Been a while since we’ve had a good ol’ fashioned link post, hasn’t it?1
I had the privilege of hearing Liz read a fabulous post about knitting, geekery, and feminism at BlogHer in August. In Kids and wheelchair manners she writes about curious kids, clueless adults, and her light-up chair.
I also don’t like it when grownups yell at kids not to stare or ask questions. I’m in a giant cool exoskeleton with light-up wheels. I have purple hair. Kids get to stare. They should be curious! If they ask me why I’m in a wheelchair, I can answer them however I like. The parent doesn’t have to step in and act all embarrassed. I might say that I use the chair to help me get around, or because my legs hurt if I walk very far. If we’re in a social situation or a playground I get out of the chair, sit on a bench, and teach random children how to push themselves around in my wheelchair. It’s fun and it demystifies disability for the kids and teaches them that mobility equipment is just another tool.
The right to bear at Spilt Milk is one close to my heart, as I still, happily, sleep with the bear my grandparents gave me for Christmas when I was eight. And yes, I take him on planes with me. Can I sleep without him, fly without him? Sure, but why should I want to? Why is my bear less socially acceptable than another person’s nightcap, gin-and-tonic, night light, Xanax? As Elizabeth says:
It’s not ‘babyish’ to find ways to self-soothe and to cultivate feelings of security: it’s human, and it’s smart. It’s not wrong to form attachments and dependencies and when it’s people and things that do not harm us, it’s actually desirable to do so.
The more I learn about Babble, the less I like them. Reason number three: Breastfeeding, Babble, and Business at Marf Mom. Prompted by PhD in Parenting’s post about the unethical advertisement of a formula company-run “Feeding Experts” hotline on Babble’s breastfeeding guide page (reason number two!), she wrote to Babble’s CEO. And he replied — but not terribly politely.
What was upsetting to me was how he characterized me. …because I disagreed with the objectivity of his website, I must be looking for a mandate that every woman breastfeed?! Finally, what does La Leche League have to do with my email? I’m not a member. All I did was suggest their site as a better resource than a formula company!
It’s not great marketing to answer complaints by telling your consumers that THEY are the ones with the problem.
I adore equally the title, substance, and footnote to muslin: a threat to the fabric of society at a shiny new coin, so go, soak it all in.
You want to know about hypocrisy?
Hypocrisy is a country of immigrants, who continue to perpetrate a genocide on the original inhabitants, running around with stickers on their vehicles manufactured from natural resources that came from stolen land that proclaim “Fuck Off: We’re Full”.
Hypocrisy is a country where the banning of an item of dress is regularly recommended, saying no Australian has any right to dictate the standard of dress of another. Really? Can I have that in writing?
Hypocrisy is the complete lack of perspective, the total cognitive dissonance, that the 7000 people who voted that a Muslim function, in a room used after hours at a community facility, having dress code is fundamentally wrong. A dress code. You know, like the one bigots would impose when they say burqas should be outlawed.
Penultimately, I offer a trio of posts on rape culture — but it’s not as bad as it sounds. I’ve put them in order of painful, hopeful, and fabulous.
On Birth Rape, Definitions, and Language Policing at The Curvature carries a strong trigger warning, and is about rape denial in circles who should best know better.
I’m used to seeing this sort of thing — discussions about whether or not an event that is admittedly horrible really deserves to have the title “rape” attached to it, accompanied by convoluted reasons as to why calling it rape would just mess everything up for real rape victims. What I’m not quite as used to is seeing it being done in the name of feminism and/or anti-rape activism.
The Boiling Frog Principle of Boundary Violation at the Yes Means Yes blog should also come with a trigger warning, and goes through some pretty scary truths, but ends up, I feel, in a place of hope:
We need to look for the places where boundaries can’t and won’t be enforced … and fix them. We can’t start when and where the rapes happen. We have to start at the beginning. We have to believe that bodily autonomy is a human right, and that the little violations matter. If the whole culture believed that, it might not end all rape, but it would end a culture where rape is normalized and generally unpunished.
I wrote in reply4:
I take hope from this that yes, what we do as parents5 matter. We can be a part of the solution, by respecting our children’s bodily autonomy as much as we are able, and avoiding “the little violations” as much as possible.
Not to say that if we are not able, we are necessarily raising rapists, or rape victims — but rather that we CAN make a difference, here, now. Any step toward honoring our children’s boundaries and giving them the tools to recognize others’ and enforce their own is a step toward dismantling rape culture.
Will you take a step with me?
As your reward for making it through those, we have The Suffering Ween: An Important Social Essay over at Fatshionista:
When described in such terms, the frustration, resentment, and even violent rages of heterosexual men railing against the forced witnessing of women’s bodies that fail to give them hard-ons becomes a perfectly understandable and even sympathetic response to a world that has failed to identify how deeply (even irreparably, as some things can never be unseen) it has damaged them. We are, after all, describing the single most sensitive and vital organ in a man’s body, from which fully nine-tenths of their motivation to do anything in life is derived.
Clearly, these are young men suffering from a heartbreaking deficiency of boners.
Emovtypical is a new word1, meaning those with emotions and moods which fall into the range which society expects. It is based on the use, largely in Autism circles but in other “mental disability” circles as well, of “neurotypical”, to contrast with the neurodivergent or neuroatypical, that is, those whose brains do not conform to society’s expectations.2
In other news, I just realized I could link straight to footnotes from other pages, and this might be the single coolest discovery since fire, ice, or the vibrating motor.
What say you, readers? Any interesting links or world-shaking discoveries to share? Self-promotion, frivolity, and non sequiturs always welcome.6
- In part because I’ve been reading these things that are kind of like bloggy link round ups, but when I go to click on “more” I can’t find it? Also they smell like pulp and intelligence. I think they’re called “books”? ↩
- What? Have you come up with a better idea since Facebook decided to stop using “fans”? ↩
- Plus copious footnotes. Because. Wait, you want a reason? Fine, because kittens. ↩
- On Facebook — see? You really should follow me, if you’ve succumbed to that particular internet evil. ↩
- There are many things about this post I would change now, having heard many more stories of rape being committed by women and other non-men, but I think the basic points still stand. ↩
- This footnote exists solely so that the last footnote won’t be all serious and some junk. You’re welcome. ↩