Thursday, February 15, 2007

I'm Moving!

I'm taking the plunge, and I'm moving the blog! My new address is:

Please stop by and help me celebrate a special day! But hurry, before the food runs out!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Twisty's Porn Again

Twisty wrote something wonderful here. My favorite part:

As we have seen time and time again, two things happen whenever anyone “transgressively” redefines beauty (or sex, or femininity, or motherhood, or anything else popularly believed to be the purview of women). One, the transgressive redefinition only transpires when there is money to be made and flesh to exploit. Two, although it represents only a cosmetic shift in art direction, the new line of sexbot demarcation is touted and accepted as some kind of paradigmatic feminist breakthrough.

This is the type of post we need: razor-sharp, insightful, and informative. This elephant applauds.

Update: Oops, I forgot to say I found out about this post from Pippa.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Monday Bunny Blogging

When we first brought Bumble home, I felt badly that he was a single bunny. It would be good for him to have a stuffed friend to keep him company, and I found a website that sold several types of "Bunny Buddies":

The website selects the type of Bunny Buddy for you instead of letting you choose. We ended up with the strangest, freakiest one of the bunch:

Forget the strange ears, they didn't even stamp its face on straight! Not surprisingly, Bumble has spent the last 2.5 years ignoring the odd thing. But recently, something must have happened, for Bunny Buddy has come into its own. Look how Bumble spends part of every evening now:

On Friday, I discovered Bumble in a position he never lays in: head-first in the hutch, giving the bunny butt to Bunny Buddy!

Fortunately, it was a false alarm. He'd gotten mad at his litter box and thrown it, as best he could, across the room. He was giving the bunny butt to the litter box. (Ponder for a moment, the idea of giving the bunny butt to your own toilet.) I'm happy to report that things are still good between Bumble and his freaky friend.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Twisty posted this picture of Donatella Versace:

with this caption: Would you let this trainwreck dress you?

She described Versace as "the yellow-haired, football-faced misogynist designer". Making fun of behavior, including speech, is fair game. After ripping apart Versace's appearance, Twisty then posted a ridiculous quote from Versace, which should have been the focus of the post all along. So please, attack behavior as it is warranted. If you feel an overwhelming urge to attack someone's looks, move away from the computer. In the comments of that post, people were justifying making fun of Versace's appearance because she'd cosmetically altered her face. The same rule applies: behavior, not appearance. Rule #2: don't hide behind excuses.

There's an idea central to radical feminism, the idea that women are valued only for how we please men. Our looks are always being judged, because our appearance is all that is valued by society. Therefore, it should be obvious that

it is never acceptable to attack a woman's appearance.

It isn't acceptable to attack men for their appearance either, but that's another post. In the meantime, those who need to, go buy a clue.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Monday Bunny Blogging

One repeat picture, one new. Stupid camera.

Bumble installs a doorway

Saturday, February 03, 2007

An American Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a place not far from you, there was a little girl whose family was worried about MONEY. One day the girl’s father died, and MONEY became a very big problem for the family. The girl’s mother worried about money. The little girl worried about money, and it made her stomach hurt. As she grew up, she decided that she would go to college and get an Advanced Degree so that she would have some security in her life and so she could stop being scared about MONEY all the time.

The girl, now a woman, could not afford college. She could barely support herself working full-time at her minimum-wage job. People seemed to understand that it was hard to pay tuition, but no one seemed to grasp that it was impossible to support yourself while going to school if you were on your own. The woman worked one full-time job and one part-time job, and attended night school for four years. Then she went to school full-time, and worked two part-time jobs. She had to apply for LOAN after LOAN to stay in school. She beat the worries down with thoughts of her Advanced Degree. She felt guilty about worrying, since she had it so much better than so many other people.

The woman was working on the beloved Advanced Degree when she became very, very sick, and could not work. Her Evil Advisor said “Depressives don’t belong in research!” and kicked her out of graduate school with a lowly Masters Degree, an inferior type of Advanced Degree. The woman had to resort to using credit cards to pay for her health insurance, visits to the doctor, and medication. The credit card balances mushroomed and the student loans came due!

With time, the woman recovered, and was able to work hard. The credit card balances were paid off eventually, and the woman accepted that the student loans were going to be part of her life for a long time. The anxiety fed on this, but that was ok, since she had lived with her friend, anxiety, for a long time. The woman’s inferior Advanced Degree qualified her to work in a job she loved. All was well.

Alas, the woman became sick again. Her brain was sick, her immune system was sick, and all of her joints and muscles were sick. These conditions were permanent and she had to face the fact that she might not ever work again. The woman had to resort to using credit cards to pay for her health insurance, visits to the doctor, and medication. The credit card balances mushroomed and the student loan payments kept coming. The woman watched all of her hard work evaporate, and the debt monster grew bigger by the day. She started wondering about which she should do first: default on her student loans, or cancel her health insurance.

People said she was very Stupid, Irresponsible, and Selfish. They succeeded at life, why couldn’t she? The woman agreed with them. She had been Stupid to pursue an education when it meant mortgaging her future. She had been Irresponsible to get sick with so many different health problems. Finally, she had been Selfish to try to take care of herself and to seek medical help-those resources were only for the rich.

The moral of the story: Don’t try to stay alive, let alone succeed, in America unless an accident of birth makes you wealthy.

Alternate moral: Don’t get sick.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Life is short, what do I read?

It is extremely frustrating to be reading an excellent book or article on racism/sexism (choose one), only to have the author either ignore or make hateful statements about racism/sexism (choose the other). A great anti-racist book that embraces sexism enrages me, and vice-versa. My first impulse is to get rid of the book or article. Am I being too harsh? Is a great essay on sexism ruined if it ignores the racist issues entwined with the feminist ones?

I've been thinking about this for a while: where do I draw the line on things I allow into my brain? Then yesterday, I read a post at The Unapologetic Mexican that almost made me dance. Nezua doesn't just get it right, he gives a brilliant display of analyzing both racism and sexism. Go read the post (if you love movies, you'll especially appreciate his analysis).

The bottom line is this: I don't want to spend time on things that focus on one anti-oppression issue while ignoring other blatant examples of oppression. To be clear: I have no problem with articles or books that focus exclusively on feminism, anti-racism, ableism, or class issues-such works are appropriate. My problem is with authors who attack one type of oppression vigorously, while simultaneously engaging in another type of oppression.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Monday Bunny Blogging

More retro Bumble! From September, 2004:

I can't believe she bought a book from such an awful company. Social justice ain't just a talkative judge! Maybe if I chew fast enough I can destroy the evidence.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I can't do this anymore

I'm coming out of a depression, so I'm very vulnerable, and I might not be seeing things clearly. Maybe by this time next week, I won't feel this way. But I've really had my fill of blogs. I guess I should have stopped reading blogs that feature regular doses of infighting. But Laurelin's right: there's a thin line between stirring and silence.

You know what makes me furious? Heart posted something amazing: she posted Ballastexistenz's video, which was made in response to the Ashley Treatment (parents of a disabled girl have surgically and chemically altered her body to make caring for her easier). The video is about a woman claiming her personhood in the face of society's insistence that she's nothing. Ballastexistenz knows all too well what it's like to be denied personhood. It's an amazing video, a must-see. The next post on Heart's blog is about the monster/Robin Morgan fight. The Robin Morgan post had, at last count, 87 comments. The post of Ballastexistenz's video had 6 comments. Marginalized again.

Assuming I can muster the energy, and that's a big assumption, I'm going to try to take this blog in a different direction. I haven't figured this out completely, but I want to focus on theory, ideas for actions that will actually have an impact, and activism. Suggestions on how to do this are most welcome.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Monday Bunny Blogging

My computer isn't on speaking terms with my camera or with my CD drive. So I think I'll be posting some vintage Bumble photos. This picture was taken the first night we brought him home from the humane society:

His ear to body ratio was very different!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Rant

What exactly is wrong with progressive bloggers? Scratch that. I don't care what's wrong. All I care about is getting people to stop being stubborn and to try doing something constructive once in awhile. What do you blog about? Do you focus on sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, or all of the above? (I'm deliberately leaving out bloggers who focus on disablism, since they have haven't indulged in all the horseshit expressed over the last several weeks.) If you blog about those subjects, have you been engaging in neverending "discussions" about how crappy other progressives are? Have you been posting divisive statements showing your superiority to everyone else?

Events unfold like this: a blogger attacks a group of people who also fall under the progressive umbrella. A blogger in "group A" deems members of "group B" as stupid, hateful, aggressive, and worthless. Since the two groups have many common interests, it's inevitable that someone from group B will find the post attacking group B. Word of the post spreads among members of group B, and the members go to the post and leave comments protesting the lousy characterization of them.

The next part of the interaction is where we all behave as if we're in junior high school. Let me be clear: there are important issues and points of contention that need to be discussed between groups. I'll repeat this because it's so important: important issues that progressive groups disagree on need to be discussed. Discussion almost never happens. Instead, members of both groups dig in, and they argue their side of the issue. They do not listen to what members of the other group are saying. No progress is made, no understanding results from the argument. People continue to say things about the other group that are simply untrue. Meanwhile, more time has been pissed away fighting each other instead of fighting oppression.

Raising your voice to protest awful treatment of a group of people is a core value of progressives. But in this climate, responding to offensive things said by others is a futile gesture. You will not be heard. You will become even more furious, your blood pressure will take a beating, but you won't be able to educate others as to why what they're saying or doing is wrong. What's the point in trying?

It's my hope that people who are natural allies will start working on understanding viewpoints that are not their own. We don't have to agree on every issue to work together. I hope that we learn to treat each other with respect, because that's the only chance we have for fighting the monstrous conditions in which all of us live and die. What do we really care about? Do we care about fighting for people who are suffering, or is it more important to tear down another group that shares at least some of our goals?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Bunny Blogging

Bumble got mad at his bottle buddy and he bit, scratched, and pushed it to the middle of the room. Then when he decided he wanted to snuggle with bottle buddy, he had to lie in the middle of the room like a foolish bunny.

See what we let anger do to us?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

"Pro-gun activists say women are taking away their rights with domestic laws"

from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

A new fear floated above some of the gun exhibits: judges, lawyers and voters were giving women too much power, and the women were using that power to take guns away from their husbands, their boyfriends and their constituents. A gun-grabber lurked in the heart of the liberated woman.


No one at the law seminar lingered on why there was domestic violence in the United States, or how this violence affected men, women and children, or what steps could be taken to reduce or prevent such violence. For many of the lawyers present, it was strictly a legal issue about due process, federal statutes and legal precedents. What happened in the living room or bedroom, likely sites of what crime analysts called simple assault, was off the political and rhetorical radar screens. I also heard no discussion on how to protect women from men in their own homes. No, the subject was about individuals convicted of misdemeanors or slapped with restraining orders who had lost their right to own firearms. And the big issue was how to get them back. It was all about the guns.


I found out that the police were particularly vulnerable. There was mention of how the Minneapolis Police Department was practically disarmed because so many police had present or past restraining orders against them. No one talked about domestic violence, because violence in the home didn't have the emotional punch of a violent predator breaking into your home.


In 1998, the National Institute for Justice reported that each year 1.5 million women were raped or physically assaulted by intimate partners. Many of these attacks occurred in the privacy of the home. Men were more likely to be attacked by strangers. In contrast, women were seven to 14 times "more likely to report that an intimate partner beat them up, choked or tried to drown them, threatened them with a gun, or actually used a gun on them."

Monday, January 01, 2007

Monday Bunny Blogging

Happy New Year!

Bumble did not celebrate responsibly. Look where he woke up this morning:

Why'd I have to have that last banana?