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James: Jesus Christ

Serene: Jesus motherfucking christ

Serene: #everydaysexism

James: I wonder what it would cost to get a roll of stickers made that looked like those 50% off stickers stores use but said "Sexist Bullshit"

James: Actually, how about a double roll "Sexist Bullshit" and "Racist Bullshit"

James: Then we could do science by seeing which got empty first.

James: just for fun, we could each have our own rolls and see if there's a difference in the relative frequency with which we use them

Serene: Totally!!

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Via [personal profile] supergee, "Things no one will tell fat girls."

I have noticed a shift in public discourse over my lifetime from "fat is bad/ugly/disgusting" to "well, the important thing is to be healthy. if you're healthy, then maybe fat is all right," to "fuck that, I don't owe anyone a healthy or small body. my body is mine." I love this shift, and I associate it with [personal profile] firecat who shared the phrase/concept "healthism" with me many years ago and woke me up out of my stupid judgmentalism about people who don't make a healthy body their first priority.
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You may have surmised that I'm enamored of Harriet Jacobs. Here's an annotated bibliography I put together. It's short, but maybe I'll add to it over time.

Annotated Bibliography, Harriet Jacobs )
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Three actual events from the past week or so, put forward as an example of how and how not to respond when you're called out on your -isms:

1) Friendly acquaintance, white, posts a joke on her Facebook whose punchline relies on how "white" Michael Jackson was. I point out that it's rude and racially insensitive to make comments about how someone is or is not black enough. Her friends tell me to get a sense of humor. She tells me she's not racist. I unfriend her, not as a punishment, but because, really, who needs it, and we weren't close or anything. This is her response, locked down so I can't answer: "Out of 830 friends on FB, you were the only person who found that Michael Jackson comment racist. It wasn't. You took it in a way that it was not intended. I apologize for having offended you, but if I didn't rank high enough on your respect list for you to give me the benefit of the doubt, I'm better off not having you in my life anyway."

2) Friend posts a wordplay joke on his Facebook whose punchline relies on the assumption that being fat is a horrible thing that should be avoided. I point out that it's a fatphobic joke and I dislike it (okay, I may have said "Yuck! Fatphobia! Ptui!"). He says, "Oh, wow, sorry. Should've seen that. I took it down. Thanks for pointing it out." I reply, "Thanks. No worries; if I know you, you were focused on the wordplay."

3) Family member talks about "gay marriage." I say "Not gay marriage, same-sex (or same-gender) marriage," and he says "Right. Thanks for the correction." The conversation continues normally.

My point? That I'm always right and it doesn't pay to disagree with me.

No, wait, that's wrong.

My point? That we all say stupid shit sometimes -- yes, even (or perhaps especially) I do! -- but the best response when you have that pointed out is not "No way, you're being oversensitive. No one ELSE thought it was stupid!" but "Oh, wow, yeah. Sorry."

I can't count the times I've had to say "Oops, I fucked up. Sorry about that. I'll try harder." I could make you a MUCH longer list about the times I've had to say "Sorry for dismissing you. Sorry for using sexist/racist/whateverist language." Every time I've said it, it's felt less like I was a complete failure, and more like I was doing a good job at being a grown-up and taking responsibility for my flawed behavior. And I hope it means I'm more careful about that kind of thing now. When I offend people, I want it to be on purpose, and I want it to be the Powers That Be that are getting my barbs, not the people who are the targets of the oppression I claim to be fighting.

Oh, my.

Apr. 19th, 2012 05:13 pm
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Could we love [personal profile] metaphortunate any more? No, we could not. AND YET!


Apr. 5th, 2011 07:53 am
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Saw "Ruined" last week with [personal profile] stonebender. Have spent a whole lot of time thinking about the women of the Congo and elsewhere -- the whole world, in fact -- whose bodies are used as the tools of war, the spoils of war, and too many times the detritus of war.

For a few minutes during the play, this terror overcame me, a recognizable one that underlies all my deepest fears: being in danger with no one to rescue you. It's why I couldn't read Bastard Out of Carolina (first chapter, child in peril; parents don't help, and child knows they won't). It's why "The Shawshank Redemption" was a total horror flick to me.

It's not that women are unsafe that kills me -- we're all unsafe; it's the human condition. It's that so many women are unsafe and NO ONE is even trying to protect them. The impotence and fear and flight impulse I'm feeling right now are just tiny flyspecks -- there are women all over the world who know that the men who rape them, subjugate them, whore them out, and then kill them are not going to be opposed or stopped. That level of hopelessness reduces me to an incoherent, weeping mess.

And then there's this story, where Eman al-Obeidi is treated as a criminal (and may not have remained safe if she hadn't spoken out in front of journalists) for accusing men of rape. So they detain her, interrogate her for three days, force her to be "medically examined" -- basically, sexually assault her again. I am weeping because I know that the next woman who wants to speak out will look at this story and say No. Not worth what they will put me through. I'll just shut up about it. It was probably my fault anyway.

Some days -- most days, I guess -- I feel like it could get better if people (including me, but people more powerful than I am, certainly, too) would just DO SOMETHING (instead of posting to Dreamwidth, yeah, I get that). Other days, I want to curl up in a ball and call the world irredeemable.

(Something I think is important to say, having seen some discussions about this elsenet: I am not ignoring the possibility that she's accusing them wrongfully, though I have little sympathy with that as a first reaction to this story. Nonetheless, the men she's accused are free and suing her. She got punished more harshly for reporting a crime against her than they did for being accused of the crime. Think about that for a minute.)
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We're here, really! (At the end of the article is a great reading list. I know what I'll be doing between writing blog posts today.)

Where Are All the Atheist Women? Right Here
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A nice young woman who's got mixed feelings about abortion asked for thoughts, and this was mine:

I feel like the only body I should be making decisions about is my own, and that other people need to be free to make their own. I believe I would never choose an abortion for myself. And in fact, when I was raped, I made sure they did NOT give me a morning-after pill. But just because that's my choice for ME, that doesn't give me the right to make that choice for someone else, any more than I would tell someone else they should or should not go on a diet, get an organ transplant, or have a sex change. Their body, their choice. And it's the hardest decision some of them will ever make. I don't intend to make it harder.

In addition, even though I don't ever want to have an abortion myself, I will fight for it to remain safe, legal, and affordable, so that no more women will die in botched back-alley abortions. I don't think that having an abortion should be a death-penalty offense. Women DIE when abortion is illegal. That's just wrong.
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
Haven't read the whole thing, but [ profile] someotherguy sent me this: Derailing for Dummies. So far, it's right on the nose.
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
Men who explain things.

(I allow men to explain things to me that I already understand, far too often. They should stop it, and I should stop allowing it.)

[Edit: To those men who are explaining linux text editors to me, I didn't mean you. I *don't* understand this, and I appreciate the help. It's coincidence that I ran across this article at this time. :-)]
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
I'm signed on to the Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Program.

This is not a joke. This is not satire. This is not a test.

(A quote, but you need to go read the whole thing:
Here's my pledge: if I see somebody groping you in public, and you're not moaning Yes! Yes! Yes!, I will break through your Somebody Else's Problem invisibility field and come over and ask if you're okay. If your situation looks dangerous enough I can't help on my own, I will call over friends or, if it's a situation in which I think the cops would be on your side, I will call the cops. If you're being harassed by a guy, you can say so to me, even if you don't know me. I pledge I will distract him so you can get away, or I will tell him that he needs to leave, or whatever I can do to the best of my ability. I pledge that yes, actually, because you are a woman I will give you the benefit of the doubt. If you tell me that a guy just did something shitty to you I will not refuse to look at any evidence and tell you that I know him and he's a great guy and you must have been imagining things. I have great loyalty to my male friends but I will not allow that to blind me to the fact that none of us are saints and even my best friends can screw up and may need to be called on it. I pledge that I will walk you to your car if you don't feel safe walking alone at night, and then you can drive me to mine.


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