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Open Thread 14

July 17, 2009

treehouse-paperbark-camp

36 Comments
  1. July 17, 2009 7:31 am

    I feel like one of those marathon runners who finally crosses the finish line, dragging one leg, not feeling either arm, hair glued to my hair and mouth as dry as the Kalahari. Yes, it is finally Friday. And I don’t care what none of you say, I will have my popcorn eating ass sitting in a seat watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince tonight! Yeah, yeah, I know how unfeminist and juvenile and unscholarly, and nadie me quiere blah blah blah, but whatever.

    I am aware of how many posts I owe this blog. Just consider yourself lucky when I do deliver! Insert sinister laugh here.

  2. Mary Sunshine permalink
    July 17, 2009 12:07 pm

    This is not a good morning for me. My stomach feels as if it wants to hurl, and the rest of me wishes it wouldn’t. Oh poor m-e-e-e-e-e-e …..

  3. Mary Sunshine permalink
    July 17, 2009 4:10 pm

    Feeling better. 🙂 Thanks! Turns out to be run of the mill migraine headache. Applying tried and true remedy. 😐

  4. melim permalink
    July 17, 2009 4:37 pm

    I’m glad you feel better, Mary.

    I hate money, I hate banks, I hate my cell phone company’s bill-pay system that doesn’t work, and I really, really hate the person who stole my debit card number. This is the shit I’ve been dealing with all week.

  5. melim permalink
    July 17, 2009 5:32 pm

    Where is that treehouse, BTW? I need to go live there.

    • July 17, 2009 10:23 pm

      The tree house’s location is different for everyone. Therefore, grasshopper-melim you must visit your inner eye and find your place of contentment. LOL!

      For me, it is somewhere that has no, NO mosquitoes. No snakes that are interested in slithering up and warming themselves next to me. Temperature not a degree above 70F. No tigers or bears who would want me for lunch. NO men wanting to jack off watching or men who want to rape me because I look so peaceful. And friends, but friends who don’t have to be the center, friends who are all willing for everyone to take their time and flow, etc, etc.

  6. kamododragon permalink
    July 17, 2009 6:11 pm

    You all have to see this blog from this trans who wrote Woman born what?
    http://tgnotwhatyouthink.blogspot.com/2009/07/women-born-what.html

  7. July 17, 2009 11:14 pm

    The female-bodied become women during puberty and during a long process of socialization and education. The male-bodied whose brains are female (to put it a bit simplistically) and the indeterminately-sexed with female brains usually become women later in life, sometimes much later. It is a difficult path, and those who walk it go through a similar process to girls going through puberty, but usually without the support of the surrounding society and often in the face of its hostility. In the end, we are all women. We just got here by different paths. I never had the experience of growing up a girl, but among girls, such experience varies widely. Girls are hardly all alike. My own experience growing up a sissy, an outcast, and a pretty boy gave me my own baggage to deal with, not necessarily that different than if I’d grown up a girl.

    Yes, some “girls” are so different to other girls that they actually have penises! Imagine that. In fact, I think I must be human-bodied with a feline brain, because all I want to do is lie around, be petted, and eat good things. I’m sure my growing up in a human body wasn’t that different an experience from the cats who grew up as kittens. They’re all so different–some are alley cats, some pampered pets; some are striped, some solid-colored. How dare those cis-specied cat-born-cat-only bigots try to define the true feline experience? Society surely did not support me on my transpecies path.

    Thanks kamododragon, I hadn’t gotten my side of absurdity yet today.

  8. redmegaera permalink
    July 18, 2009 2:54 am

    Thanks for the link, kamododragon. It seems to me that the Cartesian distinction between one’s body and one’s brain is not only arbitrary but reminiscent of the fragmentation and objectification of women’s bodies in pornography and the media. It imposes heirarchical structures onto how the body is imagined and complements reproductive liberalism and the arguments of anti-abortion activists. How does one go about “sexing” one’s brain anyway?

    Amy & Stormy- you just reminded me of a sketch from The D-Generation ( a sketch-comedy show popular in Australia during the late 1980s- early 1990s) in which comedian Magda Szubanski recounts how she always knew she was an armchair, trapped in a woman’s body.

    • July 18, 2009 8:04 am

      Ah yes, I remember the D-Gen. Love Magda Szubanski. 🙂

  9. July 18, 2009 5:43 am

    comedian Magda Szubanski recounts how she always knew she was an armchair, trapped in a woman’s body.

    Wow, trans-inanimate-objectism. She is on the cutting edge.

    Oh, and I meant to say, how very anti-patriarchy of Hamilton — “well, I was *going* to go to the Man on you, but, well, maybe I’ll wait a while.”

    Snort.

    • July 18, 2009 5:51 pm

      I know right. And it ends with “at this point.” In other words, “Remember you bitches, I [a male] have the institutions on my [a male] side, at my [a male] fingertips and you need to know that I [a male] am being benevolent here by not utilizing those institutions at this very moment. Remember, bitches, those institutions are here for my [a male] purposes.”

      A dick is a dick is a dick.

  10. July 18, 2009 6:09 am

    Okay my take on the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Don’t read this comment if you don’t want spoilers. If you have read the book, I don’t know how anything can be spoiled, at least not for me. I did forget to tell my daughter that the Inferi was going to grab Harry when he tried to get water out of the lake. She almost jumped out of her skin. Poor thing. I probably would have been scared too if I didn’t know already that it was going to happen. Anyway, I can understand omitting parts because of time restraints, but fabricated crap is just unacceptable. If the movie had time to fabricate, it could have spent that time with real events in the book. Just off the top of my head, here are some of the fabrications:

    Harry asks a Muggle woman out for a date at a Muggle coffee shop.
    Dumbledore shows up at an underground station to get Harry.
    Luna findsg Harry immobilized and under his invisibility cloak on the Hogwarts express, and then fixes his broken nose.
    Harry uses a black out bomb on the train.
    Ginny goes into The Room of Requirements with Harry to get rid of his Potions book.
    Ginny kisses Harry in The Room of Requirements.
    The Burrow is attacked by the Death Eaters during Christmas break.
    Harry and Ginny, then Lupin, Tonks, and Mr. Weasley run after Death Eaters in the fields surrounding the Burrow.
    The Burrow burns down! (Just an unacceptable fabrication. And no Fleur or Bill for Christmas!)
    Bellatrix goes to Hogwarts through the vanishing cabinet, then destroys shit as she exits the building.
    Slughorn steals a plant from Madame Hooch’s nursery and then asks Hagrid for venom from Aragog.
    Harry takes the golden locket out of the basin.
    Harry roams freely at the Astronomy Tower lower level when Dumbledore is killed, and Snape tells Harry to be quiet. (That fabrication is just sacrilegious. Harry is free and does nothing! No. He did nothing because he was pinned to a wall under Dumbledore’s spell and was under the invisibility cloak.
    Bellatrix casts the dark mark after Dumbledore is killed.

    • July 18, 2009 6:18 am

      Before I complain anymore (and I do have some complaints), I will say of course I liked the movie. It is Harry Potter. However, there were some disappointing aspects. For one thing, I think the music was so off. I mean off off. The music was bad and there were so many missed opportunities that music could have brought all the emotion and intensity home. Instead, it sounded like a high school orchestra playing grown up. I mean honestly, when Professor McGonagall held her wand up to the sky and everyone followed in an attempt to ward the Dark Mark away (btw, that is another fabrication), it should have been a boo hoo moment, —if the right music was there. Then when Fawkes does appear, it is another lost music opportunity. Rowling says when Fawkes mourned the music moved EVERYONE, everyone. What music did we get when Fawkes flew around a bit? Nothing.

    • July 18, 2009 6:41 am

      And so didn’t need the metaphorical blow job scene. Personally, I don’t have a problem with Ginny tying Harry’s untied shoe. Well, if he was sitting down and she was sitting next to her and his legs were crossed and she could reach his shoes, or if, they were both sitting on the floor, etc. Also, I don’t have too much of a problem that tying his shoes is some sort of motherly submissive role. That is typical heteronormativity. It is expected (whether I agree with it or not, in a heteronormativity teenager book). Rowling does offer us a line in the book that is in the same ballpark of girl who likes boy and behaves in a motherly-submissive way :

      pg. 330, “Harry, you’ve got a maggot in your hair,” said Ginny cheerfully, leaning across the table to pick it out; Harry felt goose bumps erupt up his neck that had nothing to do with the maggot.

      Mommy figure grooms baby boy. Got it. Can apply that with tying his shoes or picking maggots out of his head.

      However, the position of the shoe tying is simply going too far.

      The problem with the scene, and yes, it is a whopper of a problem, is, Harry is standing up and facing Ginny. Facing Harry, Ginny bends down to tie his shoes. Her head is almost leveled with his penis area. It is a metaphorical blow job position. It is far too raunchy for Harry Potter. Sorry, they may have raging hormones but it is never taken to actual having sex or performing sex anywhere in the book, NEVER! The most is kissing. I don’t even think there are roaming hands. Even when Krum says in the 7th book, “What is the point of being a famous Quidditch player if I cannot get a dance,” it is still not the same as “What is the point of being a famous Quiddith player if I cannot get a girl to blow me.” Maybe it is the same in adult world, but it is not the same in an innocent child’s world.

      Ginny ain’t trying to suck Harry’s dick. Nasty bastards always have to fuck up innocent shit when they get their nasty little hands on it.

      *Yes, I know I am talking to myself. I.Don’t.Care.

    • July 18, 2009 6:55 am

      Oh and that Cormac McLaggen should officially become the poster child to represent male chauvinist pigs. O-M-G, what cockiness. And on top that he has the nerve, the nerve to be handsome, very handsome. And athletic, very athletic, —that catching the mosquito or fly just like that was a nice touch. But does he ever scream RAPIST! Not that nerdy looking boys don’t scream rapist as well, but nevertheless. The way he leers, winks, smacks, and licks his fingers!

  11. July 18, 2009 1:23 pm

    You’re not talking to yourself. I’m sorry to hear that they made so much stuff up. It seemed like previously they were pretty faithful to the texts? (And yes, I *am* using that ironically. Have to talk pomo when I get the chance.)

    I’m surprised they would depart that much from the book’s plot when (unlike some movies) it’s pretty likely that most everyone in the audience has read the book, or had it read to them.

    Dumbasses.

  12. kamododragon permalink
    July 18, 2009 3:10 pm

    You all have to check this blog out and read this comment
    http://questioningtransphobia.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/a-bit-of-a-blogular-digression/

    “OK, I’ve had enough of this “YOU TRANS-WANNA-BE-WOMEN CAINT BE A WOMAN WITHOUT A PROPER GIRLHOOD” business.

    Would someone please give me ten examples of required girlhood experiences without which an individual cannot be considered female? Can someone provide me with ten experiences that all Real True Women, all three billion, had as children, and no male was capable of having?

    Because without something specific this entire argument may as well be something like, “All Real True Women have 7 angels dressed in pink dancing on the head of their pins, while all Real True Men had six angels dressed in blue dancing on the head of THEIR pins. That’s how you know!”

    http://questioningtransphobia.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/a-bit-of-a-blogular-digression/#comment-12403

  13. July 18, 2009 7:13 pm

    Sigh, well, I’ve pretty much ceded the term “woman” at this point. So let’s see, what do all girls have in common? Well, they’re all members of the sex class female, raised, treated, and imperiled as such, even if the threats and perils and consequences thereof vary depending on date and location.

    And yes, that does leave out intersexed people, BECAUSE I am not interested in obscuring the unique experiences that intersexed people have, or in speaking for intersexed people — the way some folks are.

  14. July 19, 2009 4:02 am

    If only I had a dollar for every time I read:

    Should you be able to shout fire in a crowded movie theater?

    Here is how the comment section goes on-line for my local paper.

    That is the most stupid article the city Times-Star-Chronicle-Post-Gazette has ever written. I have just wasted the last six minutes of my life.

    You didn’t have to read it.

    It is always because of illegal aliens. (From a report that someone stole a dozen avocados from an orchard to a new condominium complex that will block the ocean view. It usually happens around the fifth or sixth comment.)

    Do you want to do the job that illegal aliens do?

    Could we get back on topic?

    I can say whatever I want to say. Until the City Times-Star-Chronicle-Post-Gazette tells me I can’t, I will.

    I am going to report you, it is people like you that mess it up for all of us. You and illegal aliens.

    The article is stupid.

    Something something about the article.

    When I was a little boy growing up in city it was not like it is now.

    I appreciate the hard working men and women of City Times-Star-Chronicle-Post-Gazette and feel very grateful that we can view the Times-Star-Chronicle-Post-Gazette free on line.

    It is my first amendment right to say if I think the Times-Star-Chronicle-Post-Gazette is stupid or not.

    Should you be able to shout fire in a crowded movie theatre?

    My brother’s girlfriend’s father’s brother is an attorney for a very rich and important person and he says that you cannot…………………………………

    on and on

    The average reader can only read at a sixth grade level.

    Who are you calling stupid?

    We pay a lot of property taxes for our children to get a good education and illegal aliens are ruining it for us all. We need to stick together.

    on and on and on.

  15. July 19, 2009 12:23 pm

    I’m scared to read my local paper, let alone the comments to the articles. I have so little oblivion in my life, and I feel I already know so well how evil everyone is, so I just don’t bother to confirm my fears. I need the comfort sometimes of a little manufactured un-knowing.

  16. July 19, 2009 5:45 pm

    I can live the rest of my life without ever eating a slice of pizza again.

  17. July 19, 2009 9:17 pm

    I wrote this comment before I realized that comments were closed. I started to email it to all parties involved, but that would be a bit pushy. I would still like all parties involved to read, so, I guess, I will post it here.

    I think we do have to use gender type words to talk about gender type things. What happens, and I think it causes hostile communication is, we do not take the time and read or ask who is doing the gender assigning. It is almost as if we have to speak in disclaimers all the time. It is why I try (when I remember) to use quotation marks when I am expressing an opinion such as “you bitch.” The quotation marks are to show everyone reading that I am not the one saying, “you bitch.” That gives them a chance to think well who is saying “you bitch.” In most cases the “who” will be the oppressor I am complaining about. I wish it was understood that it would never be me saying “you bitch” but because there are so many people on the internet with different schemata, and so many with “personal issues” (like so-called feminists who think it is okay to use misogynist words when they are in a bad mood) I understand how difficult it is to determine. I find myself either extending the benefit of doubt and/or scrutinizing a statement to the fullest. I respect any woman’s instincts when she thinks something is snarky. There is a reason she thinks it is snarky. Either it is for a fact snarky or she is reading something into it and projecting snarkiness. This is the type of working through that we must deal with, and each is responsible not to let it create a wedge.

    Now, I didn’t read Stormy’s comment as being snarky, but instead read it like it was meant to say “I am frustrated with all of this gender talk, I want to comment here because I like what you say, but, I just wish we could reach utopia already where we don’t have to fret over all of this gender stuff.” Then AW followed with the same thing. That is how I read it.

    However, I said already, I respect women when they are “feeling/sensing” something and obviously Undercoverpunk has sense something about Stormy’s and AW’s comment. For example, I received a comment about three weeks before a flame war started that said, “Nothing gets past you Kitty.” My first reaction was that it was snark, nasty uncalled for snark. And I was going to react. But I didn’t. Instead I extended the benefit of the doubt. And you know what? Sure enough, that person kept doing and saying things that lead to a flame war. In other words, there was preemptive signs and I did see those signs, but instead of trusting my instincts I extended the benefit of the doubt. It bit me in the ass.

    If the comment was snarky, I think it should be own as such. If it was not snarky, I think it should be examined why it was viewed a snarky.

    I know, I sound like a prig. And if I say I don’t like the in-fighting, I know how manipulative that can sound and be. But, I don’t. I totally missed how the thread changed directions. I am missing something. I hope it all can be put right.

    • atheistwoman permalink
      July 20, 2009 12:50 am

      Well for me, I did not mean anything by it. I like undercoverpunk’s blog which is why I was there in the first place, all I did was see stormy’s comment and agree. There was no snark. Perhaps because it was short it was interpreted that way, but I do not know. I forgot about the thread, came back, and then all the comments were closed and I could not explain myself . My only problem is that it seems this is the third time that non-existing malice was projected upon me. It is starting to hurt, because I do not enjoy upsetting people, not even menz (I know surprise right). It is possible that I just sound nasty naturally, like I do in real life, which is unfortunate because that is not my intention.

      And I seem to remember thinking of”nothing gets past you Kitty,” as a compliment, though perhaps the person (don’t remember who) did not mean it as such.

    • July 20, 2009 1:31 am

      Hi Kitty, I hope you don’t mind if I say a couple things here too, as I could not find an email address for Undercover Punk. If you know it, you could email this to her instead of posting it.

      Responding to this:

      I will NOT ignore the fact that gender is the most basic social division amongst humans;

      This is the thing, UCP — the “most basic social division amongst humans” (the “most basic”-ness of it is arguable BTW) is not gender, it’s sex. You continue to use these words as though they mean the same thing, when they don’t. It’s not your fault, that confusion is everywhere these days–I recently filled out a medical form that asked me if my “gender” was “Female/Male/Transgender.” “Female” and “male” are not “genders” — they are sexes. If you keep trying to think “gender=sex roles” and even use the term “sex roles” instead of “gender” I think it’s easier to keep the difference in mind. Sex roles are not the basis of social division among humans–they are the process and outcome of social divisions based on sex. And because sex roles are social–not biological or inherent–they change across times and cultures. Think of the things that western men consider necessary to their “masculinity” or ways that they think of nonwestern men as not-masculine (when nonwestern men think they are plenty masculine, thank you very much), and you will start to see what I mean. However, *femaleness* and the fact of the exploitation of femaleness does not change across cultures — just the *behaviors* that are expected of females and the *ways* that femaleness is exploited. And those *behaviors* would be the sex role, the behavioral symptom and effect of institutionalized and internalized sexism.

      Responding to this:

      Since you don’t want to use HP (heteropatriarchal) terminology, I’m interested in figuring out how to discuss the social implications of & descriptions of gender without using these words.

      Here’s what I said in answer to the original question posed in your post which you reiterated in comments:

      I have heard that lesbians, particularly though not exclusively younger lesbians, do experience pressure to use hormones and get surgery, particularly top surgery.

      Why is this not sufficient to describe what is happening? Why do the lesbians that it is happening to have to be separated out and described in “genderized” terms? The pressure to transition — that is, to hate and mutilate or submit to the mutilation of female bodies — is sexist, no matter who is promoting it, who they are promoting it to, or who is being overcome by the pressure.

      I don’t know if you are aware, but there is another lesbian blogger on the internet who claims that “true butches” don’t transition, it’s only lesbians who are “not butch enough.” (I don’t know who makes that determination.) So whether or not “butch flight” is a real thing kind of depends on who you ask, whereas it is, as far as I know, universally acknowledged that the vast majority of FtM transgender people “identified” pre-transition as lesbian.

      In my mind, the patriarchal “gender” designation of the women the transitioning pressure is being applied to doesn’t really matter. And if it’s true that you value all women, as you say (and I believe you do), then I’m sure you will see what I mean.

    • July 20, 2009 2:24 am

      Just wanted to say I agree with everything you’ve said here, Amy. It’s so hard to use men’s languages in such a way that cannot be turned against us, but I do think we owe it to ourselves to try.

    • July 20, 2009 6:41 pm

      Yo, Kitty. Yes, I was terribly perplexed as to why the comment was read as a snark, it wasn’t intended to be snarky, but it was brief, and I do have a reputation (IRL too) for being a bit blunt and straight to the point. I guess I am just getting older and crankier!

      The brief comment was in response to UCP trying to label and categorise people into iddy biddy compartments, my comment was really – what’s the point? what’s the need? The only (main) categorisation we should focus on at the mo’ is the sex category (not gender, as Amy has explained above/below). And the only reason that particular distinction needs to be made is because (as I see it), it is the main form of discrimination going (and the basis of many), and as a feminist first, that is the bit I am thinking about.

      Yes I agree Amy, that UCP did/has used gender and sex as if they were perfectly interchangeable – they aren’t. I did point that out to one of her earlier posts. I didn’t even comment on her thread about butches, and I won’t go into it, because it’s another big subject.

      But yeah, I was oh so surprised to go over there, find the comment by UCP, and see that comments had been closed. Very: WTF?!?!? just happened???

      I am not interested in starting a blog war. So much so, I won’t bother going over there any more.

    • July 20, 2009 7:19 pm

      Hi stormy, I also have pointed out the gender/sex difference before. I guess women have to decide for themselves whether their attachment to certain facets of patriarchal experience is going to preclude their complete conversion to radical feminism.

      And, I perhaps didn’t make it clear in my little treatise just above, but I have written before on the links between the surgical and chemical mutilation of healthy bodies that is “transsexing” and the surgical and chemical mutilations that women are pressured to undergo in the interest of fitting into the feminine sex role, and/or of approximating white phenotypes to mitigate the effects of racist-sexism. I don’t think these are separate things, and when you focus on the group of females being targeted, versus the fact that ALL FEMALES are targeted in some way, you end up obscuring a broader analysis of sexism (female bodies unacceptable).

      I’m sure that’s what you were saying, but I guess I just like to hear myself talk. Or type. Or something.

  18. July 20, 2009 12:24 am

    Yes my gentle readers this open thread is being utilized as my own personal twitter account.

    I shall share a line from Dickens (I love his humor so much), from A Tale of Two Cities (I am in the middle of reading and listening to it right now, –a weird combination I know):

    The Dover mail was in its usual genial position that the guard suspected the passengers, the passengers suspected one another and the guard, they all suspected everybody else, and the coachman was sure of nothing but the horses; as to which cattle he could with a clear conscience have taken his oath on the two Testaments that they were not fit for the journey.

  19. July 20, 2009 6:49 pm

    Oh crap.

    Now I can’t even access the front page of Amy’s blog.
    😦 😦 😦

    Stoopid work thing.

    • July 20, 2009 7:22 pm

      Stormy, I was going to tell you you could email me your comments and I would post them, but it’s hard to comment on something you can’t even read! I went and looked at my template and couldn’t find any meta tags; I think they are automatically generated by WordPress based on, I don’t know, content analysis of posts, names of categories, who knows. I can’t figure out how to disable that. Fricking Big Brother.

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