sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
Like I said in my last post, I recognized at a very early age that the way Gilbert treated Anne, and the way boys who allegedly torment girls to show they 'like' them, is utter bullshit, although I had no idea back then that this was a feminist way of thinking.

Another early influence?

Oddly enough, Reader's Digest Condensed Books from the 1950's that were lurking in my maternal grandmother's basement.

No, seriously.

Specifically, Jungle Girl, by John Moore, whose title I'd forgotten for years and years, merely remembered as 'that one book about the traveling carnival girl with the pet snakes', and whose author I'd never much paid attention to at all.

I think the earliest I read it was when I was a pre-teen, but could have been earlier - I was a very precocious reader.

For some reason, I've had those old books on my mind a lot lately, and this morning I finally decided to hit Wikipedia and see if I could find the titles of the ones I liked best, so I could try getting them from the library.

I expected to have to do a lot of trawling through lengthy lists - the books in my grandparents' basement alone were numerous, Readers' Digest sold a LOT of them over the decades, and I was unsure as to which decade (or possibly decades) their collection came from.

I hit jackpot pretty fast. Right on the main Wiki page, no need to trawl through the lists (yet) was the volume containing three of the ones I remembered best.

1959, Volume 37 - Spring

The Secret Project of Sigurd O'Leary - Martin Quigley
Dear and Glorious Physician - Taylor Caldwell
Collision Course - Alvin Moscow
Jungle Girl - John Moore
Epitaph for an Enemy - George Barr

Leonora (sp?) is the daughter of two carnival sideshow performers in the UK. Her late mother did an act with snakes; after her mother's death she inherited the act, but her father remarried and sunk into alcoholism. In exchange for a percentage of the profits, he passes on 'ownership' of her act and the money derived from it to the father of a young man who also does a sideshow, boxing against any locals who care to try a few rounds, and who has an 'understanding' of sorts with Leonora. (Lee is supposed to get a little pocket money, but this never quite materializes in the condensed version; a minor plot point is made of her asking and being stalled by the boyfriend's father.)

Sounds like a semi-typical patriarchal mid-50's happy little domestic arrangement, ne?

Except the bf's parents are in a hugely abusive relationship, and growing evidence suggests the bf will treat Lee the exact same way his father treats his mother once they're married. And flagrantly cheat on her just like his father as well. Not to mention the issue of Lee's pocket money. And the increasing pressure on her to dress more skimpily to attract more business. And the pressure to feed the poor snakes a little bit less and less as time goes on, since it cuts into the profit margin. And BF's work-related cranial injury, which he's afraid to tell anyone but Lee just how bad it really is.

Her situation increasingly worsens, but she's able eventually to get out with a somewhat conveniently timed white knight customer's assistance.

I remember vividly my outrage over the dicking around with her share of the money from her act (not that I could have remotely phrased ANY sentence with the term 'dicking around' back then, LMAO), and my worry over the increasing abuse, and incomprehension at BF's infidelity but continued presumption he'd marry Lee.... and it was just one of those books that resonates, you know.

Unfortunately, Amazon seems to think it's out of print. Going to try the library website next.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
I also recall, rather vividly, the part in the book where Diana is gushing to Anne about how awesome it is that Gilbert's come back to their school. ' "He just torments our lives out, Anne." Her tone of voice indicated Diana rather liked having her life tormented out than not. ' Made no sense to me at the time. Still doesn't.

Bullying as a form of male admiration was bullshit back then, and it was bullshit when school staff members tried to explain away the bullying I received from boys (they had less to fall on when it came to the girl bullies), and it continues to be pure and utter bullshit.
sethrak: Yzma rubbing her eyes (Yzma)
I just need to vent about one thing.


::deep breath::

I can understand Country Girl incorrectly calling them abortion pills, she's from a conservative background which probably earnestly tells everyone they really are abortion pills and the people who say otherwise are godless liars, and she's also deeply freaked out about the near-miss she and Pizza Delivery Boy had with the unexpected walker at the pharmacy. (About which, more at some point.)

But god DAMN it you lazy writers! They are called morning after pills for a reason! If you're at the point where you're testing positive on a pee strip and having stereotypical nausea symptoms, you've got a fertilized egg implanted and the morning-after pill won't do damn skippy to help you anymore! Throw in a couple lines about how the pregnant woman knows they probably won't work but she's desperate enough to try anyway!


Gah, I say!
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
St. Thomas Aquinas in Milwaukee in the 1980's was very very progressive. No wonder my dad didn't much care for it. :/ As I recall, he not only kept trying to convince Mom to go to a parish that had less singing, but at one point tried to get us to attend a church that still maintained pre-Vatican II dress codes and Latin liturgy. Mom put her foot down HARD on that last one. She LIKED the ability to wear pants and not worry about sleeve length or whether she'd remembered her hair veil. (Some days I really wonder how they managed to stay married all these decades.)
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)


Jack's home from preschool. Got the cookies done and in a container just in time before his bus. ^_^ "V!"

Ate all his triscuits, but snubbed his chicken, hopefully that'll change soon. I had leftover steak and taters from our anniversary dinner. Damn, my man can cook!

Spending the afternoon at home with him, watching dvds and playing quietly, as I am still really tired and his therapist called in sick.

Also, in a moment of weakness, made a pinterest board. Because I totally have time/energy for more social media time wasters. ::amused face-palm::
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)

But, but, you'll frighten the job creators!,0,4118256.story

Walsh said he was against abortion “without exception,” including rape, incest and in cases in which the life or health of the mother was in jeopardy.

Asked by reporters after the debate if he was saying that it’s never medically necessary to conduct an abortion to save the life of a mother, Walsh responded, “Absolutely.”

“With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance,” he said. “... There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.”

What do they teach them in these schools?


The first URL pretty much explains what all three links are discussing.

Stomach's eased off enough to let me try eating breakfast in a sec. For a while there I was worried I was developing the chills that portend a major IBS outbreak - but it turned out Mark had switched the electronic thermostat to a/c instead of heat.

I approve of teacher training days in theory, but in practice, today it sucks.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)

Side note: Apparently skipping lunch entirely was the right choice. I'm mildly hungry, but much less wobbly than I expected. And the trip to Walmart went well. Off to get Tom some stomach meds that are safe for suspected ulcers, and my held library books, in a bit.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
But astonishingly, the US military is actually starting to take baby steps to rectify the problem of male armor vs. female armor.

“It became clear to us that there was a difference in torso length,” says (Lt. Col.) Lozano, who is the product manager for the Army’s soldier protective-equipment program. “The other point that we realized is that there is a significant difference in shoulder width. I read this data, and it seems so obvious.”

Gee, ya THINK? ::face-palm::


Jul. 3rd, 2012 12:54 pm
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
No. Seriously. WHAT?

Via feministe:

A New York state senator was planning to hold a career building event for his constituents which would, among other things, teach them how to “Sit, stand and walk like a model,” . \

The event seems to have disappeared entirely from his website, but nonetheless... WTF?
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)

He developed a type of sanitary napkin that not only costs a third of what the bigger corporations were charging, but can be made easily and in little co-operatives across India, giving many women jobs.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
Interestingly, this post: has both the entry for Cognitive Dissonance and for Who Needs Feminism linked to the tumblrs for Cognitive Dissonance.

The original post: has the correct links for CD and WNF.

I don't entirely grok tumblr, so I don't know how to bring this to their attention.

(I have entirely too many Firefox tabs open, as per usual. :D Jack is volubly displeased that Mommy is insisting on taking periodic breaks from pushing him on the swing, but that's nothing new. I'm being more insistent on the breaks than usual as I am still recovering from that nasty little illness. He'll live, and hopefully he'll learn to pump his legs like Mark does.)
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)

At the link you will see a photo of two women in US military camouflage uniform. The one on the left is tandem-breastfeeding what appears to be twins. The woman on the right is breastfeeding just one child. Both have made the necessary adjustments to their uniforms to allow their children access.

The woman on the left? Is NOT "baring her breasts to the world", nor is she exposing anymore of her chest than most bathing suits. The actions necessary to get those twins into position? Are NOT equivalent to a man "whipping it out". What DOES equate to "whipping it out" and "baring her breasts"? The kind of thing you see done along Mardi Gras parade routes for strings of cheap plastic beads. Or done by drunken girls at spring break, frequently while leaning out of cars or standing through a limo skylight and hollering "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

The actions of BOTH women? Are NOT analogous to a man peeing in public. (Nor to a man defecating in public, which I suspect will be the next analogy made.) It's not analogous to a woman peeing or defecating in public either. Those two acts are excreting bodily waste. Breastmilk, and breastfeeding, are not.

As far as allegations of sexual harassment are concerned, in a civilian court, if one is in a state which has passed statutes guaranteeing a woman's right to breastfeed in public or in private, I doubt you'd have much standing. (Virginia is one such state. I do not have knowledge of which other states have passed such laws, but I know there's more than one other.)

I do not have the slightest idea of what the universal code of military justice has to say regarding public breastfeeding as grounds for sexual harassment, as grounds for a religious person who objects to female nudity to file a complaint, or as grounds for disciplinary action regarding being out of uniform or regarding using one's military status publicly without getting permission from one's chain of command. Military regs are an entirely different animal from civilian law.

It remains my conviction that any regulation, military or civilian, that would prohibit a woman from feeding her child, or merely suppress her actions by forcing her to hide her breastfeeding or her pumping by retreating to bathrooms or utility closets to prevent others from seeing and filing complaints, is WRONG.

Ay yi yi

May. 31st, 2012 09:57 am
sethrak: Yzma rubbing her eyes (Yzma)
Now the guy is trying to claim you can sue a woman for sexual harassment because she breastfeeds in front of him if he's a religious person who disapproves of female nudity. We're currently debating the ramifications of "reasonable person" as described here: "This definition emphasizes that harassment need not result in tangible psychological harm to the victim, but rather need only be so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would perceive, and the victim does perceive, the work environment as hostile or offensive". From

Tom disagrees that the photos from the original article are sexual harassment, but points out that the definition of reasonable is ill-defined and generally amounts to whatever the wing commander in charge thinks will make him look good or bad to the press.

I think I am going to step back from the conversation and take the boys out to play.

Edit: NOW he's admitting he's stretching the issue a bit with the sexual harassment comment, he realizes it's unlikely anyone would in fact see a woman breastfeed and expose her breasts to the world and cry "Harassment!".

I assured him, as a woman who's breastfed,, there's not a whole lot of exposing your breasts to the world going on. Lift your shirt enough to get at the breast, unhook the special bra, give the kiddo enough room to latch on and breathe, and that's about it.

I doubt this will impinge on his mindset, but the effort's got to be made. I'm disengaging now.
sethrak: Yzma rubbing her eyes (Yzma)
Yay hooray.

Husband's friend claimed that breastfeeding in uniform while in a workplace where others can see would leave the airwomen in question open to sexual harassment lawsuits from the men present.

I questioned this.

He responded that showing your breasts to breastfeed is the same as a man "whipping it out".

I responded that breastfeeding is not a sexual act. Whipping out your johnson and telling people to look at it (a statement which generally accompanies whipping it out) IS a sexual act.

I suspect this will not go over well.

Tom, on the other hand, pointed out that right now women are trying very hard to get into frontline combat roles, on the same terms as men, and are thus trying to make everyone think there's no substantive differences between men and women; these photos show there ARE substantive differences, and remind people that when and if women in combat roles choose to exercise their reproductive rights, they will be off the front line for months, which does not hold true for men. "It's not about disgracing the uniform. It's about using the uniform's image when that image doesn't belong to you." The most sensible comment I've seen thus far.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
I cobbled together an AWESOME dessert with the filling from Vegan Pie In The Sky's cherry pie recipe and the topping from their apple crisp recipe. Tom and I adored it; sadly, the finicky Zodlings did not. :p

Between Jack deciding to be audibly awake to the point of bouncing off the walls of his bedroom at ungodly hours, and Tom's need to be awake at 4 am for morning duty, this has been a terrible week for attempting to resume reduced soda consumption or at least decaffeinating myself. :p

Next week bodes no better, despite Tom's morning duty ending Friday, as we have determined to get Jack cloth underwear on payday and start potty-training in earnest. x_x

If Tom winds up going on *another* Caribbean TDY this summer, as he did last, and which is possibly in the works, I am SO going on a massive book-shopping spree of squee. ;p (This is in addition to the book-squee-spree I already intend for payday.)

Rapid fire linkspam:
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
Tom mentioned this recently; I finally got around to googling. He made it sound like a done deal, but it appears to be still in the exploratory stages.

Either via a feminism feed or TRMS's feed, I am officially too bleary-eyed to recall.



May. 17th, 2012 10:49 am
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)
Did a small amount of visible-spot mopping and a grand total of four squats while pushing Jack-jack on the swings Tuesday.

Paying for it. Itai. Actually took pain meds last night, and will probably do it again in a sec. I need my max. allotment of spoons for the end-of-year picnic Jack's class is having at Memorial Park. (Mark's is having a potluck *in the classroom*. Not even on the pre-k playground. :p I called him in sick and cancelled his bus.)

Reading stuff over at John Scalzi's blog, since LJ's karenhealey linked there yesterday and now the awesome [personal profile] nagaina has as well. Good stuff; good patience on the part of those commenters willing to help educate people who aren't just Basic Social Justice 101, but in the remedial section.

I personally think a better analogy, at least for USA-raised nerds of my own vintage, would be Oregon Trail, not an RPG on various difficulty settings. But that's a fairly small subset of the people who need this analogy, so not all that useful for addressing the larger problem.

Also skimming through etsy trying to find something specific I saw on one of my sewing blogs back before Nidhogg died last summer. I hereby link to this adorable pirate captain kitty pincushion; the seller also makes Mario and Luigi ones. (AND a Princess Leia! How did I miss that?!)

(Wonder if they'd make a Totoro...)

After the picnic, which we will bail out of at the first sign of meltdowns or otherwise unacceptable Zodling shenanigans, we will probably swing by Burger King for fries for the boys, and then on to Walmart for the belated payday shopping.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)

George Takei linked to some awesome fanart parodying the standard Avengers ads with all the men in heroic action poses and Blackwidow in an ass-shot. (I'd already seen it elsewhere, and promptly bookmarked it: )

Most of the commenters seem to think it's varying shades of amusing and awesome. But there's a few comments containing massive, massive, MASSIVE butthurt from entitled straight male fanlings who are convinced if the real comics were drawn that way, no one would but them, and the normal way the comics are drawn is because primarily straight males buy them so it's only natural to cater to their gaze, how dare anyone cater to a different gaze?!

I pointed out that maaaaaaybe more women would buy the comics if female characters weren't treated this way. Morons.
sethrak: (Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan)


Associated Press and a whole bunch of other sources are reporting that Aung San Suu Kyi was sworn into the Myanmar Parliament a short time ago.


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