Tag Archives: Links

And one more

This would be another reason.

(After watching Quick Thoughts on “Until Abortion Ends”, I have been on yet another Jay Smooth bender today. I highly recommend trying this, if you have the time.)

Moo! Or, Men Call Me Things, Too

I have a new post up at Global Comment, on #mencallmethings as an example of the exclusion of motherhood from mainstream feminism:

C*nt. Bitch. Whore.

Likely you’ve read these and other epithets, and related threats, flying around the internet recently. If you’re not a woman or a feminist-minded blogger, you might not be used to seeing them quite so often, but rather than dealing with them each on her own, women and perceived-women writers have been talking about them publicly, culminating in a cathartic (and often triggering) sharing on Twitter under the hashtag #mencallmethings. As with many other moments in feminist activism, however, the protest has been as revealing about who is welcome and centered in feminist circles as it has been about the abuse and harassment all such writers, centered or not, receive.

Go read the rest, so the following makes sense!

Naturally, I’ve already been accused of indulging in grudge wank, engaging in Oppression Olympics, and coopting a movement that’s not really about what I’m trying to make it about.1

Originally, when the editor at Global Comment commissioned the piece2, I had envisioned it as part of a larger conversation about the exclusion of mothers and mother-feminism, with #mencallmethings coming so close on the heels of a similar exclusion in NY Magazine. Of course, then life intervened3, and I can’t expect anyone to engage with what I meant to write only with what I did. And while I stand by what I wrote, of course it is just a piece of a bigger story.

So because this is my blog and I get to do things like say “And another thing!” here are some Another Thing!s:

  • This sorta should go without saying, but pointing out exclusion does not imply accusing intent. I doubt any of the article authors sat down and said to themselves “Let’s see how much I can marginalize mothers today!” No, the point is, we’re too often simply not thought about, unless the topic is maternity leave or pumping laws. The commentary around #mencallmethings wasn’t the first and won’t be the last time it happens; it wasn’t particularly egregious, it was just there when I had time and inclination to write about this topic.
  • Pointing out exclusion should not be seen as whining what about meeeee?? Because frankly, since more size = more trolls, I’m kinda fine not being a big, oft-linked blogger. Though it’s always thrilling to see my name in print, what I really want is to see my life reflected — or at least acknowledged.
  • Pointing out exclusion is not engaging in Oppression Olympics; I don’t think it matters whether mothers have it any worse than other women, I think we have it different, and that by itself is important. And, mothers are hardly the only group frequently excluded this way, which is why I draw parallels with women of color, trans women, women with disabilities, etc — and, of course, all the lived combinations thereof.
  • Finally, while again I don’t think this is a matter of intent4, framing the conversation as what men do rather than what we experience doesn’t leave space for the lived realities of not just women with children but trans women, gender-queer and nonbinary people, and others, who also experience gendered marginalization and, yes, abuse and harassment from other women. This framing — not an active choice, simply the unintended consequence of privileged habits — is why I speak up when mothers are erased from feminist discussion, because it won’t change until we are not seen as a particular case, a subgroup, not quite really a part of feminism, but women, full stop.

And — a reward, for those of you who made it this far! — here is an excellent example of how to include mothers in social justice discourse (and an important piece in its own right on mental health and the problems with compulsory “treatment”.). See? It doesn’t take much.

  1. Really? I thought it was about what women — including, shockingly enough, mothers — experience, but whatever.
  2. I think to stop me filling up her chat box with my rantings.
  3. Going on day 6 of vertigo, Occupy Portland and Occupy Wallstreet dismantlings, The Man working overtime, and — yay having a preschooler — yet another Cold of DOOM. Frankly, I’m pretty damn chuffed just having finished the piece at all, especially without phrases like “and, um, stuff!”
  4. At Sady’s admission, she spent all of 30 seconds or something coming up with the hashtag, and didn’t expect it to grow as it did, and many people both participating and not pointed out that “men call me things” doesn’t mean women don’t also.

Linkanikos

Another link round up from the lovely Emily. With luck, I’ll even have a chance to read them all soon. Probably whilst nursing.

Hello all.  How’s you?  Me, oh you know…  Now we’ve gotten the pleasantries out of the way, down to linkage.

At Big Fat Blog, in Scotland, a couple might have lose four of their seven children because their parents “failed to help them slim down.”  There’s email addresses at the bottom of the post you can use to help support keeping this family together.

Wikileaks revealed that the U.S has been lobbying against breastfeeding campaigns in the Philippines.  PhD in Parenting wrote about Evenflo breast pumps, and how a company goes from good to very, very bad.

Oregon Health & Science University researchers have developed a new contraceptive that is more focused and safer, controlling mechanisms that result in the release of an egg.  Intriguing.  s.e smith at Bitch on pop culture representations of parenting with mental illness.

At Tiger Beatdown, Sady wrote a lovely post about feminism, critique and feeling virtuous.

Massive unemployment: proof capitalism doesn’t work.  Another sad sign of the times – climate scientists establishing a legal defense fund because of all the lawsuits they’re facing.

In Greece, the rebel dog Loukanikos barked at some police offices in Syntagma (Constitution) Square.  Arwyn has her Doctor Who fandom, I have stray dogs in Athens.  Ok, I have Doctor Who too.

And speaking of, Doctor Whooves is feeling impatient.

Arwyn again: The dear (pony-fied) Doctor was obviously not in postpartum baby-land. As Kareena says, babies distort the space time continuum. Truer words ne’er were spoken!

Guest post: Linkspam

The hellish torture that is moving with a newborn1 babymooning continues apace, and to everyone’s surprise, or at least mine, the stress of it all has not yet landed me in hospital. But as I’m typing this one handed2, I leave you in the capable, lovely, and not nearly as baby-occupied hands of my friend Emily.

Hi all, Emily Manuel here.  You might remember me from such internets as The Tiger Beatdown, The Global Comment, or The Twitter, or the comments of this here blog.  But if not, then hi!  How’s you?

Anyway, while Arwyn’s off babymooning, I’ve volunteered to provide the link posts.  As with everything, Don’t Read The Comments, etc etc.  So here goes.

Sociological Images has a round-up of gendered kids stuff, including that J.C Penny shirt (you know the one).  PhD in Parenting has mixed feelings about a blood test that can predict the sex of a fetus at 7 weeks.

s.e smith writes at Bitch magazine about how pharmaceutical companies frame mental illness in their 2.5 billion dollars worth of advertising a year.  I wrote at Alternet about how the states are privatising Medicaid through “managed care” programs.’

In amazing News From the Future, scientists say lab grown meat is just 6 months away.  True Blood for humans, y’all.  Also, pooping pandas make better biofuels.

And for your obligatory pieces of Whovianism, there’s Sady Doyle talking about how Doctor Who became “Nurse Rory” (note: I edited this piece. But you should still read it, even if you don’t agree), and this gem of a video, “Previously on Doctor Who.”  Shots from every single episode in five minutes, amazing.  A warning: the sound’s a bit rubbish, so turn down your speakers before you watch it.

  1. To quote myself: “I hate every part of this except the smell of my new baby’s head, the feel of my new baby’s skin, and the sound of my new baby’s breath.”
  2. My left, natch. I’m right handed.

More links? Yes, but this time with more Arwyn!

Been missing your semi-weekly dose of RMB? Wondering when the hell I’ll write again?1 Worry no longer, for here are TWO, TWO posts in one! You just have to click through to read ‘em. CLICK!

Firstly: Yours truly, for reasons incomprehensible to same, was asked to participate in a roundtable for Bitch Magazine, on race and racism in and around the mommy blogosphere. It appears in issue 52 (on newstands and in mailboxes sooooon!) — but is also available to you, Internet Denizen, right now. There are several amazing bloggers (plus me) who weighed in on some interesting questions, and it’s well worth a thorough read.

Renee Martin: I created my blog to keep a promise to my children that I would do my best to make the world a little better for them. Having said that, no matter how many times I declare that my blog is a mommy blog, it is steadfastly denied. I firmly believe that it is in part due to my race, and in part due to that fact that my idea of parenting is far more involved than writing about diapers, sleepless nights, and recipes. I believe that raising well-rounded children means dealing directly with any issue that they might potentially face—including but not limited to race, gender, sexuality, ageism, disability, etc. The idea that mommy blogs should be safe, fluffy spaces is absurd, and comes directly from the fact that those assigned the label are white, middle class, cisgender, and largely straight.

Secondly: Emily Manuel, Taco Pusher Extraordinaire, put up some ramblings (me), rantings (us), and righteous points (her) over at Tiger Beatdown, on the problems with allowing kyriarchy to control the conversation around birth, pregnancy, contraception, transitioning, and tacos.2 This is where to click if you’ve missed my ALL CAPS ravings recently.

Arwyn: All around me I see people arguing positions I want to see succeed try to argue within the other side’s delusion, and it sends me around the bend. Why are we so damn bad at reclaiming the conversation? Why do we let right wingers be so damn GOOD at it?

Emily: I’ve been thinking about that for a long time and I’m still not sure I have the answer. I think that the Left is terrible at strategy and some of the reason is that we don’t attack ourselves.

When the last anti-abortion bill was defeated here in La the group fighting it were like, ok time for a rest. And I was like NO, time to attack! Time to think about ways to create systemic change, to aim to achieve something rather than prevent (so what do we want? state-sponsored contraception, or more funding for PP, or something - and preferably something really big). Stop playing defense. And they were like wow, we never thought of that.

At worst you take away the energy of the Right, at best you succeed – it’s win/win. There’s very [few] people on the Left that do this consistently… whereas I think the Right does this constantly, they launch a million bloody REALLY AMBITIOUS bills and sooner or later some of them hit the target.

Coming soon — more belly pics, now with added henna! Pretty words on the false dichotomy of “body” and “mind”! And, if I can convince her to grant permission, further Arwyn/Emily ramblings, this time on Ecclescock3 and the construction and ramifications of oppositional sex!

  1. You and me both.
  2. Pull quote centers around left/right politics, but post contains more on birth, bodily autonomy, and the need for a new conversation around pregnancy.
  3. LINK NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Unless you work at a pr0n shop. Or Highly Cultural Nudity-As-Art Venue. Or home. Or with a boss who really, really likes Christopher Eccleston. Lucky you.
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