Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

are you my mummy?

So, lately my world has been made up of working, sleeping, yoga, my first YMCA visit in who knows how many months, and Doctor Who. Aside from one trip home, during which I got acute DEATH IS IMMINENT food poisoning, that is.

On second thought, I don’t even know if “yoga” and “the YMCA” should be included, because they pale in comparison, time-spent-doing-them-wise, with everything else on that list. Yes. You heard that right. About 2 hours of Doctor Who on the weekdays. Weekends are a break, but I have fallen into the trap of Doctor Who audiobooks at work. And though I can’t stop people standing by my office, RIGHT NEXT TO MY FATCAST FLYERS, and talking about whatever spurious food morality du jour, I can always jam my headphones in my ears and drown it out with David Tennant’s broguey, Doctor Whoish, commentary.

(Last week I finally saw this episode. OMG cute and win.)

Another thing I have been doing is following #dearjohn and the rising campaign to crush the absolute nightmare that is HR3 (here are some great resources.) Oh, and by the way I got a job! WOO! So that means I now have health insurance (PROBABLY DOESN’T COVER ABORTIONS, THO) and a seriously appreciated stability, and perhaps part of my recovery from the last 2 ½ years will be that my brain cells start firing again and I get some ideas that I may want to record via keyboard. No promises. It may just end up being pictures of adipose.

important update

Things That Don’t Happen at Work After Spending One of Your Days Off Playing Assassin’s Creed and Consuming Nothing But Twizzlers and Coffee:

“So, if I collect all the TPS reports hidden around the office in 3 minutes or less, I get a casual day?”
“Aaah, it’s Rob from accounting… WHERE ARE ALL THE HAY BALES”
“I finished that year-long project today, woo! Oh KA-CHING throwing knives”
“I want to leave work half-an-hour early. I need to find me some scholars so I can blend my way out…”

shut your face-hole: thoughts from a n00b

I’ve been tromping creeping with an ear-trumpet through the feminist blogosphere for about a year now, and I’m experiencing my first live Feminism Kerfuffle™ in the form of a post by mai’a over at Feministe about children, motherhood, and, through comments, the role of WOC in mainstream feminism.

I include details of my short time in the blogosphere to make clear that I’m far from well-versed on the various discussions within feminism, and all of the amazing nuanced intersectionality that should come part-and-parcel with working for social justice (and, apparently, is widely sorely lacking.)  mai’a’s original post focused on strictly adults-only spaces and how they exclude caregivers (and, in our society the majority of caregivers are women, thusly the practice excludes and oppresses women).  I’m not going to talk about this, as I haven’t made up my mind about it yet.  I want to focus on mai’a’s follow-up post, in which she talks about her experience of the label “mama” in different contexts, and what that means: specifically,

“being a mama is not a description of one’s biology or genitalia. it does not describe how many children we have nestled in wombs. it is not a description of age or even male/female gender.

it is who we are. it is what we do. it is love by any means necessary.”

From my n00b point of view, what I see happening in the comments is what I’ve seen from trolls on other, less controversial threads: women who identify as feminists are recoiling, digging their heels in, and fighting back – without consideration of, and in direct opposition to, the voice of the oppressed.  Folks are practicing classic pearl-clutching:  “What do you mean, you don’t identify as a feminist?  Then why are you writing on a feminist blog?!  Good heavens!” …aaaaand the critical-thinking skills have left the building.  Faith tries to inject some perspective:

Here’s a thought: instead of getting offended by that statement, maybe you might want to step back and consider why someone like bfp would utter such words. Someone whom I’m guessing also believes very much in the full humanity of women everywhere. If even women like me who have identified as feminists for years are not offended by that statement, then maybe it’s time for some people to consider that maybe there are some very valid criticisms to be made about the feminist movement in general.

Of one thing I am certain: Mainstream Feminism Has Issues.  And, though I don’t agree with other things in the OP, I agree with mai’a on this:  “if your brand of feminism does not embrace and push to the forefront the critiques of itself, then i have no interest in your brand or your movement”.  Folks are not engaging with mai’a’s critique; they’re just grabbing their Feminism badge and running for cover behind the brick Feminism barricade, flinging things like “you’re excluding and oppressing me by pointing out things that are problematic but don’t affect me so I don’t think about them!  That’s not helpful!” at women who dared to step into hostile territory and speak truth to power.

Ellie provides an example of this:

Do these women owe me an explanation? No, not really. But I also don’t see how exclusion, whether it’s of them or of me, helps anyone here. I understand, perhaps the community has not always done the best job at including everyone, I can acknowledge that. But does it help any more now than it did then?

Imagine that statement coming from a Men’s Rights Activist.  See the problem?  Traditional feminist perspectives and practices are being called into question, and the practitioners cry “exclusion! silencing!” instead of thinking critically about the issue.

This is not the way to go about having a dialogue.  This is oppression rearing its ugly head in a place where, though varied and opinionated it may be, the folks in power shut their mouths and the voices of the marginalized are finally, actively, heard.

make results!

Though long overdue, it’s time for me to present the fruit of my labors from Make-a-long 2010!  I had three main projects going: hemp jewelry in honor of summer, attempting a new recipe, and the cream of the crop: my amazing screenprint.

Like leethal, I started my day by making coffee.  (About a year ago I finally got a french press, and it is glorious.  Plus, I just feel so cool when I pour my coffee into a cup with my hand on the lid just-so.)  I made a playlist of creativity-inducing tunes and settled in on my first project, jewelry:

 

Half-finished bracelet strung on a piece of wood  Hemp bracelets

I have hemp and beads left over from when I lived in Seattle, and I’ve been lugging them around with me for over a year without actually making them into something.  Cue the April stash-bust!  Time to actually get it out of the bag and turn it into pretties.

 

Secondly, the gnocchi:

make_weekend 013 Dough and bench scraper

On New Year’s Eve I had an some amazing gnocchi in sage butter sauce, and I wanted to recreate that magic.  Gnocchi isn’t that difficult to make; or so I thought.

make_weekend 014 Gnocchi dough

I made the potato dumplings the day before, froze them, and anticipated my lovely dinner the next day.  I set my water to boil, tossed in the tiny packets of delicious, and… they disintegrated.  I didn’t have the heart to take pictures of the disaster my kitchen became; I ended up eating potstickers instead.  I didn’t make those; but I’ll give myself a pat on the back for making an attempt.

My favorite part of make-a-long?  My very own silkscreen.  I recently attended a tutorial on this at a local women’s group, and I’d come across craftgrrl’s online tutorial a while ago, but I figured this was a perfect time to give it a go.

I went to the craft store and bought a cheap embroidery hoop, Mod Podge, paintbrushes, fabric paint, and fabric.  The fabric was tricky; the only silk I found was incredibly thick, so I took a gamble and went with a cheap costume-making fabric that had a better weave.

make_weekend 008 Beer and my in-process silkscreen

If you recognize the icon on my screen, a thousand points to you!  If not, I’m afraid I must inform you, the cake is a lie.

I printed out my image and traced it onto the screen with pencil, and filled in all of the negative space with Mod Podge.  I put at least 4 coats of Podge on my screen, which is probably overkill but I had a lot of emotional investment in this project… I’ve been wanting to express my love for my companion cube for ages.  I decided to let it set, so I didn’t actually print with my screen until later in the week.  The result:

make_weekend 015 Beautifully printed shirt!

Given the givens, I declare my make-a-long was a success.  Now I have to find more things to print on. 

(I would like to mention that beer is a great addition to a make-a-long, if you’re so inclined.  It definitely helped when my gnocchi fell apart.)

eureka!

I just had a realization: this is my blog, so I can do anything I want with it.  Awwwwww shit.

Therefore:

Even though I’ve read the 3 novels twice over, and watched the extended editions through more than once, every time I watch the damn end to The Fellowship of the Ring, I sob like a baby.

This is cool:

maxMax from Dark Angel

And this is cool:

mmprThe Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

And this is cool:

samantha_carter Sam Carter from SG-1

And this is cool:

zhaan5

Zhaan from Farscape

And this is tasty:

mochi_ice_cream Green tea and vanilla mochi ice cream

And these are cool and these and this and this.

That is nowhere near exhaustive, but it’s a good start.  I am a huge damn geek.

that was a stick of butter, not a stick of celery? well, fuck.

The latest theory in DEATHFAT science:

Australian scientists have shown that humans can detect a sixth taste: fat. And it appears that those people who are highly sensitive to the taste of fat tend to eat less of it, and have significantly lower body mass indexes.

In other words, fatties are fat because they can’t taste it, and subsequently gorge themselves on guacamole and handfuls of Crisco.  I love these theories, because of all of the assumptions they operate on:

  • All fat people are sedentary.
  • All fat people eat nothing but Doritos and pizza, in large quantities.
  • No fat people are vegan, or raw foodies, or athletes.
  • All fat people are oblivious to the fact that they’re fat.
  • All fat people are idiots.

My favorite line from the article:

“[People not sensitive to the taste of fat] are over-consuming and this is creating an energy imbalance, which is leading to higher BMI or development of overweight or obesity.”

Is developing overweight like growing sea-monkeys?

got racism?

One of the key components of oppression is marginalization: the dominant culture making entire groups of people feel like their experiences are less than, abnormal, hysterical, or imaginary.

This is illustrated with women all the time: that guy at the cocktail party couldn’t possibly have treated you differently than your male friend, you’re reading into it/looking for things to be angry about/not in control of your own senses.

It happens with racism, too.  And this time, it’s the National Institute of Health.

But March, it’s just milk.  It could apply to anyone who’s lactose intolerant!  How is this possibly racist?

Becaaaaaaause, white people in the United States have a history of violence, theft and genocide against Native Americans, that’s why.  And we’ve found a new way to deny their experiences by proclaiming that those with a lactose intolerance are actually just deluding themselves, because apparently they don’t want to get all the nutrients their body needs.

The money quote:

"The majority of the world’s population, after weaning and gradually over childhood, lose lactose activity," [Dr. Frederick J.] Suchy said. "It’s a normal state. Only those people that are largely from northern European descent have retained lactase and have the ability to ingest and process lactose later in life."

Oh, only the northern European white people can still tolerate dairy when they’re adults!  And since they can, the rest of the world’s population are absolute fucking idiots and hurting themselves on purpose, because they experience very nasty side effects when they try to eat things with lactose in them!  I get it now.

But, y’know, we’re totally not racist.  We’re scientists.

just e3z steps

In starting to blog in earnest, I’m overwhelmed (and stifled) by the number of topics I could address.  (Also by the fact that I’ll actually have to start writing again in order to have a sweet-ass blog.)  There are so many great feminist, anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-fat-shaming (and generally awesome) blogs out there that I think maybe my nebulous, undisciplined, novice contribution is… well, nebulous and undisciplined.  And n00b-ish.

But, fuck that!  Every story is powerful, and the best place to start is with what you know.  And right now, what I know is:

  1. I like to critique things;
  2. Consuming geek culture as a feminist is difficult sometimes;
  3. Being an active feminist is socially unwise,
  4. Because other folks blame you for being hysterical, instead of culture for being fucking oppressive and ridiculous.

So before I start, I’ll use this post to lay down a bit of background as to why I’m blogging at this moment in my life.  In one phrase: I finally (FINALLY) have “a room of my own,” and I’ve just been rejected from four graduate schools.

As good a place to start as any.

wtg npr

On my way home from work, I heard this gem on NPR, followed by a lovely soundbite of an “expert on health” despairing the high levels of obesity in lower-class neighborhoods.  (Can’t find that one on the site, but I’ll always take a point in the right direction.)

 

For a long while, NPR has been my lifeblood for keeping up on current events and feeling connected.  Every time NPR fails on this big a scale, I die a little bit inside.

 

To do a quick re-cap of the story, if you opt not to wade through it: people are getting less fat.  That is obviously because teh fatties have started listening to the FAT-HATING CULTURE THAT ENGULFS THEM and decided to put down the deep fried mars bars.  Women did it first, because they are the “early adopters of healthy behaviors,” i.e.- judged as valuable based only on their physical appearance, and would rather be hungry and deprived than despised.  Children and teens are also less fat, and that is because women are in charge of making their food (because if men prepared food for their own children, the world would implode).

 

But beware: boys from 6 to 19 are getting fatter.  That’s obviously because of video games.

 

And, of course, lest we forget to hate the fatties, they are driving up our health care costs with their ridiculous refusal to hate themselves.

 

Michelle at The Fat Nutritionist has a lovely response to concern trolling poor people for being fat and uneducated, and you should read the rest of the blog as well if you know what’s good for you.

hate, actualized

All we’re saying is, fags should burn in hell.  But golly gee, we didn’t expect you’d take us literally!

 

Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge, and Don Schmierer are apparently flabbergasted that their message of hate is on the road to becoming actual legislation.  Schmierer feels “duped,” but by whom?  Why?  Ugandan policymakers are just taking his message and applying a consequence: death.

 

Melissa McEwan eloquently sums it up better than I:

At best, they colluded with murderous bigots because they were too uninformed, cavalier, daft, hasty, greedy, eager, selfish, irresponsible, ignorant. Too something to understand what the fuck they were doing.

At worst, they colluded with murderous bigots because deep in their hard, dark little hearts, in places they never reveal in press releases, they don’t much care if gay people die, as long as their names aren’t anywhere near the death warrant.

But, as the mother of a good friend of mine recently opined, in response to her brother’s sexist, illogical opinion: “It’s just a philosophy.  Everyone has a different philosophy.”  Too bad “philosophies” full of oppression and hate translate into actual oppression and actual hate toward actual people.