On The Abuse Of “The Personal Is Political”

October 15, 2008 at 10:32 am (frightening things)

My latest post at Revolutionary Act just went up. A taste:

This post almost made me lose faith in humanity.

I don’t want to be too harsh — it’s a thoughtful post and I agree with its conclusions, and I have a good deal in common with its author — but my heart was half-broken by just the title.

Can I Be a Feminist and a Bottom in Bed?

Uh oh.

Now, let me make this clear, in case I didn’t already: I agree with the conclusions of this post. I’m just really, really sad that we’re still asking this question.

The post continues:

One unfortunate consequence of feminism’s emphasis on the personal as political is that it becomes too easy to discriminate against people for not being “feminist enough.”

This is the opposite of what “the personal is political” is supposed to mean. “The personal is political” is not an excuse to bash other women or take away someone’s feminist membership card. It’s the idea that our ostensibly “personal” problems — like rape, domestic violence, and sexual harassment — are actually part of large-scale systems of oppression. Many personal hardships are the result of political injustices.

Keep reading.

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Brent Green’s Films

October 14, 2008 at 7:12 pm (art, frightening things, movies/video/clips, neat things) ()

Brent Green makes dark, haunting, wonderful short films. Here’s part 1 (of 2) of his “Paulina Holler”:

Part 2 here.

I also recommend Hadacol Christmas, which is also great but a little less creepy.

Thumbs up, Brent!

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Some Sunday Smorgasbord Blogging

October 12, 2008 at 12:11 pm (art, frightening things, neat things) ()

Just two things.

1. Banksy’s Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill (via). Neat.

2. Have Giant Indian Catfish Developed A Taste For Human Flesh? Probably!

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Five Links That Are Actually Important, 9/27/08

September 27, 2008 at 5:38 pm (frightening things, injustice, LGBT, politics) (, )

1. H.R. 5840- “Capitalizing on Crisis”.

2. Court rules in Diane Schroer’s favor, finding that anti-trans discrimination counts as sex discrimination.

3. Judge bans woman from bearing children.

4. Medics detained and harassed in Galveston.

5. Customs agents now legally allowed to seize, read, and copy travelers’ documents without cause of suspicion.

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“Immortal McHorror”

September 26, 2008 at 9:51 pm (frightening things) (, )

A lovely story today via Boing Boing.

Karen Hanrahan teaches a workshop called “Healthy Choices for Children,” aimed at parents concerned about the foods their kids are eating.

One of her favorite teaching tools is a McDonald’s hamburger which she bought in the year 1996. It’s an effective example of what not to eat or feed your children, you see, because it has remained remarkably unchanged for the past 12 years. See for yourself.

People always ask mewhat did you do to preserve it ?

Nothing – it preserved itself.

(Emphasis hers). Yowza!

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7 Scary Ghost Towns

September 22, 2008 at 3:30 pm (frightening things) ()

Daisy and I, along with some of our other friends, have long talked of a road trip to visit ghost towns in the U.S. I think I’ve just stumbled across our first road map. 7 Scary Ghost Towns: Eternal Remnants From Abandonment, Death and Destruction.

Via this Dark Roasted Blend link latte.

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Five Links That Are Actually Important, 9/20/08

September 20, 2008 at 4:56 pm (frightening things, injustice, politics, racism, sexism) (, )

1. Grassroots preparation for more ICE raids, via ImmigrationProf Blog.

2. Gardasil to be made mandatory for U.S. immigrants?

3. “50 Arrested as ADAPT Takes Affordable, Accessible Housing Crisis to Congress.”

4. Two posts at Echidne of the Snakes on the Wall Street bailout. Echidne recommends reading about this alongside Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. As someone doing just that, I couldn’t second that recommendation more eagerly.

5. Margaret Cho disappoints.

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“6-Year-Old Stares Down Bottomless Abyss Of Formal Schooling”

September 19, 2008 at 10:58 pm (amazing things, frightening things, funny things, injustice)

I read this article at The Onion when it came out last month, and I have been haunted by it ever since.

Shortly after his mommy, homemaker Ellen Bolduc, 31, assured him that he would be able to resume playtime “when school lets out,” Connor’s innocent brain only then began to work out the implication of that sentence to its inevitable, soul-crushing conclusion.

When pressed for more detail on the exact timing of that event, Mrs. Bolduc would only reply “soon.” At that point, the normally energetic child grew quiet before asking a follow-up question, “After [younger sister] Maddy’s birthday?” thereby setting the stage for the first of thousands of rushing realizations he will be forced to come to grips with over the course of his subsequent existence.

Madison Ellen Bolduc was born on Sept. 28.

After learning that the first grade will continue for eight excruciating months beyond that date, it was only a matter of time before Bolduc inquired into what grade comes after first grade, and, when told, would probe further into how many grades he will have to complete before allowed to play with his friends.

That last sentence in particular runs through my head almost everyday. You should read the whole thing.

In all seriousness, I hereby vow not to send my children to formal school, on the basis of that article alone.

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About that particle accelator I was so upset about last year…

September 10, 2008 at 3:37 pm (amazing things, frightening things) ()

Well, it appears that the end has not (yet) come to pass, and the first Large Hadron Collider experiments have been successful.

The world’s largest atom smasher’s first experiment went off today without a hitch, paving the way toward the recreation of post-big bang conditions.

More experimentation to come.

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Five Links That Are Actually Important, 9/2/08

September 2, 2008 at 10:06 pm (frightening things, injustice, politics, racism, sexism) (, )

1. Police brutality at the DNC.

2. ICE commits largest immigration raid in U.S. historyand a call for help.

3. Police raids on potential peaceful RNC protesters.

4. Sexualizing sweatshops makes for shitty ad campaign.

5. Mad cow disease with a side of the Bush administration’s special brand of hypocrisy.

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