Link Farm & Open Thread #47

BumbleBee Sweet Potato presents The 32nd Carnival of Feminism!

NEW TO THE BLOGROLL SECTION: I don’t use my blogroll for blogreading anymore; I’ve been using bloglines for over a year. As a result, some of my favorite blogs never make it to my blogroll. So some of these blogs really are new to me; others I’ve admired for ages. (If I link to you regularly but you’re not on my blogroll, please drop me a line.) Anyhow…

New to the Blogroll: Anti-Essentialist Conundrum

New to the Blogroll: Super Babymama

New to the Blogroll: My Private Casbah

New to the Blogroll: Cassandra Says

New to the Blogroll: Muttering In A Corner

New to the Blogroll: Ilyka Damen

New to the Blogroll: Moderately Insane

New to the Blogroll: Renegade Evolution

Vue Point Blog: Upcoming Documentary To Spread The Word About Po’pay

Several years ago, the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo in New Mexico teamed up with filmmakers Derek Stokes and Catherine Angeles of Skalalitude Productions to change all that. Their upcoming feature-length documentary, Po’pay, A True American Hero, will pay tribute to the man, and perhaps even more importantly, the legacy of his victorious revolt against the Spanish in the lives of modern-day Natives seeking to maintain their languages and traditions.

“What is so inspiring about the story it is really the only time during the colonial onslaught that an Indigenous people were able to stand up and defeat that force and save their culture in the process,” explains Stokes. “It is such a wonderfully, positive story people aren’t familiar with, although they really should be. It’s because of this revolt that the culture in the Southwest is still so strong comparatively to other Native American tribes.”

The F Word: One Man’s Conversion To Feminism Story
Curtsy: I’m Not A Feminist But…

Or, as Nine Pearls aptly calls it, “The White Lady Pity Party.” There are good link round-ups at Fetch Me My Axe and Renegade Evolution, so I won’t attempt to replicate their work. But I will point out three posts that were (for me) stand-outs: Brownfemipower’s typically super-sharp and well-written analysis; the “Clue Phone” post at Cassandra Says; and this milk-shot-out-my-nose visual post at My Private Casbah.

Cool Beans: Responding To Jessica Valenti’s Discussion Of Age Conflicts In Feminism

Detail of  sculpture by Kris KuksiAmazing grotesque sculptures by Kris Kuski.
To the right is a tiny, tiny detail from one of Kris Kuski’s amazing grotesque sculptures. The intricacy his work is just jaw-dropping, and there’s a quirky sense of humor lurking, too. Curtsy: Neatorama.

Thinking Girl: Regarding Feminism and False Consciousness

Fetch Me My Axe: Feminism and “the hunger for purity or innocence.”

Feministe: The Regressive Political Implications Of Fat-Bashing Conservatives

Flash Animation featuring a gigantic mouse cursor and a lot of middle-aged men in their underwear
This totally cracked me up. Curtsy: Neatorama.

Balkinization: The Feminist Justification of Roe vs The Libertarian Justification of Roe

The very expression “reproductive rights” hides an important ambiguity. Reproductive rights could refer either to women’s ability to control their reproductive lives or to the ability to choose when and how to have offspring. In the former case, reproductive rights would help secure equality with men and avoid the subordination that comes from forced motherhood. In the latter case, reproductive rights might include the right to have a child engineered to lack a particular disease or disability, or more fancifully, the right to have a child with blonde hair and blue eyes, or even a clone of one’s self. The latter account of reproductive rights may increase the personal liberties of parents without promoting the relative equality of women.

Ares Poetica: American Domestic Violence Victim Brings Her Case To International Human Rights Commission

Cassandra Says: If You Talk About Sex Work, You Have To Talk About Class
Curtsy: Being Amber Rhea Check My What? On Privilege And What We Can Do About It.
I’ve linked to this before, but Andrea’s been updating and renaming and stuff, so I thought I’d link again.

I Blame The Patriarchy: Liberal Men Using Ann Coulter As An Excuse For Transphobia
The hypocripsy of liberals who think it’s horrible that Coulter made a gay-bashing joke about John Edwards, but who nonetheless tell trans-bashing jokes about Coulter, is awe-inspiring.

The Carpetbagger Report: So Which Labels Does He Wear Proudly?

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) got the crowd cheering early in the day. “I have been called — my kids are all aware of this — dumb, crazy man, science abuser, Holocaust denier, villain of the month, hate-filled, warmonger, Neanderthal, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun,” he announced. “And I can just tell you that I wear some of those titles proudly.”

Beat The Press: Bush quietly proposes phasing out Medicare; Press doesn’t say “boo”

mildred_art.jpgModerately Insane: Raising Feminist Daughters, WordPlay Edition
The discussion in the comments is really interesting, too.

Feminist Allies: Do Women Pressure Men To Be Masculine?

Safe2Pee: A Directory Of Gender Neutral Public Bathrooms
What a great idea. Curtsy to Brownfemipower and to A.J. Luxton, who makes an interesting comparison to historic hobo signage. Male Chimpanzee Violence Towards Female Chimpanzees Doesn’t Tell Us About Humans

Ilyka Damen: On Being A House Bitch

…It keeps me up at night that I have no financial power in my marriage. My husband always claims that it’s OUR money. But, seriously, it isn’t. If he gets hit by a bus tomorrow, or leaves me for someone else, I have nothing to fall back on. I would lose everything if it got ugly. I wouldn’t even be able to pay my first husband the lousy $43 in child support I’m obligated to pay each month.

Capitalism Bad, Tree Pretty: NZ Green Party Leader Blows Off Police Rape Case

Sepia Mutiny: All Over The World, Nations Are Building Giant Walls. Literally.

Muttering In A Corner: More Nonsense About Atheists Not Being Able To Have Morality
It’s disappointing to see this coming from Paul Campos, a writer I usually like.

Muttering In A Corner: Smart Women Like Men Who Like Smart Women, And So Forth

Box Turtle Bulletin: First US Soldier Wounded In Iraq Now Battles “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

The Government Accountability Office found in 2004 that of the 9,488 service members who had been discharged since 1993, approximately 757 “held critical occupations”, including 322 with “skills in an important language such as Arabic, Farsi or Korean.”

The Gimp Parade: Medicaid Wants Me To Submit A Monthly Waiver Certifying My Need To Not Drown
(And see Bint’s follow up post, too.)

Not Just Your Garden…: OMG Ceiling Cat Is Watching Me Masturbate
You have to admit, it’s an intriguing title for a blog post.

Ilyka Damon: Great post about shaming, poverty, and racism.

I recall being maybe 8 years old and standing in line at the grocery store with my mother. A woman in front of us was paying for her groceries with a combination of personal check and food stamps. My mother hissed to me, “LOOK at that. She’s wearing a leather jacket and has PICTURES on her CHECKS! Maybe she could find some ways to save some money!” [Curtsy: Fetch Me My Axe]

Newspaper Rock: Dueling Stereotypes About Indians And Casinos

The Gimp Parade: Disabled Pornography Fisking Rush Limbaugh’s Attack On Feminism, Plus An Intro To Feminism
Curtsy: Being Amber Rhea

Masculinity And Its Discontents: Recognizing One’s Own Homophobia

Ilyka Damen: Conversation With My Husband About Men Feeling Defensive Reading Feminist Blogs
I really enjoyed the format. Maybe I’ll try writing a post in dialog sometime.

Neatorama: Giant Zipper In Polar Ice Sheet

Photo by Denis Darzacq

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52 Responses to Link Farm & Open Thread #47

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  3. 3
    Sarah says:

    Hello. Sorry to be nitpicky, but could you just correct the link to that post to “Masculinity and Its Discontents.” Thanks!

    [I can’t believe I made that error – that’s one of the errors I most hate seeing! Thank you for catching it; I’ve fixed it now. –Amp]

  4. 4
    thinking girl says:

    wowzers, Amp – there’s my reading list for the next two weeks! Thanks for the nod.

  5. 5
    britgirlsf says:

    Thanks for the links, Amp.
    By the way…damn that’s a wierd picture.

  6. 6
    Sailorman says:

    hey, thanks! I sort of feel like I finally got promoted ;)

  7. 7
    RonF says:

    I read the Ilka Damon post.

    I used to drive a cab in Cambridge, Mass in the ’70’s when I was a student there. I also worked as a checkout clerk at a grocery store where a lot of food stamps were used. There were a lot of things bought that I thought were inappropriate. OTOH, I once drove a woman home to the projects in my cab, and I asked her why she didn’t take a bus instead and save the difference. She told me that it was because if she took the bus and walked the block or two from the bus stop to her door instead of taking the cab directly from the store to her door, she couldn’t count on still having her groceries when she got home.

    You have every right to make a judgement about how someone else is spending your money. But you when you make that judgement, you also have to consider that maybe you don’t have all the facts.

  8. 8
    Rachel S. says:

    What is the actual origin of the latest feminist fight? I read Chasing Moksha’s post, and it sounds like she is responding to something. What is that? Can someone direct me? Thanks.

  9. 9
    Robert says:

    All Campos is saying is that relatively few of the people calling themselves “atheists” actually have abandoned the idea of an ill-defined but nonetheless real and external source of moral order. They say “I don’t believe in God”, but don’t then deconstruct all of the mental framework that they inherited from their earlier religious beliefs, or from the beliefs of the people around them.

    You can get to “it isn’t right to kill puppies for fun” starting from a theistic or an atheistic perspective, but most of the people claiming to be there as atheists haven’t actually done the philosophical legwork, or integrated the work of those who have; they’re instead using their previous moral framework and scraping off the “God” sticker. This isn’t a crime, of course.

    I don’t think this is really a controversial viewpoint. I’m sure some atheists would prefer to make a strong claim that everyone or most folks holding their view have done a complete Randian God-dump from consciousness, but most atheists I’ve known have had a more moderate and realistic view of the intellectual grounding of their compatriots. Not everybody is Bertrand Russell, or can be. And, of course, it’s human nature to reach a decision or outcome on non-rational grounds, and then retrospectively go back and look for rationalizations and justifications for the belief; those rationalizations are rarely done rigorously. Just enough to make the emotional decision comfortable to live with.

  10. 10
    Jake Squid says:

    Well, if Campos had actually written what Robert did in comment #7 I might agree with Robert. However, Campos actually wrote one of the most intellectually lazy pieces of tripe I’ve read in a while.

    After all, the human race has existed for an eye-blink of cosmological time and will certainly cease to exist in another eye-blink or two.

    The only response a genuine atheist would have to that fact is, so what?

    Really? That is the only genuine response possible? What a load of crap. This is true only if you believe (in the unsupported faith kind of way) that atheists can’t possibly care about humanity. In other words, that an atheist cannot have morals or ethics or love for his fellow beings.

    Although, to be honest, I don’t really agree with what Robert writes either. Just because one’s moral framework is based on that of one or more religions, doesn’t mean that one is not truly an atheist. Fuck, religion based moral values didn’t create themselves from scratch – they were based on earlier philosophies.

    Since atheism is really just not believing that a god or gods exist, disqualifying somebody from being an atheist because they didn’t build their ethical philosophy from the ground up is invalid. Unless of course, you want to claim that there are no real Christians because their framework comes from Judaism and that, therefore, they’re all really Jewish. Feh.

    Let’s be very, very clear. An atheist is one who doesn’t believe in the existence of the divine. Moral codes and development of the same doesn’t have anything to do with the definition and classification of atheism. Whether theists want to claim those codes can only come from the divine or not.

    All Campos is saying is that relatively few of the people calling themselves “atheists” actually have abandoned the idea of an ill-defined but nonetheless real and external source of moral order.

    I don’t know of any atheists who believe in an external source of moral order. Believing in an external source of moral order means you believe in the supernatural which means that you’re not an atheist. Of course, Campos doesn’t say that most people calling themselves atheists believe in an external source of moral order.

    … when one presses a purported atheist, one almost always finds that the person believes in various propositions that simply don’t make sense without a belief in some source of an ultimate moral order…

    An unsupported claim which can only be true if you believe that there are ANY propositions that “don’t make sense without a belief in some source of an ultimate moral order.” Which is something that atheists don’t believe.

    In essence, Campos wrote an intellectually lazy essay proclaiming that theists simply can’t believe that atheists truly exist. I bet I could write an intellectually lazy essay claiming that real Christians can’t possibly exist. The difference is, mine would be viewed as anti-Christian bigotry and no mainstream publication would print it.

  11. 11
    defenestrated says:

    yay, thanks for the link! I think I’m going to have to hire a second me to get through all this reading, though…

  12. 12
    Sewere says:

    Rachel S,

    I would say start off with the comment thread on Yolanda’s post here.

    Where it quickly moved to the thread on Sylvia’s post here. (start from the comment and read down)

    Which led the incendiary post here. With a complimentary one by Heart here.

    Which was swiftly followed by AD here. . I should also mention that AD wrote a related piece here, before ChasingMoksha’s post.

    Culminating in critiques by BFP, Black Amazon, Veronica at Nine Pearls, Renegade, Cassandra and Bint in the links Amp put up.

  13. 13
    Donna Darko says:

    Rachel, it started with a white woman’s mental health issues. She has been very quiet about the entire blog explosion which shows she does these kinds of things for attention.

  14. 14
    Robert says:

    [Moved to this thread by Amp from another thread].

    Amp wrote:

    Robert wrote: Nobody has bodily autonomy in our current system…

    I don’t understand what you mean by this. Under what circumstances does Donald Trump lack bodily autonomy?

    Can he sell his kidney, if he wants to?

    Can he fill his lungs with smoke from plants that he grew himself, if he wants to?

    Can he destroy his body and end his life, if he wants to?

  15. 15
    Donna Darko says:

    Every exchange I’ve seen her in has been jaw-dropping. Equally jaw-dropping is the number of people who egged her on or enabled her. I must be missing something because I’m baffled.

  16. 16
    Ampersand says:

    Can he sell his kidney, if he wants to?

    Like the “gays have the right to marry, they just have to marry someone of the opposite sex” argument, this argument ignores substance in favor of technicalities. Although some people might be forced to sell organs from financial desperation, virtually no one ever “wants to” sell a kidney.

    (I’m not saying that you make the “gays have the right to marry straights” argument yourself).

    Can he fill his lungs with smoke from plants that he grew himself, if he wants to?

    Yes, he can. The Donald has sufficient resources to set up an absolutely private place for growing, and the chance of a white millionaire being arrested for growing just a few plants for personal use are very, very small.

    Can he destroy his body and end his life, if he wants to?

    Sure he can. He owns Trump Tower, he can get to the roof and jump if he wants to. Let them arrest the body.

    Seriously, I see what you mean. So, yes, everyone’s bodily autonomy has legal limits, and is under assault in some way. Point taken.

    But in my opinion, the examples you name here are a good deal less important than the ability to end a pregnancy. And there are no laws specifically attacking men’s bodily autonomy; all the law’s either attack everyone’s bodily autonomy, or women’s.

  17. 17
    Robert says:

    How about the draft?

  18. 18
    Ampersand says:

    There is no draft, nowadays, nor (in my opinion) any realistic prospect of it being reinstated. At the time it existed, feminists argued against it (NOW even submitted an animus against to the Supreme Court).

    However, when the draft existed, I’d agree with you that it was a significant law against autonomy (not just bodily autonomy) that applied only to men.

    Nowadays, of course, registration still exists. That’s wrong, but in terms of significance it’s far from being up there with access to abortion, imo.

  19. 19
    Robert says:

    OK, in my opinion, there’s no realistic prospect of abortion rights being taken away. So we’re even: we have two potential huge infractions of bodily autonomy out there, neither of which is an operative real-world concern. Your girlfriend can get an abortion; I’m not worried about my son being forced into combat.

    Everything else applies to everybody.

  20. 20
    defenestrated says:

    The Kris Kuski sculpture reminds me of the Chapman brothers [one two three] a little.

  21. 21
    Ampersand says:

    Wow, Defenestrated, those are really gruesome! :-P

  22. 22
    Ampersand says:

    Robert, the fact that the right to abortion is constantly under assault and requires multiple multi-million dollar organizations to defend it, while the right to not be drafted requires no active defense at all, suggests to me that they are not as equivalent as you imagine.

    Also, the ability to get an abortion has been whittled away at for years, in a way that the ability to not be drafted has not been. Parental consent laws, zoning laws and similar acts that drive abortion providers out of state, laws against transporting someone over state lines, laws against military hospitals providing abortion, laws against Medicaid paying for abortion…

    In addition, abortion is not the be-all and end-all of reproductive rights. For example, the movement to have all children tested for HIV (and drugs) upon birth is about finding out if the mother is HIV positive or uses drugs (testing a newborn for HIV doesn’t tell you if the newborn actually has HIV); that’s essentially a loophole designed to overcome a mother’s right to refuse testing.

  23. 23
    Sailorman says:

    Ampersand Writes:
    March 7th, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Can he sell his kidney, if he wants to?

    Like the “gays have the right to marry, they just have to marry someone of the opposite sex” argument, this argument ignores substance in favor of technicalities. Although some people might be forced to sell organs from financial desperation, virtually no one ever “wants to” sell a kidney.

    This doesn’t seem to be based on reality. We can’t sell our kidneys, so it’s a tad specious to assume nobody would want to if they COULD. A minor technicality?

    I would sell a kidney, if someone offered me enough money for it. I would like the opportunity to make that decision (I “want to”). I can’t, though.
    I don’t see the need to classify it as a “good deal less important” than pregnancy issues. They’re different: organ sales affect everyone, and pregnancy issues affect only women. IMO they’re both important.

    Still, Amp, you’re cheating here a bit by saying “no, that doesn’t count” to all the arguments Robert is raising. It’s an argument tactic that I’m surprised to see coming from you.

  24. 24
    Ampersand says:

    Still, Amp, you’re cheating here a bit by saying “no, that doesn’t count” to all the arguments Robert is raising. It’s an argument tactic that I’m surprised to see coming from you.

    Actually, I didn’t say “no, that doesn’t count.” I said that his point was taken, but there are more and more significant attacks on women’s bodily integrity in particular.

    How on Earth is it “cheating” to point out that there is no movement to reinstate the draft that’s at all as large or active as the movement for forced childbirth? What a silly argument. You don’t agree with me, therefore I’m cheating?

    Nor can I agree with you that being unable to sell a kidney has nearly as large an impact on a person’s life as being forced to give birth. Compare the difficulty and discomfort of NOT having an operation to that of going through pregnancy and giving birth; are you seriously arguing that it’s difficult to determine which of these things is worse?

    (It would make more sense to argue that the lack of a legal ability to sell kidneys harms patients in need of new kidneys. But that’s not really a bodily integrity issue, from the kidney-needing patient’s perspective.)

    You imply that the inability of all people to sell kidneys makes it as significant as the attacks on reproductive rights for women, due to sheer numbers. I don’t buy that, because it’s unlikely that there will ever be as many people wanting to sell their kidneys as there are people who want access to birth control and abortion.

    When abortions were illegal, there were national movements working to legalize abortion, and it was a fairly well-known issue. If as many people are eager to sell their kidneys, perhaps you could point me to the national movement for kidney selling rights, and the organizations with tens of thousands of members.

  25. 25
    Robert says:

    If as many people are eager to sell their kidneys…

    The people who would likely be most attracted to a kidney marketplace are those who are poor but need a large sum of capital. (The organ market allows them to turn bodily capital into financial capital.) Poor and downtrodden people often have a hard time getting organized to fight for political change; they’re busy trying to live.

    I quite agree that the kidney question and the abortion question are of greatly differing magnitude. But they are of one kind, to anyone alleging “bodily autonomy” as a justifying principle, and so it seems curious to see you on the anti-liberty side of the barricade on that one.

  26. 26
    Joe says:

    I’d sell a kidney if it paid enough to get out of debt. You only *need* one. I’d give up the backup for a price.

  27. 27
    defenestrated says:

    Wow, Defenestrated, those are really gruesome! :-P

    Heh, yeah, I guess I kinda picked the most gruesome ones out of the google image search, since they were the ones that most reminded me of the picture you posted. At least one of them came from an exhibit on war called Hell, which was massive and made up of I have no idea how many tiny, individually made figurines. And which was really quite gruesome.

    All of their stuff’s weird, but it’s not all gruesome like that. A lot of it just fucks with your head; when I saw their exhibit at the Saatchi gallery, a lot of the lifesize sculptures in the hallways looked just like people until you got close enough to 1) realize otherwise, and 2) be really creeped out.

    Here are some more examples of their work.

  28. 28
    Charles says:

    I quite agree that the kidney question and the abortion question are of greatly differing magnitude. But they are of one kind, to anyone alleging “bodily autonomy” as a justifying principle, and so it seems curious to see you on the anti-liberty side of the barricade on that one.

    You are mistaken that they are of one kind. If you personally decide to have a kidney removed and used for a transplant, there is no substantial legal impediment. The question is whether you are legally allowed to commodify the transaction. What interactions with your body you are allowed to commodify is a different (although certainly related) issue from what you are ever allowed to do (or to hire someone to do) to your body.

  29. 29
    Rachel S. says:

    Thanks Sewere and Donna. I tried to read up on it while eating dinner…I got through Yolanda’s blog and Donna’s blog.

  30. 30
    defenestrated says:

    I must say, I’m impressed by the people who can wrap their heads around the kidney-sale-as-abortion argument well enough to argue against it. Myself, I’m completely baffled.

  31. 31
    belledame222 says:

    those are both really interesting pics; but yeah, that first one…wo.

  32. 32
    Robert says:

    The question is whether you are legally allowed to commodify the transaction.

    So it would be OK to make it legal for abortions to be done on a hobby basis, but illegal to charge a fee? Come on.

  33. 33
    Charles says:

    People get paid to have abortions?

    The surgeons who remove your kidney, should you choose to donate a kidney to an anonymous stranger, will get paid.

    The question is whether you can commodify what is done to or with your body. We allow people to commodify the act of performing surgery or abortions, we do not allow people to commodify the act of having surgery (or sex). As with sex, not being allowed to commodify certain things you do with your body is certainly a limitation on bodily autonomy, but it is a limitation of a radically different category than direct limitations on what you are allowed to do with your body.

    Your suicide example was a much better parallel, despite Amp’s casual dismissal of it. While obviously people can’t be punished for successfully committing suicide, that really isn’t the issue. People can (and are) punished for trying and failing, and people are punished for assisting with suicide. Just as we wouldn’t consider a right to abortion in which no one was legally allowed to perform an abortion on another person, the fact that it is hard to absolutely prevent suicide or to punish those who succeed does not mean that there isn’t a substantial bodily autonomy restriction in the laws against suicide. And it is a restriction of a similar type to restrictions on abortion: both directly restrict what you are allowed to do to your body, not whether or not you can commodify something you do with your body.

  34. Pingback: Jewess » Blog Roundup: On Genitalia, Mitzvot, and Brat Pack Converts

  35. 34
    Q Grrl says:

    Bean, ftr, depending on your particular status in society, say as a student or a soldier, etc., you are punished for failed suicide and it does go on record. I was kicked out of VA Tech for just such a situation.

  36. 35
    Dianne says:

    Re: abortion versus the draft:

    1. Abortion restrictions are quite real and in force. See South Dakota (although the voters did that one in) or medicaid restrictions. And wasn’t there a story going around the blogsphere recently about forced abortions in a US territory? Furthermore, there are de facto restrictions on access to birth control (ie prescription plans that won’t pay for it but will pay for viagra, etc.) The draft is still a completely theoretical problem. Except for the poverty draft, but that affects women too.

    2. If a draft were restarted there is a reasonable chance that it would be applied to both men and women, at least in some cases. For example, there was a proposal a few years ago to start a draft of medical personnel, including both men and women in the draft. It didn’t go through, and I’m not expecting it to, but the threat of a draft and the attendent loss of bodily autonomy is there for both men and women. So my conclusion is that women face threats to bodily autonomy that men do not and are not likely to. (Suicide, kidney donation, etc laws apply to everyone.)

  37. 36
    nobody.really says:


  38. 37
    RonF says:

    I was actually subject to the draft. The first two years of my college career I was a 2-S (college deferment). While billed as a “deferment”, meaning that I was technically subject to being drafted after I graduated, the actual draft calls were generally satisfied with young men in their first or second year of eligibility, which meant that by the time I graduated I was unlikely to be actually called. My older brothers’ academic record were not as good as mine, and after losing their 2-S’s and ending up 1-A they joined the military before they were drafted so as to have a choice in what they were going to do. One ended up in Vietnam anyway, but managed to get an MOS other than “trigger puller/bullet catcher”. Understand, too, that we were not poor and not identifiably minority, but we still ended up with limited choices if college didn’t work out.

    It was determined that college deferments were unfair; they originated from back in WW II when very few people went to college and there was a much higher need for their skills. But in the Vietnam War days, a lot of kids who might not have gone to college otherwise went to avoid the draft, and there was a certain economic (and thus racial) disparity in who went. So the birthday lottery system was born. My birthday matched up with a number in the mid-200’s, and they were only drafting up to about 120, so I was safe from then on.

    I think we’ve discussed this here before (or maybe it was Free Republic), but I don’t think re-instating the draft would be a bad idea, iff there were changes. First, everyone is subject, regardless of sex, economic status, educational status, ability/disability, marital status, etc. Second, the service would not be limited to the military; people would be able to choose various other things such as a recreation of the Civilian Conservation Corps, hospital/elderly care, etc., etc. Although the special post-service advantages to having performed military service would still apply. Everyone spends (say) two years serving their fellow citizens.

    Of course, you could go the full Starship Troopers concept, where you could refuse to serve, but voting would be changed from a right to a privilege dependent on having served. Those who serve are citizens, and those who don’t are subjects. That might require a Constitutional amendment.

  39. 38
    Emmetropia says:

    Q Grrl said: “Bean, ftr, depending on your particular status in society, say as a student or a soldier, etc., you are punished for failed suicide and it does go on record. I was kicked out of VA Tech for just such a situation.”

    You know this is an interesting point of view. This may be OT, but I don’t see it as punishment, so much as paternalism and/or risk reduction. I’ve been having this argument with my sister, who is a military recruiter. She is trying to get a potential recruit approved who has had two psych hospitalizations, following separate suicide attempts. The Navy has denied her, and my sister is applying for a waiver on her behalf. I’m frankly appalled that she is trying to get her enlisted, given the stress the recruit is likely to face during training, and after deployment, and in light of what we know about the mental status of many of the troops coming out of Iraq. My sisters motives are not altrustic; she is under pressure to make her quota. (Recruiters, btw, are paid a hazard differential because of the stress associated with THAT job; they experience a high rate of suicide themselves, especially these days).

  40. 39
    defenestrated says:

    Sigh. I had this whole big plan today involving getting off the internets, walking around, seeing if there’s still a world outside my apartment, and picking up shampoo.

    Instead, I got sucked into reading allll around Thinking Girl’s site.

    Amp, do you have a dept. where I can apply to have a Thursday refunded? I mean, not that it wasn’t good reading…but I’m still out of shampoo.

  41. 40
    ArrogantWorm says:



    And, unless you are willing and able to pay, you will be free to go on your merry way after that 72 hours

    Willing and able to pay? That’s not the way hospital bills work here. You get billed wether you’re able to pay or not. No such thing as a free lunch. (or free help, in this case) And god forbid they decide to keep you there, it get’s expensive. Three thousand dollars for a roughly two weeks.

  42. 41
    Ampersand says:

    In another thread, The Local Crank wrote:

    “I’d also remind everyone posting in this thread that it is for feminists and feminist friend commenters only”

    In all seriousness, and with no sarcastic intent whatsoever, does this refer to how I would describe myself or how someone else might theoretically describe me? Also, and again in all seriousness, does the category of “feminist friend” imply that the only women are “feminists”? If not, what is the distinction?

    It refers to how I and the other moderators are going to perceive you, based on what we know of you or (more likely) based on what you post here. (For what it’s worth, here’s my personal definition of what a “feminist” is.)

    I personally do not believe that only women can be feminists. However, there are some folks — both female and male — who believe that only women can be feminists. In order to include those men who think that men can only be “pro-feminist” or “feminist-friendly,” I usually say “feminists, pro-feminist and feminist-friendly posters only” if I’m going to restrict a thread that way.

    (Of course, I don’t know for sure if that’s why Maia used the phrase. But I think it’s plausible that she picked up that way of restricting threads from me.)

    The purpose of the “feminist and feminist-friendly only” threads is is to allow some intra-feminist conversations to take place on “Alas,” while still leaving other conversations open to non-feminist participation.

  43. 42
    Sailorman says:

    …and on that very note,

    what the fuck is up with Maia’s ban threat?

    I imagine there are some who wouldn’t think of me as feminist, sadly, but I have trouble believing i don’t meet the bar of feminist friendly. Seems odd to get a ban threat about 3 days after I get added t the blogroll, especially for not being “feminist enough.”

    And sheeeit, i was AGREEING with a lot of the post. Did I disclaim the victim’s hurt? no. Suggest she wasn’t raped? No. In fact, i’ve written a whole host of posts–on Alas, my blog, and others–whose primary focus has been discussing the best way to reduce rape.

    So the only thing I can see that got me threatened there was that I noted it’s difficult to figure out what to do. Since when is that antifeminist?

    I’m all for “feminist only threads” and all that jazz, but that’s going a little too far. In fact, it’s pure bullshit.

    If Maia wants to write “people who disagree with me will be banned” threads, why do you let her do so on Alas?

  44. 43
    Ampersand says:

    Because it’s up to Maia to set up the rules for her own threads.

    I’m sorry this makes you unhappy, but it really is that simple.

  45. 44
    Robert says:

    “Damn it, use your private property the way I want you to!”

    It’s a game that everyone can play. ;P

  46. 45
    Charles says:

    Also, she didn’t point out that you were banned from her feminist only threads because of something you did in that post, she pointed out that you are banned from her feminist only threads because she has previously banned from her feminist only threads.

    Being banned from her feminist only threads doesn’t mean that you should only post things that you feel are feminist in her feminist only threads (that is simply the normal requirement for everyone). Being banned from her feminist only threads means that you are not suppose to post in them. Period.

    Generally, the proper course of action if you want to get unbanned from somewhere is to write a private email to the moderator explaining that you understand why you were banned previously, and what steps you would take to not repeat the same offense if you were unbanned. Complaining publicly about your banning in language that insults the moderator is probably the least likely way to get unbanned that I can imagine.

    Is all of this really not completely obvious?

  47. 46
    Sailorman says:


    isn’t this your blog? You–not maia–have the authority to control what gets posted, or not, and what the rules are. Bad rules, and bad enforcement, reflect badly on your blog, not just on maia. So I am writing to you.


    Please go away. I don’t think a single one of your last few responses to any of my posts has been a non-personal one; I’m not sure what your problem is but it is somewhat exhausting. I suggest we merely not respond to each other directly; i’m sure it will be much more pleasant for everyone.

  48. 47
    Ampersand says:


    As it happens, I entirely agree with what Charles wrote in comment #43, except perhaps the final sentence. So I’m a little sorry that you’ve apparently dismissed it all because of its source.

    Yes, it’s ultimately my blog, and if Maia or Rachel were to begin… I dunno… saying “no Jews allowed to post on my threads,” I’ll step in. But I don’t think it would be wise of me to micromanage moderation decisions that fall short of that extreme.

  49. 48
    Charles says:


    That wasn’t actually a personal response. That was purely a description of the situation. Change ‘you’ to ‘one’ if you like, and it still holds.

  50. 49
    Rachel S. says:

    I often like your comments even though I have moments where I strongly disagree with you. But I personally, find the whole “it’s your blog Amp” line to be really insulting. I reads like this, “hey Amp, get those girls in line.”

    Personally, I feel like you have been overstepping your boundaries lately. Like that insult you threw at my in the Cherokee thread. I ignored you because that’s how I choose to deal with comments that are not about debate or dialogue.

    If you read all of the comments to this site (both the ones we let through and the ones we don’t), Maia and I get way more hate mail and nasty bullshit comments than Amp. (My perceptionis that I get the most, but hey I could be biased :) ) So we are sensitive to this; well I am sensitive. I have some crazy anti-Semetic troll who has been leaving comments for me (and now Amp). I’ve been getting horrible white supremacist comments for a long time at my site and here. My perception is that Maia gets most of the the “stop being a whiny bitch” comments.

    My point is that it gets very tiring, and every now and then we need a break. We need to debate with people who are also feminists (or anti-racists, but we don’t have those kinds of comment threads on this site). There are some days when I come home and the last thing I want to do is check my site or this site because I’m not in the mood for attacks. If you are a kind and senstive person, you will try to understand this and respect Maia and myself.

  51. 50
    Ampersand says:

    Thanks, Rachel.

    (or anti-racists, but we don’t have those kinds of comment threads on this site)

    There’s no reason you couldn’t, if you want to.

  52. 51
    Sailorman says:

    Rachel S. Writes:
    March 16th, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    I often like your comments even though I have moments where I strongly disagree with you. But I personally, find the whole “it’s your blog Amp” line to be really insulting. I reads like this, “hey Amp, get those girls in line.”

    Well, before i respond: thanks. FWIW, I always like your posts though as you might expect I disagree with them fairly pften.

    but as for “get in line”–That’s not it at all. It’s not Amp’s job to “get you in line” for what you think…. after all, you both have separate blogs, and it’s a free Internet. Just like Amp can ask me not to post here, or not to post things Amp doesn’t like, or (as here) not to post in maia’s threads.

    And because it’s Amp’s blog, what Amp says goes. Just like you on your blog–you could ask me to follow any arbitrary rules you’d like and I would either do so or not post. Your blog, your rules. You might note, for example, that I’ve mostly stopped posting on your blog (though I read it daily) if I radically disagree with you, as you seem to prefer more supportive posts. And I wouldn’t even consider posting on Maia’s blog.

    But this is Amps blog.

    And here, Amp doesn’t moderate much. I think that’s overall a good thing. And when Amp DOES moderate, or pull posts, Amp generally does so in a highly explanatory fashion; Amp doesn’t moderate to stifle discussion. In fact, I’d say that Amp is one of the better moderators I’ve come across. That’s one of the reasons that Alas is a good blog; it’s not too one-sided. The conservatives, occasional MRAs, etc, who post here make this a much better blog.

    So when people post on Amp’s blog–like you, or Maia–and you “import” rules that are different from Amp, I complain to Amp. Why? Because it makes it a worse blog. It removes a lot of what makes Alas interesting in the first place.

    It’s funny that you choose to phrase my request to Amp as asking Amp to “get you in line.” The truth is that you have the power to keep your opponents in line. For you to construe the lack of such power as a restriction on your own speech is, to say the least, a bit of an exaggeration.

    As for the insult: I’m sorry, I don’t recall exactly what you mean. I am fairly sure I strongly attacked your position, and suggested that you were wrong to take it (which I meant to do, and probably wouldn’t apologize for.) But I respect you, and don’t recall insulting you personally. I’m sorry that you felt insulted–I’ll reread the thread on Monday when i’m back in the office to see what text you’re referring to (email me if you’re up to it).

    But enough of this; I’ve gotten a pretty clear response from Amp. And it’s Friday.