Link Farm & Open Thread #39


Growing Up With A Disability presents: The Third Disability Blog Carnival!

A Blog Without A Bike presents: The 26th Carnival of Feminists!


Tiny Cat Pants
So many great posts here. See, for example, this brilliant post on objections to dieting and women’s suffering.

Newspaper Rock
This blog is focused on racism and pop culture from a Native American perspective. Although it’s not exactly a blog entry, check out the author’s brilliant essay/collection of quotes arguing that racism is systematic, not abberant.

Race, racism, and pop culture. This has quickly become a must-read blog for me.

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Wampum: Sixteen Things The Democrats Won’t Try To Fix

Obsidian Wings: What Democrats Can Realistically Do

Votes For Women, from a post on "Feminist Law Professors"
Fetch Me My Axe: Anger, Feminism, “The Secretaries”
This post, much of which consists of quotes from the play “The Secretaries,” is the most interesting post I’ve read all week. Check it out, please.

The F-Word: Women In Afghanistan Are As Bad Off Now As Under The Taliban

Faux Real: Class And Feminism

I firmly believe that Jill’s tongue-in-cheek ownership of the phrase “fun feminist” — a term which should be banished to the high hills along with Hirshman’s “lumpenproletariat woman” — was received so bitterly because of people’s perception of her class status and embrace of femininity. Welcome to the feminist blogosphere, where no one is allowed to process out loud without having taken a firm stand.

On The Whole: How campaigns to “prevent obesity” hurt those they purport to help

The Gimp Parade: The Disability Hierarchy

The misleading idea that ability and disability make up a binary situation leads to questions of whether or not an individual is truly impaired or disabled. At what point is one legitimately disabled? How can you tell who’s a fake? What if your condition is intermittent or varies daily? How much of a developmentally-impaired individual’s behavior is abnormal and how much is just not accepted by a narrow-minded public? Are you still disabled if your bipolarism is controlled by medication? If your prosthetic limb works so well no one would know that it’s underneath your pant leg, do you qualify or not?

Cognitive Daily: Chocolate Doesn’t Make Children Hyper

The Countess reports another election victory: An MRA-sponsored “mandatory shared parenting” ballot measure lost. Be sure to read The Countess’ op-ed explaining why these laws are bad for children and bad for society.

Reappropriate: Historic images of anti-Asian racism

The Angry Black Woman: The Price Of White Guilt
Hee hee.

Stephanie Coontz: We Shouldn’t Depends On Marriage For All Our Emotional And Social Needs

Kenji Yoshino Audio Lecture: “Covering” and Authenticity As A Civil Rights Issue
Professor Yoshino argues that the cutting-edge expression of bigotry is the pressure on minorities to “cover” whatever identifies them as not part of the majority culture. Really interesting stuff. Curtsy:

Punk Ass Blog: “Nothing pisses off privileged folks like a poor person spending money on something that makes her happy.”

Brownfemipower: Israeli Army Attacks Group Of Unarmed Palestinian Women

Christopher Hayes: Right-Wing Bias In Teaching Econ 101 (pdf link)

Conservatives have long critiqued academia for the ways professors use their position to indoctrinate students with left-wing ideology, but the left has largely ignored the political impact of the way people learn economics, though its influence is likely far more profound. […] “A little economics can be a dangerous thing,” a friend working on her Ph.D in public policy at the U. of C. told me. “An intro econ course is necessarily going to be superficial. You deal with highly stylized models that are robbed of context, that take place in a world unmediated by norms and institutions. Much of the most interesting work in economics right now calls into question the Econ 101 assumptions of rationality, individualism, maximizing behavior, etc. But, of course, if you don’t go any further than Econ 101, you won’t know that the textbook models are not the way the world really works, and that there are tons of empirical studies out there that demonstrate this.”

(Curtsy: Ezra Klein).

Colours of Resistance: 25 ways to tokenize or alienate a non-white person around you.
Curtsy: Racialicious.

A Womb Of Her Own: Blackbeard Brand Rugged Tampons
I’d buy ‘em for the box alone.

Brownfemipower: White Women Speaking Out On Racism And WOC Issues

…There is a difference between speaking out as an ally and speaking “with authority” on a subject. White women will never ever know what it is like to be a woman of color. Period. But white women can and absolutly DO speak out as allies to women of color. Just peek over at some of the links on my link page, and you’ll find a whole bunch of white women speaking on all sorts of issues that are relevent and very important to women of color. But the thing is, they are not trying to speak as a woman of color or “for” women of color, they are calling white people on their shit.

My Private Casbah: Thirteen Fun Things To Do When You Have Incurable Cancer!
Curtsy: The Gimp Parade

The New Republic: Why Black Republicans Keep Losing
According to this article, the truth is that the Democrats do deliver policies that benefit Black voters, and Black voters respond to this. Just putting a Black Republican on the ticket doesn’t fool Black voters, in other words.

The Republic of T: It’s Not Nice To Fool Black Voters
More links and discussion about why the GOP keeps on losing the Black vote.

Tiny Cat Pants: Questions About Feminism and BDSM

Why are feminists so uncomfortable with talking abut non-vanilla sex practices? When we do talk about such sex practices, why do we so quickly devolve into fights about what’s acceptable and what’s not? But if we’re interested in power structures and how power dynamics work, why are we not more open to folks who think a lot about how power dynamics work?

Fatshionista: Why Having Naked Pictures Taken Of My Fat Body Didn’t Kill Me

Alternet: Gender, Globalization and Beer
Curtsy: A Womb Of Her Own

A Womb Of Her Own: Telling Boys To Pee Sitting Down Is “Meddling With God’s Work”
The hysteria over fragile masculinity subtext in this story from Norway is so blatant, I’m not even sure it can reasonably be referred to as “subtext.” (Supertext? Ultratext? Textytext?)

Cover of Ordinary Victories, by Manu LarcenetOrdinary Victories, by Manu Larcenet.
I just read this comic book, and it’s wonderful; unusually thoughtful yet not heavyhanded. There’s a review with some sample art here.

Racialicious: The T-Shirt Is Racist Enough, But The Ad Copy…!

Boing Boing: David Copperfield Fooled Muggers Into Thinking He Had No Wallet To Steal
What are the odds?

Glenn Greenwald: Beltway pundits are ignorant and wrong about everything

The Blog Of Lot’s Daughter.

The Republic of T: Split Me, Baby, One More Time

Britney has been legally married twice — once for 55 hours and once for just over two years — and apparently without much more forethought than one might give to choosing choosing a flavor of bubble gun. I have been all-but-legally married for over 6 years, which required a lot of forethought about how to protect our relationship.

Yet, in both of Spears’ marriages she’s enjoyed benefits and protections that my husband and I are do not, even though the depth of our commitment to one another and our family is no less than Spears’ commitment to hers. And though her first husband didn’t sign a pre-nup, while her second husband probably did, they both had rights and protections in the midst of divorce that same-sex couples do not, including custody and visitation rights. And it goes without saying that their children get all the benefits and protections of having parents who can legally marry. Ours do not.

Someone, please, tell me — explain it to me like I’m four years old (or like I’m Britney Spears) — where is the justice in all of the above?

[Crossposted at Creative Destruction. If your comments aren’t being approved here, try there.]

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15 Responses to Link Farm & Open Thread #39

  1. 1
    Tuomas says:

    That Brownfemipowers post about ” Israeli Army Attacks Group Of Unarmed Palestinian Women” appeared to be about this case. (This background was, of course, not discussed at all in her post)

    GAZA CITY (CNN) — Palestinian militants who had been in a firefight with Israeli soldiers escaped Friday, many of them slipping away in a crowd of women who had come to join what had begun as a standoff.

    Israeli troops fired into the crowd, and there were reports of civilian casualties.

    The gunmen had sought cover at a northern Gaza mosque for hours, mingling with a crowd of Palestinian women who had formed a human shield outside, the Israel Defense Forces said.

    Palestinian sources said some of the militants had put on women’s clothes.

    To summarize this story as ” Israeli Army Attacks Group Of Unarmed Palestinian Women” is tremendous spin doctoring.

  2. 2
    Tuomas says:

    Oh, and this is quite charming too: /sarcasm

    From the same story:

    Women gathered at the site shortly after a call on Hamas radio urged women and children to protest outside the mosque in Beit Hanoun, the IDF said.

    “Come here so we can use you as human shields!”

  3. 3
    Frowner says:

    But wasn’t Brownfemipower’s whole point that the mainstream media coverage was biased/insufficient/misleading? It ends up being a bit tautological to say “Oh, bfp says that this coverage is wrong, but look, the coverage doesn’t say anything about being wrong, so therefore the coverage isn’t wrong.”

    On another note, I like the list of 25 things, especially because it mingles the things that nice polite white activists would never, ever do in a million years with the things that nice polite white activists do pretty regularly. No getting off the hook with that list, let me tell you.

  4. 4
    Tuomas says:

    But wasn’t Brownfemipower’s whole point that the mainstream media coverage was biased/insufficient/misleading? It ends up being a bit tautological to say “Oh, bfp says that this coverage is wrong, but look, the coverage doesn’t say anything about being wrong, so therefore the coverage isn’t wrong.”

    The point is, bfp doesn’t say that about the coverage of this particular case. She omits it completely instead simply presenting the video of the event (presumably this is just random actions of IDF against palestinian women pretty much minding their own business) and coverage from a different case as example how they can be biased.

    The CNN coverage may be biased, but it is not insufficient: As it contains the same video. BFP:s coverage is insufficient to the point of being dishonest.

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  6. 5
    RonF says:

    8. picture a violent, irrational arab everytime the word “terrorist” is mentioned. ignore the arabs who do not fit into this stereotype.

    I don’t remember the man’s name, but IIRC a fairly well-known Egyptian journalist has said something along the lines of “Not every Moslem is a terrorist, but most terrorists are Moslem.”

    9. look to a non-white person in the room everytime racism is brought up.
    a) make sure they have the last and most defining word on the subject.
    b) sympathetically and silently agree with everything they say.
    c) thank them profusely.

    10. fearfully avoid assertive non-white people in your community.

    Good stuff. I had a chance to explore this last Friday when I ended up talking about racism to a number of black and Hispanic people.

    I was a delegate for my parish to the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago’s annual convention. Among the resolutions that were proposed was one from the Anti-Racism Task Force. There was a hearing about it at 4:00 PM, and all the other resolutions (except one) looked pretty vanilla, so I decided to go to the anti-racism hearing.

    There were about 500 delegates at the convention. When I walked into the hearing room, there were about 12 people there in a seating area that would accomodate about 70. They were almost all black. I sat on the less populated side, as it gave me the ability to spread out the bag and the jacket I was carrying and reorganize the bag, plus I’m about 6′ 2″ and 275 lbs and why squeeze anyone for room? But the next few people who came in were white, so we ended up with mostly whites on one side and blacks on another, and I’m thinking “Damn, this is fucked up.”

    There was a white woman moderating. I have no idea how she got the job – I think she’s head of the group that handles resolutions, and she’s not supposed to join in the discussion anyway. In any case, everyone got as much time to speak as they wanted to, and nobody got cut off.

    The initial resolution was withdrawn. Instead, there were 4 that were proposed. Germane to the above was that I found it interesting to question the proposers of these resolutions (all black or Hispanic) while balancing whether or not I sounded racist with having legitimate questions about the resolutions. I basically decided to just press on ahead with what I thought and see where things fell.

    Resolution 1 was about asking the Diocese to prefer vendors owned by “people of color” when buying things for the Diocese. I put that in quotes because the meaning of the phrase was one of the questions put to the proposers. The example used was Indians (as in the subcontinent thereof, not Native Americans). I raised the issue that some Indians look whiter than me, whereas some are darker than anyone that was in that room at the time. So what determines if someone is a “person of color” besides ancestry? Who gets to make that determination? I pointed out that in my own case I have a great-grandmother and a great-great-grandmother who were “colored” (the term used in the records of the time), yet I doubt that I’d be considered a “person of color”. Also, in Chicago there have been scandals in the City of Chicago’s own preference laws, wherein companies ostensibly headed by a black woman end up turning out to really be owned and run by 5 white male buddies of the Mayor. Who’s going to verify this? Also, the description (not part of the resolution, but explanatory material) asserted that the Diocese should assist economic development of persons of color as it has helped advance the economic development of white people in the past. Did that mean that the proposers were asserting that the Diocese has been deliberately racist in the past?

    The short version was that there were no definite answers to any of these questions. The one thing that I distinctly remember was that they had deliberately avoided using the term “minority” because they didn’t want to be bound by the legal definition of that word. The resolution passed during the business meeting the next day (someone tried to have it amended to make it clear that “people of color” includes Koreans, etc., but time for that ran out), but I will be real interested to see how it’s going to be implemented.

    The next resolution was about the closing of black churches. The resolution asserted that the Diocese was disproportionately closing black churches, and that a moratorium on closing black churches should be put in place immediately. The problem with that was a) the Diocese doesn’t close churches, b) church closings in recent years have not been disproportionately affecting black churches, and c) the resolution asserted that this would have no budgetary impact, and it would.

    Unlike a Roman Catholic Diocese, an Episcopal diocese can’t force a church to close. If the church is a mission and not a parish, it does get some support from the Diocese, and the Diocese can withdraw that financial support, but the Diocese does not do so as long as the mission is trying to move forward and involve themselves in the community, rather than just be a private chapel for its members. Churches close when they can no longer support themselves – the Diocese is not in the business of supporting parishes at all, and it only supports a very few missions. Then the Director of Congregational Development spoke up and asked the proposers to name a black church that had been closed. It turned out that no black church had been closed; that the black churches seemed to be doing fine, in fact.

    Upon detailed questioning, the proposers stated that in fact, to their knowledge no black churches had been closed. Turns out that two parishes are merging and that some of the members in one of them are not happy about it, and rumor started, and the Union of Black Episcopalians got wind of the rumor and ended up proposing this. The proposers were asked to either withdraw or completely rewrite this resolution. They ended up withdrawing it. Again, I found myself much more cautious in closely questioning these folks than I would have been if they were white, but in the end I put it quite plainly that as far as I could see, the facts didn’t support their allegations, and asked them to back them up.

    The 3rd resolution dealt with anti-racism training. Apparently all Diocesean officers and commission members are required by the Diocese to take 18 hours of such training given by a group called Crossroads. The resolution reiterated that, and further stated that it was time to implement the training by requiring each individual have anti-racism objectives and report on how they implemented the training. The first part that was reiterative was objected to on the basis that it was redundant. Then the questions came up of how such objectives might be determined, who they would report their attainment of these objectives to, who would evaluate them, etc. It was all quite vague. The proposers stated that their objective was to overcome the issue of people who attended the training but didn’t buy into what they were being taught.

    The really interesting part of this was when this was read out on the floor of the convention. The debate started when the second person to the microphone said that he had taken anti-racism training both at his work and with the Diocese, and he found the Diocesean-sponsored training insulting and patronizing. Apparently there’s a sizable contingent of people who have taken similar training and feel the same way. Prior to the vote I had gone around to the 30-odd booths for Diocesean groups looking for the Anti-Racism Task Force folks to ask them about the training. Unfortunately, alone among these booths the Anti-Racism Task Force did not have anyone at it to talk to. I picked up the flyer and found phrases like “institutional racism” and “privilege” and “white people need to be accountable to people of color”. I really wanted to talk to someone and went by it 5 other times, but no one was ever there.

    By the indulgence of the Bishop the debate went well past the alloted time. The resolution was watered down by amendment to say that groups would have to report, but individuals would not have to. Again, who was going to receive and evaluate these reports was not defined. It then passed. I don’t see how any real accountability will come out of it.

    The fourth resolution was about evaluating the effects of slavery, with an eye towards calling for reparations. Initially, the way it was worded made it sound like the Diocese was going to take investigating slavery in the entire world, but it ended up getting narrowed down to the Diocese. Then it passed. It did not actually call for reparations.

    The preparation of these resolutions was really done poorly. What I found out was that if you want a resolution passed that you intend to use to get anything done, you better phrase it pretty specifically with concrete objectives or it’ll get hammered and re-worded to something you don’t want or something that’s so vague you’ll be arguing with people up to the next convention on how to actually implement it and nothing will actually ever happen. You also should have someone who actually knows something about the resolution present to answer questions (the person who was defending the resolutions in the breakout session wasn’t actually involved in the writing of them, with predictable results).

  7. 6
    RonF says:

    O, Farg. Amp, can you fix my “close bold” in the previous post? Thanks.

  8. 8
    Tuomas says:

    Actually, following the links there, I retract my statement that she “omitted” the coverage and was trying to mislead people by that.

    I still don’t agree with her on the larger issue — for one, considering the amount of modern military technology has, I wouldn’t summarize the continued existence of palestinians to their resistance, but on a rather large part on the considerable restraint (yes, restraint) that IDF uses to minimize civilian casualties.

    To put it bluntly: With modern firearms and an intent to inflict casualties deliberately, the order of magnitude of victims would be astronomically higher, and considering that the palestinians aren’t exactly trying to minimize civilian casualties for either side, I sadly think this kind of thing is inevitable.

  9. 9
    Tuomas says:

    From racism is systematic, not aberrant:

    Professor David Wellman, a (white) sociologist who has studied racism, notes the difference between what whites claim and how they act. From the LA Times, 1/11/01:

    “There was—is—a discrepancy between what white Americans say in the post-civil rights movement and what they do. There’s this disjunction,” [Wellman] says now. “You need somebody who can help you interpret the codes that they have developed to make it look like there’s no discrepancy.”

    Numerous surveys bolster that view. For example, most whites say in polls that African Americans should be able to live where they choose. But their comfort zone is fragile: They tend to leave a neighborhood once blacks make up more than 10% of residents.

    Well, I hope that somebody who interprets “the codes” isn’t David Wellman (or LA Times, in case the study wasn’t provided by Wellman) if he thinks that study bolsters the view of a discrepancy.

    (Hint: Saying that African Americans should live where they choose doesn’t mean that White Americans shouldn’t have that same reason for whatever reason)

  10. 10
    Tuomas says:

    The same reason for whatever reason…

    Ugh. Should read:

    Same right for whatever reason.

  11. 11
    Charles S says:


    How on earth should the fact that white people should have the right to live where they choose mean that the fact that white people systematically choose to not live near black people is not a part of systematic racism? How does it mean that there isn’t a disjunct between believing that black people should be able to live where they please, but not in my neighborhood?

    The fact that white people overwhelmingly are unwilling to live in integrated neighborhoods is a problem. Merely because forcing white people to live in integrated neighborhoods is not a legitimate solution doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem.

    Was someone advocating that white people should be forbidden from living where they choose?

  12. 12
    Tuomas says:

    How on earth should the fact that white people should have the right to live where they choose mean that the fact that white people systematically choose to not live near black people is not a part of systematic racism? How does it mean that there isn’t a disjunct between believing that black people should be able to live where they please, but not in my neighborhood?

    As long as whites do not actually prevent African-Americans from living where they want and can afford, I don’t believe there is a disjunct between how they claim and how they act. To find a disjunct, one would have to ask: “Would you like to live in a neighborhood with significant proportion of blacks”, and if then whites wouldn’t do it, there would be a discrepancy.

    I suspect whites are just being open to free consumer choice here.

    The fact that white people overwhelmingly are unwilling to live in integrated neighborhoods is a problem. Merely because forcing white people to live in integrated neighborhoods is not a legitimate solution doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem.


    IIRC blacks don’t often like gentrification much either, and well, that’s not a problem in itself.

    Was someone advocating that white people should be forbidden from living where they choose?

    No, it was suggested that whites were hypocrites for allowing market choice to blacks while retaining it for themselves.

  13. 13
    Tuomas says:

    Of course, I would agree that quite many whites are hypocrites in regards to race (or especially in regards to race), you know, I’m not a racist, but…
    And heck, white flight, etc.

    This just doesn’t seem like an awfully good example of a code that whites have developed after civil rights presumably as a secret, sneaky way to be racist against blacks.

  14. 14
    Tuomas says:

    Erm, of course white flight is the issue here, basically.