feuervogel: (godless liberal etc)
Driving home yesterday from writing group, I listened to this segment on NPR. They were discussing the pending legislation about banning sex-selective abortions in NC.

Tami Fitzgerald, head of some anti-choice org, said that "we don't have a problem with that right now, but we need to prevent it from becoming one in the future" and then denied any aspects of anti-immigrant racism when called on it by the head of NARAL NC, Suzanne Buckley.

What you non-NC-residents may not know is that we have a large and growing Indian immigrant community (largely in Cary/RTP, but throughout the state, as well). What I hear in the phrase "we need to prevent sex-selective abortion from becoming a problem in the future" is "people are coming from India and they abort girl fetuses there and there are more and more of them and we have to STOP them from doing that." (See also: the bill introduced in the state house banning sharia law.) I could be wrong, but I'm probably not.

Fitzgerald harped again and again about "we are protecting women's rights while they are still in the womb" while Buckley kept calling her on it, saying "we should work for things that will actually help living women, like equal pay and contraceptive access and education and things like that."

Then they brought an OB-GYN on, who said how unclearly the bill is written, which Fitzgerald told her was silly to think and just fear. The host, Frank Stasio, pressed her on it, asking if patients wouldn't just lie about it anyway. She danced around the topic. (Some stats: there are no sex-selective abortions known to have occurred in NC, and most abortions occur before the sex of the fetus is even known.)

The anti-choice movement grasps at straws and tells disingenuous lies. They won't admit to their racism.


8 Jan 2012 11:50 am
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
Those of you who were at Phil's yestereve may recall I was talking about a friend of mine who didn't particularly appreciate Steven Moffat's treatment of women and an essay she wrote. Here it is.
feuervogel: Mesut Özil hugs Cacau (german team 10)
This is an interesting article, and it includes one of my favorite ads from the Women's World Cup this year (the one with Abby Wambach and the hallway diver. Makes me giggle every time.).
A few bloggers have already critiqued the big deal the program makes about Solo's strength and her struggle to get what reads as feminine grace into her movement. One judge couldn't help himself, and declared that Solo has "thighs that could crack a walnut." He basically called her a ball-breaker. Before we make a federal case of this, let's remember: This is Dancing with the Stars.

Everybody on that show is in drag. All contestants whose personae are at odds with ballroom comportment appear to be at sixes and sevens with their own bodies. This is especially true for certain kinds of athletes - those for whom appearing to float, for example, might go against everything they know about their bodies. Exit Metta (formerly known as Ron Artest).

Although this season features entertainment royalty transman Chaz Bono and the Queerest Eye for the Straight Guy Carson Kressley (whom we all hoped would be allowed to dance with a man), the most explicit gender panic has fallen on Hope Solo's magnificent shoulders.

Go read the rest.

(I need a generic football icon...)
feuervogel: (godless liberal etc)
Other feminists and I have been saying for YEARS that the GOP anti-abortion crowd was really itching to ban regular old contraception (by equating the Pill with abortion), as well as dog-whistling against women's basic autonomy and humanity, but now they've come out and said it.

”They’ve called it preventative medicine. Preventative medicine,” said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, on the House floor last month, shortly after the Obama administration adopted the recommendations of an expert panel and agreed to add contraceptives to a list of services insurance plans will be required to provide without a deductible or copayment. “Well, if you apply that preventative medicine universally, what you end up with is you’ve prevented a generation. Preventing babies from being born is not medicine.”

You can't be for small government AND for government intervention in the most personal decisions any woman of childbearing age has to make. It's sheer hypocrisy. Unless your true aim is to establish male supremacy and take women's rights back two thousand years, of course.
feuervogel: (godless liberal etc)
If you really want to educate yourself on what I'm talking about when I say "social justice" and that sort of thing, here are some links, in addition to the ones scattered throughout the previous posts and comments. This is my starting point, and these are the things I take as understood when I make arguments. I know it's a lot of material. It's a big internet out there.

I'll note there's likely some overlap between these sources. And many of these sites were found by simply putting "X 101" into the google.

Starkeymonster's links for clueless white people

my delicious' privilege tag see also the feminism and politics tags.

Intent! It's fucking magic!

101 Primer

Finally! Feminism 101

Feminism 101 at Shakesville (includes a section on "$SLUR doesn't mean that anymore")

Racism 101

[livejournal.com profile] racism_101

Ableism 101

Ableism 101 at FWD/Forward

Ableist word profiles

Not your mom's trans 101

I couldn't find a good LGBT* 101 site, but a lot of the feminism 101s cover that.

Julia Serano's glossary of terms




Understanding the principles of social justice is a lot of work. Adjusting your habits along those principles is a lot of work, and ongoing effort. It doesn't hurt you to change yourself to be more kind and less knowingly harmful to others, and it can help make the world a better place for those who have been harmed by the effects of privilege.

You'll still slip up sometimes, or you might not know that a word is harmful to others. No one's perfect, and no one expects perfection. When someone says, "hey, that hurts me, please stop," your response should be, "oh, sorry. I didn't know." and then to cease that behavior. You shouldn't dig in your heels because your sacred, magical intent was good, so the fact that you hurt someone else doesn't matter.
feuervogel: (godless liberal etc)
The other day, I linked The Mistress of the Lash Wears Chains, via Geek Feminism, on twitter, with the comment, "If I never see sexual woman as villain again, it will be too soon." It led to a small conversation, but, as with twitter conversations that have hours between replies, context got iffy.

My friend said he sees villains as more ambitious, and they're more likely to go after what they want, and that includes sex.

The issue isn't of ambition, but of women's sexuality being seen as evil. The good, pure, chaste heroine versus the demonic slut villain. There aren't any heroines who are openly sexual and who have "needs," and I can't think of any villains who are pure and chaste.

I recently watched Occult Academy (the non-sucky episodes). Our main protagonist has, as far as we know, no sexual desire, and maybe some romantic desire. Another protagonist has a childish romantic attraction to the male protagonist, and she turns out to be a white mage. Our villain is a large-breasted woman who feigns attraction to the male protagonist, and she turns out to be a black mage.

Guess what outfit the white mage wears. Guess what outfit the black mage wears. If you guessed "clothes that cover her fully" and "something out of the linked article above," respectively, you win.

Do I want more sexually-charged female protagonists, a la Jane Bond? No, not really, but if the writer portrayed it as non-evil, sure. That would, of course, necessitate more female protagonists in a Hollywood where 80% of movies have white male leads.
feuervogel: (black haru)
I got free lunch starting in 4th grade.

We wore off-brand, knock-off clothes, or clothes from second-hand shops.

We got food at the store where they send the dented cans.

When my mom's 78 Olds started to die (in 1991), she wasn't sure she'd be able to get a replacement vehicle.

When I got The Letter from CTY, mom wouldn't let me go because we couldn't afford it, even with the scholarships available.

When my high school German club did an exchange program, I begged and pleaded to go, because I thought it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. (My grandparents paid for most of it. I was lucky to have extended family with money.)

It was the first time I was on a plane.

I was 16.

I didn't get new eyeglasses as often as necessary.

We didn't have health insurance.

I know it could have been worse, and I know I'm lucky -- privileged -- to have had a PhD grandfather who worked as a grant reviewer at NIH, who could cover things like clothes or food or help with the house payment when mom was laid off again.

I also know that there are a lot of people in the 15% of the population we were better off than who don't have access to middle-class grandparents or other forms of help than welfare.

Those of you who grew up in your comfortable middle-class families, whose parents didn't have to worry about being able to repair the roof when you found a puddle in the living room, and don't realize just how goddamn lucky you fucking were and think your experience is what everyone has, who think that everyone can do what you did through Hard Work, are really goddamn naïve.

That naïvete is your privilege. The way you think the world works only holds true for the top 50%.

Examine your fucking privilege. You might gain some compassion in the process.
feuervogel: (win)
An interview with Moto Hagio (whose works in English are sadly out of print... *cradles her copy of A, A'*)

Translation of a 2007 interview with Keiko Takemiya (one of the 49ers who revolutionized shoujo manga; creator of Terra E)

If you were hacking since age 8, it means you were privileged. (See also: if you've been using a computer at all since age 8 and you're over about age 30)
Often, computer geeks who started programming at a young age brag about it, as it is a source of geeky prestige. However, most computer geeks are oblivious to the fact that your parents being able to afford a computer back in the 1980s is a product of class privilege, not your innate geekiness.
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
I read a blog post yesterday, an intro post from a guest blogger at feministe who usually writes over at Questioning Transphobia.

Queen Emily writes Don’t use third gender pronouns (eg “ze” and “hir”) on a binary identified person because it ungenders them. (Third-gender pronouns are also known as gender-neutral pronouns.) Then down in comments, she says, When someone uses “ze” to refer to me when I have explicitly referred to myself as a trans woman, it’s ungendering and cissexist to boot.

When I read this post by [personal profile] sohotrightnow, Queen Emily's post was the first thing I thought of, even though the writer of the problematic story (which I agree is problematic, and that is not the topic of this post; I'm not even involved in bandom) identifies as female.

The section that made me click the link to the writer's profile:
When I engaged [livejournal.com profile] promisethstars in discussion and tried to explain why this was bothering me, zie raised the point that the story is an AU, and argued that from zir perspective, there was no difference between making Gabe Saporta a Catholic priest for zir AU and making Patrick Stump a prostitute for another AU.

(You can see the wtfery evidenced by promisethstars in this quote, but that's not what I'm looking at.) I clicked the profile tag, and saw that Megan will occasionally "fangirl out." To me, that reads as "I identify as a girl."

Ungendering is a tactic used against trans-spectrum individuals by the media, academics, and radical feminists. I obviously do NOT believe that using "zie" to refer to a binary-identified cis-individual has anywhere near the emotional impact it does on a binary-identified trans-individual. But it isn't appropriate, either.

Or am I talking out of my ass here?
feuervogel: (godless liberal etc)
Some NYT wanker "dares" discuss science and gender. Dr. Isis explains why this topic bores her to tears (and pokes giant holes in Tierney's "argument" in the process.) Via Zuska, who also links to Boing Boing with more links on the subject.

A dad writes about his four-year-old son playing GTA. It's kind of cute, actually.

People are asking the wrong questions in talking about the societal effects of the porn industry.

Heading back to the US tomorrow, should be home around 10 pm. I think DFS is picking us up; that's the plan as I heard it, anyway. Time to start organizing my suitcase and trying to shove everything inside.
feuervogel: (enemy birds)
One thing I've been dealing with for, well, YEARS is that I don't consider anything I've done particularly extraordinary, or that I'm particularly good at anything, or that I've had any particularly spectacular accomplishments.

I always hated the self evaluations in pharmacy school and job applications where you have to say what your strengths are. I don't have any. I'm not very good at anything in particular. (Answering the weaknesses question is infinitely easier.)

Culture tells us (women) that our accomplishments, our achievements, our talents, our lives are worth less than men's, worthless. Women who say "Fuck yeah, I'm awesome" are called braggarts and told "quit talking, start doing."

Society, men, the patriarchy, has been telling women to be modest, not to brag, and to shut up and quietly do your scut work while we ignore your PhD in nuclear engineering/six published novels/successful costume direction for three shows and give the job to the men.

Women need to be able to, to be free to, say "fuck yeah, I'm awesome" without other women policing them and telling them to sit quietly and be more modest. We get that bullshit enough from men.
feuervogel: (wtf?)
Insurance company: You can get a temporary policy, but if you want to continue it, you have to reapply. And if you use the temporary insurance, you've got a pre-existing condition, for which we'll deny you. That sounds fair. Sure.
The coverage my friends were able to purchase for their daughter was a 180 day policy. The terms of the policy required that, if they wanted to "renew" it, in effect, they had to reapply for it all over again. At which time, the insurance company was free to take into account any "pre-existing conditions" as a cause for denying coverage. "Pre-existing conditions", in this case, included any conditions for which the policy holder sought treatment for during the 180 days of coverage for which they had paid for.

Read also this post, about one of the victims of the health club shooting: a recent college grad without health insurance who can't afford the bill for the surgery (necessitated by some sick fuck who wanted to take revenge on all women for merely existing and not fucking him, apparently) so her friends & neighbors held a CAR WASH. A fucking car wash.

These are two examples of why this country needs universal coverage, like every other civilized nation on the planet.


feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)

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