18 March 2011

Can a man identify as a feminist?


I've not much to offer, as ever-it's Friday and Comic Relief! But I read this article and had a mixed reaction. I'm glad he's owning his own privilege, but...as a white person, I can't say that I'm antiracist because, like it or not, I benefit from white privilege every day. I benefit from other people's oppressions. And this man benefits from being a man, so really? Are you a feminist when every day you benefit from a misogynistic society?

Also..'feminists don't hate men. We looove men'. Um...it's NOT ABOUT THE MEN. Sometimes I DO hate men, as it's very tiresome being seen as nothing more than a walking uterus/sperm dump. This shouldn't prevent men from listening to me because occassionally I am angry.

I don't know, in many ways I do get what he's saying, but...blah.

16 March 2011

Ye Olde Dichotomy; Also Some Facts

It's one of those weeks when I don't have anything insightful to say. The stuff that I'm actually inspired to write about is too personal for me to put on the blog right now; regular politics and feminism-related stuff seems trivial when the big news stories are related to Japan's disasters (about which I have nothing new to add. Donate, if you are so moved! Don't be a dick, even if you are so moved!); I'm not in a place where I feel like sharing a book review or TV analysis.

But one of my rules was that I am not going to hold myself to such high standards that I never get anything written. So ... yeah, I didn't really come up with a contingency plan for when I'm actually uninspired.

Being uninspired to me comes in two flavors. There is the level of "I don't really have anything to say that is interesting, or original," and that has to do with my own high standards, and my rules about writing that you shouldn't chatter on paper to no purpose because the internet has plenty of that already. Then there's the deeper level of "I just don't feel like giving anything of myself to other people right now," that sort of a protective, metaphorical fetal-position type feeling. When the first one is troubling me, that's something I need to find a way to work with, if I'm going to commit to writing on a deadline. With the second -- which is what I've got at the moment -- well, that's also something I'm going to need to get past, but it makes it harder to choose a topic when one is unassigned.

So. Here are some interesting trivial facts you may not know. They do not relate to any particular topic.

1. When Disney started marketing the princess line, they had to contend with the fact that Roy Disney (nephew of Walt) was dead against princesses from different stories interacting with one another in any way. That's why when princesses appear on the same product, they are never making eye contact with one another but always staring off into middle distance in different directions.

2. "To be or not to be: that is the question" is not a standard iambic pentameter line. Neither is "Now is the winter of our discontent" and neither is "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" They're standard variations -- the first has a feminine ending, the latter two open with inverted feet -- that are used often, but they are not good examples of the base iambic pentameter style. If you need one (why would you?) go with "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun."

3. There is no direct evidence for the existence of the Oort Cloud, a three-dimensional sphere of space junk that supposedly sits about 50,000 AUs from the sun. Scientists just decided that comets had to hang out somewhere when they were on the far reaches of their orbits. It's like Aristotle's logic about the Prime Mover, transposed to modern science.

4. It is constitutionally legal in the U.S. to sterilize the so-called mentally unfit. Buck v. Bell was never overturned. It is no longer common practice (or generally legal) on the state level; the Supreme Court will never get the chance to overturn it unless someone sues after having the procedure done, so it being illegal at the state level actually indirectly protects its official constitutionality.

5. In 1965, Yves Saint Laurent designed a knitted white wool wedding dress inspired by Russian nesting dolls. It sort of looks like a phallus crossed with a wedding cake.

That's all I got. Go forth, Google, and check my facts.