Australia”, instead of as a person to respect and get to know. Rather, we see he doesn’t respect her as a person very much at all.

When they talk for the first time as she is "hunting wild signatures" for the homeless shelter and he blows off her activism as unimportant, only “treating a symptom”. Additionally, they never even have an honest conversation; he is always presenting the side of himself he thinks she will like, never owning his aspirations to be a super villain. Yet, I think the latter point is more about his own ambivalence about his own goals than his objectification of Penny.

This ambivalence is depicted well after Billy and Penny’s first conversation. “She talked to me,” Billy says. “Why did she talk to me now? Maybe I shou…” he sighs, “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do / don’t plan the plan if you can’t follow through”. This is a pivotal point for Billy’s development as a character. It is here that he has the chance to choose what is more important to him; developing a relationship with Penny, or achieving the good will of the ELE. Little does he know that this choice also seals a death sentence for Penny, as it sparks the escalating “pissing contest” between him and Captain Hammer which ultimately ends her life. This crossroads is effectively his last chance to be Billy, and not evolve into Dr. Horrible. Well, we all know how that decision-making turns out.

In contrast, Captain Hammer’s character suffers from no such ambivalence. He knows exactly who he is, he is comfortable in that role, and his attention seeking nature is expressed openly and without self consciousness. In our introduction to him we are positioned from below, looking up at him as he rides atop a courier van. This positioning is telling as to what sort of character he is; it denotes power. He is someone to “look up to”, although as we find out as the narrative unfolds this is an ironic message because in fact he is the villain of this story.

Captain Hammer is a “hero” but it is very clear that he does good deeds quite simply because they attain him the recognition, fame, and female companionship he craves. Additionally, he proves himself thoroughly not to be a hero in the films conclusion; where Billy is reluctant to kill even his arch-nemesis, Captain Hammer has no such hesitation in ending a life.

While it is easy to thus compare Billy favorably to Hammer it is important to remember that Billy’s desire for change stems directly from his “need” to rule the world. A lust for power, even when arising from lack of recognition or validation in one’s life, is no more altruistic than a desire for constant attention and (various) female companionship. Coming back to the symbolic narrative their battling represents we see that the competing interests of the “corporate tool” and the “revolutionary” continually end in the silencing of the powerless but hard working community activist.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dr. Horrible Series, Chapter 2: The Death of Penny (and Billy)

Read Chapter 1 first!

To pick up where we left off... In a very literal way, Penny’s death creates Dr. Horrible, because her death is the death of Billy. “Here lies everything / the world I wanted at my feet / my victory’s complete” he sings over her body. The tears in his eyes and pained, stunned expression on his face draw the audience through a flashback of former scenes in our minds; Billy fantasizing of ruling the world together with Penny, Billy considering forgetting about the Wonderflonium and pursuing her to continue their conversation, the two eating frozen yogurt together at the Laundromat. Whedon doesn’t have to create a traditional montage to make the audience relive these moments because Neil Patrick Harris’ brilliant acting coupled with the moving score do it for us. The incongruence in the words mimics our own stunned surprise.

If his victory is complete, how can the world he wanted be at his feet?

It can because the world he wanted was symbolized in Penny; change, hope and goodness. These are the things he’s been saying are missing from the world all along; “any dolt with half a brain / can see that humankind has gone insane / to the point where I don’t know / if I’ll upset the status quo / if I throw poison in the water main”. In tragic irony the death of the world he wanted catapults him to the victory he was working for.

A death is just what Bad Horse has asked for, and so Dr. Horrible has attained the goal he has been seeking throughout: admittance to the Evil League of Evil (“ELE”). This victory is a transformation (both figuratively and literally before our eyes); Dr. Horrible dons a new outfit (blood red, significantly) and finally pulls down over his eyes the goggles he has been wearing throughout but never actually used.

Billy is dead.

Or is he? The final shot leaves us with some ambiguity here, with Dr. Horrible finishing the last word of his song back in his apartment, on his blog; he is Billy once again, looking sad, stunned, and alone, not victorious at all.

This scene once again mimics the audiences’ feelings, as we sit at our own computers and sift through our feelings at the films end. It is impossible for us not to feel somewhat torn as well, as we have been identifying with Billy throughout the film. We start and end with him addressing “us” directly through his blog, the story unfolding from his perspective, and the camera almost always at an eye-line view, often in intimate close-up shots of his face; our “gaze” is sutured to his (Mulvey).

So, are we meant to be sad for the loss of Billy’s hopes? Or should we be happy for Dr. Horrible’s resounding victory over the loathed Captain Hammer and entry into the ELE? This brings us back once again to the possible metaphoric message in the ending, but first I think it is important to interrogate what the dueling Billy/Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer represent as symbols of masculinity.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dr. Horrible Series: Chapter 1 - Penny

Chapter 1 of what looks to be a four Chapter series!

Joss Whedon has made his name in the business of powerful female lead characters. From Buffy Summers, to every female character on Firefly, he has created and nurtured an expectation in his audience to see powerful women in his work. It is that expectation to which I attribute the rage observed in response to the demise of Penny’s character in Dr. Horrible.

Many expected, as one blogger put it, there to be an “11th hour reveal of ass-kicking potential” (Holly) to vindicate what was seen as an unusually weak and inconsequential Penny. When Joss instead appeared to opt for the “comic book trope [of] ‘Women in Refrigerators’” (Allen) many fans and feminists vehemently called foul.

While this is a valid criticism, it is my view that the character of Penny is more complicated than this simple plot device.

When considering Penny's character it should not be overlooked that while Billy claims to want “social change” and while Captain Hammer is called a “hero” and gets the homeless shelter opened (which would not have been possible without Penny’s hard work), Penny is the only character actively working towards the betterment of her community in a dedicated and long term manner. One commenter put it; “[Penny] does more for good than both of the other characters” (Zoinkers #126), which I think is a pointed observation. As much as the audience is meant to (and does) identify with Billy/Dr. Horrible and is amused by Captain Hammer, in the end we are Penny (especially those of us in social justice).

We do not have access to the power/prestige of Hammer, or to the genius level creative resources of Horrible; we only have our two feet, hope in our hearts, and a pen for signatures to “turn a life around”; like Penny. Read in this light, Dr. Horrible becomes a cautionary tale “illustrating how caring, generous people are out-shouted, over-shadowed, and often killed by those who feel it’s better to make grand gestures and exercise force” (Zoinkers #137) than to put in the time needed for change from the ground up. Indeed, as I see her, Penny is an incredibly powerful (if tragic) symbol of hope, and her death a demand for change from business as usual.

Penny’s death itself is important not only because it provides the needed catalyst for Billy’s final transformation from “joke, dork and failure” into Dr. Horrible, but because it is so jarring. On first viewing it is easy to accept Dr. Horrible at face value; light hearted, campy and fun. While there are clues of a deeper message and lingering darkness, they are masked by humor and the spectacle of the musical numbers (Shohat and Stam, Dialectics of Presence/Absence).

Penny’s death is so jarring not only because of our identification with her, or her cringe inducing last words (“Captain Hammer will save us”), or even the erasure of her identity viewed in the headlines (“whats-her-name murdered”) but because of its perceived incongruence with the rest of the series. This ending casts a completely different light over the film and forces the audience to re-examine their interpretation of it, as well as their impressions of the two more “active” characters (especially Billy, the one we had been sutured to throughout).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Book MeMe

I'm such a sucker for meme's on books or movies...

BBC Book List

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.
Instructions: [I've altered these, the old ones made it messy]
1) Bold those you have read.
2) *Star the ones you loved.
3) Italicise those you plan on reading.

*1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
*3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
*4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
*8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (I hate Dickens, sorry! I'll watch a movie but I just can't read him.)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
*13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare*
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (I know, I'm terrible)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
*41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (Hated it, btw)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (So much hate)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
*73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
*99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

hat tip!

*And... I totally agree:
30. But it is not fair to count the Complete Works of Shakespeare as one book, and then force me to be honest and admit that I have not read all of them.

And this week...

Unionized Sex industry workers made history at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil Jan. 27- Feb. 1 2009

Faking A Four Way

Call For Submissions!
Viviane’s preparing the next Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy - send her your best stuff, or hell, send her other people’s best stuff. Just send her stuff. It’ll be going up next week.

UU Shooter Pleads Guilty
Chris Walton at Philocrites has news concerning Jim David Adkisson, who attacked a Knoxville Unitarian Universalist congregation with a shotgun last July, killing two and injuring six. Adkisson, who defined himself to neighbors as a “Confederate” and a “believer in the old South”, plead guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. The Knoxville News Sentinel also got to read Adkisson’s four-page manifesto, where he calls the UU church his ex-wife once attended “a den of un-American vipers” and bemoans the fact that he couldn’t kill every Democrat in Congress.

Justice for Indigenous Women
Aboriginal women are constantly going missing, being murdered, and the rest of Canada sleeps soundly while mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, nieces, friends, are facing incredible amounts of violence disproportionate to non-Native women. The responsibility, then, falls upon Native communities to solve all the problems of Canadian colonialism, while I and the next non-Native sleeps. There are hundreds of unresolved missing and murder cases of Native women in Canada alone. They are mostly forgotten by larger Canadian society, erased, and invisible to mainstream eyes because Indigenous women are racialized as disposable.

Sex with the Amazon: Island Girl
There are many types of island girl, at least constructed in the fantasies of others, but that whiff of the exotic that whiff of the other it hangs around. Not exotic to be worshipped or interesting, but enough to be new, that hot sweat

And we pay for it

So believe you me I know what is going on when they say Rihanna is an " islandgirl", when talking about her assault

Abstinence-Only Ed Sez, “You can’t rape a slut!”

Racist Porn and the Recession
Violet Blue: Nothing is recession proof, especially not your tired old racist porn.

Thoughts on the RapeLay Video Game

Boxing Through Adversity
Cheryl Ziegler, an 18-year-old single mother from the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, who is also a boxer.

Autonomy Under Siege in the Zapatista Zones

Transsexuals In Iran

This Is How Whitewashing Us Out of GLBT History Begins

outlaw midwives: a manifesta

Formerly Incarcerated People and Economic Justice

Connections: The Apostate and Professor What If review...
Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape

A condom-based stank eye incident at the Walgreen’s…

Science Says Men Are Sexist Pigs! Except . . . Not.

The Allied Media Conference

Pondering the photo ban...
I thought of those Civil War photographs when I read this news report on the debate over whether to lift the current ban on showing the return of our war dead from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many military families who have lost a loved one support lifting the ban and I do too.

And so do I.

A pair of posts, insightful, important, and to me, really quite troubling...
Professor, What If?: What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?
To which Black Amazon: Responds.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Joys of Cross-posting

So I cross-posted my post on racism and feminism at the Feministing Community, and so far, it seems the majority of people want to talk about my "tone". LOL. Wtf?

Upcoming Series: Dr. Horrible

So, last semester some of you may recall I wrote a paper on Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog. Some people requested copies to read and feedback was generally positive. I was pretty proud of it. Well, after seeing Cara's series on John Lennon and Yoko Ono I thought, "oh! That paper could be turned into a series!" So, I'm going to be working on that over the next couple weeks. Obviously, if you're a Joss Whedon fan or critic this will probably be of interest to you, and if not, well, it still might be interesting. :P

Speaking of Joss, still feel free to leave comments of what you thought about Dollhouse on that post, we've got a few threads going already. Since writing it I've noticed there's a lot of negative feedback going around the net. I'll admit I'm surprised. One episode is not a lot to judge from, and it seemed like a pretty multi-layered premise to me (not at first, but after watching...). I said in the last post that I liked how they set up the realism of the show, and in that what I especially meant was the way in which they've set up how a personality imprint works. One of the more engaging conversations I've had was at Daughter of the Ring of Fire where we looked at just that personality aspect.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Oh yah, so, did anyone else watch this?

I'm a bit behind because I'm using Hulu to watch it. But, anyone? What did you think?

I'm intrigued, I noticed three or four definite topics of interest/plot that Joss is setting up to explore which I found intriguing, I continued my love/hate relationship with Eliza Dushku (sometimes I really like her and sometimes I just don't think she's a very good actress), and I liked the way he's constructed the premise to actually seem plausible.

I'll keep watching for sure.

But what did you think?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tell It WoC SPEAK!

The Woman of Color and Allies blog carnival is up!!

Check it out. :D

Help As You Can - Roberta Busby

Just a few days ago, I put up a post about a woman who was doused with a flammable liquid outside of a strip club, her place of employment, and set on fire. There are two suspects in this horrific attack, named Nathaniel Petrillo and Rianne Theriault-Odom. In the comments here and elsewhere, there was a great out pouring of support for her.

The new details that have come in since then are few but significant. The woman’s name has been released as Roberta Busby. As of yesterday, she was reported to be in critical but stable condition. This is a relief and excellent news. Her attackers, however, still have not been found and arrested. You can view images of the suspects here. If you know anything, please immediately call the LAPD at 213-485-2531 (or 877-LAPD-24-7 for after-hours and weekend calls).

Perhaps most importantly of all, many of you have asked how you can help Roberta financially with her medical bills. I’ve yet to find anything on that specifically, but after some serious searching, I did find information on an account that has been set up for donations for her children. Remember that Roberta is obviously out of work at the moment, has likely lost her previous livelihood entirely, and that any financial contribution will be a huge help in reducing the overall financial burden she is facing.

According to local CBS affiliate KCAL 9, here is how you can send donations:

If you would like to help the children of dancer Roberta Busby, who was recently set on fire outside the club where she works, bring a check in to any Washington Mutual branch, made out to “Rodrigo Busby For The Benefit Of The Children Of Roberta Busby” or send a check to

3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., #256
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Please give if you can, and pass on the information about how to help regardless. If anyone happens to have any additional information, please let me know. And keep up those well-wishes, prayers or whatever it is you’re doing in the hopes that Roberta is going to pull through.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Gametes and RadFems

It's recently come to light (at least in my little world) just how Transphobic Radical Feminists (as opposed to...other Radical me!) justify their exclusionary attitude toward transwomen, and basically what the Womyn Born Womyn "thing" really means.

They're falling back on biology, and thus a form of the very Essentialism the Radical Feminism I know has spent so much time deconstructing!

That is; a male produces smaller gametes (sperm) and a female produces larger gametes (eggs).

That's it. That's the entire biological definition of what it means to be male and female (and btw, some biologically male animals, like seahorses, for one, are the ones who carry children, and quite a few species don't remain "male" and "female" throughout their life! so, there is a lot in between what biology considers male and what we humans do).

In contrast, "man" and "woman" are social definitions. Each society, from insects, to fish, to mammals, each species has a society, which has gender roles. And many societies have multiple genders (again, from fish, to insects, to mammals, etc.). All of this has developed evolutionarily along with whatever keeps the species going. AKA what keeps them reproducing, and wanting to reproduce, and what keeps their society flourishing.

There are LOTS of really interesting examples of different strategies out there. From fish who have four different genders, with masculine females and feminine males and vice versa who pair up with whoever will work best with them. To our closest genetic relatives, who couldn't be more socially different, chimpanzees and bonobos. Chimps use a violent, patriarchal, loner sort of society to keep it together. Bonobos use extremely peaceful, and extremely sexual (tons of sex, between EVERYONE), matriarchal, communal society. And lots, lots, lots more...

My best guess is that this position is that since gender is a social construct, it should be broken down completely and done away with. That we will all be simply human, and be as masculine or feminine or (I assume) androgyne as we want to be. Or, it has been suggested there will be "no gender at all", which, personally, I think is unrealistic and rather silly. All animals have gender, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

I have also seen it said that Radical Feminism is only concerned with freeing females from oppression. Not women. Females. So, only those of us who naturally produce the larger gametes (this is why women with hysterectomies don't count as "non-women"). Of course, gods know what role this leaves for the intersex; the gametes they produce aren't necessarily telling of what their secondary sexual characteristics will be, so there's no easy place to put them in this construct.

Personally, I don't think this definition is a good one to go by for a social justice movement. The whole point of SOCIAL justice is to make society more just, and denying people's gender identities doesn't do that. We can affirm people's identities and still work against gender stereotyping that assaults all WOMEN. IMO we should be working to change that social definition, GENDER, "man" and "woman", not fighting against "male/female", why in the world does it matter to society (where we all live) what gametes we produce?? I don't see men ask women about the state of their eggs before raping them!

Far more important to me, what does it MEAN to be a "man"? What does it MEAN to be a "woman"? What does it MEAN to be neither, or both? What does it mean to be a masculine woman, or a feminine man? This is society, this is something we have control over, who "counts" as a man or a woman is up to us, the people who make up society. Who produces what size gametes doesn't tell us anything about a person, what they've gone through in life, who they are, it's a definition scientists use to differentiate between animals they're studying, even they say that's all it's good for (Evolutionary Rainbow, Joan Roughgarden).

But maybe gamete size is tangible. Maybe it's something solid that can unite us under one banner. "Woman" is so potentially malleable! It's maybe even confusing!

So what.

Life is confusing.

Someone tells me she is a woman, she lives as a woman, is treated by society as a woman, is in her own head and heart and soul a woman? She's a woman to me. I don't give a shit if her body produces eggs or sperm, that's not what matters. And same goes for a man.

Reducing complicated social problems to a biological black and white might be convenient, but it's wrong.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I don't know if this is happening to my readers, but when I've come to the blog to check up on things today I'm getting a pop up window that says wants me to enter name and password. Um...? I couldn't even get pages to load. I took off all my links to them and now pages will load but the box is still coming up. It appears the same happens when you try to go to their site. I don't know what's up, but for now if you click cancel you should still be able to scroll through the blog. I'll be trying to figure out what's going on. :)

**Update 02/15**
I have removed Vivir Latino and that seems to have fixed the problem. Hopefully they'll get whatever is up sorted out so they can come back. :(

Listen up white women: On racism and feminism

K, seriously, fellow white feminist women? READ THIS.

Annotate it.

Highlight it.

Scribble notes in the margins.

Read it BEFORE you try and engage with black feminist, womanist, or other feminists of color.

No... really, I mean it, NOW.

Because this shit keeps happening, and while I know you don't mean it like that, while I know you didn't do it on purpose, while I know that the world around us has tainted us and we never asked to be a part of it...tough shit, we are.

Please take my advice on this. Save yourself the embarrassment. I've been the newly feminist white woman from suburbia raring to go and finding herself with shit coming out of her mouth that when it was read back to her through the perceptions of those reading it, it was downright ugly. It hurts to find out what your thoughts mean for the lives of others sometimes. Yes. It throws your whole little world into flux to find out you don't have to wear a white sheet to be racist. Yes. I know.

I'll even give you a hug and help you deal.

But you HAVE to deal.

This shit will probably keep happening, as new, young, white feminists keep coming to the movement. But we gotta spread the word. We have to do what we can to nip it in the bud. Because ignorant white women are hurting our sisters in movement, and making it more difficult for the rest of us to be trusted by them. Because this is our function as allies, to use our social position to point this shit out. Because at some point, it'd be nice for this movement to actually be realized.

And when you're just starting out, seriously, it's a good idea to just shut the fuck up and listen to the truth being spoken around and to you.

Trust me on this. And read Barbara Smith, just for a start.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Contest at Feminist Review!

What's Your Favorite Feminist Book?

Take a photo of yourself with your favorite feminist book and email it to by February 13th. If you see your pic on Feminist Review the next day, we’ll send you a copy of a new feminist release (My Little Red Book or Getting Naked Again), both of which will be reviewed in the coming month.

Yes, it’s really that easy.

This contest is open to all FR readers with a limit of one entry per person. Make sure to include your full name, address, and the book you’d like us to send you if your submission is chosen.

The weekly!

angry asian man
Miley Cyrus is Doing the Chink Eye Too

T Love
Why You Should Know The Name Billey Joe Johnson

Womanist Musings
Polytechnique: Of Course We Need A Male Perspective

Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue

Womanist Musings
The Invisible Mother

Homelessness Increases Among Female Veterans

Womanist Musings
You Can Talk About Your Foot, But What About Your Vagina?

Justice For Jason
We Demand Justice for Jason Vassell!

Essin' Em
A Study On Ethnography and Dykes
This is a call for participants in the study.
Do you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, bi-curious, queer, questioning, or otherwise same-sex attracted? Are you of African American or Latina descent? Are you age 18 and older? Even if you prefer not to label yourself, we are interested in your experience!

As seen on Colbert, via the Seattle PI
Profit trumps preservation for Boy Scout councils nationwide
They logged, sold thousands of acres of prime lands

Forced Sterilization Charges Against Chile

SAFER blog
What Does It Mean To Oppose Violence?

Bound, Not Gagged
Call for Applications: Speak Up! Media Training for the Empowered Sex Worker
On Saturday, April 18th, my co-facilitator Eliyanna Kaiser and I will be doing just that here in New York. The workshop will cover topics like when to say no to media, outness, crafting your message, interview techniques, and basic skills for creating text, video, and audio.

guerrilla mama medicine
this is not a hotel: breaking borders

Cedro's perfect dream
The Gringo Touch

Womanist Musings
PETA Dresses Up Like the KKK
No, this is not a joke.

Womanist Musings - Guest Post
Is That My Foot? No, It's My Penis
I have a vagina. I'm still not sure how I ended up with it instead of a penis. As a female-bodied genderqueer who chooses a more masculine presentation, I need to remember to love my vagina even though she confuses me.

While my body is not shaped the way that makes sense to me, I have decided that I need to care for myself lovingly. Not only my vagina/cunt/genitalia, but also my wide hips, my breasts, and my hairless face - all these markers of being "woman" I have to care for lovingly.

Renee at Global Comment
Nadya Suleman and the Choice We Never Respect
For my part, I have trouble with some of the details of the Suleman case, and I'm not convinced she's acting in a responsible manner. But that said, I have never seen the media spot light shine so brightly on a case of octuplets the way they are on hers, and it bothers me. Are we really to believe that all the two-parent, heterosexual, married families I've seen with huge at-once broods like this are all ready for what they're getting themselves into? Are those women interrogated about "why they want children so badly"? Are we really to believe that two sets of hands, where one set works full time, is so much better than just one set?

The Kitchen Table
American Myopia
Americans suffer from a serious case of myopia: we are often unable to see things, important things, that are far away, distant, and not in our immediate line of vision. And I think that the stimulus package that has just passed is a perfect example.

The Kitchen Table
What we really believe
Our priorities in times of crisis immediately, honestly, and often shockingly reveal our core beliefs. It is true in our personal lives, but it is even more true in our national life. As I have watched the economic stimulus package wind its way through the Democratically controlled Congress and the Obama White House I have watched core American beliefs become clear. We believe that people are fundamentally motivated by money and that the rich are more valuable to our collective future than are the poor.

flip flopping joy
(re)thinking walking: bfp’s second walk

Via Feministe
Steamy sex courses fire GOP's ire
What are these "steamy sex courses", you ask?
Why, Queer Theory.
Oh yah, that's hot!

Monday, February 09, 2009


Message From Their Myspace Blog!

Coming Soon...

Coming in May 2009 - Green Day's new album "21st Century Breakdown" hits the shelves.

The album is up for pre-order right now at

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!! \o/ It seems like forever ago that American Idiot came out. I can't wait to see what they've done! Anyone who "finds" any new songs, please please please let me know!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Looking for advice

My friend Ian of Shrink the Buddha asked a question that I think is worth discussing;
If a large, massive network were being set up to increase participation in government and foster policy discussions and encourage grassroots action among the vulgar masses, how would you set it up to include especially low-income populations?

My first thoughts were that improving access to the internet at public libraries would be good, and that if "computer labs" could be set up at shelters and the like that would be good. Obviously a coherent and extremely concise break down of the legislation which was current in the houses of Congress would be necessary, as well as concise arguments for the proposal and against it...

What do you all think about this?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

What Have I Learned?

I'm almost through my second week back at school, what have I learned so far?

The history of slavery in this country had far more complicated beginnings than I would have thought, and if only the "masters" hadn't realized that "christian" servants might join with slaves to better their situations and exploited this, we might have had our first intersectional coalition a long, long time ago. Also, I get now how suburbs ended up the way they are.

Bonobos are fucking cool. Also, I have a ton of ammunition from other animal kingdoms against the ridiculousness that is Essentialism.

The Irish history that got written down, does not follow very linearly. But that teacher still reminds me of Neil Patrick Harris, just adorable.

Kimberle Crenshaw is fucking brilliant, and now I have a ton of ready statistics to whip out and slap idiots across the face with. Also, there's a whole lot of loaded history behind the word "resistance" but I still like it an awful lot, and don't think I conceptualize it like it used to be utilized (from the little we went over about that part). I disagree strongly that we should get rid of it as a concept, it simply needs to be intersectionalized.

That's it for this week.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Weekly Links

Court Rules That Religious School Has Right to Expel Suspected Lesbians from Cara.

Illinois Sued Over Refusal to Correct Birth Certificates from Feministe.

The Heathen Family Revival Blogs For Choice.

No Mas from Angry Black Bitch.

Rethinking Walking: Walk One from Flip Flopping Joy.

The Feminization of Medicine from Bitch Magazine Blogs.

Algeria CIA Station Chief Accused of Drugging, Raping Women from Feministing.

Review of: The Early Works of Cheryl Dunye from Feminist Review. (If you've never seen Dunye's "Watermelon Woman", you really should, it's really interesting. And make sure to watch the credits.)

"The" Ring from Feminist Gal.

Yet more IUSW bashing, though it is easier I suppose from Better Burn That Dress, Sister.

Abortion bill: Physicians could be criminally liable
h/t to Season of the Bitch.

Hispanic Man Assaulted In San Jose For Speaking Spanish

Speak Up For Women and Families in the Economic Recovery Package from Feministe.

Guerrilla Mama Medicine writeson Sympathy and Suffering.
“So far as we feel sympathy,” Sontag writes, “we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent–if not an inappropriate–response. To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by war and murderous politics for a consideration of how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may - in ways that we prefer not to imagine–be linked to their suffering, as the wealth of some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only the initial spark.”

Prison Reform Recidivism and Reintegration at Problem Chylde

Induction of Labour at Homebirth: A midwife Mutiny.

Still in Shock, Gaza Women Tell Their Stories from Womens ENews.

Biblical Battered Wife Syndrome: Christian Women and Domestic Violence at Alternet.

Vatican Official Blames Radical Feminism For The Decline Of Manhood from Womanist Musings.
Doesn't it amuse you when people like folks from the Vatican try and get all technical and say it's "radical" feminists to blame? It makes me giggle wondering if they simply think "radical" means extreme or if they actually think they know what they're talking about. I guess it's not quite as amusing at those who blame simply "feminism" for everything though. :P

Olympic Athlete Phelps Caught With Bong from Vivir Latino.
This is my, OMG Who Cares? news story of the week.

The Weighty Burden of Honourable Names, from Ultra Violet.

Another Edition of Colluder of the Week: Michelle Bernard! from Womanist Musings.

Revolution Starts At Home Confronting Partner Abuse in Activist Communities from Feminist Review.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Revenge of the Feminist Cat Collective

This afternoon when I whipped out my Google Reader to joyfully see what brilliance people are popping out today, I came upon a horrifying post from the usually brilliant Renee, at Womanist Musings. She claims that:
I pointed out through twitter to Cara that by privileging cats, no matter how cute the little fur balls are, we are creating a hierarchy of oppressions. The suffering of dogs needs to be realized.

What she clearly fails to take account of is that dogs don't CARE that they are trained to serve their masters, they LIKE it that way! Anyone who has been around a dog for any length of time can tell they are at their happiest when their master is happy, and want little else in life than some favorable attention from her. They do not suffer, the way in which we train them is in line with their inborn nature and makes them happy!

Just because we get our paper or slippers fetched for us through such training doesn't mean the training is for OUR benefit!

And further on her true colors come out, she isn't in this for the emancipation of dogs from the oh-so-oppressive shackles of human companionship, but simply taking advantage of a chance to justify her cat-hating-bigotry!
hey hey ho ho feminist cat lovers have got to go.

Shocking behavior!

To make it worse, others are rallying to her cause! Both season of the bitch and Jill at Feministe have joined this so-called "Feminist Coalition of Dog Lovers". I beg my readers not to be lulled into a false sense of security by their rhetoric of inclusiveness and warm fuzzy feelings about dogs; make no mistake, they will settle for nothing less than a replacement of the coveted Feminist Cat with a drooling, dirty, smelly canine of Patriarchy!

Join in solidarity with Cara and I, fight this scourge! Fight for the right for Feminists everywhere to be linked with the animal that used to be worshipped as a God, not the animal that greets you by sticking it's nose in your cooch*!

Yes, some of the pictures of dogs you might see if you follow these links might be fuzzy, might be cute. But what is cuter, this:
Or this?

*(Honestly, is any more proof than this needed to show they are nothing more than a tool of the Patriarchy??)

Happy Imbolc!

Or Saint Brigid's Day, whatever your inclination.

Jason at The Wild Hunt has a nice selection of quotes and stuff!