Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Reading

How Men on Tinder React When Your Profile Says You’re Not There to Hook Up
by Kati Heng
How would men on Tinder treat someone who told them upfront she had a boyfriend? How would they treat a girl who asked to be left alone? And would it be different than how women would treat a boy saying the exact same things? Doug and I decided to set up Tinder profiles to see.
Read More at The Vagenda

What Is Authentically Harlem?
by Jeremiah Moss
Last week, the Columbia Spectator published an op-ed entitled "Is Columbia really destroying Harlem’s authenticity?" Written by first-year student Cristian Zaharia, it supports the school's expansion into Harlem, which was made possible via eminent domain. Zaharia argues that Harlem's authentic culture is not African-American, but one of ever-changing cultures dating back to the Dutch, and that the expansion "will be the start of a new, fresh era for the neighborhood." 
On his Facebook page, Harlem historian and activist Michael Henry Adams wrote a reasoned and impassioned response. It is reproduced here in full, with his permission
Read More at Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

Triumphing ‘Mad Men’s Peggy Olson
by Sarah Smyth 
In the proclaimed “golden age of television,” female characters, it seem, get a pretty raw deal. Not only is there a lack of female-driven shows (or, perhaps more accurately, a lack of critical consensus surrounding female driven shows), but there’s also a keen hatred towards any female characters deemed “unlikable.” Take, for example, Breaking Bad. Despite Walter White becoming a drug kingpin, murderer, and rapist, Skyler, his wife, elicited a vitriolic response from the audience. Most worryingly, as the actress who played Skyler, Anna Gunn, noted, this response was deeply rooted in sexism and misogyny: “I finally realized that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives. Because Skyler didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender.” 
Read More at Bitch Flicks

Leave me alone
by D H Kelly
Charlie Brooker's most recent Black Mirror drama, 'White Christmas', aptly demonstrates a gender divide in the concerns we might have about technology; men are afraid of being ignored, while women want to be left alone.
Read More at The F Word

US River Mapping
by Keir Clarke
Hydro Hierarchy is a map of the largest rivers in the United States and their monthly river flows. Select a river segment on the map and you can view a chart of its 2014 monthly river flow.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday Reading

What is Neo-Liberalism? A Revolutionary Analysis of the Final Stage of Imperialism
by Danny Haiphong
February is Black History Month. During the month, the historical struggle for Black self-determination is whitewashed, distorted, and packaged to fit the needs of the US imperialist empire. The concept of neo-liberalism rarely garners attention in dominant narratives of Black history. Yet, neo-liberal policy has largely determined the conditions of Black life in the US for almost four decades. In this study, neo-liberalism is examined in preparation for the "Get to Freedom Organize" Conference at Skidmore College. At the conference, I will discuss the roots of neo-liberalism in the context of white supremacy and capitalist development. This article concludes with the often overlooked connection between neo-liberal capitalist economics and the imperial warfare state.

by Diane Shipley
Mavis is truly transgressive. Not only is her plan against most people’s moral code, it shows no solidarity for the sisterhood and no respect for the institutions women are most conditioned to aspire to: marriage and motherhood. Mavis alienates feminists and traditionalists alike. Not that she cares–she only wants to appeal to men. And she has done so, seemingly effortlessly, for a long time.

by The Salafi Feminist
These are the women of the frontlines – not necessarily the women wielding swords and bandages, but those whose battles are fought on a different front, where their wounds are often invisible but no less painful than physical scars. These are the women who are left to tend the hearth but who tend to others’ hearts as well; the hearts of their husbands and children, while their own hearts struggle to remain strong.

by David Futrelle
A few days before alleged “men’s human rights” website A Voice for Men held its first convention last summer, the site’s founder and head boy Paul Elam put up a post imploring the alleged human rights activists planning to attend the event not to go around calling women bitches and whores and cunts, because the news media would be there, and this might make his little human rights movement look bad.

by Avy Stanford
I keep imagining things that never happened, dream of people I never met. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Reading

Domestic Violence Survivor Faces Child Abduction Charges, Deportation | #StandWithNanHui
This is a terrible story of the American legal system getting it really wrong. 
Nan-Hui Cho is a single mother of 6-year-old daughter Hwi. Cho is currently imprisoned in the Yolo County jail facing trumped up child abduction charges after she made the impossible decision to take her daughter home to South Korea, in hopes of escaping the physical and emotional abuse inflicted upon her by the child’s father, Iraq war veteran Jesse Charlton.
Read More at Reappropriate

The Moment I Realised I’d Never Had Consensual Sex
by Lauryn Flavin
In regards to our sexual histories, the initial confrontation and honest reflection may be emotional; it may tear at our strings of shame, bring our fears boiling to the top, but I’m an advocate for feeling those raw, first clenching emotions over the flat line reservation that indifference and silence perpetuate.
Read More at The Vagenda

'Fresh Off the Boat' and the Necessary Other-ing of White Culture
by Deborah Pless
While Eddie is the main character in name, with his character doing the voice over and serving as the central character for dramas and conflicts of the show, it's really Jessica who acts as the series lead. She's the one who, as a first generation immigrant, has to grapple every day with her mixed feelings about her newly adopted country. Louis is all about America and the American dream, while Emery and Evan are almost scary good at assimilating into the white culture of Orlando. So it falls to Jessica and Eddie to figure out who they are in this place. How does one be "in but not of" a prevailing culture?
Read More at Kiss My Wonder Woman

Safe Spaces
by Cheryl Morgan
As a general rule I think that comparing the oppression that one minority group gets to that another minority group gets is a bad idea. I get very irritated by people who, when on the receiving end of prejudice, go on social media and complain, “that wouldn’t have happened if I was xxx”, because of course quite likely it would. However, in this particular case I think a comparison will help illuminate the issue. My apologies if anyone is offended by it.
Read More at Cheryl's Musings

King Vidor’s ‘Stella Dallas’ and the Utter Gracelessness of Grace
by Rebecca Willoughby
For me, one of the best examples of this is King Vidor’s Stella Dallas (1937). IMDb gives this one-line summary of the film: “A low class woman is willing to do whatever it takes to give her daughter a socially promising future.” Film scholar Jeanine Basinger, author of A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women 1930-1960, takes a more sympathetic tone, calling Stella Dallas a “portrait of a poor girl who marries out of her class,” and notes that film icon Barbara Stanwyck’s performance as Stella is one of “great depth.” I would tend to agree with Basinger, but I must point out that the audience’s relationship to the eponymous woman is a complicated one.
Read More at Bitch Flicks

Discussing Interesting Contemporary Korean Slang - Greetings and Set Phrases

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Reading

Been sick for a week. Trying to get back in the swing of things.

Can We Stop: With the Sexist and Sexualized Food Ads
HEY, CARL’S JR. You’re bold. Bold as hell, in fact. It’s 2015. Feminism has never been more prominent in the cultural zeitgeist than it is at the moment, the call to portray women in a more nuanced light, as more than sexual objects existing for the sole pleasure of men, in the media has never been louder, and yet you have the audacity to release this commercial to promote your All-Natural Burger?
Read More at Lady Clever

On Malcolm, Martin and that X-Men Analogy Thing
by Phenderson Djèlí Clark
On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the activist, orator and the man once referred to in eulogy by the late Ossie Davis as “Our Shining Black Prince,” El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (most commonly known as Malcolm X), I quite foolishly decide to wade into that whole X-Men analogy thingy. Of course I’ve been warned. Of course I know better. But since when has that stopped me? So then, let’s do this thing.
Read More at PDjèlíClark

“Mama’s Here Now” and Dynamics of Sexual Trauma
by Rachel Redfern
“So let’s just roll out the complicated, inter-genertional, often racially influenced, issue of sexual assault in America in about 40 minutes and be pretty much exhaustively mind-blowing,” said How To Get Away With Murder last Thursday.
Read More at Bitch Flicks

5 Insane Things You Believe About Money (Thanks to Movies)
By David Wong
Raise your hand if you've ever been watching a movie that takes place in an apocalyptic, nightmarish future, saw how the people were living, and thought, "Hey, that's nicer than my place!"
Read more at Cracked

At the 2015 Oscars, Patricia Arquette Unintentionally Exposed White Feminism's Racist Blind Spot
by Chauncey DeVega
The unmarked “we” is a powerful and dangerous turn of speech. It deflects responsibility. It exists outside of history. It dances around questions of causality and ownership. It is an empty vessel and marker. It is lazy thinking that legitimates inequality and injustice.

How to Get Your Spouse to Clean! Tips for Sharing Cleaning Responsibilities (Clean My Spac

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Reading

George North and the slow death of the strong silent type
Athletes today are the antithesis of the strong silent type, and not necessarily by choice. They are analysed and measured, watched and reviewed more than almost anyone else outside of astronauts. In the back of George’s shirt on Saturday was a monitor that picks up a wealth of data about performance, heart rate and impacts – if you’ve ever wondered why rugby players are loath to swap shirts on the pitch these days it’s because a typical match day shirt will have over a thousand pounds worth of technology sewn into the back. Often players are substituted not because of what a  coach sees, but because the analyst looks up from his laptop and relays the critical data.
Read More at Sometimes, it's just a cigar

Western Apologies
by Somayra Ismailjee
Islamophobia has many faces. We saw it when millions marched under the banner of “Je suis Charlie” proclaiming support for freedom of speech – in reality, affirming the power of a viciously Islamophobic publication. We see it again now in the three young, promising Muslim lives taken by a white supremacist, a violent anti-theist, on Tuesday.
Read More at Media Diversified

The Day I (Almost) Became a Woman
by Key Ballah
I remember that day, standing in the doorway of my room, watching my cousin in all of his entitlement and liberty. One leg on the coffee table, the other draped over the couch, stretching and contorting Spider-Man’s poor face. I watched the women in our house cater to him, speak softly to him, tell him how handsome he was, how much he looked like his father. They let him be a 12-year-old boy. 
I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe how angry I was at him for this, or why. At the age of ten, my body had already begun to fill out. I was one of those girls who bypassed the training bra phase. I thought of the hushed ways in which my family talked to me about my body, the way buying bras in the women’s section was a secret, something my Aunties would talk about amongst themselves in concern and silent upheaval.
Read more at Love, InshAllah

A Body-Literate Society (The Case for Sex Ed Part 2)
by Jeana Jorgensen
As a folklorist, I’m aware that there are narratives and beliefs informally circulating in every society that may not be scientifically accurate. This is only a problem when there’s not an evidence-based program to rigorously counter these narratives (often urban legends) and beliefs. The book Did You Hear About the Girl Who…? Contemporary Legends, Folklore, & Human Sexuality by biologist Mariamne Whatley and folklorist Elissa Henken documents and interprets many of these folklore items which are currently in circulation.
Read More at Sex Ed with Dr. Jeana

Lost Wild High Line
by Jeremiah Moss
About a decade ago, Damon Hoydysh, founder of Highline Studios, climbed up onto the old, pre-gentrified High Line and shot a whole bunch of film--of the weedy wilderness and graffiti tunnels before they were turned into artisanal food courts and tourist outlooks.

He shares it here for a first exclusive look (be sure to watch on full screen)

See More at YouTube

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday Reading

The Complexities of Black Community Control of Police
by Glen Ford
A key activist in the early Sixties grassroots movement to overthrow American apartheid recently asked if the current Black Lives Matter campaign will be able to sustain itself. In the near term, the answer is almost certainly, yes. The momentum of the mobilization will be propelled forward by the dogged determination of a new generation of activists, building on the skills and experience of previously vetted organizers and the quickening, soul-wrenching drumbeat of police murder and repression. However, the nascent movement’s momentum will soon – very soon – propel it to a “Where do we go from here?” historical moment, when activists must choose whether to challenge the foundations of the system that made Black lives immaterial in the first place, or be sucked into the morass of patchwork reforms that enfeeble the movement while failing to alter relationships of power.
Read More at Black Agenda Report

Truly by Persons Unknown: Racial Erasure. The NY Times Discovers That Blacks Were Lynched...But Doesn't Name White People as the Killers
by Chauncey DeVega
the Times has produced a story about white racial terrorism and wicked violence against black humanity, but never directly names white Americans as the agents of evil
Read More at Chauncey DeVega

For Those of Us Who The World Is Not Ready, Qualified, Able, or Willing to Love: Happy Valentine’s Day
by Shaadi Devereaux
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. As we begin to wrap ourselves in the nostalgia of waxy discount chocolate and chalk-flavored hearts, we find ourselves turning to the question of love. On February 14, love and romance seem to take on a hypervisibility that can’t be avoided. Whether we are paired, single, looking, or some “it’s complicated” combo of all the above, we consider affairs of the heart. Amidst the smokey haze of floating red cellophane balloons, most of us who are interested at least ask the question, “Am I where I want to be in love?”
Read More at Black Girl Dangerous

Hey, America: It’s Not Just Sports Illustrated – It’s Most Magazines
by Shamikah Christina Martinez
On Monday, Sports Illustrated released its new, almost vagina revealing, cover for the 2015 swimsuit edition. This resulted in much parent outrage and lots of news articles discussing whether or not SI went too far this time. Maybe. But my question is, are people just as bothered by way women are shown on ALL magazine covers ALL the time? And that’s before you even get to the ads. So while everyone is up in arms about Sports Illustrated, maybe it’s a good time to talk about “Magazines Illustrated” too.
Read More at The Vagenda

It’s not that Azealia Banks and Kanye dislike Iggy and Beck, they may just care too much
by Ali M Latifi
As MC Lyte said: “Elvis made a bundle while we remained poor.”
Read More at Media Diversified

Paragraph 175

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesday Reading

‘Ex Machina’ and ‘Her': Dude, the Internet’s Just Not That Into You
by Brigit McCone 
There are enough similarities between the new release Ex_Machina and Spike Jonze’s 2013′ Oscar-winner Her to herald the birth of a minor genre, which I hereby dub “dude, the Internet’s just not that into you.” It bears some relation to the “female autonomy horror” genre of films like Lucy and Gone Girl, in which a woman’s being inscrutable, uncontrollable and smarter than the hero is associated with her being threatening, coldly emotionless, violent and/or Scarlett Johansson. It bears some relation to the “dude, porn and/or Scarlett Johansson’s just not that into you” romcom of Don Jon. It might even be connected with the “dude, Scarlett Johansson’s cold inscrutability is becoming autonomous, kill her with fire” genre of Under the Skin. There’s a trend here, is what I’m saying. Compare 1975 feminist classic The Stepford Wives, with its radical concept that a woman being compliant and robotic was a creepy thing. Surely, moving from a horror of female robots to a horror of female autonomy is a step backward for womankind? So why do these films, Ex Machina and Her, feel like a step forward? The answer is their honesty about male psychology.
Read More at Bitch Flicks

Brian Williams Misremembers and the Wrong Turn of the Men’s Rights Movement
by Aya de Leon
NBC’s Brian Williams claimed to have been shot down in a helicopter in Iraq. Last week that lie was exposed by one of the men on the aircraft, and Williams has apologized for his “mistake in recalling.” Shortly thereafter, hilarious memes appeared, including Brian Williams “misremembering” landing on the moon, sitting at Martin Luther King’s feet for the “I Have A Dream” speech, riding in a car with Tupac, and inventing Sesame Street. Yet, while the Twitterverse has been publicly shaming him with the #BrianWilliamsMisremembers hashtag, I can’t help but draw a connection to the Men’s Rights Movement.
Read More at Aya de Leon

The Dirty Little Secret of Internationalization of Higher Education
by Dr. Ali Khorsandi Taskoh
Internationalization has become a significant feature of the higher educational landscape in North America. Canadian universities aim to become the 21st century leader in international education. These institutions are planning to double the population of international students in the coming five years. The government has changed immigration policies in order to attract more international students. Yet, Canadian institutions are struggling to attract top talent foreign students. Their administrators are just chasing and hunting applicants from around the world to generate more financial resources to run institutions efficiently.
Read More at Conditionally Accepted

Why Getting An Abortion Was The Best Decision of My Life
There are probably many people who, while reading this, are able to pinpoint my fatal flaw.  Antibiotics and birth control do not mix well.  In fact, antibiotics make birth control quite useless.  I shouldn’t have been too surprised when, five weeks later, I was extremely puzzled over my sore breasts, constant fatigue, and new difficulties in working out at the gym.  I routinely skip the non-hormonal pills if I’m not feeling like having a period, so there was no giant “I’m late” talk with my husband.  Nobody, not even my doctor, warned me of this interaction.
Read more at The Vagenda

Changing Attitudes on Menstruation in Australia
by Rosie Sheb’a
Many questions have come up recently about why my focus is on Australia, when there are so many places that appear “worse off” than we are that I could be focussing my attention on. You may have seen the recent media coverage (Huffpost, Upworthy and the likes) about the great stuff happening with menstrual cups in Africa. These posts get so much attention not only because they are in popular media, but because they give the reader that “feel good” sensation that there are people doing worse than them, and that someone is out there helping them. However, I feel that here in Australia, in the area of menstruation and women’s knowledge of our own bodies, we are actually doing pretty abysmally.
Read More at the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Winky Blinky Flirty Time featuring Flula Borg

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Reading

Policing Our Girls
by Sikivu Hutchinson
“Let them haul the little monster out of school and into jail”.  These were the words of a commenter on’s site responding to an article on the handcuffing of a six year-old black girl named Salecia Johnson at a Georgia elementary school in 2012.  Disproportionately targeted by zero tolerance discipline policies, black preschool and elementary school children have the highest rates of suspension and expulsion in the U.S.  While demonizing black children has always been a treasured American tradition, little black girls have never been included in white heterosexual gender norms of sugar and spice and everything nice.  From Topsy to Sambo to Buckwheat, the specter of the wild borderline criminal black pickaninny, destined to come to a violent end, helped frame narratives of white childhood innocence and American national identity from the 19th century to the present.  The hapless motherless Topsy, a black girl caricature featured in the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was one of the first and most enduring minstrel images of black children under slavery.  In the book, Topsy is contrasted with the virginal angelic character of Little Eva, the white daughter of a “benevolent” slaveowner.  The fount of moral goodness, Eva forgives Topsy her thievery and “heathen” ways, making her promise that she will become a good Christian.
Read More at Black Fem Lens

Blurred Lines: The Cinematic Appeal of Rape Fantasy
by Brigit McCone
The Myth Of Male Power by Warren Farrell (PhD, of course) is arguably the intellectual foundation of Men’s Rights Activism (MRA). It is also notorious for its rape apologism, using female fondness for fictional rape fantasy to argue that men should not be prosecuted for date rape, as long as they are “trying to become her fantasy.” For the record, I don’t believe rape fantasies cause rape. In the real world, desire is not so easily misunderstood. What rape fantasy does feed, as Farrell illustrates, is rape apologism. Our cultural models of “romanticized rape” shape the excuses of rapists and encourage their general acceptance. We might respond by pointing out that women consent to rape fantasy automatically, just by imagining it, by turning the pages as they read or by opening their eyes to watch on-screen. Since rape fantasy is consensual, it has nothing in common with the violation of actual rape. But with the often coercive “romance” of Fifty Shades of Grey set to rule the box office, now is a good time to ask: what actually is the cinematic appeal of rape fantasy?
Read More at Bitch Flicks

Yes, It Matters That #AAPI Bloggers were Left Off The #FreshOffTheBoat Bus
Now, the folks behind Fresh Off The Boat are in hot water again for another marketing misstep related to the sitcom. Last month, Disney-ABC (the parent television group that oversees both Disney and ABC Television products) invited a bunch of people to an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles (#ABCTVEvent) to preview and meet the cast and crew of five shows and movies — including a number that intersect with the identities of communities of colours such as Fresh Off The Boat, Big Hero 6, and McFarland USA. 24 bloggers — many of them mommy bloggers — were flown out to participate in this invitation-only junket; not a single one was Asian American.
Read More at Reappropriate

A Terrorizing Mythology : On the 100th Anniversary of Birth of a Nation
by Phenderson Djèlí Clark
On Feb. 8 1915, D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation premiered in American theaters. The film depicted the Civil War, its aftermath and Reconstruction. Though billed as “history” by its director, Birth of a Nation instead offered up an alternate past. In this retelling of historical events, Reconstruction was discriminatory towards whites, African-Americans were oppressive tyrants; and the film’s heroes were the Ku Klux Klan, chivalrous protectors of civilization and white womanhood. This was a purely speculative tale, but one that was supported by popular racial ideologies, Southern nostalgia, academic schools of thought, and even the writings of a U.S. president. Hailed as a “masterpiece,” Birth of a Nation revolutionized film making as we know it. For white America, it offered a chance at reconciliation between a white North and a white South. For African-Americans everywhere, however, it was a terrorizing mythology, that posed existential dangers if not confronted directly.
Read More at PDjeliClark

I Do Trans History, With Penguins
by Cheryl Morgan
The point of the talk was to prove [Sheila] Jeffreys not just wrong, but spectacularly and hilariously wrong. In pursuit of this objective I took a lightning tour through 2000 years of history and all five continents, producing evidence of the existence of, and social acceptance of, trans people in many different cultures and at many different times in history. The only thing different about the 20th century was a step change in the medical technology available, and a start on reversing the drastic curtailment of trans rights that took place in Western Europe in the past few hundred years. Hopefully my audience went away understanding that the negative view we have of trans people in the UK, and throughout Western “civilization”, is the exception rather than the rule.
Read More at Cheryl's Mewsings

Iliza Shlesinger - Lying Brian - This Is Not Happening - Uncensored

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The Freezing Man: Identifying My Dream Audience

Men often ask themselves, when they are distracted from their daily patriarchy by a chance encounter with feminism, feminists, or feminist thoughts (or more often the person reminding them that feminism is a thing), "But what about teh menz?"

It's even a meme.

But what about the men?

Are men worth saving? Or have they had a good run? Is now as good a time as any to finally give masculinity the boot?

Well... maybe some types of masculinity.

Even some of the bro-iest bros in bro town are willing to admit that men are a problem, otherwise, they wouldn't defend themselves by saying #notallmen.

To quote Samuel L. Jackson from 187, "Macho is bullshit."

And it's easy to villainize machismo, but it's only one of the broad spectrum of male behaviors and personality types that are destructive, harmful to women, and generally beneath the men who are actively engaged in their practice and proliferation.

So what is a boy to do?

Well, this post is part of a series for the Blogging 101 course offered for free by the excellent people at The Daily Post and the prompt for this post is to identify the readership you desire to attract by writing a post for the ideal reader.

And while I do a lot of thinking, and reading, about feminism, for whom could I write?

As someone who primarily identifies as masculine, writing about feminist issues for women feels patronizing. So when I think of the audience I would like to attract, ideally the topics I write about are addressed to men, but I think of the audience members as genderless, or genderqueer.

My perfect audience would read something I've written and say to themselves, "I really have to show this to X." Where X equals someone who is need of a feminist conciousness raising, but who is having trouble making that final step.

Because finding something is easy when you go looking for it, but if you don't know something is missing, how are you even supposed to start the search?

Macho men are easy to pick on because the macho ethos is predicated on the possession of, or willingness to use, force. However, raising someone's consciousness by force is worse than useless. Shine a light in someone's eyes and it prevents them from seeing anything else.

My ideal audience needs a light on their shoulder, so that they may look wherever they like, but wherever they look, there is no darkness.

For that person, I submit this short parable:
A man bought a house with ten rooms, but only used three. He slept in one, cooked in the other, and shit in the third. The thermostat was in the fourth room. For as long as the man lived there, he bitterly complained of the cold.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Reading

The Lasting Legacy of Florynce Kennedy, Black Feminist Fighter
by Sherie M. Randolph
 SEVERAL DECADES AFTER the 1960s political upheavals, very few people recognize the name of the Black feminist lawyer and activist Florynce “Flo” Kennedy (1916-2000). However, during the late 1960s and 1970s Kennedy was the country’s most well-known Black feminist. When reporting on the emergence of the women’s movement, the media covered her early membership in the National Organization for Women (NOW), her leadership of countless guerilla theatre protests and her work as a lawyer helping to repeal New York’s restrictive abortion laws. Indeed, Black feminist Jane Galvin-Lewis and white feminists Gloria Steinem and Ti-Grace Atkinson credit Kennedy with helping to educate a generation of young women about feminism in particular and radical political organizing more generally.
Read More at Solidarity
Corollary: Remember Susan Faludi's obituary for Shulamith Firestone "Death of a Revolutionary" for The New Yorker? It doesn't mention Florynce Kennedy at all.

‘AHS:Coven': Gabourey Sidibe’s Queenie as an Embodiment of the “Strong Black Woman” Stereotype
by Cate Young
I love American Horror Story: Coven. But even though I had immediately made the connection to the racialized violence against Black bodies this season, I hadn’t picked up on [Nichole] Perkins’ perspective of Queenie as an SBW. After seeing the episode “The Replacements,” I not only vehemently agree with her, I also want to expand on her observations.
Read More at Bitch Flicks

When men are rejected they demand answers: On the ubiquity of male butthurtedness
by Meghan Murphy
Today, Daniel Jones, the editor of [The New York Times’ Modern Love] column, published an article reflecting on the kinds of submissions he receives — particularly the difference between submissions from women and men. Some of his findings...
Read More at Feminist Current

For Colored Girls Who Are Violently Quoted King When Their Own Words Are Enough
by Mia McKenzie
In my recent piece about Ferguson and so-called “violence” of protestors, I touched on the fact that racists, both liberal and conservative, who don’t value the lives of black people, love to quote Martin Luther King to us, in feeble attempts to silence us when we get too radical for their liking. In that piece, I explained why Martin Luther King’s views on “riots” were complex and why, regardless of what he thought or said, I and many other black people, including many of King’s own contemporaries, simply don’t/didn’t agree with him on many, many things.
Read More at Black Girl Dangerous

Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism, But That’s Not The Point. Stop Being Ableist.
And for the love of Pete can we please stop talking about how autistic people have no light in their eyes or no soul or whatever. First of all, that’s vampires you’re thinking of – they’re the ones without souls. second of all, how can you talk about real, living people like that? Would you tell Temple Grandin to her face that the “light” (whatever that even means) is missing from her eyes? If you went to a book reading by John Robison, would you greet him afterwards with the words “so, what’s it like not having a soul? Do you still have a reflection? Can you eat garlic? Do you sleep in a coffin?”
Read More at The Belle Jar

Gaming as Other: Sex, Consent, and Game Mechanics

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thursday Reading

Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive: White Americans Did the Same Thing to Black People by the Many Thousands
by Chauncey DeVega
American Exceptionalism blinds those who share its gaze to uncomfortable facts and truths about their own country. 
For almost a century, the United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as least as gruesome as the "Medieval" punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes. 
What is now known as "spectacular lynching" involved the ceremonial torture, murder--and yes, burning alive--of black Americans by whites. Like ISIS's use of digital media to circulate images of the torturous death of Muadh al Kasasbeh by fire, the spectacular lynchings of the black body were shared via postcards and other media.
Read More at Chauncey DeVega

Malcolm X Was Right About America
by Chris Hedges
Malcolm X, unlike Martin Luther King Jr., did not believe America had a conscience. For him there was no great tension between the lofty ideals of the nation—which he said were a sham—and the failure to deliver justice to blacks. He, perhaps better than King, understood the inner workings of empire. He had no hope that those who managed empire would ever get in touch with their better selves to build a country free of exploitation and injustice. He argued that from the arrival of the first slave ship to the appearance of our vast archipelago of prisons and our squalid, urban internal colonies where the poor are trapped and abused, the American empire was unrelentingly hostile to those Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth.” This, Malcolm knew, would not change until the empire was destroyed.
Read More at Black Agenda Report

Can we talk? Can we?
by GirlGriot
I don’t think my white friends are looking for any kind of kudos for being the nice, intelligent, funny, caring, supportive people they are. I don’t think they expect me to thank them for not being racists. I don’t think any of that. But I do find myself running aground in some conversations, and I’m struggling to figure out what to do about it, how to keep the conversations going while keeping my friendships going.
Read More at if you want kin, you must plant kinship

Watching the Detectives
by Jagdish Patel
The Monitoring Group has often been approached to support people who report police misconduct. Recently, we were approached by a young Jamaican women from North London who had been beaten by a police officer in Great Ormond Street Hospital. Her daughter had been sick since she was a newborn and she had fought hard ever since to keep her alive. A planned short stay at the hospital turned into a six week ordeal. At one point she had to plead with doctors not to switch off the life support machine. One day she refused to leave her daughter when the Consultant asked her, and the police were called.
Read More at Media Diversified

When You Become the Oppressive “Ally”: Asians, Anti-Blackness, and Accountability
by Alex-Quan Pham
I am sharing the elevator with a white woman. She looks at me for several seconds before asking, “Are you a foreign exchange student?”
Read More at Black Girl Dangerous

Alicia Witt Performs "Consolation Prize" | The Queen Latifah Show

See More at YouTube

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday Reading

The Life and Times of Suge Knight: A waste of entrepreneurial genius
by Nels Abbey
Marion ‘Suge’ Knight is one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time. Not ‘black entrepreneur’ or ‘hip-hop entrepreneur’ or ‘street entrepreneur’. There is nothing required to qualify that statement or detract from it.
Read More at Media Diversified

Why Can’t We Get A Strong Female Lead in a Cop Show Without Violence Against Women?
By Aya de Leon
I see a trend over the past 20+ years: cop shows offer female audiences what we’ve been craving—strong, complicated, brilliant women protagonists—yet there seems to be a sexual violence “trade-off.” Older, more experienced women get to be powerful investigators, but the cases they get to investigate include disproportionate (and graphic) representations of violence against younger women and girls.
Read More at KQEDPop

Nancy Reagan Turned Down Rock Hudson’s Plea For Help Nine Weeks Before He Died
by Chris Geidner
Rock Hudson was desperately trying to get treatment for AIDS in France in 1985. Much of that story has been told, but one part hasn’t: After a simple plea came in for White House help to get Hudson transferred to another hospital, First Lady Nancy Reagan turned down the request.
Read More at BuzzFeed

Sex History: A Response To Rashida Jones And Her Critics
by Juniper Fitzgerald
Rashida Jones, one of the producers of Hot Girls Wanted, a new documentary on the amateur porn industry, recently proclaimed that women do not derive pleasure from performing in porn. “It’s performative,” she explains, “women aren’t feeling joy from it.” She proceeds to ask, “What is the real cost [of performing in porn] to your soul and to your psyche?”
Read More at Tits and Sass

I’m Back! (With Caveats…)
by Trudy
I have been either low output or completely away from blogging and writing on Gradient Lair for a couple of months for some semblance of self-care. I say “semblance” because pausing from writing doesn’t pause by the minute/hourly abuse on Twitter and hourly/daily abuse on Tumblr that I receive. It’s just time for me to try to rest and think. 
Read More at Gradient Lair

Just a Couple : The Big Chicken [EP 2]

See More at YouTube

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday Reading

Tips for Understanding Black History Month- 2015 Edition
by Phenderson Djèlí Clark
It’s that time of year again, Black History Month. Beginning every February in the United States, the country sets aside 28 (or 29 in a leap year) days to celebrate, discuss and engage Black History. Innocuous enough. And yet what seems to happen every Feb. 1st, is the beginning of a 28-days long ritual of whining (how come they get their own month?), misconceptions and endless micro-aggressive racial faux-pas. And this isn’t just from the usual sky boxes of white privilege; there are black people (some of them noteworthy) who wade into…well…the stupid. So here are a few tips to better understand the month, both for those who have to endure the stupid and for those who might be enticed to engage in the stupid.
Read More at PDjeliClark

Worse than a Defeat
by James Meek
In the morning, I left the village where I’d spent the night, the village where, in the ninth century, a famous king had beaten the army of a northern warlord. I climbed a steep path to a high plateau and walked along dusty tracks. There was gunfire in the distance. In the early afternoon I rested on a hilltop, on the ramparts of ancient fortifications whose shape was outlined in soft bulges and shadings on the slopes. Down in the fertile flatlands, I could see rows of the armoured behemoths Britain bought to protect its troops in Afghanistan from roadside bombs, painted the colour of desert sand and crowded around the maintenance sheds of a military base. There was a roar from the road below and the squeak of tank tracks. A column of Warriors clanked up the hill. The Warrior is a strong fighting vehicle. It can protect a team of soldiers as it carries them into battle. Bullets bounce off it. A single inch-thick shell from its cannon can do terrible damage to anything unarmoured it hits. But these Warriors looked tired. They came into service in the late 1980s, just as the Cold War they’d been designed for was ending, and Afghanistan has a way of diminishing and humbling military technology.

by Chris Kornelis
"As long as you can measure the difference, the CD will be better than the vinyl, absolutely," says Kees A. Schouhamer Immink, a former Philips engineer in the Netherlands, who was a member of the Sony/Philips task force that created the compact disc standards. "But if you say the whole experience — just like smoking cigars with friends — [is better], well, do it. Enjoy smoking cigars with friends, and drink beer and brandy and enjoy listening to an old-fashioned record player. But don't say the sound is better.

by BA Colangelo
Promoted as "DIE HARD in a room," director Joe Lynch's thrilling shoot-em-up flick EVERLY would seem on paper to be just another run-of-the-mill misogynist action/horror film.  The story follows the titular Everly, a prostitute who works for a brutal criminal overlord named Taiko.  When it is discovered that Everly is being traitorous (by trying to bring down his organization) he promises that by the end of the night (sometime around Christmas) she will be murdered.  He sends his men to torture, rape, and kill her, but Everly does everything in her power to fight back, and try and make it out alive.  Prostitution, violence, rape, and torture are some of the quickest "go-to" storytelling tactics in a woman-hating film, but EVERLY is unexpectedly an incredibly feminist film.

by Rebecca Watson
The other day, I was thrilled to spot a link someone posted on social media pointing to an article titled “The Last Acceptable Prejudice.” I was excited because for the past two decades, I’ve been a casual collector of things that people claim is the Last Acceptable Prejudice (LAP). I’ve heard of LAPs from boyfriends, relatives, casual acquaintances, and of course from op-ed writers for years, and amazingly, very few LAPs ever match one another.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Who I Am and Why I’m Here

For it had bene an auncient tree, 
Sacred with many a mysteree"Februarie" by Edmund Spenser, from The Shepheard's Calendar

I am Sex Mahoney and this is where I blog.

Lately, I have had several people call me "blogger" with an insulting intent that makes little sense. With magazines dying, and books mortally wounded, even acclaimed authors are now bloggers in that almost every writer has by now had at least one piece published primarily on the web, for the web, and usually to a blog.

We are all bloggers.

So it's strange to hear people use it as an insult.

I suppose people must have done the same with other written media. Like some poet once turned to the author of a novel and looked down their nose as they hurled the epithet "novelist." Or a scribe, upon looking up from their wet clay tablet so recently imprinted with the latest adventures of Gilgamesh, and beheld a contemporary dipping an instrument into a pot of liquid and laughed with the other chiselers about all the new "inkers" and how the trend was never going to catch on.

I am a blogger, and proud of it.

So in the interest of sprucing up this blog (which has lately been mostly link roundups of other -- better -- blogs), I signed up for a class called Blogging 101.

Each day, a new topic is assigned and the participating bloggers are obliged to explore it.

The first topic is the title of this post "Who I Am and Why I'm Here."

This is my very roundabout way of describing that.

Who I am is Sex Mahoney although that is not my only name. Sex Mahoney is the name I use when I am writing here.

I also post comics here, which I sign as Sex Mahoney. My parents gave me a name, and I use that in person. Various friends have given me various nicknames, but when I stop seeing those friends that name fades away like the friendships. Sex Mahoney is the name I gave myself. It is not my only pseudonym, but it is my favorite.

Sex Mahoney is also the name of a fictional character in a screenplay I wrote a long time ago. Like most screenplays, it's probably not very good, but I haven't read it in many years so there's a possibility it could be. I'm afraid to read it because it's been so long since I wrote it, and if it's not good, I'll either be tempted to fix it or I'll die of embarrassment. In my memories, it's a good story. Probably best to leave it at that.

I am here because I want to blog more and get back into the practice of writing for myself.

I have written for all kinds of reasons, but some of the most satisfying writing I have ever done is for little or no monetary reward at my own pace and pleasure. Sometimes, it is satisfying to write for others, because it offers limitless potential for external validation. The rest of the time, I prefer to write on my own, about esoteric things, and to a small audience.

Although the audience may be small, they are a necessary part of my writing process. Over the years, I have tried my hand at journaling, but writing completely for myself feels just as isolating as being me. I spend all day in my head, talking to and telling myself stories. It's not as permanent, but it's more rewarding than journaling, for which I lack the necessary discipline or interest.

I try to write about a diverse range of topics, but I often circle back to popular entertainments like books, films, cartoons, music, history, and other arts. Once upon a time, I tried to write political satire, but I'm even more afraid to read that than I am my screenplays.

I sometimes read political blogs to learn their secrets, so that I can one day write about politics without sounding dumber than I think I am. Sometimes, I just think I really am that dumb.

But one of the writing prompts asked with whom we (that is the people participating in Blogging 101) were hoping to connects and I'm not sure how I want to connect with people. I want to write, I want people to read what I have written, and I want to read what other people write so I can learn about new topics from fresh perspectives.

I used to comment on every blog I read, but then I realized I could be a troll. I'm not very nice and even in person I have a hard time not offending people either by failing to read their social cues or saying something weirdly offensive. I'm not squeamish, and people can find that jarring, especially if I don't go out of my way to moderate my offensive speech. In person, I try very hard to be inoffensive. On paper, I'm like someone who farts in an elevator: Far too concerned with my own comfort to the point that I make the environment uncomfortable for the people around me.

I don't want to be a troll.

Although, the solitude might be nice.

"Swan Dive" by Ani DiFranco at House of Blues of Cleveland, OH


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