You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot. — Hillary Clinton (via prevarila)

(via sundanceapples)

Legislating Rape

tinkertaylormoldyrye:

Today Governor Walker will sign a bill into law in the state of Wisconsin requiring transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions.

This has me reacting like Mrs. White in the movie Clue. “Flames. Flames. On the side of my face. Heaving. Big heaving breaths of flames.”

I want to gather my thoughts here and talk about this.

The claim by Wisconsin Republicans is that this is to help women understand what exactly it is they’re doing or aborting or something along those lines. To make them get it through their dumb soft slut heads that abortion isn’t like clipping your toe nails.

It’s paternalistic language they’re using. Women wouldn’t do this if we could just mansplain to them.

That’s what they’re saying. That’s not what they really mean.

This is about legislating shame, not about informing or making women understand what they’re doing.

Women who seek abortion know what they are seeking. They have to. Why? Because it’s actually pretty fucking hard to get an abortion. It’s not like strolling into Walgreens to b
uy Neosporin and a Pepsi. There are already various legal, geographic, and economic barriers to getting one.

If you want an abortion in this country, in this state, girl you really gotta want that abortion. And be upper middle class with an employment situation that allows you to get the time off to do it (and pay for it). And be steely enough to walk past screaming judgmental people who don’t know you on your way to a doctor. And have access to information about abortion. And a way to get to an abortion clinic since they aren’t really on every block or in every town or even every county. 

Trust me. A woman who seeks an abortion knows she’s seeking an abortion. She knows she’s terminating a fetus. That’s the point of getting one. 

I tell you now that this bill will not stop women from seeking abortions. It will make it harder. It may force some women underground into unsafe conditions. It will not. stop. abortions. Women have been finding ways to address unwanted and unintended impregnation for thousands of years. Thousands. Scott Walker, you and a small team of state legislators in the state of Wisconsin in the year 2013 are not going to end that trend with your codification of shame.

But let’s stop talking about what the bill is meant to do or hopes to set into motion in terms of human behavior. Let’s just talk brass tacks. What’s this law actually require people to do?

It requires that the government put something inside your vagina.

Read that again.

It requires that a stranger put a long, hard wand inside your vagina until it pushes firmly against your cervix.

During this procedure, the technician has to position his fist against your vulva in order to get an accurate reading. The probe is not small. Here is a photo of a woman holding one. I don’t even own a sex toy this big.

image


All so a woman can see this, a fetus at six weeks, which is the point at which nearly 50% of all abortions are performed. To put it crudely, I’d abort that. A dot? Yeah. I’d abort that. 

image


Can you imagine if we said the government got to stick something inside your urethra before you could get viagra? Can you imagine if we said the government got to shove something up your anus before you could get an appendectomy? Not your doctor. The government. 

And before you mention medical necessity, that’s bullshit. Doctors don’t like these bills anymore than women do. In fact, one of the largest professional organizations of doctors in the country released a statement saying they are completely superfluous and requiring them makes zero sense from a medical standpoint. That’s here.

In an age of rising healthcare costs where Republicans don’t want to pay for our fellow citizen’s access to basic healthcare, why is this one procedure, deemed superfluous by the medical community, just fine? 

This bill is rape culture in its boldest form.

How am I to teach my son about consent, concerning his body and the bodies of others, when he is growing up in a world where women are forcibly penetrated by their government for seeking a legal medical procedure?

And yes, I’ve heard the argument that women become pregnant through vaginal penetration so this shouldn’t be a big deal. 

Let’s assume for a moment the sexual act that led to the pregnancy was consensual. There is a world of difference between a welcome penis and a hard plastic probe wielded by a stranger who wants to show you a picture of your insides.

Secondly, let’s follow this logic. If I have been vaginally penetrated with a penis before, does this mean that all subsequent penetrations are not subject to moral and legal scrutiny? In other words, if I have sex, penis in vagina sex I mean, does that mean six men can jump me in the elevator the next morning and penetrate me with all manner of objects? Just because I’m no longer a virgin? Because well, I’ve been penetrated before? 

The state of Wisconsin is declaring open season on our vaginae. 

Let’s also talk for a moment here about the rape exception. WI Republicans say there will be an exception for victims of rape. But what is rape, to those who make the laws?

Well first of all, to be considered exempt from the ultrasound, a woman must report the rape to police. But according to PR Watch, up to 80% of rapes in this country go unreported. That would include my own at the age of 17, by the way.

And let’s please not forget the conversations around the election cycle last year about what rape really is. We still believe in this myth that women “cry rape” to get a free pass on having sex. Let me assure you- rape is real, rape hurts, and most of us never tell because we know you won’t believe us.

We aren’t always sure what’s just happened ourselves. It’s so traumatizing and the conversations we grow up with about consent and who owns a woman’s body are so damn confusing that often we don’t realize what happened. We just know we want to forget it and move on. 

So unless a white woman is jumped by six black guys from behind the bushes while she’s dressed like Susan B. Anthony (cover those provocative forearms, sluts!) walking down the street in broad daylight, and reports it to police, I’m not sure she’s going to get that rape exception.

The absolute terror of government sanctioned rape with an ultrasound wand aside, there’s another issue here about basic rights.

If the medical establishment says that this procedure is useless (see above for link to that statement), then we must acknowledge it is being required for political reasons only. Reasons rooted in differing opinions about what is moral and immoral behavior. 

That is different than legal or ethical behavior. Legally a woman has a right to a an abortion based on Roe v Wade (and Griswold v Connecticut years earlier). Ethically, she can get an abortion because she breaks no laws.

This law comes in at the moral point, where people are making decisions based on religious ideologies. We don’t legislate those kinds of guidelines. At least, we aren’t supposed to. 

As stated earlier, the Roe v Wade decision was based on the foundations laid by Griswold v Connecticut in 1965. That decision was about whether the state had a right to ban contraception. The ruling? It didn’t. The court found that such a ban was in violation of the “right to privacy.” While such a right does not appear explicitly in the Constitution, this “right” has been extrapolated over the years from language the framers used. 

From PolicyMic.com:


In Griswold, the Supreme Court concluded that while there was no explicit mention of privacy in the Constitution, the privacy rights implied in the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments demonstrated that the Founders intended a general right to privacy to be recognized and respected by the state. For example, the Court reasoned that the First Amendment protected the privacy of personal faith, the Fourth Amendment protected the privacy of one’s person and belongings, and so on and so forth.

The Roe v Wade decision was based on Griswold. Justices extended a woman’s right to privacy on contraception to cover abortion. 

Basically, the ruling, crudely stated, is that abortion, for the most part, is filed under Beeswax, None of Yours. 

In 1982, the court ruled on Planned Parenthood v Casey. This case centered around Pennsylvania laws that put up barriers to abortion care, including requiring doctors to inform women of the health risks of abortion, requiring women to wait 24 hours, requiring wives to tell their husbands, etc. 

The court struck this law down. Again from PolicyMic.com:

The final opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey struck down Pennsylvania’s law as unconstitutional by a 5-4 margin. The plurality opinion in Casey, authored jointly by Justices O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter, stated that the Court was re-affirming “the essential holding” ofRoe that “if the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted government intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.”

Read that last bit again, won’t you?

Intrustion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the deciision to bear to beget a child.

SB 206 in the state of Wisconsin is a legal and very literal intrusion into this matter. Not only does it intrude on a woman’s decision about childbearing (while utterly pushing aside the opinion of the medical community), it intrudes on her body, her spirit, and her soul. 

And finally there is the argument- is this little procedure so bad? 

Yes. I’ve had one.

When I was fourteen, like many fourteen year old girls, I did not have regular periods. The difference between me and other girls was that I had a mentally ill mother who had a history of shopping her children around to doctors, inflating insignificant health “issues” into crises because it fed her borderline personality’s need for drama. 

That year, I saw a series of perhaps four or five doctors. Who can remember. It stopped when my mother found one, a nurse practitioner in an OBGYN office, who was naive or crazy or money-hungry enough to go along with my mother’s “concerns.” 

I was given a papsmear that I didn’t want, while I cried and asked them to stop. Then, when that turned up nothing but the fact that I was a normal pre-teen girl whose body just hadn’t gotten to regular periods just yet, I was scheduled for a transvaginal ultrasound. “Just to leave no stone unturned,” they said.

I didn’t cry for that one because I knew it would do no good. I went numb inside and stared at the ceiling. My mother chit chatted with the technician. I breathed as little as I could and pretended to be dead.

It was one of the most painful, humiliating, long experiences of my life. It as a very, very big deal.

Like the transvaginal ultrasounds Wisconsin Republicans are now passing into law, it was not medically necessary  And all it did was remind me that we live in a culture that refuses to hear women.

Governor Walker, this is terrible legislation.

thoughts on last night’s twitter feed

i happened to be on when the twitterverse exploded with updates on the MIT shooting, dovetailing into the Watertown shootout. it was a flood of people who happened to be on the scene, civilians and journalists tailing the police, people listening to the police scanner (estimated at 80,000 listeners at one point) and people re-tweeting all of the above. wild speculations interwoven with actual facts. amidst the details was an emerging debate along these lines:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

and a string of reminders that Twitter + police scanner ≠ journalism.

image

image

image

image

image

i felt conflicted, getting sucked in to this breaking story in this fashion. it truly was fascinating, and i did find a curated list of journalists tweeting from the scene in a more measured, respectful, factual and safe-feeling manner. following that WAS breaking news. following the feeds of civilians on the scene who were simply stating (and posting pictures) of what they saw was also news. but the folks who took pictures of a guy being stopped by police and then declared “SUSPECT IN CUSTODY! Everyone leaving the scene, it’s safe now.” only to be refuted 2 minutes later when “the suspect” was merely someone walking home who was unaware of what they were walking into? that’s not news. that’s not helpful. you saw someone being stopped, but you don’t know what’s happening. you’re spreading rumors, and misinformation, and you’re muddying the waters for anyone near Boston who is using their twitter feed to see if they can leave the building they are currently hiding inside because their city has become a war zone over the past five days.

i had to turn it off. even writing this post just after midnight, i was going back and refreshing to see if there was more 1) actual information 2) relevant skepticism. but i knew this (<—referring to the tweets, not the actual situation) would go on all night, and after this week of varied and terrible things having gone on in this country, i am too terror-weary to pull a speculation all-nighter.

i can’t imagine if this week had happened 10 years ago, with the social media we had at the time. today, we are SO connected to the world, and to events as they happen, whether that be worlds away from us as we sit safely staring at the screens of our devices, or if we are typing to the world that a bomb just went off on the corner of our block. if you’re on the scene, these advances & interconnectivity are vital, and could save your life. transparency can be a wonderful thing. the ability to collect mass amounts of photographic and live-witness accounts of things is wonderful. but i can imagine how hard it is for law enforcement to conduct their operations when civilians flood the area, or give away tactical information with a careless tweet. and also, i posit that people far from the scene don’t NEED a up-to-the-second account of events when nothing is fact-checked, nothing is certain, and panic swirls around us. it’s sensationalism, and it makes people scared. not that this shit isn’t scary. it is. the world is scary, and scary shit happens every day, every hour, everywhere. EVERYWHERE. not just here, not just to us. everywhere, and to everyone. is it doing anyone any good to know that reports of a horrible thing are 100% certain to be on any screen you may ever look at? or any screen your kids might look at? (this is what i started seeing on monday from all the parents i know: “How do I tell my kids about the marathon bombing without causing them to never want to go outside again because they’re too scared they’ll blow up? And how can I stop them from seeing ACTUAL CARNAGE on every screen available? There’s no way to turn off the coverage.”) knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss; but there’s got to be some kind of balance between knowing what the world is and being crushed by the weight of it. there’s a line in here somewhere, but i can’t find it.

how was i sucked in in the first place? by this:

image

grenades. they were throwing grenades at the cops. i just… no.

and finally, i’m sure there’s some truth here, but i also wonder if it was a “STOP TWEETING SO MUCH BULLSHIT” move in the midst of things:

image

Boston, you’re home to some of my family, and i love you. last week i bought plane tickets to come visit you in july. i hope the insanity of this week is the last harmful thing that happens to you for a long, long time. and i hope for strength, healing, and community to all the people of the Boston area. sigh.

grouchpotato:

French bulldog trying to teach baby to crawl

sometimes you just read the caption before the gifset even loads and you know you gonna reblog that shit

(via sundanceapples)

When I started making those weird voices, a lot of people told me how whack it was,” she says, “‘What the fuck are you doing?’ they’d say. ‘Why do you sound like that? That doesn’t sound sexy to me.’ And then I started saying, Oh, that’s not sexy to you? Good. I’m going to do it more. Maybe I don’t want to be sexy for you today.

Nicki Minaj (BlackBook Magazine)

(via stfufauxminists)

FUCK. YES.

(via egoetschius)

  • me, to an adult actor: Stop whispering "ball sack."
  • actor #1: No! It’s our mantra!
  • actor #2: [whispering] ball sack, ball sack. baaalllll saaaaccckkkk.
Why am I an activist, they asked. What is it that brings you to doing this work? Well, dear colleagues, it is quite simple. I am not interested in asking permission to be accepted as an equal and valid human. And I am certainly not interested in waiting around for those with historic access to power to grant me the luxury of their respect. And what of you, my friend? What brings you here? — my friend Stacie, who is going to be a doctor soon. she is a thoroughly kickass person, and is going to be a tireless advocate for getting her patients the best care possible. the medical establishment better brace itself; Stacie and her patients will be un-fuck-with-able.

Elevator Etiquette (or lack thereof)

My workplace spans three floors of our office building. This morning I got on the elevator on 5, to go to 7. Two people were already in the elevator with the button pressed for 6, where our main reception area is located. Between floors 5 and 6, the following “conversation” occurred:

adult man i’ve never seen before in my life: [looks me up and down] Scoliosis?
me: Yep. 
him:  [nods sagely] The last generation.
me: [stares at him] Mmm.


Several things:

1. Sir, the socially acceptable way to begin a conversation with someone is with a salutation. “Hello” or “Hi” is sufficient.

2. Fact: I have a non standard issue body shape. This is not a free pass for you to comment on my body, or to make a medical assessment of it. You know who gets to ask if I have scoliosis the very first time they talk to me? Doctors, and only when I am actively seeking their medical opinion, and only after they have said “hello” or “hi” and we know each other’s names. Non-doctor people who have ventured to ask me about my body have asked me for permission to ask a personal question, and if it is our first conversation and/or is taking place in an elevator, have unfailingly accepted my unwillingness to discuss it.

3. You happen to be correct that I have been treated for scoliosis, but that is not the full picture, so don’t get all smug thinking you’ve figured my body out.

4. “The last generation.” I think you are suggesting that this is an old-timey ailment, that the kids don’t have these days. Are you calling me old? I THINK YOU ARE CALLING ME OLD.

5. Imagine you’re riding one floor on an elevator with someone who looks different than you in a different way than I look different than you, and pretend you are having the same conversation with them. Would you say “Foreigner?” “Huge ass?” “Club foot?” “Boob job?” Oh, you wouldn’t?

6. Did you also happen to notice that I am a woman? Because you should not make unsolicited comments on any person’s body, but I consider it *extra* inappropriate to comment on women’s bodies. We just this Tuesday got a four-year extension on control over our lady parts, and we are particularly sensitive to men who are strangers talking about our bodies as though it’s any of their business.

7. My gut reaction was to tell you to fuck off. I answered you because I correctly assessed you were visiting my place of employment. Telling clients to fuck off is generally frowned upon, even when they are rude.

8. I told my coworker there was a man in our conference room who had been rude to me in the elevator, and she got super pissed and offered/threatened to come beat you with her cane. Protip: It would be inappropriate for you to ask her why she uses a cane or start a conversation with “Gimpy?”, because you do not know her, either. 

In summary, sir, you need to work on your manners, because the 15 second elevator ride did not require any conversation to fill the time, and it certainly is not the place for you to ask strangers questions about their bodies.

Fucking asshole.

jessicavalenti:

Eight year old girl schools Dwell magazine

jessicavalenti:

Eight year old girl schools Dwell magazine

thesaralima:

beautilation:

At Comic Con today, I went as Black Cat. This is a shitty picture and there will be better ones of my whole costume coming up but I just want to say something. 
Black Cat’s costume has a fair amount of cleavage (conservative compared to many other female comic characters but a good amount as far as what I’ve ever shown). I guess I was not surprised to have a couple men ask to pose with me and then do some doofy “WHOA LOOK AT THOSE KNOCKERS” poses. I just make a really ugly face when I see they’re doing it. One guy with the social graces of a lemur said to me “I was this close to wearing that same outfit. My breasts are large and supple and I think it would have been nice.” Nope. Stop talking.
But aside from guys being doofy and awkward (but clearly not foul-intentioned), I did have my first truly skeezy experience at Comic Con today. 
And my first truly empowering moment as well.
This group of men from some kind of Stan Lee fan club blah blah internet video channel blah blah asked to interview with them on camera about Comic Con. I said well okay, sure. Camera is rolling. The “host” is a middle aged, rotund dude. It’s an all-male crew and lots of people (mostly guys) were beginning to crowd around. The following is the interview as burned in my mind. Keep in mind that I expected this to be about Comic Con in general.
Him: I’m here with…
Me: Mandy, aka Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat
Him: ..And she is HOT. Do you think I’m hot enough to pull that off?
Me: Uh, I’m not sure, I’ve never seen you in drag.
Him: I’ve got a great ass. Go on, spank me.
Me: (look at his large ass, popped up mere inches away from me then look into the camera like are you kidding me . No thanks. I may hurt you, I’m a lot stronger than I look.
Him: Aw come on!
Me: No, seriously. Stop.
Him: Damn, alright! Well let me ask you an important question then…what is your cup size?
Me: (big talk show smile) That is actually none of your fucking business.
Him: Oh! I think that means to say she’s a C. 
Me: I actually have no breasts at all, what you see is just all of the fat from my midsection pulled up to my chest and carefully held in place with this corset. It’s really uncomfortable, I don’t know why I do it.
 Him: (to the male crowd) Aw, come on what do you guys think? C cup? 
—a few males start to shout out cup sizes as I stand there looking at this guy like this has to be a fucking joke, then look at the crowd and see that no amount of witty banter or fiestiness will stop making this whole thing fucking dumb. It was clearly a ploy to single out cosplaying women to get them to talk sexual innuendos and flirt with this asshole and let him talk down to them simply because they were in costume and were attractive. Whether I’m in a skintight catsuit or not, I’m a fucking professional in everything I do and I don’t need to play nice for this idiot.
Me: This is not an interview, this is degrading. I’m done. (I walk away)
Him: (clearly dumbfounded and surprised) ..Come on, it’s all in good fun!
Me: Being degraded is fun? That was unprofessional and I hope that isn’t your day job because you can’t interview for shit, my man.
And the entire crew and the crowd were SILENT. NOTHING. SHOCK, HONEY. It felt like I was in a heated fog, full of rage and pride and I sashayed away feeling like the most badass motherfucker in the whole damn room, but kind of also on the verge of tears. A slow build of applause would have been appropriate, but from the looks on people’s faces, they were just completely not expecting me to do what I just did- which was really nothing more than speaking up for myself. It wasn’t something one should feel brave for doing but crazy for not doing when necessary.
It’s because many people at these cons expect women cosplaying as vixens (or even just wearing particularly flattering costumes) to be open/ welcoming to crude male commentary and lecherous ogling, like our presence comes with subtitles that say “I represent your fantasy thus you may treat me like a fantasy and not a human in a costume”. And maybe that will always be how the majority of people see us. But that does not mean we have to put up with shit that crosses the line, it does not mean we owe them a fantasy, it does not mean we dress up to have guys drooling over us and letting us know that we turn them on. It is not all about your dicks, gentlemen. So I encourage cosplaying women everywhere to be blunt and vocal with their rights, their personal boundaries, and their comfort level at conventions. I actually encourage girls to be brashly shameless about these things, to not be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable and to let the person doing it know that they are crossing the line. Don’t keep quiet because you’re scared of what they might say or think- because if you say nothing they will continue to see what they’re doing as OK. 

So, basically, a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants. That doesn’t give anyone the right to try to humiliate and/or degrade her.

[standing ovation]

thesaralima:

beautilation:

At Comic Con today, I went as Black Cat. This is a shitty picture and there will be better ones of my whole costume coming up but I just want to say something. 

Black Cat’s costume has a fair amount of cleavage (conservative compared to many other female comic characters but a good amount as far as what I’ve ever shown). I guess I was not surprised to have a couple men ask to pose with me and then do some doofy “WHOA LOOK AT THOSE KNOCKERS” poses. I just make a really ugly face when I see they’re doing it. One guy with the social graces of a lemur said to me “I was this close to wearing that same outfit. My breasts are large and supple and I think it would have been nice.” Nope. Stop talking.

But aside from guys being doofy and awkward (but clearly not foul-intentioned), I did have my first truly skeezy experience at Comic Con today. 

And my first truly empowering moment as well.

This group of men from some kind of Stan Lee fan club blah blah internet video channel blah blah asked to interview with them on camera about Comic Con. I said well okay, sure. Camera is rolling. The “host” is a middle aged, rotund dude. It’s an all-male crew and lots of people (mostly guys) were beginning to crowd around. The following is the interview as burned in my mind. Keep in mind that I expected this to be about Comic Con in general.

  • Him: I’m here with…
  • Me: Mandy, aka Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat
  • Him: ..And she is HOT. Do you think I’m hot enough to pull that off?
  • Me: Uh, I’m not sure, I’ve never seen you in drag.
  • Him: I’ve got a great ass. Go on, spank me.
  • Me: (look at his large ass, popped up mere inches away from me then look into the camera like are you kidding me . No thanks. I may hurt you, I’m a lot stronger than I look.
  • Him: Aw come on!
  • Me: No, seriously. Stop.
  • Him: Damn, alright! Well let me ask you an important question then…what is your cup size?
  • Me: (big talk show smile) That is actually none of your fucking business.
  • Him: Oh! I think that means to say she’s a C. 
  • Me: I actually have no breasts at all, what you see is just all of the fat from my midsection pulled up to my chest and carefully held in place with this corset. It’s really uncomfortable, I don’t know why I do it.
  •  Him: (to the male crowd) Aw, come on what do you guys think? C cup? 
  • —a few males start to shout out cup sizes as I stand there looking at this guy like this has to be a fucking joke, then look at the crowd and see that no amount of witty banter or fiestiness will stop making this whole thing fucking dumb. It was clearly a ploy to single out cosplaying women to get them to talk sexual innuendos and flirt with this asshole and let him talk down to them simply because they were in costume and were attractive. Whether I’m in a skintight catsuit or not, I’m a fucking professional in everything I do and I don’t need to play nice for this idiot.
  • Me: This is not an interview, this is degrading. I’m done. (I walk away)
  • Him: (clearly dumbfounded and surprised) ..Come on, it’s all in good fun!
  • Me: Being degraded is fun? That was unprofessional and I hope that isn’t your day job because you can’t interview for shit, my man.

And the entire crew and the crowd were SILENT. NOTHING. SHOCK, HONEY. It felt like I was in a heated fog, full of rage and pride and I sashayed away feeling like the most badass motherfucker in the whole damn room, but kind of also on the verge of tears. A slow build of applause would have been appropriate, but from the looks on people’s faces, they were just completely not expecting me to do what I just did- which was really nothing more than speaking up for myself. It wasn’t something one should feel brave for doing but crazy for not doing when necessary.

It’s because many people at these cons expect women cosplaying as vixens (or even just wearing particularly flattering costumes) to be open/ welcoming to crude male commentary and lecherous ogling, like our presence comes with subtitles that say “I represent your fantasy thus you may treat me like a fantasy and not a human in a costume”. And maybe that will always be how the majority of people see us. But that does not mean we have to put up with shit that crosses the line, it does not mean we owe them a fantasy, it does not mean we dress up to have guys drooling over us and letting us know that we turn them on. It is not all about your dicks, gentlemen. So I encourage cosplaying women everywhere to be blunt and vocal with their rights, their personal boundaries, and their comfort level at conventions. I actually encourage girls to be brashly shameless about these things, to not be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable and to let the person doing it know that they are crossing the line. Don’t keep quiet because you’re scared of what they might say or think- because if you say nothing they will continue to see what they’re doing as OK. 

So, basically, a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants. That doesn’t give anyone the right to try to humiliate and/or degrade her.

[standing ovation]

tylercoates:

youngmanhattanite:

The Chicago Teachers Strike, by YM Intern Taoistdrunk
I. We’re in day 4 of the strike. Teachers, clerks, security personnel, teachers’ aides, counselors, school social workers, school nurses, clinicians and other educational support personnel have not been getting paid for the last four days. Teachers have been on corners every morning from 6:30-10:30 for the last four days, they’ve been at afternoon rallies for the last four days. Some unions have strike pay provisions — teachers don’t. Teachers are not getting paid. You’d be surprised at the things people holler biking, walking, driving by. “You’re lucky,” they say. “If I didn’t go to work I wouldn’t get paid, I’d get fired.” They say this hurrying to the L in crisp shirts holding leather briefcases. The teachers respond “Good morning, have a nice day!” because what else is there to say? What would help, what would make a difference? Nobody goes on vacation to stand on the concrete at six thirty in the morning. Nobody likes it. And nobody, nobody, likes not getting paid. You’d be surprised at how many people seem to think anybody at all is getting paid. They’re not. We’re not.Every middle finger, every shake of the head, every thumbs down, every jeer I’ve witnessed has come from a white man in a fancy car. One exception: my colleagues told me a white woman came by one of the corners I wasn’t at to say mean things on Monday. The teachers’ union is something like 87% female and it’s majority black and Hispanic. These are just truths, probably unfairly positioned.
Speaking of the angry parent: she demanded to know why she couldn’t send her kid to school that day, and it was heartbreaking because one of the big, big reasons everybody was outside, wearing red, not getting paid, was to get more counselors, social workers, clinicians, nurses on staff so that students like this one could get what they need. The contract that the union would have had to sign in order to get everybody to school on Monday wouldn’t have served this child the way they deserve. And that parent didn’t know, and people don’t know. How heartbreaking that is, too: that so few people know.
Parents have been bringing their children in the mornings, children in strollers, children in baby bjorns, children in red shirts and red ribbons and red shoes holding signs that say they love their teachers. Their teachers love them, too. How to bring children to rallies! I mean, how. How can you explain it to them, how can you tell a child that the longer school day doesn’t necessarily mean a better school day when it gets handed down from on high, how can you tell a child about offering raises then taking them back, how can you tell a child that not everybody thinks it’s a big deal that they’re expected to listen and learn for weeks in hundred degree heat on the third floor of century old buildings, how can you tell a child that longer hours really should mean a bigger paycheck, how can you tell a child that their classmate’s homelessness or gang affiliation or parents’ divorce or chronic hunger might cause them to bomb a test and cost their teacher her job, how can you tell a child there aren’t enough libraries, nurses, counselors, social workers in their school? How can you tell a child that they’re not getting enough? You can just tell them. So their parents just told them, in ways that made sense to them for their children. And the parents brought them in the mornings to the small picket lines and they broght them in the afternoons for the 20,000, 30,000 person rallies. They pushed strollers to the fountain and high schoolers stood on concrete planters and held signs saying HISTORY CLASS IS IN SESSION up high. The district set up contingency schools for parents without other daycare options. The schools were open from 8:30-12:30 at the beginning of the week, and the day now has been extended to 8:30-2:30. The kids aren’t learning anything; they’re not allowed to. Kids are in auditoriums, sitting, waiting. The schools were set up to have 100:1 child:adult ratios, and that sounded scary but it makes sense now because just yesterday, exactly one child walked into a contingency school. She walked in with her father and walked right back out. Kids don’t want to be there, it’s just that the district just wants parents crossing the picket lines. This isn’t about public safety or widespread hunger — if it was, the city would be investing in those issues under ordinary circumstances — it’s about making the teachers look bad. And it’s working! Here’s the truth: Parents are sending their kids to arts camps so they don’t have to betray teachers by crossing picket lines; parents are hiring high schoolers to babysit their younger children; parents are taking the time, figuring it out because they know about the long-term gains their children stand to make. Parents want a nurse in their schools for more than two hours a week, because what if their epileptic child has a seizure and the nurse is at a different site that day? The parents who know those are the things that are at stake know to stand by their teachers, the professionals they know and love and trust with their children every day. On the radio they got some teachers to say that the strike may not end for another four to six weeks. I don’t know where they found those people; everyone I’ve talked to has been hoping for tomorrow and counting on Monday. Everybody’s hoping to make Saturday’s rally a celebration of the district and the union coming together for a fair contract that will improve the lives of the children we all love. Monday we’ll be back in school, everybody hopes so and everybody believes it, too. The radio! The radio has been so cruel to teachers. Most are ignoring it, they know that’s how these things go. It wouldn’t be a conflict if the media didn’t vilify somebody, and they rarely go after the people in power. That’s the thing about union struggles when they get to this point, when it comes to a strike or even the brink of one: they’re the most dramatic display of power there is. One person, or a very small group of people, stands above tens or even hundreds of thousands and make it clear: you can’t have that. This is an exciting time to be alive, it’s an exciting thing to see. It’s epic. HISTORY CLASS IS IN SESSION. Either you believe that workers have the right to organize or you don’t. But seeing the one, or the few, stand over the thousands and make it clear: you can’t have that, how can you see that and not understand, horribly, that the one or the few could crush any one of those thousands? Without the ability to organize each one of us is so weak. The CTU seems to understand that the whole world is watching, they seem to understand that this fight is, yes, yes, yes, about Chicago students and smaller class sizes and livable classrooms and enough desks and clinicians and books and librarians, yes it absolutely is about those things but it is also a symbol that will endure. After this, either people will believe that workers have the right to organize or they don’t. And whatever they believe, they’ll know it’s possible or that it isn’t, at least in Chicago. They’ll know that means something, something big, for the rest of the country and the rest of the world. Protest chant: get up, get down, Chicago is a union town.
II.http://i.imgur.com/3VUgA.jpg

A+

tylercoates:

youngmanhattanite:

The Chicago Teachers Strike, by YM Intern Taoistdrunk

I.
We’re in day 4 of the strike. Teachers, clerks, security personnel, teachers’ aides, counselors, school social workers, school nurses, clinicians and other educational support personnel have not been getting paid for the last four days. Teachers have been on corners every morning from 6:30-10:30 for the last four days, they’ve been at afternoon rallies for the last four days. Some unions have strike pay provisions — teachers don’t. Teachers are not getting paid. You’d be surprised at the things people holler biking, walking, driving by. “You’re lucky,” they say. “If I didn’t go to work I wouldn’t get paid, I’d get fired.” They say this hurrying to the L in crisp shirts holding leather briefcases. The teachers respond “Good morning, have a nice day!” because what else is there to say? What would help, what would make a difference? Nobody goes on vacation to stand on the concrete at six thirty in the morning. Nobody likes it. And nobody, nobody, likes not getting paid. You’d be surprised at how many people seem to think anybody at all is getting paid. They’re not. We’re not.

Every middle finger, every shake of the head, every thumbs down, every jeer I’ve witnessed has come from a white man in a fancy car. One exception: my colleagues told me a white woman came by one of the corners I wasn’t at to say mean things on Monday. The teachers’ union is something like 87% female and it’s majority black and Hispanic. These are just truths, probably unfairly positioned.

Speaking of the angry parent: she demanded to know why she couldn’t send her kid to school that day, and it was heartbreaking because one of the big, big reasons everybody was outside, wearing red, not getting paid, was to get more counselors, social workers, clinicians, nurses on staff so that students like this one could get what they need. The contract that the union would have had to sign in order to get everybody to school on Monday wouldn’t have served this child the way they deserve. And that parent didn’t know, and people don’t know. How heartbreaking that is, too: that so few people know.

Parents have been bringing their children in the mornings, children in strollers, children in baby bjorns, children in red shirts and red ribbons and red shoes holding signs that say they love their teachers. Their teachers love them, too. How to bring children to rallies! I mean, how. How can you explain it to them, how can you tell a child that the longer school day doesn’t necessarily mean a better school day when it gets handed down from on high, how can you tell a child about offering raises then taking them back, how can you tell a child that not everybody thinks it’s a big deal that they’re expected to listen and learn for weeks in hundred degree heat on the third floor of century old buildings, how can you tell a child that longer hours really should mean a bigger paycheck, how can you tell a child that their classmate’s homelessness or gang affiliation or parents’ divorce or chronic hunger might cause them to bomb a test and cost their teacher her job, how can you tell a child there aren’t enough libraries, nurses, counselors, social workers in their school? How can you tell a child that they’re not getting enough?

You can just tell them.

So their parents just told them, in ways that made sense to them for their children. And the parents brought them in the mornings to the small picket lines and they broght them in the afternoons for the 20,000, 30,000 person rallies. They pushed strollers to the fountain and high schoolers stood on concrete planters and held signs saying HISTORY CLASS IS IN SESSION up high.

The district set up contingency schools for parents without other daycare options. The schools were open from 8:30-12:30 at the beginning of the week, and the day now has been extended to 8:30-2:30. The kids aren’t learning anything; they’re not allowed to. Kids are in auditoriums, sitting, waiting. The schools were set up to have 100:1 child:adult ratios, and that sounded scary but it makes sense now because just yesterday, exactly one child walked into a contingency school. She walked in with her father and walked right back out. Kids don’t want to be there, it’s just that the district just wants parents crossing the picket lines. This isn’t about public safety or widespread hunger — if it was, the city would be investing in those issues under ordinary circumstances — it’s about making the teachers look bad. And it’s working! Here’s the truth: Parents are sending their kids to arts camps so they don’t have to betray teachers by crossing picket lines; parents are hiring high schoolers to babysit their younger children; parents are taking the time, figuring it out because they know about the long-term gains their children stand to make. Parents want a nurse in their schools for more than two hours a week, because what if their epileptic child has a seizure and the nurse is at a different site that day? The parents who know those are the things that are at stake know to stand by their teachers, the professionals they know and love and trust with their children every day.

On the radio they got some teachers to say that the strike may not end for another four to six weeks. I don’t know where they found those people; everyone I’ve talked to has been hoping for tomorrow and counting on Monday. Everybody’s hoping to make Saturday’s rally a celebration of the district and the union coming together for a fair contract that will improve the lives of the children we all love. Monday we’ll be back in school, everybody hopes so and everybody believes it, too. The radio! The radio has been so cruel to teachers. Most are ignoring it, they know that’s how these things go. It wouldn’t be a conflict if the media didn’t vilify somebody, and they rarely go after the people in power.

That’s the thing about union struggles when they get to this point, when it comes to a strike or even the brink of one: they’re the most dramatic display of power there is. One person, or a very small group of people, stands above tens or even hundreds of thousands and make it clear: you can’t have that. This is an exciting time to be alive, it’s an exciting thing to see. It’s epic. HISTORY CLASS IS IN SESSION.

Either you believe that workers have the right to organize or you don’t. But seeing the one, or the few, stand over the thousands and make it clear: you can’t have that, how can you see that and not understand, horribly, that the one or the few could crush any one of those thousands? Without the ability to organize each one of us is so weak. The CTU seems to understand that the whole world is watching, they seem to understand that this fight is, yes, yes, yes, about Chicago students and smaller class sizes and livable classrooms and enough desks and clinicians and books and librarians, yes it absolutely is about those things but it is also a symbol that will endure. After this, either people will believe that workers have the right to organize or they don’t. And whatever they believe, they’ll know it’s possible or that it isn’t, at least in Chicago. They’ll know that means something, something big, for the rest of the country and the rest of the world.

Protest chant: get up, get down, Chicago is a union town.

II.
http://i.imgur.com/3VUgA.jpg

A+

(via tylercoates-deactivated20130905)

Women invented all the core technologies that made civilization possible. This isn’t some feminist myth; it’s what modern anthropologists believe. Women are thought to have invented pottery, basketmaking, weaving, textiles, horticulture, and agriculture. That’s right: without women’s inventions, we wouldn’t be able to carry things or store things or tie things up or go fishing or hunt with nets or haft a blade or wear clothes or grow our food or live in permanent settlements. Suck on that.

Women have continued to be involved in the creation and advancement of civilization throughout history, whether you know it or not. Pick anything—a technology, a science, an art form, a school of thought—and start digging into the background. You’ll find women there, I guarantee, making critical contributions and often inventing the damn shit in the first place.

Women have made those contributions in spite of astonishing hurdles. Hurdles like not being allowed to go to school. Hurdles like not being allowed to work in an office with men, or join a professional society, or walk on the street, or own property. Example: look up Lise Meitner some time. When she was born in 1878 it was illegal in Austria for girls to attend school past the age of 13. Once the laws finally eased up and she could go to university, she wasn’t allowed to study with the men. Then she got a research post but wasn’t allowed to use the lab on account of girl cooties. Her whole life was like this, but she still managed to discover nuclear fucking fission. Then the Nobel committee gave the prize to her junior male colleague and ignored her existence completely.

Men in all patriarchal civilizations, including ours, have worked to downplay or deny women’s creative contributions. That’s because patriarchy is founded on the belief that women are breeding stock and men are the only people who can think. The easiest way for men to erase women’s contributions is to simply ignore that they happened. Because when you ignore something, it gets forgotten. People in the next generation don’t hear about it, and so they grow up thinking that no women have ever done anything. And then when women in their generation do stuff, they think “it’s a fluke, never happened before in the history of the world, ignore it.” And so they ignore it, and it gets forgotten. And on and on and on. The New York Times article is a perfect illustration of this principle in action.

Finally, and this is important: even those women who weren’t inventors and intellectuals, even those women who really did spend all their lives doing stereotypical “women’s work”—they also built this world. The mundane labor of life is what makes everything else possible. Before you can have scientists and engineers and artists, you have to have a whole bunch of people (and it’s usually women) to hold down the basics: to grow and harvest and cook the food, to provide clothes and shelter, to fetch the firewood and the water, to nurture and nurse, to tend and teach. Every single scrap of civilized inventing and dreaming and thinking rides on top of that foundation. Never forget that.

from a post by Reclusive Leftist on women’s erasure in history. 

her comments relate specifically to an article by the NYT thanking “the men” who invented modern technology, but pick absolutely any academic field of study, and women’s contributions are minimized, if not outright ignored.

literature has been a huge part of my life for a long time, and i grew up reading the classics—which, of course, are typically books written by white men, depicting their experiences. i was taught that the first “modern novel” was Don Quixote, written in the early 1600s by a guy (Cervantes). i don’t think i know of a word to accurately describe my mixture of outrage, shock, and pride, when i discovered later that actually, the first modern novel was written 600 years earlier—by a woman! (it’s The Tale of Genji, written by a Japanese lady-in-waiting who was known as Murasaki Shikibu.)

this might not seem important, but if you’re a woman you know just how vital this knowledge is. even now, when women are being told that we can do anything we set our minds to, the historical, literary, and scientific figures we learn about are all men. it’s a much more insidious way to discourage women from aiming high—because what’s the point in putting in so much hard work if it’s not even going to be remembered after you’re dead?

(via sendforbromina)

All of this. For a long time, women couldn’t apply for patents in the US, so even if they invented something, they had to let their husband or male colleague take credit for it. Us ladies had made significant contributions to every field of study out there, and I am sick and tired of seeing that shit get ignored.

(via awesomestuffwomendid)

give me this kitchen pleaseandthankyou.

give me this kitchen pleaseandthankyou.

(via sundanceapples)

about jack

i grew up with jack chu. we were in school together from kindergarten through high school, and while we were never particularly close and didn’t travel in the same circles, we’d known each other most of our lives. after i reluctantly joined facebook at the insistence of a friend who’d moved to the east coast, jack contacted me to say hello. i wrote back, our messages started getting longer and longer, and turned into almost daily chats on our lunch breaks, while playing facebook-poker together. we both acknowledged the irony that after “knowing” each other for over twenty years, we were finally becoming friends; and we also laughed that we were now considering ourselves to be “friends” though we weren’t in touch via any other means than facebook.

we mostly talked about mutual folks we knew growing up, asked after each other’s families, and caught up on what we were doing now. we talked about music and poker, nothing too serious, and made each other laugh. he was still living in the bay area and wanted to know all about portland, declaring that since i’d decided to stay here for so long, it must be pretty awesome. i agreed, and told him if he was ever up my way to let me know and i’d meet him for a drink so we could catch up in person. he extended the same offer for the next time i would be down in the bay. 

i started touting jack as a shining example of how facebook turned out better than i’d expected; my attitude prior to joining had been “i’m already in touch with all the people who i care to be in touch with.” jack proved me wrong, as it was delightful to start to get to know each other in our adulthood, and it would not have happened otherwise.

then, in july 2008, jack was murdered.

he went out with a friend. they went to a couple bars. then his friend shot him in the head eleven times, shoved him into the passenger seat of jack’s car, and parked it on a residential street, where his body was not discovered for two days.

it was absolutely shocking. jack was the first friend of mine to die as the result of such violence. i didn’t know how to process it; we’d chatted the day before he’d died and i’d wondered the rest of the week if his schedule had changed, since i wasn’t catching him online at lunch anymore. other friends we’d grown up with expressed the same shock as me. he was gone, there seemed not to have been an altercation prompting his death, and initially, the main suspect was nowhere to be found.

once jack’s murderer was apprehended, there were no easy answers. there were pleas of insanity, there were four separate competency hearings, there were further delays when this guy attacked and choked his cell mate. my heart broke for jack’s family, wishing them closure and to find out why this happened, if that would bring them some peace.

it took years until small steps towards resolution took place. the guy was put on medication, and eventually deemed fit to stand trial. a trial date was set. the trial happened, the guy was found guilty. and just last thursday, he was sentenced. it will be 57 years before he is eligible for parole.

i still think about jack often. he’s the reason i won’t deactivate my facebook account, since our reconnection was such an unexpected treat. now that the sentence has been passed, jack’s name won’t periodically appear in my email, alerting me to developments in the case. i won’t share those updates with the kids we grew up with. jack’s been gone for almost four years, but now there’ll be additional silence when i think of him. i still remember him pulling on my hair during class in kindergarten, and am grateful for the time we got to spend getting to know each other as adults.

i hope his family finds some comfort in the conviction. i hope they are doing well, and that they know how jack touched a lot of people with his warmth, sincerity, and desire to reconnect with old friends. i hope they know that he’s still remembered even by those of us who were orbiting the outer circles of his social life. and mostly, i hope that everyone who knew jack never has to experience this kind of senseless act ever again.

none of my actions have ever been [determined] by the search for a husband, or wondering if I was going to have a family someday, or wanting to live in a really great house, or thinking it would be really great to have a diamond. There are just certain drives, and I think that those things may be representative of a desire for love or something else. I’m sure those writers would not appreciate me distilling their thesis down to the search for a diamond, but there’s a kind of female character that doesn’t make sense to me. — Lena Dunham on Fresh Air (via tinyluckygenius)