All entries by this author

Naming the waves

Sep 12th, 2015 11:08 am | By

A reader has been asking me about the second and third waves of feminism, and my energetic agreement with Meghan Murphy’s rebuke of knee-jerk disdain for the second wave. The reader was wondering about my insistence that the third wave did not invent intersectionality, because he had read in many places that it had – that is, that 2 wave just didn’t know from intersectionality until 3 wave came along.

Nope. 2 wave was aware of the issue of being too white and middle class all along. There were huge arguments and splits over the issue all along. There were huge arguments over lesbians’ place in the movement all along.

That’s not to say that 2 wave was brilliant at … Read the rest

Guest post: There is no impunity for mass murder

Sep 12th, 2015 9:31 am | By

Guest post by Mary Scully. Originally a public post on Facebook, reposted here by permission.

These people are carrying coffins with the remains of some of the 45,000 people “disappeared” during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war between 1960 and 1996. Successive right-wing governments led by former generals directly implicated in the disappearances and murders of 200,000 indigenous Mayans have rebuffed political pressure to exhume and identify those murdered and dumped in mass graves. Exhumations have been going on since 1996 but as of two years ago, less than 1,000 skeletons had been recovered.

Photo by James Rodriguez

All were killed by soldiers and allied paramilitaries trying to wipe out a guerrilla movement using scorched earth military tactics that swept up … Read the rest

Suddenly, a naval vessel appeared in the distance

Sep 11th, 2015 6:08 pm | By

Intersectional 5th wave non-appropriative inclusive postcolonialist genderfuck Lord of the Flies, by Joe Keohane in The New Yorker.

“Excuse me,” Roger began, “remind us again why you get to interrupt us even if you don’t have the conch?”

“Because I’m the chief,” Ralph said. “I was chosen.”

“By whom?”

“By you.”

“I didn’t vote for you,” Roger said, with a frown.

“We had a vote. The majority rules.”

“Oh, that’s brilliant—the majority,” Jack scoffed. The littluns tittered. “If anything, that means you have even less of a right to interrupt than we do!” Jack faced the others. “If you agree with me, wiggle your fingers.”

They wiggled their fingers.

“Look, I’m trying to get us rescued by the grownups,”

Read the rest

It’s not cool and fun and sexy

Sep 11th, 2015 5:40 pm | By

Meghan Murphy has a sockdolager of a piece explaining that no feminism isn’t anything and everything but rather is something particular and substantive, so no you’re not a feminist just because you wear stilettos or have a platinum card. She offers 9 items that actually do make you a feminist, a better feminist than people who lack them.

First is being a woman.

There are male feminists of course, and since we need all the feminists we can get, maybe especially among men, I think it’s important to emphasize that, but her point is that men don’t fully get the female experience.

2) Understanding that feminism is not a feeling or an identity, but a political movement

And a set … Read the rest

In the vegan food scene

Sep 11th, 2015 4:05 pm | By

Women at the University of Toronto: look out.

The University of Toronto has increased its campus police presence following violent online threats against women and feminists — though a Toronto Police investigation has not identified a “credible threat.”

The university warned students and staff about the threats on Thursday, although critics say it hasn’t done enough to inform those at risk about the specific nature of the threats.

The threats were posted in the comments section of the site BlogTO on September 5th.

The University of Toronto warned its students, faculty and staff about the threats on Thursday and said it’s working with the Toronto Police Service and Peel Regional Police to find out who is behind the anonymous

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Know your history

Sep 11th, 2015 1:45 pm | By

Nope. Wrong. Incorrect. Not true.


this symbol does not represent mainstream feminism

Ohhhhhhhh yes it does.

That symbol goes back to the 60s – it was the radical salute, including but not limited to the black power salute.

this is the symbol for black feminism, that black feminists have created and been using for decades to represent our struggle against anti-black misogyny, hence the combination of the black power fist and the symbol for womanhood.

No, it isn’t. It’s the symbol for in your face feminism, including black and Hispanic and lesbian feminism, but not limited to any of them.

so stop tattooing yourself with this symbol and selling overpriced patches and pins on

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She felt she had to defend herself

Sep 11th, 2015 1:03 pm | By

Petra Laszlo says she’s not as bad as all that, despite that thing about kicking the young girl and the other thing about tripping a man who was carrying a child, whom he fell on when Laszlo tripped him.

Petra Laszlo said in a letter to the Magyar Nemzet newspaper (in Hungarian) that “something snapped” in her as migrants broke through a police cordon.

She said that she reacted out of panic and felt she had to “defend herself”.

Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the incident.

Ms Laszlo said: “I do not deserve the political witch-hunts against me, nor the smears or the death threats.”

Nobody deserves smears or death threats. But people don’t deserve to be … Read the rest

They would be better off

Sep 11th, 2015 10:20 am | By

Another bit of history I didn’t know about (or, if I did, forgot). I should make a section for those in In Focus. Yesterday on Fresh Air, America’s Forgotten History Of Mexican-American ‘Repatriation.’

Donald Trump has proposed immigration reform that would include building a wall on the Mexican border, paid for by Mexico, and calls for the mass deportation of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. The deportation plan has echoes of a largely forgotten chapter of American history when, in the 1930s, during the Depression, about a million people were forced out of the U.S. across the border into Mexico. It wasn’t called deportation. It was euphemistically referred to as repatriation, returning people to their native

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Playing soldiers

Sep 10th, 2015 6:20 pm | By

Well that’s not at all alarming.

The Oath Keepers, an armed, camouflage-wearing volunteer militia famous for hunkering down at Bundy Ranch, now say they have “boots on the ground” to protect Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who they believe was denied her right to a jury trial.

Even if they’re right, it’s not their job to “protect” her. Volunteer militias aren’t a thing, and civilian  “boots on the ground” are certainly not a thing. Nobody wants their boots on any ground; they need to stay home and watch tv.

“People should consider her under our protection,” Rhodes says in the teleconference. “We’ll make sure that our people are keeping a close eye on the situation and we’re going have boots

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Good job, Alabama

Sep 10th, 2015 1:25 pm | By

Alabama public schools get to have real science teaching!

The state Board of Education voted unanimously today to replace old standards that some teachers say were behind the times the moment they were approved.

As evidence, they point to their students’ biology textbooks, many of which currently come with warning stickers that call evolution “a controversial theory.” The state’s old science standards say students should “wrestle with the unresolved problems still faced” by evolution.

“You might not accept it, but that doesn’t change the fact,” says science teacher Ryan Reardon, who isn’t a fan of the old standards. “Talking about evolution in a classroom is controversial, but there is no controversy about how all the organisms on the planet are

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An absence of belief is not the erasure of someone else’s

Sep 10th, 2015 12:38 pm | By

Last year glosswitch wrote 9 reasons why “cis” isn’t working.

1 Cis is not a necessary alternative to trans

Many people find it hard to see what is wrong with this statement:

anyone not trans is cis

But what if someone said this:

“anyone not Muslim is Christian”

It doesn’t make any sense, does it? The fact that being a Muslim is predicated on having a religious belief does not mean that anyone who is not a Muslim must have a different religious belief, let alone one specified by you.

She’s framing “cis” as a belief about gender, part of a belief system about gender. The point is, not everyone buys into that belief system. We don’t … Read the rest

There was an anomaly in her pants

Sep 10th, 2015 10:52 am | By

Bring plenty of paper towels to mop the tears of laughter.

A courageous story from April 2014 of a person who is vaguely genderfuck and took on the eternal issue of how to wear a sock down your jeans while boarding a plane. Told by: Batshua bat Yehonatan.

Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking more about presenting as genderfuck in my non-work time; namely, I’ve been thinking about packing.

For anyone who doesn’t know me, let me make this clear. I am terrible at true genderfuck. Nobody is going to mistake me for a 14-year-old boy or an androgyne. I am, shall we say, rather well-endowed and I do not bind.

I’d been thinking for a while

Read the rest

One isn’t wearing a tie?

Sep 10th, 2015 10:08 am | By

Via Planned Parenthood on Facebook:

 … Read the rest

Guest post: If we could knock down these ridiculous cultural preconceptions

Sep 9th, 2015 6:09 pm | By

Originally a comment by MrFancyPants on The “Men’s & motor” area.

David Evans@1:

I think some men as well as women are likely to be put off by the idea that intellectual brilliance is what is needed in science.



In Japan they teach that science and math take lots of hard work.


The notion of the “brilliant scientist” infuriates me. I have long maintained that anyone of reasonable intelligence and drive can make useful and important advances in the sciences if they make the effort of learning the background well, and putting in the (large amount of) effort that is required. It takes years to pick up the background and years of toil to start … Read the rest

Snap, gulp

Sep 9th, 2015 5:03 pm | By

Bad news – National Geographic is being devoured by Fox.

The 127-year-old nonprofit National Geographic Society has struck a $725 million deal that gives 21st Century Fox a majority stake in National Geographic magazine and other media properties, expanding an existing TV partnership.

The agreement announced Wednesday will give the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s family a 73 percent stake in the new National Geographic Partners venture. The society retains 27 percent ownership. The move shifts the longtime nonprofit flagship magazine into a for-profit venture.

What could possibly go wrong?

Besides everything?

However, some observers are worried about the future of National Geographic’s educational mission in media if control is turned over to commercial interests.

Christopher Palmer, an environmental

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The “Men’s & motor” area

Sep 9th, 2015 3:46 pm | By

Gender policing? What gender policing? I can’t imagine what that could possibly be.

A supermarket has apologised after copies of a science magazine were displayed in the men’s interest section of its news stand.

A biology graduate complained to Morrisons after the weekly New Scientist magazine was moved to the “Men’s & motor” area of the rack at the Woohouse Land store in Leeds.

No science for women. Women are too pink and fluffy and frothy to be interested in science. Women are interested only in bride magazines and how to arrange your hair magazines. Everything else is over their heads.

Writing in a Facebook post seen by The Tab student newspaper, former Leeds student Sophie Anam said that

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Will it be Oreos or Grayling?

Sep 9th, 2015 11:25 am | By

I watched a little of Stephen Colbert’s first Tonight show last night, and didn’t like it. I wanted to like it, I expected to like it, but I didn’t.

But Megan Garber at the Atlantic did.

…part of why politics has become so polarized, while we’re at it, is likely that we’ve come to see the workings of government as things that exist separately from the rest of our lives. The sociologist Pablo Boczkowski talks about the reluctance many people have to talk about politics in a work environment, where such discussions can create unnecessary acrimony; instead, we silo ourselves, discussing the issues of the day, for the most part, with people we know will pretty much agree

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But stop the T in odd words

Sep 9th, 2015 9:48 am | By

Speaking of dialects and geography and markers…Author of Jesus and Mo asked an intriguing question on Twitter the other day.

Has anyone in UK noticed the “inconsistent glottal stop” is a thing? Eg person will speak normally but stop the T in odd words…

Eg “strategy”, “creative” – but even then not always. Strikes me as incredibly pretentious and annoying.

I think I have, yes. A similar thing I know I’ve noticed many times is inconsistency about the intrusive R. You know the intrusive R, right? As in: Indier and China; North Koreaer and China [which of course sounds like North Career and China]; drawring room; Arabeller is in the drawring room. It’s mostly a UK thing but also … Read the rest

Or sister

Sep 9th, 2015 8:31 am | By

A couple of minutes from The Life of Brian.

(I really need to see that again; it’s been way too long since I did.)

Read the rest

Talk geography

Sep 8th, 2015 5:14 pm | By

Have a fun quiz in the New York Times. It offers to say where you’re from based on your answers to 25 dialect questions.

It’s a little tricky if like me you have a habit of picking up bits of dialect from all over – but it’s not too tricky if you’re aware that you do that and can correct for it. I carefully gave the answers that were what I grew up with, not necessarily what I say now – and at the end there I was on the map. Good fun.… Read the rest