New FeministIre post: Debating Abortion in TCD

My latest post over at Feminist Ire, Debating Choice at TCD is a review of last week’s abortion debate in Trinity.

I expected the usual suspects and more of the same- accusations flying from all sides, a lack of common ground so extreme that it’s surprising that we’re all technically speaking the same language.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Check out the rest over at FemIre

Also, have a super bonus pic of me and fellow-FemIreist Ariel with Feministe‘s Jill Filipovic, who was a guest speaker at the debate. And who was brilliant. Us bloggly types are super cool, yo.

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Also in FeministIre this week, Wendy asks What Happens to the Victims of sex trafficking. An excerpt:

there seems to be this assumption that if sex traffickers can’t get their victims into Sweden, they’ll just give up and go home. Why would that be? There’s nothing special about sex trafficking into Sweden that would lead traffickers to make a career change if they couldn’t do it anymore. So what would they do instead?

Definitely worth a read. TW on both of those links, by the way, for talk of misogyny, sexual assault & trafficking, and associated unpleasantness.

New FeministIre post: Debating Abortion in TCD
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A Linkspam To The Past

Since I disappeared from the internet for a while, the first few links here are going to be ancient history. Things which are multiple weeks old. Several decades, in internet time.

I still think they’re worth sharing. And want to do so before everything in this post becomes truly paleolithic, so it’s going up today instead of on schedule, next Wednesday. Because it’s my blog, and I can.

 

Geekery and the Humanities: A defense of the humanities, of subjectivity, and why they’re as much a part of geek culture as the STEM fields. Also, why Sheldon is a dick.

I’m not anti-logic or anti-science; I do think these things are valuable, but they can only be convincing and powerful when they take into account emotion and the humanities (for lack of a better term). None of these things work best on their own. Which brings me to my real argument: the idea that the humanities are less important than STEM is an idea that geeks need to drop, because the humanities are constitutive to geek culture, just as much as science, technology, and math are.

Why Does She Stay With That Jerk? TW for domestic violence. Holly Pervocracy looks at reasons why people she met through her work in the ER stayed in abusive relationships. I’m not going to quote anything specifically, so I can keep the TW at the other side of the link. It’s essential reading, though, if you’ve ever wondered why people stick out relationship abuse. On a similar note is autumn whitefield-madrano’s post over on Feministe,  “I Can Handle It”: On Relationship Violence, Independence, and Capability. This post is a lot more personal- it was a lot more difficult for me to read, because of this. It’s her story of what it felt like for her, from the inside of an abusive relationship.

Cisgender News is the best. If you’ve ever facepalmed at how trans people are discussed in the media, you’ll love it. If you haven’t, then you should probably read it anyway to get a snarky, snarky feel for how messed-up it is. Then you too can facepalm!

Rebekah Wade – a cisgender woman who has now quit as News International chief executive – not only conquered the macho cis world of tabloid journalism to become its queen but did so with astonishing speed. What was behind her rise to power?

Rebekah Brooks – as she started to call herself following a second marriage – courted power but avoided publicity.  She started receiving female hormones via her ovaries during her first puberty, and intends to continue with them.

And now for something a little more current.

I’m an atheist. Is that a problem? Kate Hilpern writes about being an atheist godparent. What does being a godparent really mean? Is it as much a purely religious role as the church would have you believe? Is it okay for atheists to participate in religious baptisms?

some will say I have no integrity. As its name suggests, a spokesperson from the Church of England points out, at the heart of the role is a commitment to support someone in the journey of faith. An atheist can be a wonderful influence in a child’s life, but being a godparent is to be a representative of the religious community and an example of godly living (which is why they should be baptised and preferably confirmed), in addition to supporting them socially.

I’m an atheist. I’m a godparent as well. When I was asked to be a godparent I was still technically a member of the Catholic Church, not having yet registered my apostasy, but was a nonbeliever. The reasons why I happily went into a church, crossed my fingers behind my back and took part in that ceremony? Because I was incredibly honoured to be asked. Because my own relationship with my godparents has always been about love, not doctrine. Because there are very few people who I’ll engage in Catholic ceremonies for- and my godkid’s dad is one of them. Am I entirely happy with that decision? I have no idea.

Finally, today’s Awesome Person Of The Week is Sally. Who has a thing or two to say about being described as a precious pearl. Or a lollipop. And also a few things to say about preventing sexual assault. (Hint: not assaulting people is a good start).

Enjoy!

A Linkspam To The Past

These fearless women?

My feeds today seem full of stories about Afghan women. Afghan women in jail,  Afghan women’s feminisms.

This is awesome. Sharing the voices of marginalised groups? A Good Thing.

But here’s the thing. What are depicted here is one of only two archetypes I’ve ever heard of of Afghan women. They’re either entirely bowed-down, oppressed and defeated, or they’re fearless, passionate fighters for justice and equality.

Don’t get me wrong: stories about fearless, passionate fighters for justice and equality are awesome. I love reading that stuff! It’s inspiring. It makes me want to get out there and do something.

But if the only stories we tell about Afghan women (and, it seems to me, Arab women and non-Western women in general) follow these two archetypes, aren’t we missing out? Are we doing anything more than just following the same tired old Orientalist script? If Afghan women are always either fighters or defeated, are we really seeing them as people? And if we do not see them as people, what right have we to their stories?

These fearless women?