Monday Miscellany

Hi! Remember me? I’m Kate, and I used to write regularly.

[Everybody: Hi, Kate!]

I disappeared last week when stress piled onto writer’s block piled onto school and my brain decided that food was THE MOST STRESSFUL THING EVARRR. But I’m back! And more importantly, this guy just started living with me:

This is Boo. He is the most rascally of rascals.
This is Boo. He is the most rascally of ratty rascals.

His name is Boo, and he loves sitting on my shoulder and nuzzling my face while I’m internetting and blogging. I cannot possibly overstate how cute it is.

Together, we found links!

Ozy Frantz puts words to my feelings about “sex-positive”.  Relatedly, here’s an old post about another phrase that just doesn’t quite fit: enthusiastic consent.

Successful and schizophrenic, thirty years after diagnosis.

This post captures how much an eating disorder disorts your thoughts–something I’m going to be writing about shortly.

You could make an argument that I don’t want anything more than I want to be skinny. You would probably be right.

Actual research about drug research! For ages, I’ve been very uncomfortable talking about the problems of the pharmaceutical industry, because the conversation sounds a lot like the one I see driving the alt-med community. (You Drew Big Pharma! Go Directly to Woo and Collect $200 of Herbs.) This article, plus this one by s.e. smith, have reminded me to bring skepticism to the table.

Musings on veganism:

I have access to produce, to grains and nuts, to soy and specialty “health” products; a family and community that value or at least tolerate that decision. Because I am able to eat vegan, I do. In my experience, being a vegan (if it is economically and nutritionally feasible) is easier than being a feminist. In my diet I can draw very clear lines for myself, which requires only that I obey a habit at each meal. In contrast, responsible feminism requires the mental exercise of regularly throwing off thepatriarchy’s kyriarchy’s hold.

Responsible eating, like responsible feminism, requires learning to question previously held beliefs. It requires tuning one’s ear to try to hear more voices. Who have you not listened to before? Who has society not listened to yet? I find that the many new voices I have been exposed to via feminist, environmentalist, and queer theory feed into my conscience, affecting my understanding of how I affect others, and the physical world, with my decisions. Pardon me for the synesthetic metaphor, but very few things taste better.

Paul Fidalgo wants you to shut up. Or something.
No, really. Go read it.

I’m starting to pick up some ASL, and here’s a fabulous gloss of Still Alive. For everyone who desperately needs to know how to sign ‘cake’.

Promote yourself in the comments! Alternatively, I’m trying to make one new recipe a week as I learn to de-escalate the experience of eating. Share your favorite [vegetarian] stuff in the comments!

Monday Miscellany

Link Miscellany: -isms and -ists

Excellent things that other people wrote!

Fighting childhood cancer and the awful Stanislaw Burzynski at the same time!

With your help, the Skeptics for the Protection of Cancer Patients plan to [raise] at least $30,000 by [Burzynski’s] birthday, then challenging the Burzynski Clinic to match whatever they raise, with the total amount going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support legitimate cancer research and science-based care, even for children who can’t afford it (a novel concept for Burzynski, who charges $30,000 just for one person to enter his “clinical trial” of antineoplaston therapy, a trial that has conveniently been in the preliminary stages for more than 30 years).

For more information and patient tales about the horrors and lies perpetuated by this clinic, peruse The OTHER Burzynski Patient Group.

Trickle Down Feminism:

The stakes are clear. Domestic workers, home care workers, nurses, and other largely female contingents must organize their workplaces or the work that most women do will continue to be undervalued, virtually unregulated, and precarious. The deunionization that has left about 88 percent of American workers without unions will drag the rest of us down as well.

And yet for much of mainstream feminist discourse, it’s as if the economy hasn’t shifted, or as if there’s nothing about it worth examining from the standpoint of gender.

Five polyamory myths debunked. (Credit to Brendan)

Racism within white feminist spaces. Let’s stop that, yeah? (via Andrew)

Nico Lang at WBEZ on transphobia in The Observer. Also the inimitable Lindy West.

Amanda Marcotte is coming to Northwestern. Pbthhh! (Unless you live in Chicago; then you should come!)

Rape prevention aimed at rapists works. It’s terribly shocking, I know. And, it just takes a few clicks to get permission to print out and use the ad campaign yourself!

Link Miscellany: -isms and -ists

Holiday Miscellany

Happy Christmas if you celebrate–and I hope you weren’t too inconvenienced by everything being closed if you don’t. I’m going to be absent for a few days, so here’s some wonderful written things from the past week. 

Ozy Frantz has this awesome post on the important difference between unhealthy relationships and abuse. Also this one about drunk sex vs. rape. What I really mean is, zie has a blog and–what are you even doing here anyways? Go read it.

Ithkuil, the language created from logic and philosophy to be maximally concise and precise.

Food stamp challenges and the importance of not speaking when we could be listening.

Armed guards are the solution? The NRA gets it wrong again.

A long but important article on how class is affecting outcomes of university graduates.

More stuff missing from the gun control debate:

Just because gun violence inflicted by armed citizens outnumbers police violence, it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to ignore the routine killing of unarmed people of color nor does it do anyone any good to pretend it’s not a serious problem with serious consequences.

An investigation published by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) earlier this year found that in the first half of 2012 at least 120 black men, women and children, the majority of whom were unarmed, were killed by police, security guards or self-appointed law enforcers. That’s one black person killed every 36 hours by “good guys with guns”, as the NRA like’s to call them.

And today in rape culture, Swaziland has banned miniskirts and low-rise jeans…because they’re ‘rape-provoking’. Yes, because what really causes rape is what women wear. Not, you know, rapists. (h/t Ross)

PZ nails it.

Also once upon a time, content in my privilege of being a person of equanimity with few mental instabilities to trouble me, I was certain that the people who held those bad ideas, if not stupid, were surely insane. How could you believe the earth was 6000 years old or that gods existed or that prayer and UFOs and Bigfoot were real, all crazy ideas without a doubt, if you weren’t crazy yourself? And then, of course, it sunk in that most of the inhabitants of this country believe fervently in a god, so it would require a peculiar definition of insanity to argue that a majority of fully functioning, prospering individuals were all mad. They’ve got some crazy ideas, sure, but that doesn’t mean that the entirety of their behavior can be dismissed as the product of a damaged brain.

And then I met a great many smart, disciplined, hard-working, successful atheists and scientists who admitted to suffering from mental illness…and they were good people! “Crazy” isn’t grounds for rejection of individuals.

A how-to from Mad Art Lab on etching glassware: because sharpies on a solo cup just doesn’t work for dinner parties.


Holiday Miscellany

Auld [Link] Syne

I’m home from staffing the Chicago International Model UN conference! I no longer have a radio in my ear, I’ve had a whole night of sleep, and I think my blood is no longer more coffee than platelets. So, to celebrate, I wrote the eight page paper that was due today.

Finals week, man.

Because I’m still exhausted and I can’t see the floor of my room for all the mess, this is a links-and-blurbs post. But, lest ye fear, I’ve got sitting in nebulous drafty form posts on…[inhale]

asexuality, cognitive adaptation training for schizophrenia, common confusions about different mental disorders, The DSM 5–What Does It All Mean, the problems with the Transvestic Disorder diagnosis, this horrible article, diva cups, assigning moral value to food, and dissociating.


So. Links.

Paul talks about therapy, his experiences, and ‘cures’.

So I’m not “cured.” I don’t think I ever will be, and quite frankly, I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to lose what will now forever be a part of my story, a part of who I am. What the work helped accomplish was making the attack no longer define who I am. And it began the work of not letting all the darkness that came before it define who I am — the years of mockery, bullying, and harassment all through middle and high school, the professional failures and life mistakes made in adulthood, my hangups and neuroses. Not exclusively define me, anyway. They will all always be a part of me, but I learned that they’re not all that I am.

Also, he’s new, and I forgot to mention it. Go take a look at Near Earth Object.

Speaking of new things, there’s a new blog format! I like it–do you? There’s more space, the editing dashboard is all pretty, and it looks clean and crisp. Plus, screenreader compatible!

Finn Gardiner on Autism Speaks, and why the organization is not an ally for those with autism. Not one bit.

My existence is not tragic. I do not deserve people’s pity. I am not merely a burden on society, and I do not necessarily seek a “cure.” I don’t claim that my life is perfect, but I do think that there are both benefits and drawbacks to being autistic, and to “cure” me would be to fundamentally alter my psyche to the point that I would no longer exist in any recognizable fashion. All I ask for is equitable treatment and the right to access the services I need in order to live the best life possible.

Oh, and Autism Speaks also supports Jenny McCarthy. That’s not just being a bad ally, that’s actively supporting dangerous policies and pseudoscience.

The Good Men Project has posted two different articles filled with rape apologia this week. (Link is to a Feministe examination.) Want a good site for social justice writing for men, that doesn’t condone rape? Oh hey, here’s some:

Add your suggestions in the comments–I’d love more.

Ryan on sexualization of men in comics.

If you are either brave or foolhardy enough to scroll to the bottom of the internet, you are likely to find a panoply of commenters telling us that men are just as sexualized in comics as women. The big bulging muscles, the skin-tight spandex, that’s totally man-sexy… right? I honestly thought it was, before I asked an actual female of the species. It seems that most of the men in comics and games are not actually physically attractive. This was news to me more recently that I’d like to admit.

What say you?

Auld [Link] Syne