Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday Reading



Pillars of Eternity: Transphobic “Joke” Discovered in Crowdfunded Contribution
by Alisha Karabinus
Earlier today, Twitter user Erika Imperial (@icequeenerika) posted a screenshot of Pillars of Eternity, calling creators Obsidian Entertainment out for the inclusion of a Kickstarter-backer’s paid message, a message about the “horror” of discovering a lover was in fact transgender. Erika pulled in noted critic Katherine Cross, and the screenshot began to spread. Cross wrote extensively, and is still responding as I write this; commentator and critic John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, also stepped into the fray with a recorded message defending the inclusion of the memorial.
Read More at Not Your Mama's Gamer


Trial Rescheduled: Minor Witness Dies in Fire... 
This is such an incredibly sad story.  An 11-year old girl and her deaf grandparents died in a house fire in  Youngstown, Ohio.  It is being reported that the young girl was also deaf.  Around 3:30 this morning the neighbors heard a loud explosion followed by a second explosion.  One neighbor said the entire house was engulfed in flames from the bottom up after she heard the explosions.  The little girl was to appear as a witness in the trial against the man charged with raping her.... 
Read More at Prinniefied


Why Insist That Polyamory Is Not for You?
by Heina Dadabhoy
Once upon a time, I was that person who thought that all straight people were secretly non-monosexual; after all, hadn’t I mistakenly identified as straight for years? Later, after wholeheartedly adopting the poly label, I also believed that all monogamous people were probably non-monogamous, and that they, like me, needed just a little awareness to realize their true selves.
Read More at Heinous Dealings


We Need Diverse Books: Young Adult and Children’s Books I Love (and want to write…)
by Aya de Leon
Confession time: I read a lot of young adult books. It started when I was doing research for my my feminist heist novel, which will be published by Kensington Books next year. My book is decidedly not for young people, but when I searched for heist books with female protagonists, Ally Carter’s book ’s Heist Society came up. That book led me to her teen spy girls series and then to Robin Benway’s spy girl series.
Read More at Aya de Leon


Black, British & Muslim; We’re not just a “Complication”
by Momtaza Mehri
The last UK census undertaken in 2011 showed that Black Muslims made up 10.1% of the British Muslim population, not counting Muslims of mixed Black heritage. The British Black Muslim reality is whispered in hushed tones, it is the Jamaican converts frequenting inner-city mosques, the Nigerian doctors administering your prescriptions, Somali working mothers who nurse the aged in recession-hit care homes. We navigate a precipice few would want to tiptoe in 21st century Britain; the two-pronged realities of unbridled Islamophobia and established racism.
Read More at Media Diversified


#SaveNYC 85 yr old ADELE SARNO Being EVICTED by Italian American Museum 3/28/15



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Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Reading




Is Men’s Rights hate site A Voice for Men melting down before our eyes?
by David Futrelle
AVFM’s head cheese Paul Elam has long fantasized about becoming King of the MGTOWs, which would help him build up his Flying Monkey army and turn Men Going Their Own Way into Money Going Into Paul Elam’s Pockets. In doing so, he seems to have alienated virtually all of those who consider themselves MGTOWs.
Read More at We Hunted the Mammoth


You Should Know: Kristina Campbell and The Intestinal Gardener
by DNLee
The Intestinal Gardener blog explores different topics on the science of gut microbiota. The blog  focuses on practical applications of the science and also includes in depth book reviews of texts related to the microbiome. Ms. Gardner originally established as a way to help her make sense of her own digestive issues. The blog is her own journey in coming to understand the research in this area and she applies the lessons learned in her own life. As a result, you will notice how she frames her blog posts and the language of discussing microbiota. Her blog also highlights different scientist in the field and discuss the work they are doing.
Read More at Scientific American


The paintings of Manuela Sambo
by Minna Salami
Manuela Sambo’s art makes me feel the same way that Yvonne Vera’s novels do. Her pieces make me (longingly) identify with a kind of primal power that women possess but, following centuries of brainwashing, that we are unaccustomed with. Like Vera’s, Sambo’s work seems to be in search of a world of poetic essence, caring deeply about the subjects who unveil this mesmerising world. It is a world of story, character, symbolism, detail, sensuality, motherhood, power and synchretism.
Read More at MsAfropolitan


The dream of 1990s Riot Grrrl is alive and well in 2015
by Lusana Taylor
My 16-year-old self would be very jealous of me tonight. Not only am I spending the evening in The Roundhouse, a venue just up the road from Camden Market (the height of cool to an earnest, band T-shirt wearing teenage goth with a penchant for incense sticks), but I'm also here to see a band that defined my understanding of the term 'girl crush'. Sleater-Kinney is the amalgamation of two original Riot Grrrl acts (Corin Tucker of Heavens to Betsy and Carrie Brownstein of Excuse 17) and one of the cornerstones of my feminist awakening. The only thing that differs between my 16 and 26-year-old selves as I wait for the venue to open, is that the 26-year-old is extremely relieved to have seated tickets as, these days, standing up for three hours produces the kind of aches and pains the 16-year-old would never have had to contend with.
Read More at The F Word


IT FOLLOWS: An Exercise in Sexuality
by Brittney-Jade Colangelo
IT FOLLOWS tells the story of a girl named Jay (Maika Monroe), when after having sex with a prospective boyfriend named Hugh (Jake Weary), is drugged and tied to a chair.  When she awakes, Hugh explains to her that he has been harboring a secret, that a shape-shifting entity has been following him and by sleeping with her, it's going to now follow her instead.  While it would be quick to dismiss this concept as ridiculous, let us not forget that we all once believed that a razor glove wearing, burned face ghost that could shape shift and kill us in our dreams was a solid premise.  The film was released in minimal theaters and did so well, it garnered a wide release.  This never happens for independent horror films, let alone an independent horror film that is earning points solely on its merits (and not because it has a twenty-year fan base backing it up. I'm looking at you, TUSK).





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday Reading



The trauma of a gifted child whose mother was Alice Miller
by Maya Sela
Alice Miller (1923-2010) was a psychologist who studied childhood and became an icon in the field for her first book “The Drama of the Gifted Child,” which has sold millions of copies worldwide since its 1982 publication. She wrote about the ruinous role of education, castigated the use of violence against children, and analyzed the destructive relationship between parents and children. 
Given this background, it comes as a surprise to meet her son, Martin Miller, 64, who was in Israel last month. His autobiography, “The True ‘Drama of the Gifted Child’,” was published recently in Germany and France. Alice Miller’s own German and American publishers declined to publish it. The reason, says Miller, who wrote the book in German, is that “they are afraid they will no longer make a profit from her books.”
Read More at Haaretz


‘Trainspotting’ Is ‘Pretty Woman’ For Boys
by Brigit McCone
Consider the openings: Renton runs down the road to the voiceover of the iconic “choose life” monologue, before colliding with a car. The camera shares the perspective of the car’s occupants, stalled in their protective shell of metal, as this threatening creature of countercultural anarchy peers in at them. And laughs. Now consider our camera sharing Richard Gere’s perspective, stalled in the protective shell of his luxury vehicle, as the threatening prostitute of countercultural anarchy peers in at him. And laughs.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


Is Religion Really a Choice?
by Heina Dadabhoy
Most people, religious or not, will claim to have selected their own belief system or lack thereof without compulsion or too much in the way of influence. At the same time, many (if not most) are ready, willing, able, and even eager to point out the environmental and other external factors that lead others to their disparate religious choices.
Read More at Heinous Dealings


#WhiteHistoryMonth: Britain’s Racist Election
by Elliot Ross
The story is remarkable (for a fuller write-up, check Stuart Jeffries’ piece for the Guardian from last year) and well worth repeating. For example, we find out that it was Cressida Dickens, the 9-year-old daughter of a Conservative party strategist, who coined the infamous slogan: “If you want a n***** for a neighbour, vote Labour.” She says the slogan occurred to her after chanting the rhyme “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a n***** by the toe” in the school playground.
Read More at Africa Is A Country


'Cinderella' Gives The Titular Character A Personality - Yay!
by Deborah Pless
My problem with Cinderella, at least the animated one, has always been that Cinderella never really *does* anything. She never chooses anything, and as far as you can tell in the movie, she doesn't have any control over her life or what happens to her. She seems to just drift through the world, falling into things. And sure, she's nice and sweet and kind, but it seems less like a personality trait and more like the drugged smile of someone on a lot of mood stabilizers. Trust me. I would know.
Read More at Kiss My Wonder Woman


Oldest footage of New York City ever



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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday Reading



Everything You Know About History Is Wrong
by Eleanor Dickens
In 1167 a sixty-five year old woman died in Rouen. She left behind a son on the English throne – which she had been instrumental in securing for him – and in so doing established the Plantagenet house that would rule England for nearly three hundred years. She would also remain for another four hundred years the first and only woman to be Queen of England in her own right. Among her long list of bad-ass accomplishments she once escaped a siege by dressing in a white cape and simply walking out through the snow and the hundreds of troops surrounding her castle. Her name was Empress Matilda; Queen, astute politician, opinionated and intelligent – but her epitaph at Rouen Cathedral? “Great by Birth, Greater by Marriage, Greatest in her Offspring: Here lies Matilda, the daughter, wife, and mother of Henry” – effectively eliminating her personal history and leaving her simply a daughter, wife and mother. But as it goes, she’s actually lucky to have a memorial at all.
Read More at The Vagenda


Pass the Milk- In Defense of “Hardcore” Gaming
by Wendi Sierra
I’d ask you to do a quick google image search for the phrase “hardcore gamer”, but if you’re familiar with gaming at all you don’t need to. Heck, you probably wouldn’t need to even if you weren’t very familiar with gaming, because everyone knows what a hardcore gamer looks like- a disheveled young white dude (using “dude” in the truest sense of the word here) playing games in a dirty room looking angry. Two weeks ago Jennifer wrote a great post looking at the stereotypes and judgments often made about casual gaming. I completely agree that the arbitrary dismissal of casual games/gamers is a problem, but I’d argue that the way we think about what it means to be a hardcore gamer is part of the same problem: values judgements about games and gamers.
Read More at Not Your Mama's Gamer


Excellence As a Survival Strategy for Black Women in Academia
by Dellea K. Copeland
I am a 22-year-old queer womyn of color, first generation college graduate, first generation American. I wear my afro like it’s 1969. I speak openly about patriarchy and racism. On my desk, you will find an American flag that says “Black Lives Matter”, inspirational book of quotes by Black womyn, and even a copy of Essence magazine. My desk is the first thing you see when you walk into the office. Make no mistake – a Black womyn lives here.
Read More at Conditionally Accepted


Fifty Shades of Nope: Being Fetishized As A Person of Color in Kink
by Vianca Masucci
All of America is in a buzz about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. And why not? Next to coal, sexual frustration is America’s most abundant natural resource. The release of the movie has pulled sexuality out of the shadows and placed it at the forefront of all conversation. This is all very exciting, in more ways than one! Examinations of the difference between loving kink relationships that are founded in choice, trust, and mutual pleasure and the abusive relationship that is portrayed in Fifty Shades have illuminated the important distinctions between abuse and safe, sane, and consensual acts of unconventional love. Namely, stalking and financial manipulation (even at the hands of the  rich, powerful and debatebly sexy but undebatably privileged Christian Grey) is creepy abusive behavior that is separate from the  intimate, affectionate practice of BDSM. #ByeChristianGrey #gohangwithFelicia
Read More at Black Girl Dangerous


Queer Passing Straight
by Sasha Garwood
In Sheffield, though, where boy lives and I spend the other half of my time, it's a rather different story. It's not that there aren't queer and interesting people in Sheffield - I know a few, although few is woefully appropriate in comparison to my extensive London networks. It's not even that the terms 'queer' and 'interesting' of necessity overlap. It's more that the boy's social circles (such as they are, he's a hermit) and physical environment (suburbia, and work full of older men) assume heterosexuality as a matter of course, and so this vast chunk of my context sort of...doesn't even notice something that down south I've built my life around. It's...difficult. It feels like invisibility a lot of the time, however much I shout on the internet about it. And don't even get me started on the kind of casual misogyny that gets bandied around up here like it's funny, in ways I struggle to imagine happening in my London circles without a backlash of fire and brimstone.
Read More at The F Word


THE STRUGGLE Season 1 Ep. 5 "The Struggle...is Contagious"



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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday Reading



Intersectionality - Black Feminists and the Uprooting of Kyriarchy
by Jadehawk
Intersectionality has become a popular concept in social justice activism in the recent years. Many activists, writers, and others concerned with social justice have incorporated this concept, sometimes as an actual working tool in their repertoire, sometimes merely as a label allowing another easy grab at the "ally" cookie jar. This widespread popularity is a positive development, in that looking at the whole kyriarchy[1] is a necessity when the goal is equality and human rights for everyone, not just for your own little social corner. On the other hand, popularity is also beginning to erase the people who developed the concept and the theoretical framework from which it arose, turning it into from deeply critical social theory into a fashionable buzzword.
Read More at Secular Woman


Hospital food, eating disorders
by Sasha Garwood

There's also been a bit of a hoo ha going on right now about hospital food, with food writer Prue Leith rightly dismissing the Government's insertion of regulations into catering contracts as insufficient and ineffective when it comes to tackling the massive awfulness that is hospital food, and it seems that nobody has spoken much about this from a specifically ED viewpoint. This seems strange to me, given the costly and prevalent spread of eating disorders and the huge importance of food to this group of inpatients, so, here goes.
Read More at The F Word


Memoirs of an Atypical Blerd
by Phenderson Djèlí Clark
A few years ago someone told me I was a Blerd. I had no idea what they were talking about. But (as I was then told) I’m black, I like SFF, and I talk about it a whole lot. So that makes me a Blerd. Okay. Fine. Whatevs. I didn’t really expect the term to catch on. I mean c’mon. Black + Nerd? Shows how much I know. Today Blerds are everywhere. There are Blerd sites, Blerd podcasts, Blerd blogs, Blerd meetups–you name it. Blerd has become a community. Blerd can maybe even be called a movement. Blerds are also remarkably diverse. And it turns out using one story to define them, may limit the full breadth of who or what they (we) can be.
Read More at PDjeliClark.Wordpress.com


Reading Mae West’s ‘Sextette’ as a PUA Manual
by Brigit McCone 
PUA (pick-up artistry) is a strange beast. Its core technique relies on teaching men to dehumanize women as “targets” in order to numb themselves to rejection, making it psychologically easier to approach larger numbers of women and therefore, statistically, to enjoy greater sexual success, though at the cost of emotional connection. PUA thus represents the art of maximizing sexual success by minimizing sexual satisfaction. Mae West’s 1978 film Sextette is also a strange beast, and a fascinating film. When I say that it’s fascinating, I don’t mean to suggest that it’s good. Sextette is a car crash of a film, a head-on collision between a lavish MGM musical and Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. It is a perfect candidate for interactive midnight screenings and ironic appreciation, which should be mandatory at every festival of women’s film.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


Liz Lemon Is No Tina Belcher
by Olivia
I’m a bit behind on the times, but I’m finally getting around to watching 30 Rock. Unsurprisingly, I deeply enjoy it and also appreciate that Liz Lemon is unabashedly interested in promoting women. But there’s one little thing that drives me crazy every time I watch the show.
Read More at We Got So Far to Go


Qraftish: "You're Not Like Other Black People" (Ep. 3)



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Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Reading



The Importance of Self-Awareness for Men in Feminism
by Miri Mogilevsky
Self-criticism is never easy or pleasant, but what complicates matters is that people are not always aware of their motivations for doing things. I do believe that the vast majority of people involved somehow in [insert progressive movement here] are involved primarily because they believe in the cause and want to help make it happen. But for many of them, there’s a secondary motivation lurking in the background–they want to have friends. They want to feel liked and respected. They want a sense of purpose. They want community.
Read More at Brute Reason


The Sublime Sadism in ‘Breaking the Waves’
by Giselle Defares
The relationship between faith and love, the religious experience that is love, suffering and sacrifice, are themes that frequently recur in our pop culture. For some, love can be seen as the most powerful emotion we know, an emotion that can entail spiritual forces. In Breaking The Waves love and faith appear, despite the spiritual connotations, as matters proposed in a very earthly and physical manner. However, the age-old trope of the suffering woman who sacrifices herself so that the man triumphs is nothing new.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


#WhiteHistoryMonth: Njabulo Ndebele on the heart of whiteness, South African edition
by Sean Jacobs
Teaching a graduate seminar on South Africa this semester at The New School (to help prepare a small group of students who will travel to South Africa in the summer) has meant revisiting a number of older (in some cases, “old” means published a decade or so ago) and seminal texts that unpack the South African condition or what used to be called “the South African question.” This has resulted in rediscovering, and critically reassessing, both familiar and relatively obscure books, book chapters, articles, primary documents, sound files and videos, like Mamdani’s Citizen and Subject, Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like, Come Back Africa, Mandela’s “Statement from the Dock” in 1964, Mapantsula, Allan Boesak’s speech at the launch of the United Democratic Front in August 1983, Njabulo Ndebele’s “The Rediscovery of the Ordinary,” Albie Sachs’ “Preparing ourselves for freedom,” the RDP (we’re currently reviewing the legacies of the political transition), and finally, Ndebele’s “Iphi ‘indlela: Finding a way through confusion,” which the professor delivered as a Steve Biko Memorial Lecture in 2000, and where he spoke at length about whiteness in South Africa.
Read More at Africa Is A Country


We Are All India’s Daughter
by Bina Shah
The BBC documentary “India’s Daughter” was banned in India, but I managed to watch it on YouTube this afternoon.
Read More at A Season for Writers


I Woke Up Like Dis – The Day I Was Brown
by Marina Rose Martinez
Glendora, California is where I became a Mexican. It was 1999, the summer before my freshman year in high school, and I was standing at the check-stand in Albertsons still sweaty from the walk over and totally, completely, freakishly alone.
Read More at Heinous Dealings


Are Women Too Possessive (Stalkerish) in Relationships?



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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thursday Reading



100 Rays of Light : Pakistani Girls Speak Out Against Child Marriage in Groundbreaking Campaign
by Bina Shah
Last year I wrote an article for the New York Times about how child marriage in Pakistan is a terrible curse, causing great harm to the nation’s girls.  I mentioned Rutgers-WPF, a Dutch NGO with a strong presence in Pakistan, which was training teachers in Sanghar and Gujranwala to talk to girls about Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights using a special localized curriculum called “Life Skills.” The program was a great success, with the teachers reaching thousands of girls and their parents, helping them to negotiate the difficult terrain that SRHR entails in a conservative country like Pakistan. Rutgers-WPF, at the time that my column was published, was working on another program called the SHE LEADS Campaign Against Child Marriage: to train girls to speak to their peers and families about SRHR, the negative effects of child marriage, and the benefits of keeping girls in school so they could complete their education and not marry until at least the age of 18.
Read More at A Season For Writers


Under the Skin
When something gets under your skin, you feel it. The expression registers not only the intensity of a feeling but a sense of a feeling as being lodged all the more firmly because it is below a surface.
Read More at FeministKilljoys


Capitalist Cotton Slavery and a Case (One Would Think) for Reparations
by Paul Street
For a useful antidote to all this, I can think of no better starting point than historian Edward Baptist’s book The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism (New York: Basic Books, 2014). Nobody should accuse Baptist of underplaying the dreadfulness of the US Black historical experience. Among other things, his remarkable and richly researched volume chronicles the astonishing raw violence and terror inflicted on millions of Black Americans who suffered in bondage over the eight decades between US national independence (1783) and the US Civil War (1861-1865).
Read More at Black Agenda Report


Fuck Her Raw: On Language and Seduction
by Alessandra Wollner
I sat at the bar with a man I’ll call Ian sipping whiskey as he explained me to me. 
“You are a woman of passion,” Ian said. “I get you.” And then, as if maybe I hadn’t gotten it fully, he repeated himself, “I get you.”
Read more at The Toast


Statistics on Crimes Committed by US Troops in South Korea
by Civil Network for a Peaceful Korea
Crimes committed by US soldiers were found as early as when US troops were first stationed in south Korea. According to the south Korean government's official statistics, 50,082 crimes were committed by US soldiers from 1967 to 1998 (including those by soldiers' families), and 56,904 US soldiers were involved (including soldiers' families) in these crimes. The statistics imply that the actual figure may be higher if take into account those cases not handled by the south Korean police. Based on the statistics, the total number of crimes committed by US soldiers since September 8, 1945 (when they were first stationed in Korea) is estimated to be around 100,000. Unfortunately the south Korean government does not have statistics on US soldiers' crimes committed before 1967, because SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) went into effect in 1967, allowing the south Korean court jurisdiction over crimes committed by US soldiers with narrow and limited application.
Read More at International Action Center


White People stop using Martin Luther King!



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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday Reading

Snowing in Jersey City
It's Always Snowing in New Jersey

The Unified Theory of Ophelia: On Women, Writing, and Mental Illnessby B.N. Harrison
When I was nineteen, I made an astonishing discovery that was going to revolutionize the field of Shakespeare scholarship: Ophelia is the unsung hero of Hamlet. I was so certain that I understood Ophelia better than anyone else who had written about her in the last 400 years that I wrote a purely elective research paper about my theory. It wasn’t for a class; I didn’t even get extra credit. All I got was ten hours of being crammed into a van next to the dean of the Honors College on a trip to Whitewater, Wisconsin, so I could spread the good news about Ophelia to five bored and sleepy strangers during a Sunday morning presentation at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.
Read more at The Toast


Why Americans Don't Care About Prison Rape
by Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig
In June of 2012, the New York Times "Room for Debate" feature considered whether or not convicted youth offenders should be treated differently than adult convicts in the penal system. Those in favor of trying some youth offenders in adult courts included a victims' advocate, and an attorney from the conservative Heritage Foundation; those against included an inmate at California's San Quentin prison, and a human rights activist. The victims' advocate and the attorney from the Heritage Foundation talked about extreme cases of violence and the benefits of stern consequences. The inmate and the human rights activist talked about rape.
Read More at The Nation


WWII-era history on display at the Jersey City Loew's
by Terrence T. McDonald
When volunteers at the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre set out 20 years ago to clean out the mess that had been accumulating for decades under the former movie palace's seats, they found a number of surprises.
Read More at NJ.com


Pending Deportation of Korean American Adoptee Highlights Major Loophole in Immigration Law
By his own admission, Adam Thomas Crapser has had a difficult journey; but through it all, he has worked hard to create what he calls a “a semblance of a ‘normal’ life”. 
In 1979, Adam arrived in the United States with his older sister as a transnational and transracial Korean American adoptee. Through most of his childhood — and through two placements — Adam was forced to endure unspeakable physical and emotional abuse. In 1991, Adam’s adoptive parents, Thomas Francis Crapser and Dolly-Jean Crapser, were arrested, charged and ultimately plead guilty to multiple counts of child rape, child sex abuse, and child abuse. Adam is a survivor of the Crapsers’ violence. 
Adam’s life bears the scars of that torture and what it took to survive; but, Adam has emerged today as a married father of three, with a fourth child due in May. He is, by all accounts, living that “normal” American life. 
Yet, that’s not how the federal government sees it. In January of this year, the Department of Homeland Security served Adam with deportation papers. In just one month, Adam will face a hearing regarding deportation to a country he has never known.
Read More at Reappropriate

Ah, Parrotheads
Jimmy Buffett shows were second in line as my most hated shows to work. The Grateful Dead being the first. Hated might be a little strong, I didn’t drink back then, so perhaps that accounts for at least sixty percent of my grumpiness.
Read More at The Uncensored Stripper


The Indus Valley Civilisation Mohenjodaro and Harada



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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday Reading



Trans History Update 2: An Ancient Greek Trans Man
by Cheryl Morgan
My other update comes courtesy of a Twitter used called Snek who posted an extract from a work by Lucian of Samaosata. Lucian was a Greek writer who lived in what is modern day Turkey under the Roman Empire (2nd Century CE). He is probably best known to my readers as the author of True History, a work that is often cited as the first ever science fiction novel. It is certainly true that the book tells of voyages to other planets. However, Lucian was a satirist, and the book has more in common with Gulliver’s Travels than with the world of Verne and Wells. It is doubtful that Lucian intended it to be taken as serious scientific speculation.
Read More at Cheryl's Mewsings


Eating While Black — a few new Demands for the list
It’s true that I shouldn’t have bought the ridiculously overpriced bowl of cut watermelon when I went out to the store yesterday. Five dollars! I passed it on my way into the market and made myself look away. Watermelon in New York City on February 28th, never a wise move. The food miles alone make it a big, glaring “NO!”
Read More at GirlGriot


‘House of Cards’ Season 3: There’s Only One Seat in the Oval Office
by Leigh Kolb
Season 3 of House of Cards, released Feb. 27 on Netflix, ends abruptly, as we dangle on the edge. 
As Claire gives her blood in Iowa–literally for the Red Cross for a nice photo op and figuratively for Frank’s career–she gets lightheaded, and tells their biographer that she thinks about jumping of a bridge. Before she passes out, she tells him that when Frank proposed, she’d told him that “every seven years, if it’s still good enough,” they’d stay married for another seven years before reassessing the marriage.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


The Logic of Whiteness
by Ronald A. Kuykendall
The recent fatalities involving black men and white police have a long history, coupled with a pattern of government inaction and unwillingness to take action against white perpetrators and police abuse in cases of violence against African Americans. For example, the failure of conviction or prosecutorial indictment in the fatal incidents involving Trayvon Martin in Miami, Florida; Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio; and Eric Garner in New York City. The government’s response, if there is a response, is usually the creation of a committee, commission, or task force to investigate and make recommendations or devise new guidelines that are typically not followed. In some cases funding is allocated for special training.


by Gabriel Thompson
On September 10, 1976, during an evening flight from New York to Chicago, a bearded passenger handed a sealed envelope to an attendant. The note began: “One, this plane is hijacked.” In the rest of the letter, the passenger, a Croatian nationalist named Zvonko Busic, explained that five bombs had been smuggled onboard, and that a sixth had been placed in locker 5713 at Grand Central Station in Manhattan. Busic added that the pilot should radio the authorities immediately and that further instructions would be found with the bomb in the locker. “[It] can only be activated by pressing the switch to which it is attached,” he added, “but caution is suggested.”





Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Reading

“I’m Not Bad, I’m Just Drawn That Way”: The Exceptionally Beautiful Anti-Heroine
by Jessica Carbone
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This expression is meant to remind those who hear it not to conflate a beautiful face with a beautiful soul. However, when it comes to starring roles for women on television, the most important tool an actress can bring to the table is traditional, indisputable beauty. Why is this so valuable? Because from a storyteller’s perspective, it’s the perfect narrative loophole—if your main character is physically gorgeous, no matter what horrendous moral or criminal violations she might commit, viewers are still going to be hungry to see her on screen. Some newer anti-heroines deliberately break this mold (see Hannah Horvath on Girls), and we should be happy about that—whether she’s the hero or the villain, a female character can be much more than eye candy. But a beautiful actress unlocks some very interesting plotlines in the modern television writer’s rooms, and with the rise of the antiheroine, a woman on television can now get away with murder—literally and figuratively. But to do that, she can’t just be smart, funny, and fierce—she’s also got to be HOT.
Read More at Bitch Flicks


Femme and Proud
by Sam
Gender is something that is very personal to each and every one of us. It can’t be written off as a binary with two distinct identities or dismissed altogether as a construction of the patriarchy, it is often complicated, as it should be in a world we share with billions of other people. Culture influences our perceptions of gender and what we deem acceptable from other people. Except it really shouldn’t be about what other people think, our bodies are our own. If someone is more concerned about the contents of your pants, if determining your sex is the most important thing in their mind, then you are reduced to their idea of your primary function, which is to procreate. We think of our babies having babies as soon as they are born (even if we’re not consciously thinking it) and in many cases months before they make their entry into the world. Isn’t that odd?
Read More at Left at the Lights


Judge Clears Way for Simcox To Represent Self in Child-Molestation Case
by David Neiwert
A judge this week granted Chris Simcox, the former nativist extremist known sarcastically among those on the border as the “Little Prince” because of his arrogant bearing, the right to represent himself in his forthcoming trial in Phoenix for child molestation — charges that could put him away for life. 
Simcox’s trial was rescheduled on Monday for March 16 by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jose Padilla, who stipulated several rules for Simcox’s plans to conduct a self-represented (pro se) defense on three counts of child molestation and two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.
Read More at Orcinus


It's Hard to Kick "Fifty Shades" When It's Down: Classism, Literary Exploitation, and Women's Fiction
by Aya de Leon
Up until now, I've kept my mouth shut about Fifty Shades. One factor is that the critic bandwagon has been so filled with literary snobbery. In addition, the book is part of the widespread dismissal of commercial writing by and for women based more on sexism than any good faith engagement. Finally, the work was picked up by a commercial industry and put on blast-for-profit without any real editing that could have addressed some of the limitations of the writing or lack of research on the BDSM content. 
Read More at XOJane


Spock Feelings
by Anne Thériault
I was wandering around the art gallery during my lunch break when a message buzzed through on my phone. I saw that it was from my friend Audra, and expected it to be a continuation of an earlier discussion about bullying. Instead, it said: 
“Oh no Leonard Nimoy died!”
Read More at The Belle Jar


Are Black People Bad Tippers?



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