Link Farm and Open Thread #3

Here’s a bunch of links to things I’ve been reading. Feel free to use the comments to talk about these links, or to provide links of your own (either to your own stuff, or to anything else you think is interesting), or to talk about whatever you’d like.

Bush Defense Department Refuses To Implement Anti-Human Trafficking Policy

More fun/horrifying before-and-after photo retouching.

Graduate Student’s Nightmare
“Hold the snide remarks about not backing up your thesis, and consider the true horror of this. Your thesis is gone. Gone. Gone.”

A really neat idea: Introducing Doodle Blog.
Contribute your doodles!

For Some, Transsexuality is a Choice, and That’s Just Fine

Forgotten Holiday TV Specials
Some of these really cracked me up, particularly “A Muppet Christmas with Zbigniew Brzezinski” and “Christmas with David Cronenberg.” Via Hit and Run.

What You See Is What You Get
I’m not sure what language it’s in, but this video clip of a magic trick is super-cool-dandytastic.

Women’s Rights Are Good Economics
An interesting article in Foreign Affairs argues that “Backing women’s rights in developing countries isn’t just good ethics; it’s also sound economics. Growth and living standards get a dramatic boost when women are given just a bit more education, political clout, and economic opportunity.”

Top Ten Myths About Iraq In 2005
Read this Juan Cole post – one of the best posts I’ve seen about Iraq in quite a while. Although his comment-writers make a persuasive case that myth #3 may not belong on the list. And I think another myth – the myth that invading Iraq has brought about an improvement in women’s rights – belongs on the list.

One Less Reason To Move To Spain
Spanish civil servants will no longer be allowed the traditional two-or-three hour siesta, instead having to take just one hour for lunch. Very disappointing.

French Woman Meets Online Romance In Person – And It’s Her Son. Ewwww!

More On Radfem-Only Threads At “Alas”
Actually, I’ve decided to experiment with “feminist and pro-feminist only” threads, which aren’t limited to radical feminists or to women, but which do exclude folks who don’t approve of feminism. But meanwhile, here are two blogs commenting on Heart’s proposal for radfem-women-only threads: Egotistical Whining and The Debate Link.

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29 Responses to Link Farm and Open Thread #3

  1. Pingback: feminist blogs

  2. 2
    Kristjan Wager says:

    Not relelvant to the links, but I was thinking – what books would people suggest for people interested in reading more about the different issues and brands of feminism? And what books would people suggest about transgendered issues?

  3. 3
    Rebecca E says:

    I’m not sure if this is something you’ve addressed before, but I recently became aware of dowry murder in India; it was listed in an Economist article as one of the many horrors around the world faced by women, and I had to search the web to find out what was meant by the term. When a young wife’s family is unable to pay her inlaws’ demands for more dowry, she becomes the victim of violence, and many women are doused in kerosene and burned to death, while the husband’s family claims it was an accidental kitchen fire or suicide.

  4. 4
    alsis39 says:

    Hey, Amp. I dare you to add Encrasez l’Infame: Deconstructing the Democrats to your blogroll.

    You’ll have to finally creat a “To Alas’ Left Category,” but it’s past time for that anyway. :D

  5. 5
    Bitch | Lab says:

    Just helping out a fellow blogger who happens to have the same taste in shoes!

    Daily Dose of Queer, will be holding the Carnival of Bent Attractions. If you want to enter one of your blog writings or host the next Carnival, be sure to visit DDoQ and submit your entry by January 2.

    And please do help a fellow feminist blogger get the word out about her carnival on January 10.

    Thank you!

  6. 6
    Daran says:

    I’m not sure if this is something you’ve addressed before, but I recently became aware of dowry murder in India;

    I wasn’t aware of it either until now, but it’s not really surprising that it happens in a society where women are considered to have essentially negative value, to the point where you have to pay someone to take your daughters off your hands (if you didn’t kill them at birth).

    What is surprising is that neither of us was aware of this until recently; I thought I at least superficially aware of most feminist concerns. A Google search for ‘ “dowry killing” OR “dowry murder” ‘ turns up 9320 results, compared to, say ‘ “honor killing” OR “honor murder” ‘ which turns up 161,000 hits with 132,000 for the alternate spelling “honour”. Although these two numbers can’t just be added, (since they may refer to the same pages), it’s clear that dowry murder has received far less attention than perhaps it ought to have.

  7. 7
    Polymath says:

    thanks for the opportunity, which i’ll selfishly take to tout my latest thoughts on my blog about why, exactly, i have such a visceral reaction to george w. bush. it’s not about feminism, but it is about leftist, thinking politics.

    of course he’s wrong and stubborn, and all that, but the utterly disgusted reaction of so many thinking people made me think there was an emotional component to it, too, which is what i wrote about. i hope some of you will read it, and i hope it’s not too off-topic.


  8. 8
    trey says:


    here are some books I’ve read or have on my lists to do so:

    Normal, by Amy Bloom. very short, introductory, sometimes not quite right.. but a decent intro.

    Invisible Lives, by Viviane K. Namaste. more scholarly. about the issues and politics transgendered individuals face in different institutions and cultures.

    Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism, by Pat Califia. A US political history.

    Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg. A history.

  9. 9
    piny says:

    I liked Read My Lips, by Riki Wilchins. And if you’re going to read Sex Changes–which I had some problems with, but mostly thought was excellent–check out Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein. You can finish it in an afternoon, and Califia critiques it in Sex Changes. There’s also From the Inside Out: Radical Gender Transformation from FTM to Beyond, by Morty Diamond, which is ft? specific. Also, Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green. The Phallus Palace, by Dean Kotula, is two-thirds wtf, but there are some interesting interviews with transguys. Are you interested in online resources, too? There’s a lot of stuff online.

  10. 10
    Kristjan Wager says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, and yes, I would love online sources as well.

  11. 11
    trey says:

    forgot about Gender Outlaw, definite on the list!

    there are a LOT of online resources… just type ‘transgender’ in google and the first dozen or so will give you months of reading ;)

  12. 12
    piny says:

    I’m actually surprised that there are people who don’t know about dowry murders. >>

    I’d seen an article a few years ago, I think. And the situation you describe–extortion over a period of months or years–is what I remember. Thanks for the links.

  13. 13
    deborah13 says:

    Re: books concerning different issues and brands of feminism—I would have to recommend “Xen: Ancient English Edition” by D. J. Solomon. This is a riotous and raucous feminist’s answer to end xenophobia. I came across it when my son brought home an announcement from his high school inviting essays next semester for a scholarship contest. I read it while he was in school; we’ve discussed it for hours and it has allowed me to broach many subjects and concepts with him and my other teen children. It has been years since I have come across a book with this rich a vocabulary; my kids actually got out the dictionary (well…not exactly, they looked up words on line!)

  14. 14
    DonBoy says:

    That Forgotten Holiday Specials piece is by John Scalzi, who has a well-regarded blog called Whatever.

  15. 15
    Rebecca E says:

    Thank you, Bean. It’s been less than a year since I’ve had what I would really call a feminist awareness, but when I looked for information on the particular issue of dowry murder, I wasn’t able to find much at first and I didn’t know how much attention had been given it in the past. And the fact that it seemed to be getting more, rather than less common, really raised some red flags for me. It seemed like something I should have heard about before, rather than had to dig up information…

    But then, if the numbers are comparable to the occurrence of DV and murder in the US…that makes me shudder. I once felt that the situation of women in America, while imperfect, wasn’t worth making a big deal over, compared to the vast injustices faced by women in other parts of the world, and that our energies would be better spent righting those wrongs than on the few “minor” issues here. I’ve since come to see that things aren’t so rosy as I’d imagined, and feminism plays a much more vital role “at home” than I’d thought.

    Thank you again for the info and links, Bean.

  16. 16
    Jimmy Ho says:

    Some time ago, Scott McCloud pointed to’s comics section. Some (not only the one with a black cat named “Sambo”) are puzzling, some I find rather predictable, but it may be worth a look for people interested in feminist education.

    A Sillynk: Mark Evanier’s game, There’s No Such Website.

  17. 17
    RonF says:

    Hell, dowry murders were on 60 Minutes two or three years ago. Where have you guys been. What I heard then was that the method of choice was immolation in a kitchen “accident”; apparently kerosene stoves are used a lot in rural villages in India.

  18. 18
    Kristjan Wager says:

    there are a LOT of online resources… just type ‘transgender’ in google and the first dozen or so will give you months of reading ;)

    trey, Google is a fantastic search engine, but it doesn’t make any qualitative evaluation of the content. So, I am always weary to depend on a google search for a subejct that is surrounded by controversy, especailly if I am new to the subject, as I might recognize the biases.
    However, since you make that suggestion, I will now start googling away – or rather, I will try to start looking for online material tomorrow.

  19. 19
    Nella says:

    Link to something interesting i found today: How to bind books by hand

  20. 20
    Daran says:

    Hell, dowry murders were on 60 Minutes two or three years ago. Where have you guys been.

    I don’t have television.

  21. 21
    Bitch | Lab says:

    If you are or know of single moms whos blog, Crystal has started a Blog/Web Ring for Single Moms

    She’s been trying to get the word out for awhile. So, if you can post about it on your blog or if you know places where she can make the annoucement, let her know.


  22. 22
    trey says:

    Trey, Google is a fantastic search engine, but it doesn’t make any qualitative evaluation of the content. So, I am always weary to depend on a google search for a subejct that is surrounded by controversy, especailly if I am new to the subject, as I might recognize the biases.

    That is definitly true. i don’t frequent the online stuff very much (and i should more, at least read and lurk for edification), but when I googled I found most of the top results were ones i recognized as ones my MTF friends and others have used… sorry, it was a lazy answer… but i personally don’t have a qualitative evaluation either on the online stuff :D

    you know, i’ve actually found wikipedia pretty informative for the controversial stuff… especially if I read the discussion and history stuff. I can usually (not always) figure out where the real facts and info is and what the controversies might be. (and I like editing them when I find them off the mark :).

    piny might have a better idea with the online stuff which is qualitatively better.

  23. 23
    Kristjan Wager says:

    I’m pretty sure that most people here visit Feministe, but in case you don’t, check out this post – do yourself the favour of seeing the movieclip that Lauren links to, if you can. Ghada Jamshir is my new hero.

  24. 24
    Jimmy Ho says:

    Here’s another link I had in mind, in connection to the recent discussions about race issues. It is the UMass Amherst’s on line W. E. B. Du Bois Exhibit. I guess Harvard’s President’s recommendation letter is a well-known document in America, but that’s where I first saw it:

    Mr. DuBois would be considered a very promising student if he were white. (…) He seems to have, not only mental vigor, but a good constitution, which is more than can be said of some of our colored graduates. Like most of his race, when fortunate enough to get some intellectual training, he is a good speaker; but he is much more than this, he is a good thinker.

    In the 1950s, Du Bois was under FBI surveillance for his socialist and communist ties. This prompts me to remind that a large part of the Marxist corpus is available on line, translated in many different languages. For many years, my position on women’s issues was pretty much limited to those few paragraphs near the end of a famous book:

    On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution.
    The bourgeois sees his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women.
    He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.
    For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial.
    Our bourgeois, not content with having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives.
    Bourgeois marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.

    Of course, the fact that, apparently, Marx himself was very “bourgeois” in his conjugal behaviour (cheating, etc.) is rather ironic (I used to blind myself about those things, until I was forced to look around me).
    I have changed, and although I still identify as a sowshalist (avoiding the spasm filter here), I am no longer under the illusion that social change will automatically bring gender equality and justice for women. I now think that the feminist movement should be seen as essential and necessary by anyone caring about humanity all over the world.

  25. 25
    Jimmy Ho says:

    Oi, I was wary enough to change one “sowshalist” and I totally forgot the other. Unless it is a matter of quote length, in which case I apologise to Ampersand.

    [Actually, you can say “socialist” without getting caught by the filters. However, anything with four or more links automatically requires approval, because many spammers use lots of links. No need to apologize for anything, though; unless you’re in a hurry to have your comment seen this very minute, there’s nothing wrong with using a lot of links and then having the post wait a little while before it appears. –Amp]

  26. 26
    Jimmy Ho says:

    [I got it, Ampersand; thank you for the explanation.]

  27. 27
    furrycatherder says:

    Given the conflicts between transsexuals and radical feminists which seem to be escalating on this blog (though I confess that I only started reading it a few days ago, and I’m basing that on Heart’s demand for “radical feminist, women-born-wowen only space”, this link is probably another good read.

    “My Words to Victor Frankenstein”, by Susan Stryker

    The stigmatization fostered by this sort of pejorative labelling is not without consequence. Such words have the power to destroy transsexual lives. On January 5, 1993, a 22-year-old pre-operative transsexual woman from Seattle, Filisa Vistima, wrote in her journal, “I wish I was anatomically ‘normal’ so I could go swimming. . . . But no, I’m a mutant, Frankenstein’s monster.” Two months later Filisa Vistima committed suicide. What drove her to such despair was the exclusion she experienced in Seattle’s queer community, some members of which opposed Filisa’s participation because of her transsexuality — even though she identified as and lived as a bisexual woman. The Lesbian Resource Center where she served as a volunteer conducted a survey of its constituency to determine whether it should stop offering services to male-to-female transsexuals. Filisa did the data entry for tabulating the survey results; she didn’t have to imagine how people felt about her kind. The Seattle Bisexual Women’s Network announced that if it admitted transsexuals the SBWN would no longer be a women’s organization. “I’m sure,” one member said in reference to the inclusion of bisexual transsexual women, 4 6 the boys can take care of themselves.” Filisa Vistima was not a boy, and she found it impossible to take care of herself. Even in death she found no support from the community in which she claimed membership. “Why didn’t Filisa commit herself for psychiatric care?” asked a columnist in the Seattle Gay News. “Why didn’t Filisa demand her civil rights?” In this case, not only did the angry villagers hound their monster to the edge of town, they reproached her for being vulnerable to the torches. Did Filisa Vistima commit suicide, or did the queer community of Seattle kill her? (4)

  28. 28
    TP says:

    Thanks for mentioning Doodle Blog.
    It’d be great to receive some contributions :o)

  29. 29
    TP says:

    Oh yeah, and thanks for the link to my post on retouching. I have no way of keeping up with this, so sorry I was so late with the appreciation!