Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big Lunch - [TW for bulimia, etc]

As this blog picks up speed - and it is. Tell your friends. I can take you to the top baby. Don'tchu wanna be a stahhh? - I've been feeling less and less comfortable talking about personal things, like ED stuff. Not that it's any secret from the people in my life, but it's a lot easier to inform the internet that you just took an awesome shit or that you cut yourself when you get stressed if the internet isn't listening.

when you look into the internet abyss, the abyss looks into you or whatever (paraphrase)
This doesn't mean that staying healthy isn't a day-to-day struggle. Conflict. Obstacular parade of cromulent compulsion. Et cetera. It follows, then, that sometimes I eat and then I feel guilty and terrified. I haven't made myself throw up in a long time, but stopping from literally purging doesn't mean that there aren't more nuanced ways of doing so. Why isn't bulimia easy? [not serious]

So for this post I'm going to use the internet to vent about something deeply personal and painful, and that thing is named: I went to a restaurant and got a salad that had a lot of guacamole and sour cream on it and I ate most of it and boy do I feel bad. So bad I want to work out for a few hours then barf then deep-clean my house then carve into my arm a little bit and then sort of pant and run around and then do it all over again.

Such a small thing, but narcotics are small things, too.

A lot of people, but not as many as you'd think, are apprised of what eating disorders are. But I would venture to guess that most people genuinely believe us binge&purge tribespeople are in it for the glory, for vanity, for stupidity, for selfishness, for greed (dang, this is starting to sound like I'm listing the cardinal sins), or for reasons other than mental illness.

But we aren't. Eating disorders are not about what you probably think they're about. My father, for example, still believes that he helped me get better by commanding me to eat more when I decided to stop (gj, dad. psych!).

Obviously, or maybe not so obviously, the complex emotions behind your garden-variety eating disorder - low self-esteem, OCD, depression, body-dysmorphia, suicidal tendencies, anxietyanxietyanxiety - will not go away so easily. It's like telling someone with cancer to stop having cancer - pretty much pointless.

If you feel out of control, someone holding you down and shoving a burrito in your mouth is not going to make you feel like you have more control; if you feel you want to die because you're a festering scab on the earth, being informed that your ED is selfish or stupid is not going to make you want to not kill yourself; if you feel anxious about everything, including the food you eat and the body you carry around, being told not to worry or that you look fine or that you should get over it or that psychiatric medication isn't worth it because it steals your soul and your sex drive isn't going to change the fact that you have Issues.

For my part, I consider my ED to be an addiction. While I am in recovery, think of myself as clean and sober. The nature of the disease is such that I personally am ultimately responsible for living and not dying of something lovely like cardiac arrest, but that doesn't mean I don't resent it when people make ignorant assumptions about me, my mind, my health, my disease, and my body, if I'm open about it.

Saying you're bulimic and proud might be going a little too far, but I have a feeling if I were more comfortable expressing it, I'd be less scared of a jicama salad from a Tex-Mex restaurant. 

The U-Word: or, Only womyn's bodies are indecorous [props Shakesville]

Do not EVER say uterus aloud, especially if you're doing something special and official like being a member of the House of Representatives. The GOP-led Florida house told Rep. Scott Randolph "not to discuss body parts on the House floor." (Randolph, by the way, had a good zinger about his wife incorporating her uterus so that the GOP would be more inclined to treat it in a manner that is more laissez-faire).

This is for the children, of course. The "young pages and messengers" who might be shocked or upset by the word "uterus." Which body parts are okay, and which are off-limits? Obviously anything relating to womyn's reproduction shouldn't be said; only womyn's bodies are "indecorous." What about "fallopian tube?" What about "pregnancy?" Personally, I've always like the way enciente rolls off the tongue.  And how will Republicans rail about sex ed if they can't actually express what it is that they so fear and loathe?

Other body parts are a little harder to pin down. References to hands or legs? Is the House no longer a governing "body?" What about metaphors? Probably only English majors would be up in arms about that.

The solution to this clusterfuck is this: no one should just refer to the corporeal ever again. Whaddya think, GOP?

Deep thoughts, brought to you by Fembot

The thought of comparing Obama with Reagan had crossed my mind before, but of course Shakesville took a thought, developed it, wrote it, posted it, and pwned it, more thoroughly than I ever could.

The comparison is based on policy (ie lies) and not the fact that they're both known as being handsome and charismatic, although of course they do have that in common. While taking a shit this morning, I was contemplating the handsomeness of presidents and had a few Deep Thoughts:
  • Even though TV made everyone realize how much more attractive JFK was than Nixon, the latter still eventually became president. JFK was assassinated and Nixon fucked up real bad. Moral: don't look like anything.
  • A good shit is like a charismatic president. At first you're pleased with it, but then you realize that it's still just shit.
You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Work derp: rage on Hump Day

Wanna hear about my day? Sure.

First, I came into work and prepared myself by drinking orange juice and diet soda. This was the high point.

In order to better understand what I'm doing, part of my assignment for today is to read a sexist, racist cartoon book made by the guy who basically invented my line of work. This guy makes everything, apparently, including drawings of abstract concepts personified with racist depictions of Asian folks. The only thing he doesn't make is pictures of womyn unless they're holding a phone or looking confused.

THEN when I went to lunch this scary man was sort of staring at me while wearing headphones and I have this thing where I hate eating when people look at me and I'm a horribly messy, sloppy eater, anyway. Remember in Doom Generation when Rose McGowan says something about sex eating like really sloppy spaghetti? Yeah, you don't want to watch me eat a salad with lots of dressing.

THEN I went back to my desk and did "work" and talked so some mouthbreather on the phone. I wasn't even sure what we were discussing, in the first place; my boss just told me to call him, so I did. In my defense, I don't think the mouthbreather knew, either, so at least we were on the same general page of cluelessness and (hopefully) stupidity.

THEN we had an office meeting during which people said things to me and I pulled responses from my ass like a blushing maiden plucks flowers from the soft loam on a holy day. Despite my successful bullshittery, I began to feel pensive and sleepy. Until my boss, who's the sort of lady to assume that all Latin@/Chican@ people eat Del Taco, chastised me for saying the word "cum" aloud when it was relating to an investigation I am doing.

We are all adults in this office - I can't say "cum" but you can call Jose "Jesus" because whatever?

Day ruined. Not really. Get over it, Fembot.

Why Hena?

Stupid, stupid injustice.

Fuck Arizona. Fuckfuckfuck.

For the fuck of shit. 

Womyn's reasons for abortion have nothing to do with what Republicans think, say, or legislate.

And hey, Arizona, maybe some women might be leery about bearing a brown baby because you've criminalized being brown!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Links: Michelle Bachelet, Libya, Newt Gingrich's confusion

  • Michelle Bachelet is now head of the newly created U.N. Women.
"U.N. Women is the first high-profile international agency dedicated to gender, turning a long-held ambition of feminist activists across the world into a reality. First floated as a serious proposal in 2006, it took four years of heavy lobbying from the four U.N. units previously dealing with gender advocacy and dogged support from big hitters like Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton before the body went to work in January."
  •  Fact-checking Barry's Libya speech.
  • Newt Gingrich does not understand the difference between Islam and "secular." I think this would be particularly critical for someone who refers to themselves as a "historian."

H.R. 358: Protect Life Act

But whose life, you may wonder.

Well, what if we were to break it down a little bit? The following excerpt from the bill's summary will be carefully considered and duly noted in the manner of a truly thoughtful feminist (thanks to my homegurl Senator Boxer for tipping me off to the legislation):
HR358 "Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to prohibit federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. (Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and plans receiving federal funds must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services.)"
 So basically, HR 358 is...redundant? It wants to prohibit federal $$$ from being used to cover health plans that cover a certain legal medical procedure, even though "currently, federal funds cannot be used for" said procedure. But let's move on:
"Prohibits a federal agency or program and any state or local government that receives federal financial assistance under PPACA from requiring any health plan created or regulated under PPACA to discriminate against any institutional or individual health care entity based on the entity's refusal to undergo training in the performance of induced abortions, require or provide such training, or refer for such training."
Requiring medical providers, who we sometimes refer to as "medical professionals" or "medical experts," to know a certain procedure would be made illegal with this legislation.


I think the removal of my uterus is in order, just to be sure that some white fella doesn't decide to move in and set up shop.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Links: Gingrich, Barbour, Sucker Punch

  • Newt's running on a platform of incompetent hypocrisy.
  • So's Pawlenty. But we knew that. Let's hope both of them are better informed than Haley Barbour.
  • I'm kind of sick of everyone condemning Sucker Punch because it's an extravaganza of misogyny and stupid crap. So what if it isn't feminist - how many Hollywood movies are (answer: about none)? Why are we only holding those movies accountable that showcase a bunch of actresses? Oh yeah, because womyn are responsible for being feminist, not men. Doy.

GOP more interested in owning your uterus than dealing with the economy, wars

With the stunning news that more than three hundred abortion bills are sliming their way through state legislatures this year, it may be enough to make one wonder: "what's really driving the GOP's abortion war?" Pardon us pesky feminists and our mistrust, but wethinks that this is more than just a genuine concern for the health of womyn.

I think Liss @ Shakesville says it best with this:
"Three hundred and fifty one pieces of legislation designed to subvert the autonomy and agency of more than half the population, and our "pro-choice" and "feminist" Democratic president cannot be arsed to give a national address protesting this legislative assault on a guaranteed right."
What the fuck kind of legacy is this, Obama? According to the Salon article linked above:
"There isn’t just one explanation. The assault on reproductive rights is intensifying now because of a convergence of several otherwise unrelated events that have created the perfect moment for the anti-choice movement to go for the kill."
The little gains they've made over the past decades have prepped them for this moment, it seems. Of course, "little gains" is a relative term. The 2007 Partial Birth Abortion Act, for example, was a piece of non-legislation that did nothing more than make it more difficult for womyn with dead fetuses inside of them to have them removed (at the potential cost of their health and lives, not to mention their own autonomy) and stir up the patriarchal sadists on the right who are so misinformed as to believe that womyn with control over their own uteri were aborting three-year-olds right and left, feministy and altogether icky gleams of self-determination in their stupid, stupid eyes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ryan Gosling's kissgif gave me a work-boner

I don't care if they fire me.

badass fembot: at work, not giving a shit. gifs.

Things I like

Oh, Friday.

Day of beginning this month's dreaded menstrual cycle, day of cloudy skies, day of drinking and hopefully drugging into oblivion. A beautiful day, really, promising magic and portending wonder (except for the menstrual cycle; I will say that one of the few upsides of le Eating Disorder was not having to have the damn thing. Of course, it's hell on your bones).

What to do? Make a list of things I like? That's not only boring, it's easy! I am at work, after all. There should be some kind of conflict between my blerg and my jerb, although thus far that sort of problem hasn't surfaced.

So here goes:

Things I like:
(in no particular order)


Sam Ronson is hot. That is all.

I know I always say that when it comes to her, but damn, she is just so butchly fine in a tired, druggie way.

gf is cute, too

Bad Puppy Friday!

Brought to you by....

this bad boy's puppy pepper

did a bad bad thing
a quiet dignity

Thursday, March 24, 2011

John, I'm only dancing

Christina Hoff Summers sucks: "Tina Brown's Post-Feminist Summit"

From an article praising the lady who edits the sort of mediocre Daily Beast and runs the Women in the World Conference:
"How Tina Brown has given Western feminism something it has lacked since the 1970s: a contemporary purpose worthy of its illustrious past."
Now where's that o rly owl when you need him....?

The version of feminism in which "empowerment" means dressing the way the patriarchy tells you to strikes me as just as problematic as the version that hasn't had a "purpose" for decades because there's no problem because American womyn can vote.

For CHS, American feminists shouldn't complain because it could be worse. Or perhaps because it's gotten better than it was 100 years ago. For her, I guess, feminism just hasn't been interesting for her since the 1970s because of the whingeing and lack of genital mutilation (the only valid sign of oppression, you know).
"Women’s conferences are usually tedious affairs, organized by women’s studies professors and Title IX lobbyists and filled with complaint, victim-talk, and “anger issues.”"
I think it's awesome that the "stars" of this summit were feminist activist from all over the world, womyn from different countries and situations speaking about their experiences as womyn in a sexist world. These were womyn of color as well as white womyn, and womyn of different classes and nations of levels of development - and that's amazing that they were given such a platform.

But their struggles and ours are not mutually exclusive. We can fight the wage gap in the USA (and sexual assault; and violence; and poverty) as well as more extreme forms of oppression more common in other places. It is possible, CHS, to call yourself a feminist who is concerned both with the status of womyn internationally and being underpaid in your own country.

The additional problems with this article by Ms. CHS - like her belief that conservatives, or for that matter, people like Rupert Murdoch, can somehow have the same goals as feminists - are too much for me to tackle right now. It's raining and my job sucks. Maybe someone else will do it for me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Psychopathy and victim-blaming: cis-ladyness as a sign of social submissiveness?

After some not-so-tacit victim-blaming in an earlier article about psychopaths, Dr. Jeff Wise published another article addressing the issue when commenters got their panties in a twist (do those feminists even wear panties? Whores). From the horse's mouth:
"Recently I wrote about a study which found that men with psychopathic tendencies are better than average at picking out vulnerable targets: people with the non-verbal cues that signal social submissiveness. Based on these findings, I wrote that "We are not all equally likely to fall prey. Just as the psychopaths are a special breed, so too are their victims.""
Controversy aside - I don't know much about psychopathy, and it seems that Dr. Wise and his critics are not only well-informed but invested in the debate - I do wonder if Dr. Wise has taken into account that cis-womynness may be, in itself, a signal of social submissiveness.  What do you think, dear reader?

In any case, Dr. Wise makes sure to clarify his position as one of "listen, when you think about it, victim-blaming is sort of necessary" (not an actual quote. A paraphrase, if you will). Because if you think about it analytically - you know, unemotionally, non-hysterically - you'll realize that there are multiple causes for the bad things that just "happen" in the world. One of these causes could be you not taking enough precautions about, say, stopping a rapist from raping you:
"When we look at the world from an analytical point of view, we tend to find multiple causes. An airplane crash, for instance, might have been partially caused by a line attendant who might have put the wrong kind of fuel into the airplane's tanks -- but a contributing factor might have been that the pilot failed to check the fuel. In future, we might prevent future accidents by, say, making fuel nozzles that only fit into the right kind of tank and putting a sign inside every cockpit that says, "have you checked your fuel tanks?" Multiple causes, multiple avenues to increase safety."
An airplane crash is usually due to a combination of errors and happenstance - like, a poorly designed plane in bad weather (yeah, I don't know planes). Point is, unless someone set out to take that motherfucker down, the bad stuff that happens to planes is more bad luck and oversight than anything else. Whereas rape or sexual assault? That's one person deciding to attack another person. Rapists aren't created by a lady being drunk or vulnerable, though their crime may be made easier; and rapists aren't created by a lady going outside by herself or dressing "slutty." Seriously, they don't magically appear when you put on hot-pants. A rapist will rape a lady dressed conservatively or colorfully - it's just that people are more likely to blame a womyn not dressed the "correct" way.

Dr. Wise wraps up his piece with this:
"But I question the use of the phrase "blaming the victim." I feel that it is emotionally inciting and tends to obscure rather than shed light on important issues. It's a rallying cry -- a call to action, not to thought."
 If only "blaming the victim" was an expression used by reactionary idiots who are making a problem out of nothing, rather than womyn as a group pointing out that we are held accountable even for violence enacted upon our bodies against our will.

I bet Dr. Wise considers himself to be a pretty progressive guy, too.

Star Wars: Science vs. Romance

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why don't I get Betsey Johnson?

Not whimsical enough?

Good boy, Scott Brown

Keep funding Planned Parenthood!

Love: The baby and the bathwater?

I'm depressed today.

Today, the powers-that-be have decided that, despite the wintry weather, the air-conditioning will be running in our office until such time that the ice-veined bastards in control of the thermostat grow a heart.

I doubt that this heart-growing business will occur, my supervisors being in general the type of people who still use terms like "trailer-trash" in an official context. This erstwhile hayseed can glare at them all she wants, but all this mean mugging does is cement the general office consensus that I'm this gay antisocial hipster who must lead a very boring life because she doesn't follow American Idol and, no, doesn't think it's cool to walk up to Black people and say "yo yo yo wassup?" (NOT KIDDING.)

This depression moved on in for other reasons, too: Circumstances. Circumstances in this instance meaning relationship problemzzz.

No one will tell you that relationships are easy, and if anyone did, that person would probably be reflexively lying because they are a member of the GOP, or perhaps a writer for The Daily Mail. Aware as I am of the social context in which I live (did you know that rape culture is bad?!?!), I've been well apprised of that the bugaboo of da human condition: Love. And yet it isn't any easier, this knowing. Perhaps knowing is actually less than half the battle.

Because I know that pop songs and dramatic films and literature and the theater and reality TV focus and fixate on it. It is a dreadfully complicated thing; even Disney princess movies and Hallmark cards recognize it. Even the Lifetime channel and those refrigerator magnets with retro women saying sassy stuff recognize it.

I once knew a poet who threw around the word "love" far too easily, and despite his post-modern, Black Mountain, L.A.N.G.U.A.G.E aesthetic, this was the characteristic that people found most disturbing and confusing about him. (FYI, I fucked that poet, and the effects it had on my Love Life [life, in this context, being redundant, I suppose] were devastating. C'est la pee.)

My general unsuccessfulness at finding (keeping; maintaining; separating) Love and happiness is hardly unique, and yet I still get the impulse to just chuck it all and be celibate for the rest of my life, as if that would solve the problem. But don't defenestrate the baby with the bathwater, you might tell your poor Fembot. And perhaps you'd be right: isn't the pain and confusion that comes with Love, both requited and otherwise, worth it?

Well, that was an easy platitude. But if I can't resolve Love and its complications, and doing without it is out of the question, what next? People tend to deal with these problems by either sucking it up and sticking it out, or developing a pathology or a drug addiction. These coping mechanisms create more problems, but at least these problems aren't the ultimate problem: Love.

Sounds like I've come to the unhealthy conclusion here, but this mostly has to do with the fact that this aimless, rambling post presented a problem and not even a semblance of analysis/solution. Sounds like that's my cue to go on my lunch break.

Revolution in Egypt; Gendered Favoritism At MIT

  • Egyptian activist and rebel Nawal El Sadaawi says partisans must work harder than ever, because the tide is turning against the oppressors.
"“The counter-revolution is great. But I am still optimistic and I am still hopeful because I lived with the young women and men who initiated the revolution and who slept in Tahrir Square in the cold, night after night and persisted until Mubarak resigned.”"
"It's true that many efforts to correct bias result in the kind of backlash MIT's experiencing — that "you only got in because of affirmative action" dig is a perennial favorite on many campuses. And unfortunately, sometimes attitudes take longer to change than policies.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ground control to Major Cromulent


A lady tries to kill herself, gets charged with feticide.

Keep those dangerous precedents coming, womyn-haters.

Links: Rosario Dawson schools Celery Man; Alexandra Wallace; war on the impoverished

Bill Maher's still a bullshit progressive

I can think of a lot of ways to insult Bill Maher without bringing any gendered slurs into the equation.

Like, he's a shitheel. Garbage. A jerk. A fuckhead. A jagofff.

Unlike him, I can get creative when it comes to expressing my feelings concerning his hypocrisy and general shittiness. At the moment, I'm particularly tetchy about it, because if there's one thing I hate, it's being forced to defend Sarah Palin - yet another shitheel - from "liberals" who still haven't gotten the memo that sexism and misogyny (and racism...and homophobia...and ableism...and classism...) are not compatible with that whole "progressive" thing.

Of course, you've already read TFA ("[F]or an hour Friday night, viewers were treated to a little misogynistic locker room humor with the channel’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”) and are suitably annoyed, despite the fact that this kind of crap isn't anything different than what we've come to expect from Bill Maher, the mansplaining asshole with delusions of grandeur. For all of his showboating about his intelligence, he refuses to understand that it is okay to disagree with, dislike, condemn, Sarah Palin without conflating her failings with her vagina. IT IS, I LIKE TOTALLY PROMISE, BILL MAHER. Because womyn aren't the enemy - Palin is. And Palin's vagoo and/or gender aren't to blame for her fuckwittery - Palin is.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Forever Alone

Bad Puppy Friday: Bad news coupled with Bad Puppies

My rationale is, bad news can't be that bad if a Bad Puppy is being adorable alongside it, ya know?

see? who cares about school, amirite?
but nobody hates duh puppers!!!!!!
the punisher will get you if you're mean to aminals

And one to grow on, because I've lost my taste for bad news.

..."And the public celebrity replaces the private individual."

Celebrity culture means an uber-reality in which we are so closely monitored for conformity to said "reality" that Borges would have an aneurysm and Kafka would have a panic attack.

This reflection of values strikes me as capitalism hyperventilating into the paper bag of humanity. And by that, I mean analogies are bad for you and you shouldn't make them. Let's just leave well enough alone and celebrate the fact that it's Bad Puppy Friday.

Of course I don't want NPR defunded, but if we could make Car Talk go away, that would be alright by me

Not that the defunding of NPR is going to go anywhere, legally.

Also, just FYI, I realized yesterday that if Sesame Street is on PBS and PBS is on CBP - which the Reps want to cut - that means, by deduction, that REPUBLICANS HATE ELMO!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women"

You see, ladles and jellyspoons, access to abortion is the biggest challenge that we, as womyn, face today.

           Not the prevalence of sexual assault, rape, and other violence all over the world.

           Not the dangers presented by being LGBTQI or otherwise deviating from heteronormative cultural standards in a straight world.

          Not being a womyn of color and having to deal with the financial, social, and legal ramifications resulting from a racist white patriarchy.

          Not facing the unique challenges that disabled womyn encounter on a daily basis.


The ultimate exploitation, you see, is having the decision of whether or not we will harbor a fetus in our bodies. Whether or not we will host something with our personal bodies that will eventually become a baby.

That these representatives are acting as mouthpieces for the anti-womyn powers that be in our government is horrifying. They are not celebrating Women’s History Month with this crap. They’re shitting on it.  

And what's with pretending that feminism is not only a monolith (props, J. Valenti), but that it hasn't changed over time? Guess what - "feminism" used to be uniformly racist, homophobic, classist, transphobic, and otherwise fucked up, too (this is not to ignore that these problems are still very much alive and well within feminist coalitions. Addressing and eliminating oppression within feminism is both all-important and too much ignored).

But we've changed. We've progressed. We've improved. We’re still changing and progressing. Pointing out that Elizabeth Cady Stanton was against abortion as it was then known and understood doesn’t prove anything. It just demonstrates that the only “feminists” that support your GOP-pandering bullshit existed 150 years ago.

Rage: IAmA Survivor of Spousal Rape, via Reddit

Until disgustingly recently, in the US a married woman could not legally be raped by her husband.

Just like she can't be killed by him, either.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Imp Pulse

Born This Gay: Gif collectin'

People around my office (mostly they dudes. Okay, all the haters are dudes) talk about how Gaga is a freak and how pretty she used to be before she started dressing weird.

I want to keep my job, so I don't point out that

a) she's hot as hell what are you, anti-drunk?
b) oh yeah, I forgot that looking sexy to a man like you was her raison d'etre.

And by the way, what's so satisfying about gifs? I'm honestly not sure. 

Is it because people are easily distracted by rapid movement?

It could have to do with our generation's inability to focus on any one thing longer than a few seconds. A gif changes frequently enough to hold our attention but hypnotizes you with what amounts to false change. Sort of like the news.

And a Betty Draper, to grow on.

Men Against Violence: Walk a mile in her shoes

Ol' Dirty Bastard, live and uncut

bored again

Random photos from Vanity Fair's Oscar Party

random because zooey and eli, not wonder couple on the left
who is ginnifer goodwin wearing it's AMAZING!
serena and brett on the left
i know i'm supposed to comment on the weird composition of this group, but damn, bieber is so beautiful
i can't stand tom hanks, and yet i adore his sonclone. what's up with that?
jennifer westfeldt, who's jon hamm's partner, is whispering secrets about the next season of mad men and emma stone can't believe it
bam. coupla badasses.

Givenchy Haute Couture, via Vanity Fair


"Women Are Heroes"

This just premiered at Cannes. I want to see it.

WSJ: Republican budget cuts would actually cost jobs. Oopsie.

You mean the GOP doesn't have all the answers? You mean, even when they take their focus off of non-issues like forcing women to get ultrasounds before their legal abortions, they still aren't fixing the economy?
"Republican leaders frequently claim that cutting government spending will create jobs by removing the fear of higher taxes from the minds of the nation’s business owners and entrepreneurs.
“There is more money sitting on the sidelines than there has been in the last 50 years,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the number three Republican in the House, told reporters last week. Freeing business to invest that cash would produce “stronger stimulus” than anything government could do, McCarthy said. “That is a philosophy we know that would work.”
So far, the Republicans have been unable to marshal an independent analysis that reflects that view.""
 Still, there's this unfortunate news, too.
"Zandi also had bad news for liberal Democrats who are resisting sharp spending cuts: Bringing deficits down to sustainable levels will require more than a growing economy. Even if the economy recovers as expected, he writes, lawmakers will have to cut about $400 billion a year through the rest of this decade to narrow the gap between spending and revenue, and stop adding significantly to the national debt."

Republicans Co-Opting Feminism, Women's Liberation

Is there anything that party of anti-choice, pro-wage gap scumbags can't do?

Eating disorders and suicide

This just in: there is a link between eating disorders and suicidal thoughts.

Who'da thunk.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Handy Dandy Feminism Links

WTF UC: Katehi responds to outcry against Student Activism Team

UC Davis Chancellor Katehi used today to publish an opinion piece in the student newspaper stressing the administration's good intentions in its creation of the Student Activism Team. Today, a student-led press conference with the ACLU will be conducted on campus. Chancellor Katehi insists in her op-ed that,
"There is absolutely nothing nefarious or under-handed about this team's organization or objectives. Indeed, in the very documents referenced in the Aggie guest opinion, the mission of Student Affairs is clearly laid out as it relates to responding to student activism: "to support freedom of expression, promote student safety, educate the campus on free speech policy and assist in preventing disruption of normal campus activities.""
The piece also included,
"I vow that transparency, candor, honesty, integrity and openness will be the hallmark of my administration at UC Davis, however difficult or painful the issues."
 But if transparency was so important to the administration, why did it take the legal action of a student to reveal the existence of the SAT? And if abiding "by our campus' values and principles" means, to the administration, behaving in such a way that a student's civil rights have been violated, do they really expect us to comply?

Romney's taint...

My favorite Republican taint.

Anxiety: Personification and Contagion

Anxiety is such a strange feeling, so singular. It's an emotional amalgamate of fear, worry, despair, ignorance, and poop. And no one's immune; it even comes out in our dreams. 

I know a dog named Bucky who's the personification (poochification?) of the feeling. He can't sleep or relax if he thinks you are going to leave the house because he can't stand being alone. He refuses to allow any doors to be closed, so that he can always see what each room's occupant is up to. This makes private activities, like fucking and showering, difficult if other people happen to be home. When you do leave home, as the vast majority of people do, he proceeds to have massive panic attacks involving crying, wailing, cringing, shaking, barking, and tearing apart the interior of the house, piece by piece, and has done some pretty remarkable damage considering that he's a fucking Jack Russell terrier. Bucky's also a big starer, the kind of dog that will just watch you, frozen, maybe with one of his front paws lifted slightly, anticipating your next attempt at abandoning him with wild fear in his eyes.

Maybe it's because I grew up with a sibling with Asperger's - she stares like she's training for the world championships - but this bothers me the most. That her anxiety, once exhibited, excites it in neurologically "normal" people, cannot be truly appreciated unless you've lived in a similar situation. My sainted mother has developed immunities to the staring (which, really, is pretty mild compared with what my sister is capable of), as well as methods of dealing with it, but that doesn't mean that every once in a while even she won't snap and order my sister from the room and then proceed to deep-clean the carpet, which is what she does to deal with her anxiety.

That's another thing about anxiety: it's communicability. My sister's staring and insistence on repeating the same questions and phrases over and over again are the ways that she manages hers, but by doing so she passes it onto our mom, who then deals with hers by being OCD or something similar. Conversely, my sister is terrified of vomiting, which means that having to have grown up with me and my mom - both of whom were, at different times, bulimic - was slightly hellish. But our bulimia (and now that I think about it, it really was "ours," as if we passed it back and forth between each other, or as if I inherited it from her) was the way we managed our anxiety, and all we knew to do, despite the fact that it would create for my sister the sort of disturbance that made respond by making us want to claw up a wall.

The universe is a strange place, and we all have front row seats. This makes me think, momentarily, of how much can obfuscate our understanding, despite our vantage points. Privilege and non-privilege both can complicate understanding, although it is possible for those of us with privilege (and there are myriad ways to have it, of course), to remove this stumbling block. My sister may or may not understanding what triggers her anxiety, or why; the jury is still out on the fascinating world inside of her head.

And perhaps because I am abled, I could not truly appreciate her truth. And yet we still both feel this feeling that I call "anxiety," and we still, in our most primal moments, deal with it by screaming, fighting, throwing tantrums and objects, and slamming doors. Her "disability" means that she is more prone to this kind of behavior than the rest of our family, but if by virtue of our "normalcy" we were so superior, would we be goaded into comparable behavior (i.e., obsessive cleaning, self-injury, reality TV...) by her staring, tics, mood-swings, and verbal repetition?

This post has been a ramble, but sometimes a ramble is nice. Better than self-pitying introspection, I guess.