Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Morning Reading

Could Someone Please Explain Febreeze to Me?
by Elizabeth Scalia
Would someone please explain Febreeze to me? Why does it have a scent? If it’s supposed to take odors from the air, shouldn’t it smell like nothing? That’s what I want. I want the smell of nothing.


The Republican Party has also successfully used the courts, interest groups, and other means to subvert democracy by working to overturn the gains of the Civil Rights Movement. Moreover, the symbolism of the Republican Party's embrace of the Confederate Flag--what I and others call the "American Swastika"--and their adoption of antebellum language such as "nullification" cannot be separated from their virulent hatred of Barack Obama as a proxy for the White Right's animus and disdain for black Americans, more generally.


Black people in this country are brutalized by police on a daily basis. That has always been true but thanks to modern technology there is a steady stream of proof caught on video. Accessing the internet means inevitably being confronted with awful imagery such as Marlene Pinnock being beaten by a highway patrolman in California. We see Eric Garner murdered by the NYPD, pleading that he couldn’t breathe.


Once they know about my religious and family background, people generally want to know how my family relationships are now. They’re not so bad these days, thank you. After 8 years, even such a dramatic revelation as apostasy loses its ability to shock and agitate. Filial love can, in some situations, overcome anger and pain.
More difficult to overcome than my family members’s distaste for apostasy are their feelings about bodies.
Indeed, for a year after I publicly left Islam, I still wore headscarves and long-sleeved, long clothing to family gatherings. It didn’t matter that most people knew what was going on with me and that most of the women in my family don’t cover their heads. Appearances had to be kept up, I suppose.


Trinidadian-born photographer Gerard Gaskin’s images in Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene (Duke University Press, 2013) are a conversation with the Black and Latino transsexual subcultures, where those who are often marginalised and ejected from their homes and communities examine and perform gender and sex in the safe spaces provided by the Ballroom Scene in Harlem, New York. Frank Roberts, from his essay “The Queer Undercommons”, writes, “For members of New York City’s underground house ball community, being photographed by Gerard H. Gaskin is a rite of passage: All of the legendary children appear in front of his lens at some point or another.”


Dog vs. Coconut Crab

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Morning Reads

‘Twin Peaks’ Mysticism Won’t Save You From the Patriarchy
by Rhianna Shaheen
I have a Twin Peaks problem. I love Twin Peaks (1990-1991). In college, I was so obsessed with the show that I animated a Saul Bass-inspired titles sequence and wrote a spec script for my screenwriting class. However, as I became a better feminist, I awoke from my stupor of admiration for the show. I began to question the dead girl trope and ask myself, what is so funny about the sexual abuse and torture of an adolescent girl? I’ll admit I was thrilled about its announced return in 2016, but I wonder if a continued story will do more harm than good. Will the show continue to pull the demonic possession card when it comes to violence against women?
Read More at Bitch Flicks


The war against taxes (and the unmarried)
by Cathy (mathbabe)
The American Enterprise Institute, conservative think-tank, is releasing a report today. It’s called For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America... It uses a technique called the “fixed-effects model,”... What I’m worried about is that this report will be cleverly marketed, using the phrase “fixed effects,” to make it seem like they have indeed proven “mathematically” that individuals, yet again, are to be blamed for the structural failure of our nation’s work problems.
Read More at MathBabe


Hey Girl, Don’t Call Me That
by Amelia Shroyer
Where do people get off calling grown women “girls”? Because I’m pretty sure it’s not Equality Town. I’m not talking about the affectionate, cooing, “Hey girl, heyyyy!” so common between friends. Scratch that out of the equation, because it’s a whole different set of numbers. Instead, I’m talking about people using the world “girl” or even, at its worst, “little girl” to refer to – and ultimately belittle – grown women.
Read More at The Vagenda


Mapping the End of Slavery
by Keir Clarke
Visualizing Emancipation is an interactive map exploring the emancipation of four million slaves during the American Civil War. The map allows users to explore and discover patterns in the end of southern slavery through the use of contemporary documents and primary sources.
The map calls these patterns of emancipation 'event types' and Visualizing Emancipation allows you to view these patterns in any combination or on their own. The patterns include emancipation event types leading from the destruction of slavery in law, through military action and through the impetus and actions of enslaved people throughout the U.S. South.
Read More at GoogleMapsMania


Missing the point on the Red Mesa Redsk*ns
by Adrienne K.
A few weeks ago, Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira covered the “controversy” around the Daily Show’s segment on the Washington Racial Slurs. I, as you may remember, was not a fan of the way the story was covered. To Shapira’s credit, he reached out to me, and several other of my Native friends involved in the Daily Show debate or conversations afterward, and offered to chat. I declined, but from what I hear, he got an earful about theways Natives are represented in the media and how and why these seemingly innocuous “angles” in reporting are very harmful. I’m being nice here. He got some angry Indians on the phone.
So after Shapira’s period of learning, he decides to delve deeper into the mascot fight, by publishing this:
In Arizona, a Navajo high school emerges as a defender of the Washington Redskins
This piece makes me angry for a number of reasons. But I want to focus on a major, huge, glaring, omission from Shapira’s piece: CONTEXT.
Read More at NativeAppropriations



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