Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Reading

All Harassment Is Not Created Equal: Why We Need to Pay Attention to Rampant Online Sexism
by Alisha Karabinus
When people talk about a culture of harassment in video games, particularly online video games, they’re talking about the long history of trash talk. We hear it (and perform it) in a variety of competitive endeavors, like sports and games, but it’s hardly limited to those spheres. However, in gaming and particularly online gaming, the trash talk can be severe, both in and out of games, with frequently threatening and insulting discourse. We all know it; we’ve all seen it, if we’ve ever so much as picked up a controller, put on a headset, or sat down at a table for a little Settlers of Catan. But there’s a deep and unsettling difference between a very general, “I’m gonna fuck you up,” and “you’re a fucking whore and I’m going to rape you until you die.”
Read More at Not Your Mama's Gamer

Withdrawing My Endorsement of Sunday Assembly Los Angeles
by Heina Dadabhoy
As rarely happens, I had hope about something. But, as always happens when I do have them, those hopes were dashed. I have recently found out that this April, Sunday Assembly Los Angeles is hosting Michael Shermer. His talk is promoting the latest of his many books. 
The topic? Morality. Yes, really. 
Based on all that is at hand, as well as a promise I have made before, I have no choice but to not only decline the offer they have given me to emcee a future event but also to withdraw, with regret and apology, any form of support or endorsement I have ever given to SA-LA.
Read More at Heinous Dealings

A story is not a life condensed, but a moment expanded
by Margot Magowan
That is my theory, having written a novel for children. I have learned so many things writing this book with my husband that I feel like no matter what happens, if no one else reads it, or if I’m the next J.K. Rowling, I am forever changed. And just that, by the way, is something I’ve learned. Art is about process, not the result. It’s so strange to take a round-about route and end up at all the cliches. But here’s what I’ve leaned about cliches, you’ve got to get there your own way, to feel it, and that’s the only way they’re true for you.
Read More at ReelGirl

It isn’t asking the question, it’s hearing the answer.
He was a PHD student and every so often our paths would cross, I would feel sick and scared, and he would smile and wink. At the time I thought he was some kind of psychopath, now I realise he simply didn’t know he had assaulted me, that his self concept did not include either the desire not to rape, or the idea that he could.
Read More at Sometimes, It's Just a Cigar

From Lena Dunham to Bill Cosby: Hollywood Men, Sexual Entitlement, and Sexual Violence
by Aya De Leon
I can't help but recall a chapter from Lena Dunham's memoir Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”, about how older, powerful men in Hollywood attempted to exploit her sexually when she entered the industry as a young filmmaker. Dunham's exposé, together with the revelations of Cosby's unchallenged predatory pattern over decades, paints a clear picture of entrenched sexual violence and exploitation in the entertainment industry.
Read More at XOJane

Plastic Bertrand - Ça plane pour moi

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Politically Correct

Wednesday Reading

Inviolate Sons, Violated Daughters
by Bina Shah
I don't know what kind of effect this PSA will have in Peru, but I find myself wishing we could do something like this in Pakistan. Women - mothers, aunts, sisters, grandmothers - need to be more aggressive in demanding that their sons, brothers, grandsons treat all women with respect. In Pakistan, all too often women will say, "That witch, she's to blame, my son is innocent" in everything ranging from a marriage by choice, to sexual harassment on the street and at the workplace, to rape and murder.
Read More at Bina Shah

The Problem With Disney's 'Hercules' Is, Well, Hercules
by Deborah Pless
In fact, I would argue that from the middle of the movie on, the protagonist is no longer Hercules, but actually Meg. She's the one who has to change her perspective on life and go through a narrative arc so she can grow as a person. She's the one whose emotional journey we track. Hercules emotional journey in this movie is literally: I want to find out where I belong. I have found out where I belong but I have to do a few things to get there. I did the things and now I feel like I can belong anywhere. Good for me.
Read More at Kiss My Wonder Woman

Expanding on Selma and the Politics of Martin Luther King Jr.
by Danny Haiphong
SNCC was demonized throughout the film. James Forman was painted as childish and immature. Stokely Carmichael was nowhere to be found, nor were SNCC's voter registration drives or grassroots work that drew King to Selma in the first place. Black women, like Coretta Scott King, were relegated to spectator roles. Malcolm X was given a few seconds of the film to plead to Coretta Scott King that he had changed and was no longer hostile to the "non-violent" actors in the movement.
Read More at Black Agenda Report

Emotions, Validity, Actions
by Olivia
Providing emotional support to someone else is hard. Most people aren’t quite sure how to do it, and like most other hard things in life it is a concrete skill that requires practice. Most of us learn some of this through emulation. We see other people giving hugs, suggesting solutions, or telling us that things will be ok, and we learn that this is how to provide support when life is hard.
Read More at We Got So Far to Go

The 5 worst excuses men use when accused of rape
by Miri Mogilevsky
Unlike most accused rapists, Vandenburg and Batey are now on trial. As the trial opened this past week, the defense team made some interesting comments about Batey’s culpability.  
This seems like a convenient way of obfuscating the issue. Of course Batey was influenced in all sorts of ways by his environment. We all are. That’s the nature of being a social species. But ultimately the burden of making the decision falls on the individual making it, and part of being an adult is accepting that responsibility.
Read More at The Daily Dot

Brushy One String - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Reading

Miss Universe Does Cosplay
by Cheryl
I’m not a huge fan of beauty pageants, especially where kids are involved, though I quite understand the sense of validation that some women, especially trans women, get from them. There just isn’t much for me in them, usually. 
Sometimes, however, the clothes get interesting. Via Helen McCarthy on Twitter I found the Pinterest board of Tom & Lorenzo, which features dresses from the National Costume round of the latest Miss Universe. The way that some of the girls and their teams have interpreted “national costume” often looks more like what you would see in a convention masquerade than in a village street. It is all very Eurovision, but world-wide.

Inglourious Basterds Told the Wrong Dang Story
by Deborah Pless
he real thing I want to get at here is a problem I find all too common: the thing where a perfectly decent movie could have been an amazing movie if only the story had focussed on a different character. In this and most cases, what I mean by that is a minor female character. There are too many movies that stink just because they chose to follow the wrong lead. And this is one of them.
Read More at Kiss My Wonder Woman

Who Wants to See a White Guy As The King of Siam?
Yet another theater production is accused of rocking the yellowface. Dallas Summer Musicals' upcoming production of The King and I is drawing criticism for casting a Caucasian actor in the role of King Mongkut. 
Rodgers and Hammerstein's popular musical tells the story of Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher who is hired as a live-in governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. Despite their many differences, Anna and the King eventually grow to understand and respect one another. 
In case you were wondering, the king of Siam was not a white guy.
Read More at Angry Asian Man

Security Killings: American Police Violence, from Ferguson to Nairobi
by Kara Moskowitz and Fernando Esquivel-Suárez
The world watched U.S. tanks roll into Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, in a misguided attempt to control protests over the police killing of Michael Brown. In the aftermath, the apparent militarization of local American police departments struck many critics as disproportionate force. It also tells us a great deal about the interconnections between U.S. foreign and domestic policy. These tanks not only illustrate the militarization of the U.S. police force, but the circularity of state-sponsored violence.
Read More at Africa Is a Country

‘Love & Basketball': Girls Can Do Anything Boys Can Do
by Alize Emme
“I’m gonna be the first girl in the NBA,” proclaims a young Monica (Kyla Pratt). “No, I’m gonna be in the NBA,” replies a young Quincy (Glendonn Chatman). “You’re gonna be my cheerleader.” Breaking down the idea that women can’t play sports, can’t do the same things men can (like in that late 90’s commercial) is the overarching theme of Gina Prince-Bythewood’s debut feature film Love & Basketball (2000). This is the kind of movie you can watch, like I did as a teenager, and think, “what a nice love story” and it’s not really about anything more. Or, you can take a step back, and with a more seasoned eye, find a story that is rich with nuances about race, gender, and relationship roles and realize Prince-Bythewood’s artful commentary is so subtle you’ve spent the past 15 years just really enjoying this movie about a sports romance.
Read More at Bitch Flicks

Qraftish: Your Silence Will Not Protect You (Ep. 1)

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Reading

Stickin’ It To the Man By Stickin’ It To Yourself: Finding Body Acceptance Through Masturbation (NSFW)
By Vianca Masucci
I have a new routine. Recently employed, I ride the bus every day from 8:37am and 8:58am to get from home to work.  As I get on the bus, I put my hater-blockers on and pop in my ear phones to enjoy a bit of Pandora’s finest offerings. My station of choice?  Beyoncé with a Jazmine Sullivan variation. (Yas, gawd!) It’s the perfect combination of sexy and sultry and before I know it I find myself biting my lips,  swaying to the beat, and animatedly mouthing along to the R&B stylings of some badass bitches. This disturbs some of my fellow riders (who are pH-14 basic). They’re not disturbed by the dancing itself but, instead, they’re shocked by the audacity of someone who looks like me claiming their sexuality in public for myself and not a punchline. As an expressively queer woman of  color with chocolate skin, large kinky hair and a bunch of junk in the trunk—and the back seat and the front seat and strapped to the roof rack—folks are not comfortable with my modest displays of sexuality. This is because society has told them, like me, that there are limited ‘accepted’ sexualities and only certain bodies are entitled to them.
Read More at Black Girl Dangerous

The Green Party need to drop Rupert Read by, like, yesterday: An open letter to the Green Party
by Stavvers
Look, I’m an anarchist, and voting isn’t something I do any more. But sometimes, I look at the Green Party and think “they look like they might stand a chance and they’d probably be the least terrible. Maybe I’ll vote for them.” It was growing inside me, the knowledge that you, at least, might make things tolerable rather than terrible. All that’s gone now, because you’ve made yourselves look no different to the others.
Read More at Another Angry Woman

Sikh Captain America Kicks Ass in 'Red, White, and Beard'
Beware, evildoers! A star-spangled superhero walks the streets of New York City, wielding a shield of truth and justice. I'm talking cartoonist Vishavjit Singh, also known by his heroic alter ego Sikh Captain America.  
He's the subject of a great new short documentary Red, White, and Beard, which follows Vishavjit and captures people's reactions as he roams around the city dressed as the classic American icon, turban and all.
Read More at Angry Asian Man

Strong Female Character Friday: Xiomara (Jane the Virgin)
by Deborah Pless
My favorite has to be Andrea Navedo, though. Her portrayal of Xiomara Villanueva is one of the most nuanced performances of what it means to be a single mother that I think I’ve ever seen. Because for all that Xiomara is flighty, flaky, and an unrepentant man-chaser, she's also deeply sacrificial, selfless, loving, and a really stinking good mom. And it's the combination of all of these traits, her love of booty shorts and her intense desire to make the world perfect for her daughter, that make Xiomara into one of my all time favorite female characters.
Read More at Kiss My Wonder Woman

Wit Against Misogyny & Various *-isms: A Beginners’ How-To
by Heina Dadabhoy
Nearly no one is born issuing snappy comebacks at the drop of a hat. It’s a skill that can be practiced and improved upon and worked on over time. If you want to join in the war of the wits pitted against oppressive jerks, you can, no matter how unfunny or dim you think you are (because you probably aren’t that bad). Getting started means training yourself to more quickly recognize situations ripe for a comeback, surrounding yourself with people who can inspire your courage and give you ideas, and practicing your newborn-to-newfound skills in lower-stakes spaces.
Read More at Heinous Dealings

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz - "Brooklyn"

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Reading

Lego Pompeii
by Mary Beard
This is exactly what it sounds: a model of Pompeii made out of 190,000 pieces of Lego, which took almost 500 hours to build. It's the third of the Nicholson Museum's Lego models (they've already done the Colosseum and the Acropolis), but this is the biggest yet and will be on show until the end of 2015.
Read More at A Don's Life

TCM Introduces Jennifer Dorian as New GM, Seeks to “Grow”
by Will McKinley
Variety and Deadline Hollywood reported today that Jennifer Dorian has been named general manager of TCM, a development I first reported exclusively more than two months ago. (TV Week credits Cinematically Insane with the scoop here.) In fact, Dorian’s new role took effect at the end of October, in a corporate restructuring following the completion of the Turner 20/20 cost-cutting initiative.
Read More at Cinematically Insane

The Grave Importance of Pushing Daisies
by Deborah Pless
Pushing Daisies is another show from Bryan Fuller’s catalogue of meditations on death. I mean, his work includes this, Hannibal, and Dead Like Me. Just saying. Dude thinks death is fascinating and I can’t really blame him for that. Death is a really interesting subject, and he always does really neat things with it. In this case, the plot revolves around a friendly necromancer who uses his ability to raise the dead to solve murders and collect the reward. Also it’s pretty much the cutest story in the world, and those two facts do not contradict each other.
Read More at Kiss My Wonder Woman

Did You Enjoy the Party: Poly Styrene and X-Ray Spex
by Inda Lauryn
MTV brought the next British invasion to American music in the early 80s. The British had been producing what we know as music video in its contemporary form for years already, so this new wave of British artists should come as no surprise. A startup network needs product and Britain had a steady supply.
Read More at Corner Store Press

Black Bonds, Annie and OITNB: How Film and TV Representation limits, liberates, and moulds PoC
by Otamere Guobadia
In the wake of the Sony Leaks and the ‘Annie’ reboot starring Quvenzhané Wallis, the Black Bond debate, questions of representation have received renewed interest. A Sony executive expressed the desire that the phenomenal Idris Elba, the Golden Globe and Emmy nominated black actor known for his nuanced and brilliant performances be Daniel Craig’s successor. Much of the dissent, however, has come from people who fervently believe that Bond’s whiteness is somehow central to his character’s identity, and thus to recast him as black would be a gross act of cultural erasure.
Read More at Media Diversified

Aamer Rahman - Memories from Cronulla

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday Reading

Happy People Fucking
by Maddy Macnab
I don’t need to tell you where mainstream pornography disappoints. Vaginas with the labia photoshopped out; unrealistic, relentlessly rock-hard dicks; the exclusion of any body that is not thin, shiny, hairless and cis-gendered (unless that body is being fetishized); the casual and constant presentation of female bodies as objects of male pleasure; the normalization of sexual violence; a disturbing lack of communication and explicit consent between partners. These are some of the toxic currents that run though mainstream porn. Duh. This has been unpacked eloquently and often by many sex-positive, feminist folk who are vastly better-versed in the topic than I am, ever since the so-called “feminist sex-wars” of second-wave feminism.
Read More at Guts Magazine

Denying Racism in Cape Town Is About Lack of Empathy
by Luso Mnthali
I was on radio the other day, trying to explain to Shado Twala, well-known radio and television personality here in South Africa, how racism personally affects me. I had this great chance to finally tell a wider audience what it feels like to live in a city that denies you so much because you’re black. But I focused too much on how I’d been getting hostile looks from strangers, and being shoved and bumped into a couple of times while walking in my predominantly white neighbourhood.What do you think? 
I felt like I blew it.
Read More at Racialicious

The Grimms on Censorship
by Jeana Jorgensen
So in 1812 and 1815, the Grimms published volumes 1 and 2 of their fairy tales… which also contained a bunch of scholarly annotations. This first edition wasn’t that well received by the public; many readers thought the stories were too crude, violent, and sexually explicit. The annotations didn’t really resonate with the general public, either, and the topic seemed trivial to some. For the next 40 years, the Grimms continually revised their tales, putting out new editions, until the final (and for many, definitive) edition of 1857 was published. The stories from that edition are probably the ones you’ve read, unless you also read German.

A Child Bride in Jim Crow Mississippi: Scars of Suffering and the Promise of Healing
by Sistah Vegan
WARNING: This may potentially be triggering for those who were forced into marriage, particularly as a child bride. 
My Grandma Emma passed away recently. [This is] one of her many rings she owned and the only one I will be keeping.

No, Really, How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You Pope Francis I Is A Bigot?
by Jackson Warlock
So in today's episode of "Christian exceptionalism is a hell of a drug," I woke this morning to a nice variety of people posting an article entitled "Pope Francis: No need to breed 'like rabbits'."  The comments they left on this and other articles talking about the same event zeroed in on ridiculing people who have a lot of kids.  Which is really interesting, because I can't fathom how people are reading this and still seeing Pope Francis as some sort of liberal Catholic revolutionary worthy of pro-LGBT awards and uncritical swells of praise.  Is it possible for anybody to pause their standing ovation of his misogynistic judging of women who have a lot of kids to pay any attention to the rest of what he said?
Read More at Reclaiming Warlock

Racism Insurance 2: Still Racist | Dear White People

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Reading

The Broad Strokes
by Rachel Syme
The first time I met Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, they were wearing Rollerblades and Glazer was psyching herself up to simulate sex with a giant oak tree. Tucked out of view on a shady forest path in Prospect Park on a warm day in September, the stars and creators of Broad City were filming a scene for the sixth episode of the second season, called “The Matrix,” in which the best friends decide that they are too plugged in to the onanistic hive mind of the Internet and decide to go off the digital grid for a single day. The pair get separated, and without smartphones to reconnect, go on separate spirit quests — Glazer’s involves rubbing her bottom on the grass, rolling up leaves and dirt to craft (and smoke) a makeshift joint, and eating weeds from the ground on her hands and knees. For the denouement of her walkabout, Glazer has clothed intercourse — to completion — with a tree, still wearing skates, kneepads, and a bike helmet. Jacobson, who had quickly exchanged her blades for more comfortable Nike sneakers, was coaching Glazer from behind a camera monitor, the two chatting away over headsets, though they might as well have been communicating via ESP.
Read More at Grantland

Broken Rainbow Helpline loses funding
by D H Kelly
The Broken Rainbow Helpline is set to become the latest in a long list of domestic violence services facing government cuts. Broken Rainbow provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* victims of domestic abuse as well as training to other organisations. The announcement that funding would be cut comes in the same week as the news that the only refuge for gay and bisexual men in London may also have to close.
Read More at The F Word

“Charlie Hebdo”, not racist? If you say so…
by Olivier Cyran (translated by Daphne Lawless)
If it also occurred to me, in the past, to scribble out some furious lines in reaction to some of your exploits, I never dwelled on the subject. Doubtless I would not have had the patience or the stoutness of heart to follow, week after week, the distressing transformation which took over your team after the events of September 11, 2001. I was no longer part of Charlie Hebdo when the suicide planes made their impact on your editorial line, but the Islamophobic neurosis which bit by bit took over your pages from that day on affected me personally, as it ruined the memory of the good moments I spent on the magazine during the 1990s. The devastating laughter of “Charlie” which I had loved to hear now sounded in my ears like the laugh of a happy idiot getting his cock out at the checkout counter, or of a pig rolling in its own shit. And yet, I never called your magazine racist. But since today you are proclaiming, high and loud, your stainless and irreproachable anti-racism, maybe it’s now the right moment to seriously consider the question.
Read More at Posthypnotic Random Static

5 British Sitcoms Eeveryone Should Watch
by Taylah
Fawlty Towers! Extras! The Office! Ab Fab! Father Ted! Inbetweeners! Peep Show! Monty Python! Mighty Boosh! Gavin & Stacey! Sound familiar? Most likely. These are the British comedies everyone who loves a little bit of British comedy has watched and wants you to watch. But there are some unknown (or really not that unknown, but less praised) gems out there waiting for you to discover them, and I am here to get you on the right track. Here are the five British comedies I believe everyone should watch:
Read More at Taylah Talks TV

What Would J. Edgar Hoover Think of the Movie 'Selma?'
by Chauncey DeVega
If film is like "writing history with lightning", mass culture has taken Brother Dr. King's radicalism, diluted it, and then spat it out through the tip of an eye dropper across American popular memory and consciousness.
Never forget: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an enemy of the state.

Eumir Deodato Also Sprach Zarathustra

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Reading

Why I’m An Assimilationist
by Ozymandias
The assimilationist mindset is “we’re people just like you, you should give us rights.” Which, as strategies go, has the advantage of totally working. Seriously! The single thing that correlates best with having changed your mind to support same-sex marriage is knowing a queer person– that is, your mental image of queers shifts from “Pride Parade and anonymous bathroom sex” to “Joe down the street who grows really nice roses.” It also really cleverly defangs a pretty major squick-based anti-queer argument: it’s hard to argue that LGBT people are sick disgusting perverts who live loveless lives full of casual sex when observably the queer rights movement is advocating for their right to have spouses, children, a white picket fence, and a golden retriever.
Read More at Thing of Things

“For Digital Girls Who Drink Tonic Water at the Bar When Purple Rain Isn’t Enough” 
By Ytasha L. Womack
By 2050 humans will successfully merge with machines–at least that’s what the blog I read on transhumanism said.
Funny, I thought. What if we already have?

Why We Only Freak Out About Brown Terrorists -- And Why That Helps Terrorism Spread
by David Neiwert
In most regards, the coverage is warranted. Terrorism is an important subject, and in an ideal world, the more information we have about such a thing, the better informed we will be. Presumably, we would then be better situated to work together to form a response that actually would effectively defeat the terrorists, both in their specific purposes as well as in the way they generically spread the use of violence in the world as a "solution."
Read More at Orcinus

How To Handle The Ignorant Colleague
by Freckle
It can happen at any time: the supposedly sane colleague (maybe one of the few you relied on for your sanity in the workplace) says something stupid. And not on the level of “White chocolate is the best” but more of something out there, like “Our country is being destroyed by immigrants.” What to do? Behind the cut, some helpful options in no particular order.
Read More at Persephone Magazine

Robert Kinoshita, Creator of Hollywood Robots, Dies at 100
Kinoshita served as production designer on a number of films and TV shows, and is responsible for creating Robby the Robot for the 1956 science fiction classic Forbidden Planet, as well as the robot Tobor from the 1954 film Tobor the Great and the 1957 television pilot Here Comes Tobor.
Read More at Angry Asian Man

Feminist Sex Positions - Liz Miele

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday Reading

Why I Don’t Go to Church, or the Radical Potential of Catholicism
by David Sessions
In this remarkable column, a Catholic priest from Maryland interviewed 50 young adults whose names are on the roll of his parish about why they don’t go to church. As he notes with commendable honesty, their answers revealed deep alienation from Catholicism; they are not ignorant about the church’s teaching as much as they simply disagree with it. The church’s positions on gender equality, homosexuality and birth control are top turnoffs, along with complaints about the service—too much sitting and standing, not enough modern music—and a more general sense that the church doesn’t “get” modern life.
Read  More at Patrol

Why I Stopped Laughing at Rape Jokes
by Heina Dadabhoy 
Reading arguments against that style of rape joke helped, but so did reading arguments in favor of it. What struck me about the pro-rape joke arguments is that they tended to be generic Freeze Peach arguments rather than anything addressing any actual concerns about rape jokes. No one of note was seriously arguing that comedians should not be legally permitted to make rape jokes, yet pro-rape joke arguments almost invariably hinged on “freedom of speech” without addressing anything else.
Read More at Heinous Dealings

David Duke Again Takes Advantage Of Media Airtime To Lie And Mislead
by David Neiwert
And as usually occurs when Duke gets airtime, he parlayed the interview into an opportunity to propagandize and sell both his twisted worldview and his books. Most of all, Duke performed his specialty, which is to sell outright falsehoods and self-serving distortions.
Read More at Orcinus

Wednesday Blogging: My Anti-Bucket List
by Jenny Trout
I haven’t Wednesday blogged in a long time, because I’m lazy. But also, because I have all sorts of other stuff I like to do on the blog (like update links pages…which never, ever happens. Not ever), a lot of which I’d like to do on the weekly. When I found out this week that  the topic is “your anti-bucket list” I was like, “Bitch, what is an anti-bucket list?” And Bronwyn Green was like, “It’s a list of things you don’t want to do before you die.” I immediately thought of about five thousand really grim things, like “experience surgical awareness,” “get cancer,” or “have one of my kids die.” And then Bronwyn was like, “Cool your jets, it doesn’t have to be like that.” And I thought of some much better ones that aren’t, you know. Common fears.
Read More at Trout Nation

Arkansas Gun Range Discriminates Against Muslims and Brown People
Jan Morgan is the owner of the Gun Cave, an indoor gun range in Hot Springs, Arkansas; she also describes herself on her website as “a nationally recognized 2nd Amendment Advocate/Speaker/ NRA Certified Firearms Instructor/ Associated Press Award winning investigative journalist/ Owner/Editor, Sr. Editor/Patriot Update/ Independent Constitutional Conservative… Republican/Tea Party/Libertarian, and other Conservative based organizations nationally”. 
In 2014, she made news for declaring that she wanted her business to be a “Muslim Free Zone”. In that article, she wrote that her reasons for instituting a blanket discrimination policy against any patron of Islamic faith are that: 1) “The Koran… contains 109 verses commanding hate, murder and terror against all human beings who refuse to submit or convert to Islam”; 2) Morgan alleges she has received death threats from unnamed Muslims for linking Qur’an passages; and 3) terrorist extremists such as ISIS and Al Qaeda include Muslim members.
Read More at Reappropriate

The Charlie Hebdo White Power Rally in Paris: A Celebration of Western Hypocrisy
by Ajamu Baraka
I have witnessed the spectacle of Eurocentric arrogance many times over my long years of struggle and resistance to colonial/capitalist domination and dehumanization. The grotesque, 21st Century version of the “white man’s burden,” which asserts that the international community (meaning the West) has a moral and legal “responsibility to protect,” is one current example; the generalized acceptance by many in the West that their governments have a right to wage permanent war against the global “others” to maintain international order is another.

Everything Wrong With National Treasure Book Of Secrets

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday Reading

Addicted To Prescription Drugs: How America’s Medication Adverts Sold My Soul To Big Pharma 
by Katie S
 I would like to be known as the pharmaceutical industry’s Official Worst Nightmare. Why, you ask?  Because as I am typing I can feel tiny popping sensations in my brain, cleverly called “brain zaps” in the medical community.  Breathing is an effort.  My heart is desperately trying to escape my chest.  That’s not an attempt at a meaningful, poetic statement.  I mean my chest is literally pounding up and down, as if my heart is going to break through my ribcage.
Read More at The Vagenda

Who Protects Us From You?: Everyday Police Violence and Abuse
by Amy Ongiri
The first interaction I can remember having with the police happened when I was five or six years old.  My father, a tough and fearless African immigrant who made me feel completely safe whenever I was with him, was pulled over by the police while we were driving on the highway. I don’t remember why or anything specific preceding the sirens, so it was probably for speeding. I remember this incident so clearly because I was shocked to see this father of mine, a giant to me and seemingly afraid of nothing, very visibly frightened.  He was a teacher. A man of high character with a strong standing in our community; wherever we went he commanded respect. I was shocked by how the cop spoke to him because I had never seen anyone speak to my father in such a disrespectful manner and just lurking beneath that disrespect was a very palpable and menacing threat.
Read More at Black Girl Dangerous

Bad Sex
by EG
I’ve mentioned in the past, I think, an impatience with what I have experienced as sex-positive feminists being unwilling to discuss negative experiences of sex, to dismiss them as not having “full consent” and therefore not being really sex, or something of that nature.  Sometimes I can feel quite alone in having had many experiences of sex that were really very bad.  And no, they weren’t rape.  They were experiences to which I fully and freely consented.  They were also experiences that were horrible, in some cases traumatic–but with one exception, I really don’t think they were rape (the exception I try not to think about).  I do think they are heavily inflected and dependent on a misogynist culture that keeps women from trusting themselves, feeling good about themselves, feeling good about their bodies, feeling confidence.  And maybe men have experiences like these too?  And just don’t talk about them?  I honestly don’t know.
Read More at Feministe

Cliff Huxtable is the Fantasy. Bill Cosby is the Reality.
by Aya de Leon
For the Black community, this is part of a strategy to rise above our subjugated past through the politics of respectability. This ideology dictates that Black women should get into a middle class or upwardly mobile heterosexual marriage and that will lead to the good life. Anyone who acts otherwise is considered not only to be making poor choices for herself, but to be bringing the whole community down. Adherents to the politics of respectability consistently pressure women to take on these roles and target any women who don’t conform: to have sex outside of a committed heterosexual relationship, to be queer, to be a sex worker are all threats to this respectability. To come forward as having been victimized by a pillar of the community is equally threatening; Respectability advocates will viciously defend anyone who represents this dream of success. Instead of listening to the women who say, over and over, that he abused them, Cosby’s defenders reposition him as the victim.
Read More at Bitch Media

Think of the Children! Tuesday: Maniac Magee and Reconciliation
by Deborah Pless
So what is Maniac Magee all about? Well, race relations for one thing. Also homelessness, child neglect, emotional abuse, starvation and suicidal ideation, death, and other super fun topics. And yet, for all this, it is a really fun book to read, and surprisingly quick. I got through it in about two hours, and it's not like I was weeping my way along.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Reading

Abuse in polyamorous relationships
by Shea Emma Fett
It’s difficult to talk about abuse. For me, I think it has been harder still because it was emotional abuse. I wish he would just hit me, I remember thinking. Then I would know that it is time to leave. Then all the weakness and self hatred would have an identifiable cause. Then I would understand why I don’t feel like I have a choice anymore in this relationship, why I don’t trust my own judgement, why I can’t seem to say no, why I end up sobbing and apologizing over and over again at the end of every conversation where I try to stand up for myself.
Read More at Medium

The Little Mermaid: Our Favorite Gothic Villain
by Stephanie Stott
It’s a common criticism to condemn Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid as the least feminist of the Disney Princesses. The argument goes something like: Ariel is a misogynist patriarchy’s dream girl because she alters her body[1], forsakes her family[2], and gives up her voice for a man she doesn’t know, a man who has the nerve to save her![3] And, without a voice, she can only attract Prince Eric with her appearance[4] and cannot actually give consent to be kissed[5]. However, I argue that the Little Mermaid is among the most feminist of the Disney Princesses because she exerts taboo forms of agency and is ultimately rewarded for these un-princess-like methods. Though cast in the position of damsel in distress, Ariel as a character exhibits all the trappings of a gothic villain (by which I do not mean to suggest that she is evil, but rather active and assertive, as such villains are). In this way, she is the first Disney heroine to have her cake (use her sexual, intellectual, and entrepreneurial agencies) and eat it, too (attain her own happy ending).
Read More at Reel Girl

Being a Rape Survivor on Public Transit
by Anonymous
I travel into a 9-5 job, Monday through Friday, with the rest of the world. To protect my identity, I won’t say what city I live in; suffice it to say that the public transit here is crowded and overloaded, just like it is in every other major city. I switch trains three times to get to work, so I get the brunt of the commuting horror. The nature of PTSD being what it is, I never know who will wear the same cologne as my ex, who might look like him from behind, or who sounds the same when they talk on the phone. I will never know when that might hit me or when, and that’s something I’ve had to come to terms with.
Read More at Persephone Magazine

Don't be afraid of Vagina Wolf
by Agata Ostrowska
"For beyond the difficulty of communicating oneself, there is the supreme difficulty of being oneself": rarely is the message of a film so accurately reflected in the motto that appears onscreen before the opening credits. This quotation from Virginia Woolf's The Common Reader perfectly applies to the situation Anna, the heroine, finds herself in. She's just turned 40, has no job, no girlfriend and lives in a friend's garage. Like Bridget Jones' older lesbian sister, she has a permanent list of birthday resolutions that remains unchanged year after year ("make a movie, lose 20 lbs, find a girlfriend"). She makes a living performing in her vagina costume.
Read More at The F Word

Other People’s Makeup Use: None Of Your Business
by ozymandias
Some might find this odd from a makeup-hating hairy-legged radical feminist, but the pro side is not wrong. Some women get a self-esteem boost from feeling like they’re presenting their best selves to the world. Some women think of makeup as armor they put on before battle. Some women consider makeup to be three minutes of self-care, time they take for themselves. The key word there, however, is some women.
Read More at Thing of Things

Black Feminist Blogger, Ep. 7: Two Degrees Separated

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Reading

Stoya and Melissa Gira Grant talk labour rights and sex work
by Zing Tsjeng
What do we talk about when we talk about sex work? Stoya and Playing the Whore author Melissa Gira Grant have both written extensively about how conversations about sex work need to include a discussion of work. That is, sex work is less about sex than it is about work; strippers, escorts and adult performers alike deserve the same rights, healthcare and protections that all employees deserve. In this head-to-head interview, the pair discuss how to get beyond the journalistic clichés of the industry and how sex workers are coming together to campaign for change and representation.
Read More at Dazed

New TV feature: women on panel shows
by Holly Combe
In February last year, BBC 2's comedy panel show Mock The Week installed a quota for female comedians, stipulating that at least one woman must appear on the panel per week. Danny Cohen, the director of the BBC, put this quota in place following advice from the BBC trust to urgently address the problem of the underrepresentation of women on television. This was sparked by a report commissioned by the Cultural Diversity Network that put the spotlight on panel shows such as Mock The Week and QI for only rarely representing women.
Read More at The F Word

“Hatred breeds hatred”: Charlie Hebdo, marginalisation and terrorism
by Guilaine Kinouani
Many remember the place of their upbringing with fondness and nostalgia. This may be particularly so for those who through life’s circumstances, have had to leave their childhood home behind. As a Parisian born and cité bred immigrant to the UK, for me the banlieue of Paris evokes memories of multicultural community and a sense of togetherness I have never experienced anywhere else. It makes me think of adolescent rebellion and the hiphop anthems which were the soundtrack to our youth. Since my departure I have constantly longed for the warmth and safety of those close knit communities, mainly made up of migrants, amongst whom my parents made their home amidst the dire deprivation around. However, returning to the cité after being away for many years was surreal. It feels like a different place.
Read More at Media Diversified

Are Comics Art?
by Paul Buhle
On a 1991 MOMA panel about comics and high art, up-and-coming avant gardist Art Spiegelman (still a few years away from a Pulitzer Prize and the fame of Maus) complained bitterly that for the art world, the historic importance of comics consisted in… making Roy Lichtenstein possible! For Spiegelman, the extraordinary achievements of comic artists across a century had thus been relegated to rough materials for the art of authentic mediocrity.

by Stacey Jay
If you don't know what happened to me last week regarding my cancelled Kickstarter and the insane backlash that followed, count your blessings. It was crazy, out of control ugly, and eventually escalated to a point that had me scared for the safety of my family.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday Reading

FRIENDS: Where Are They Now
Friends first aired just over 20 years ago. To celebrate its recent release on Netflix, let’s take some time to speculate where might be now. Rachel, the youngest of the group, would be 43. Ross and Phoebe, the oldest, would be 46. What has everyone been up to?
Read More at The Belle Jar

In Pursuit of Rim Jobs: How To Pretend To Your Boyfriend That Women Never Poo
Right now I’m single and every time I need a poo, I cherish the simplicity of wiping my bum and pulling my pants up, instead of jumping in the shower for a furtive bum wash. God, it’s a luxury. If I get skiddies in my knickers, I celebrate their presence as a brown striped flag of freedom. They don’t matter because no one’s up my bum.
Read More at The Vagenda

Why Do Brides ‘Trash The Dress?’
Allegedly, trashing the dress became a thing circa 2001 courtesy of Las Vegas wedding photographer, John Michael Cooper. Cooper may have gotten the idea as early as 1998 when he watched an episode of Sunset Beach, in which Meg Cummings threw a massive tantrum and her bridal self into the ocean after her wedding was interrupted. And from there an idea was born, “I can make this type of crazy, sexy.” With the average wedding dress costing $1,211, it’s hard to imagine why a bride would want to demolish a dress that Oscar de la Renta described as “the most important dress in the life of a woman,” so the question remains, why destroy it?
Read More at The Feminist Bride

Should We Be Outing Conservatives Who Are on Grindr?
by Heina Dadabhoy
As radically queer as I am, I’m not as unilaterally on board with outing closeted conservatives as I used to be. I watched OUTRAGE when it first came out and reacted gleefully to what I saw as justice served to hypocrites. My feelings have become a bit less clear as the years have gone by. It is rather disgusting when someone uses their power and privilege to have their cake and eat it, too. I have no qualms about outing someone who has, say, helped anti-LGBT legislation to pass while they live their lives merrily and as they please. Outing someone who identifies as a conservative but who isn’t actively pushing harm for LGBT folks, though, is a different matter.
Read More at Heinous Dealings

On ‘Brainwashing’ Your Children to Not Be Racist As$holes (a.k.a. Oakland’s Amazing Black Lives Matter Storytime-Rally for Kids)
This weekend, I attended an amazing event in Oakland, CA. On January 3, 2015, I took my 1 , 3, and 5 year old children, with husband in tow, to a Black Lives Matter Story Time, Teach-in, and Protest event for 2-8 year olds and their families. We loved it... My daughter is too young, at this time, to thoroughly understand systemic racism, but there is no harm in bringing her to social justice events to plant those seeds. As I go through the process of raising my 3 children, I have reminded myself time and time again, how grateful I am that my own parents planted similar seeds of social justice, critical thinking, and compassion into my mind when I was a wee one…
Read More at Sistah Vegan

The Lovebirds Devil Song

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Eve

One year, I traveled to Manhattan for New Year's Eve then walked from Penn Station to Gold Street. The further I got from Times['s] Square, the fewer people I saw. It was 2001 and the first time I had been back to the Financial District since right after the Towers fell. The air smelled clean and not at all like smoke and metal. At first I thought the street were empty, then I realized there were ghosts everywhere. I couldn't see them because they didn't believe in me.


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