Link(s): Sat, Dec 26th, 4pm to Tue, Jan 5th, 2pm

[In case it needs to be said: I don't agree with every word of everything I link to. --L.]

[M]etabrain [E]ntry [L]og » Blog Archive » Ceci n’est pas une excuse
"Sometimes, I will hear comments that go something like “well, you worked really hard and made it, so other people could do it too if only they would just Work Really Hard like you did.” The implication is that Yea, There May Be Barriers, But They Can Be Overcome through Sheer Grit and Self-Determination.

"I do believe that. I also believe that just because that’s true doesn’t mean it’s fair, or that it ought to be expected, or accepted."

The definitive linkspam of this decade (1st January, 2010)
# GirlTalk Radio: “GirlTalk Radio is [a program] of the Girls, Math & Science Partnership… GirlTalk Radio consists of a series of interviews with women scientists, conducted by girls ages 11 – 16, making their debuts as Pittsburgh radio hosts!” (also on Boing Boing, about which one of our submitters notes “Dammit, BoingBoing, you took a good thing and painted it sexist as hell. Stop that. I know you know better.”)
# Making Video Games for Little Girls: “In this video, Brenda Laurel discusses her successful computer game for girls. Detailing extensive research on what girls want, Laurel then shows us a some interviews with girls and a bit of the resulting video game, Rocket…”
# Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. And so is Power.: on questioning rather than accepting power imbalance in gendered interactions.
"A Less Than Honest Policy"
"So, to sum up: The tax is being introduced as a tax on high-end, or "Cadillac," plans, as defined by how many dollars of healthcare are covered by the plan. But, as the cost of healthcare rises, basic plans that cover a percentage of care will necessarily qualify as "Cadillac" plans. More people will be forced to pay a 40% excise tax, or lower the quality of their healthcare plans. Most people (and/or their employers) will opt for the latter, and the first thing to go will be preventable care, which is the exact thing that's gotten us into this situation in the first place, because our insurance companies currently pay out enormous amounts to pay for treatments of advanced disease for which people with bad or no healthcare didn't get treated earlier (and thus more cheaply).

"The Senate bill thus stands to exacerbate spiraling healthcare costs."

Attention, Ladies! A Man is Here to Help!
…this phenomenon of Men Arriving On the Scene of Feminist Discourse to Educate Us All. [...] Understand that I don’t mean men trying to engage, of which there are some, and they comment on blogs like ours and Twisty regularly even though they get some abuse for occasionally being jerks, because frankly I think they want to learn. And I really respect that.

No, what I mean is that dude, you know that dude [...]

…It makes me wonder if my reading comprehension skills are poorer than they are traditionally reputed to be. Because these men are not our allies, in my opinion. Why are they not our allies? Below, a list:

1. Men who think that feminists need urgently to know that masculinity is painful have not actually read any feminism. [...] most of the men who Arrive on the Scene are only interested in feminism insofar as they can explain why it’s wrong. [...]

2. Men whose alliance to feminism (assuming they state one) is dependent on feminism addressing their pain are allied to feminism on highly contingent grounds. It seems frustrating to have to say it, but highly contingent alliances are not alliances. They are quid pro quo bargains. [...] what these men are saying is that the liberation of women alone is insufficient reason to ally with feminism. [...]

3. Men like this want free cookies without actual selflessness. [...] usually they’re not even prepared to make what strikes me as the minimum initial commitment of doing something more about women getting raped/beaten/intimidated/discriminated against, the whole shebang, than writing an internet comment in which one damn line is devoted to lip service. [...]

4. Maybe one day these guys will be feminists sure, but first, they need to learn about self-awareness. [...]

Harpy Hall of Fame: Phillis Wheatley
"This poem, which was written when she was fifteen at the oldest, has earned condemnation in subsequent centuries. But all of her poetry at that time was published through the Wheatleys while she was still a slave, and it would have been impossible for her to publish any works that criticized the slave system. It is worth contrasting this poem with one of Wheatley’s later works, a 1774 letter written after her manumission that condemned slavery and applied the similarities between ancient Israelites and black slaves in America…"
Feminist Giving Guide
"If you still have money left over once your holiday shopping is done, please consider making a donation to a worthy cause that benefits women and girls."
The link between conservatisms
"'Easily available chemical highs are the moral equivalent of welfare—they undercut the official culture’s control of who gets rewarded for what.'"

(tag: abortion)

Star Trek, Star Wars And The Corner: Abandon Sex All Ye Who Enter Here
"The fetish displayed here is for decisive, predictable action, but the presumption is that any such action is inherently conservative, no matter its motivation, and good, no matter its outcome. It must be nice to have a philosophy that thinks Jar-Jar Binks was a good idea."
The Decade In Masculinity
"Think boys are simply born into their masculine gender role? Consider, for a moment, how quickly the cultural norms of acceptable maleness can change. The past decade of masculine fads saw cultural expressions of manliness range from finely-groomed boy bands to shlumpy stoners to blowed-out “guidos.” The versions of masculinity that gained popularity in the aughts saw an infusion of traditionally feminine traits—along with a heavy dose of hyper-masculine compensation. Seven of the decade’s enduring expressions of masculinity, below…"
WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2.9, oh so fine
How to fight the War on Christmas: by celebrating it!
"I would say that when non-Christians either a) celebrate Christmas their own way or b) celebrate their own holidays that fall around Christmas as boisterously as possible, we are doing more than a boycott ever could to make Christmas a secular occasion, and therefore not a weapon of Christian dominance over the rest. The proof’s in the pudding; the people who claim there’s a “war on Christmas” mean that there’s a slipping of their right to feel superior to everyone else and their ownership of American society just because they are Christian. That’s why they get livid when they see the term “happy holidays”, which implies that other people have a right to have a holiday, and they won’t stand for it. And even those of us who enjoy Christmas itself, but not in the prescribed way, are considered a threat."
Attack on married privilege, not gay rights
"It’s immoral to use basic rights like health care and the right to define your own family as a tool to coerce people into marriage. I agree that it’s icky that this comes up because some straight couples are suing for discrimination because they’re being shut out of a right that gay couples have, but we should remember that this is merely a legal argument and the assault is not on the rights of gay couples, but on the privilege of the married over everyone else."
The Other 90%
"…what I like about Design for the Other 90% is that it’s actually focused on working with people in the regions they are trying to help. Rather than importing technology and ideas from somewhere else and trying to shoehorn them into place, the designers profiled are actually thinking about needs on the ground, and interacting with the populations they’re helping. It’s a cooperative effort to get more things within reach, and it’s an effort which focuses not necessarily on passive charity, but on active interaction and the mutual development of effective, useful technology that will actually work in the places where it’s being applied."
Mood: Grouchy?
Wanted: aggressive people with no lives