conuly: (Default)
Go read the comments to this article.

The article itself isn't that bad, about a somewhat ridiculous and tone-deaf approach to "Pardon our appearance during construction" sign. But hoo-boy, the comments! It's like everything out of a bad book on feminism in the 70s!

I've been taking the novel approach of attempting to educate people about why catcallling = bad instead of simply pointing out that there's a reason they can't get laid (because they're jackasses - and yes, if some of them could post their names and photos I'd very much appreciate it for reference purposes), not that it's likely to do any good. But still, last week I managed to explain to some internet commenter why it's inappropriate to TALK IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME!!!! so I'm just buoyed with my own success now. There's still a (admittedly very slim) possibility that I could convince somebody. Just one person.

(Yeah, I know, not gonna happen. Comments on articles are so useless, but they're something to do, anyway.)

Dug up this link and posted it to, in the comments, which proves the point. Some people don't want to listen, and others are trolls, and... and... okay, this is depressing. Don't click the link, it'll only upset you.
conuly: (Default)
This is, of course, nothing but a(nother) purely isolated incident. I'm sure there is absolutely no cause for alarm.

And there definitely is never any danger with publishing the names of those who perform or have abortions. Those laws are all in everybody's best interest! Nobody's going to get hurt or anything.
conuly: (Default)
Girls are, of course, less likely to be given mathy toys like blocks or legos as presents. (Boys are less likely to get books. I'm sure that all these gift-givers know the children intimately and are only following the kids' interests, interests which were formed devoid of any outside input, straight out of the ether.)

At any rate, you've probably already seen these two videos on Lego's pointlessly gendered advertising, but just in case, there you go! (They even have transcriptions.)

And here's a bonus lego-related entry on... well, influencing how other people build with them, basically.
conuly: (Default)
We've been having spotty internet lately, and have finally tracked down the problem: My router, which was cheap when I bought it, is eight years obsolete. I need to get a new one. Well, they can't possibly have gone up in price, so it won't break the bank, I don't think.

Gave away a kitten today. Apparently, this was Evangeline's favorite kitten. Tough for her. I didn't say it to her face, but I'm sure he'll be happier in a home with three doting grown-up people who are at home all day than in a home where his needier siblings hog most of the attention and the only one who dotes is six years old and still thinks he likes being hugged. (No, I don't let her squeeze kittens around the middle, even though she wants to.)

Anyway, on to those links!

Israelis Facing a Seismic Rift Over Role of Women
There are pictures

Read more... )

New Definition of Autism May Exclude Many, Study Suggests

Read more... )

Here's an article about segregated housing for vegetarians only in Bombay

And one on Bastøy, a very free prison in Norway

State notes alarming spike in starvation of adopted children. They list the signs of potential starvation in a child, but of course it's worth noting that with adopted children, many of these psychological signs (like hoarding food or bolting it down quickly) could be a sign that they went hungry BEFORE being adopted.

Report: Medical Marijuana Laws Reduced Traffic Fatalities

Texas doctors lead open-notes movement

And finally, BSG (remake) as an 8-bit RPG!

: )

Aug. 3rd, 2011 10:52 pm
conuly: Quote: "I'm blogging this" (blog still_burning)
Bike trailers, child safety and the media's fear agenda

The title pretty much sums it up.

Here's another one. You'll love this... for a given quality of the word "love", that is. Apparently, Houston has a backlog of sexual assault kits that have never been tested. The city now wants money to deal with them. Great, right? Yeah! Except the police department wants that money not to run through the kits and test them, but to study why they have a backlog.

Oh, and I've heard about this Japanese show about sending small children out on their very first solo errands, but I've never seen a clip of it. This is even slightly subtitled! Of course, the comments suck, but that's to be expected. Is it just me or is there a middle ground somewhere between sending two year olds off to do the grocery shopping and not allowing twelve year olds to stay home alone for half an hour?
conuly: (Default)
I'm very sorry, but I have this thing about having my journal state I've posted every day.

First, you should absolutely contact your members of Congress about this:

The GOP is actually seeking to defund programs that prevent sexual assault and domestic violence, by which children, women, and marginalized men are disproportionately victimized.

Also, as the title says, iron-deficiency is not something you get just for being a lady. There are some scary statistics in here.

Here's an article in the gap in the starting pay of male and female doctors.

And to get off the feminism for a second, because all those links are depressing, here's a video on meat-eating furniture that is powered by, as I said, eating meat. I guess if you're putting out mousetraps and flypaper anyway it makes sense to... yeah. I don't know.
conuly: Picture taken on the SI Ferry - "the soul of a journey is liberty" (boat)
A report by Amnesty International on the shocking (!) rate of death in childbirth in the US.

Apparently more than two woman a day die of pregnancy related causes... if this information is even accurate, which it might not be.

And those two woman? Are probably black. Black woman are four times as likely to die from pregnancy related complications than white woman, even though they aren't any more likely to suffer from complications such as hemorrhage.

I'm not actually shocked or surprised by this, of course.

Here's an article about the fight in Ethiopia to eliminate bride abduction. It's fascinating. (Also, it gave me nightmares. This article gets its very own trigger warning for its descriptions of rape.

Oh, and I have two quick posts on Jewish literature, particularly fantasy:

conuly: image of Elisa Mazda (Gargoyles) - "Watcher of the City" (watcher of the city)
First, this one isn't really related to the others, but I'll link to it now anyway. Apparently the president gave a speech where he mispronounced one word out of many, he said "aks" or possibly "aksk" instead of "ask". Normally I'd give the "aks is a historically valid pronunciation of ask" lecture, but no worries, Rush Limbaugh gave it for me, saying:

“Obama can turn on that black dialect when he wants to and turn it off.”

This is because Limbaugh is one classy dude.

Now, the link above (and Language Log's second post on the subject here) take the view that this is the sort of speech error that people make all the time and that nothing more should be said on it.

I didn't see the original speech, so I'll just go with their interpretation but also add: Even if he was saying "aks" as his normal mode of speech (in the same way that Bush said "nucular" all the time), who cares? There's nothing wrong with it and we all understand it. And if he sometimes speaks in one dialect and sometimes in another, this is a bad thing? Since when? Having more than one way to speak can only help you in this world, how could it harm you in any way?

Of course, I'm missing the point, which was no doubt just a chance to go "Look, he's STILL BLACK, and I don't like that but if I say that outright people will think I'm an ass, because I am, so I'll pretend there's some reason for not liking him."


Now, we've got two... well, interesting links.

So first we have Representative Trent Franks, who seems to think... well, let me let him speak

And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery.

Yes, he actually went there. And he's not just an isolated loon, no, let's look at this article from the Times:

Read more... )

It's easy to try to brush off the promoted conspiracy theory as just that - a conspiracy theory. And you're probably right except that there were unethical and discriminatory practices not that long ago which did harm to black people (and poor people in general) and forced sterilizations did happen. This is no secret. So while I don't think there's any big conspiracy now, I can see why people can believe there might be.

Except, as always, the anti-abortion groups are taking this from the wrong angle. Look, I'm as happy as anybody to see a sweet little baby whose parents are glad to have him. But people don't have abortions just for fun, or just because they've been misled into thinking they can't take care of a child (when really they can). They have abortions because, hey, they can't take care of a kid. If they think they can't, they're probably right.

If there's a conspiracy here, it's not with the abortion providers. It's with the people who, time after time, enact laws which help the rich at the cost of the poor. It's with the people who set up and support the conditions which make it so that any one person will feel she cannot have a baby now, and needs an abortion (and chances are she's correct) and then go around insulting women for making this choice. People know this! They know this, but they fall for their lines anyway.

I don't see abortion as a moral issue at all. But if I did, and wanted to stop it, I'd go to the source. These same people who don't want you to have an abortion, you know they don't like you anyway. They're not going to help you when you need help, they won't help you keep your family together.

Incidentally, a special note about that OTHER guy, the one who made that comment about disabled babies being a punishment for abortion....


Actually, I have nothing to say to him. But I'm tempted now to start a poll asking which comment was really more offensive.
conuly: (Default)
Apparently, there are quite a few men out there who are perfectly willing to admit to rape so long as you just don't use that word.

A later comment purports to gives the exact wording of the questions, but I don't know where he got them from:

Read more... )
conuly: Quote from Heroes by Claire - "Maybe being different isn't the end of the world, it's just who I am" (being different)
Here's an article about a family in Sweden that's keeping the sex of their kid secret. Which reminds me of this story except of course it's in real life. (Don't read the comments, btw.)

Well, maybe read the comments. Some of them make reference to David Reimer, and - as I've actually read his book - I'm not so sure of the relevance. His problems seem to me to be much deeper than simply being raised as a girl when he wasn't - a lot of his "therapy" described in the book seemed to me to be very dubious or abusive even. *shrugs* (Which isn't to argue the matter of innate gender or whatnot, just that I think that in that specific case which is the one people always bring up when talking about gender anything (have you noticed?), there's a lot more stuff going on.)
conuly: (Default)
Care about abortion rights? Click the link.

Text of the link in here )

As always, I'm stuck having no idea what on earth to *say* in a letter to my various legislators. Anybody writing one, give me your draft to modify?
conuly: (Default)
From Shakesville comes this urgent call for action to save a woman's life. Kobra Najjar was forced into prostitution by her husband to support his heroin habit. A client of hers who was sympathetic to her plight killed him, and subsequently both were imprisoned for eight years. Now, however, she faces execution by stoning for adultery while evidently he does not.

Here are the people you can contact to help save her.

Update: Women's Action 29.2
July 2008

Iran: Kobra Najjar Faces Imminent Execution by Stoning for Prostitution

Kobra Najjar Equality Now is urgently concerned about Kobra Najjar, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery who lost her final appeal for amnesty. Iranian women’s rights activists working on her case report that Kobra has exhausted all domestic legal remedies and that her execution by stoning could happen any time.

Kobra is a victim of domestic violence who was forced into prostitution by her abusive husband in order to support his heroine addiction. He was murdered by one of Kobra’s “clients” who sympathized with her plight. Kobra has already served 8 years in prison as an accessory to her husband’s murder. The man who murdered her husband also served 8 years in prison and is now free after paying blood money and undergoing 100 lashes, while Kobra faces imminent stoning to death for adultery - the prostitution her husband forced upon her.

Equality Now is also concerned about recent reports of seven other women and one man, all accused of adultery sentenced to death by stoning, whose executions are also reported to be possible at any time. In Iran, adultery is the only crime punishable by stoning.

Stoning violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Iran is a state party. The ICCPR clearly prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment. It also limits the imposition of the death penalty “only for the most serious crimes.” No criminal or other act warrants violent and inhumane punishments such as flogging and stoning. Moreover, adultery is a private act and should not incur criminal punishment. Protection from arbitrary or unlawful interference under the ICCPR has been found by the United Nations Human Rights Committee to include consensual sexual activity between adults in private.

Recommended Actions

Please write to the Iranian officials below, calling for Kobra’s immediate release, the commutation of all sentences of death by stoning and the prohibition by law of all cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments in accordance with Iran’s obligations under the ICCPR. Urge the officials also to initiate a comprehensive review of the Civil and Penal Codes of Iran to remove all provisions that discriminate and perpetuate discrimination against women, including those regarding adultery and fornication, in accordance with Iran’s own constitutional provision for equality before the law.

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Head of the Judiciary
c/o Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email:, and
Phone: +98 21 22741002, +98 21 22741003, +98 21 22741004, +98 21 22741005

Note: The contact information above may encounter delivery problems so please keep trying to send your message. Thank you for taking action!

Please also contact the Iranian embassy in your country. The following link may help you find the contact information:

List of embassies )

I'm never sure what to say in these sorts of letters. Does anybody want to help me out here? I'll post good suggestions up here for others with my troubles.
conuly: (Default)
She also dealt with sexual cleanliness, whatever that means.

The person who posted that link thinks Purity Balls are sweet. I took it without credit, because I happen to think they're just a little creepy. The boy's version is *less* creepy, but only because it has that lovely double standard going on. (Somebody asked where I saw this about a male version, and I'm declining to answer her too.)

Now, I'm not saying that it's wrong to talk to your kid about sex, and about your morals in that regard. In fact, I think that's a wonderful thing and that it's never too early to start this sort of discussion (though the age of four, as the first article includes, might be a little young to understand the idea of sexual purity. Sheesh).

I just think that these events are wrapped up in a host of concepts I do *not* agree with, in ways that are hard to express, and that they're just a little creepy and off-putting.
conuly: (Default)
Unwanted childbearing is a greater demographic force than the desire for large families, and may have been for centuries.

Well, duh!

The Mystery of Parental Psychiatric Diagnoses
And a related post by ABFH

Another article on urban farming
And another one indeed

One on being a closeted gay, and, incidentally, on homophobia

One introducing the word kyriarchy, which is a bad choice for a word for a bad thing because it just sounds so dang pretty!
And a related post here.

Say, listen. I might start cataloging the nieceling's books one of these days. Would anybody be interested in my posting quick-ass reviews of them here? There's a lot of books to go through, so I won't do it unless at least one person says yes.

And, also, does anybody know where I can get one of those stands that they have in bookstores and libraries that have small shelves on all four sides and spin, so they're a very economical way of storing paperbacks?
conuly: (Default)
You know, about the boy and girl camps where boys get to fish and girls get to go to a spa?

The comments, are, of course, crap, so I'm not reading them. Yet. I'll be sure to read them when I'm bored and overtired and looking for something to rantmock.

"The flyers were out and everything was done, and we would have gone to all the boys and say now there's a girl," he said.

Yeah, and? Seriously, would they even have cared? There'd be some 50-odd boys (or more, who knows) and this one girl with her brother.

"The place we're going fishing is five minutes from her house, so if there were that big a concern, her mother or her parents could have taken her," he said.

Yeah, with just her family. Which is not the same thing as going with a group of other kids and *not* your parents.

People are stupid. Seriously.
conuly: (Default)
What really struck me is the quote from the book...:

"Thoughts about sex enter a woman’s brain perhaps once a day, but in a man every time he sees an attractive woman."


Let's have a quick, informal poll....

[Poll #961483]

Please... be honest. Remember, this is for posterity.
conuly: (Default)
" girl never played with toy cars I naively bought her!"

First, let me say that this does not at all agree with my own experience. I routinely see girls playing with toy trucks, and boys playing with cooking stuffs. Seriously.

But anecdotal evidence, I know, I know. My anecdotal evidence is no better than their anecdotal evidence. Except that in order for me to believe this "TRUCKS!" argument, I would have to believe that somehow, ten thousand years of evolution occured (more! I know!) just so that baby boys would play with toy cars, something that wasn't even invented until very recent generations. And girls would play with - what, make-up? Because there's no culture in the world where men care at all about their appearance and wear make-up. (Unless they're really gay, and no culture in the world accepts that because it's unnatural, right? And they all have nuclear families with two-person marriages, one male and one female, because that's logical and it just makes the most sense, all right!)

I don't buy it. If you want to convince me that girls and boys play differently at this young age, you'll have to show me something a little less superficial. Prove to me that girls talk more, or that boys run up and down more, and I'll at least blink an eye a couple of times.

Otherwise, it's just your eyes and ears against mine, and mine will always win. ('cuz they're right, of course!)
conuly: (Default)
The Friday program had been moved to another room because Portia's Playhouse was frigid in the morning. That gave all of us a chance to play with "new" toys. (Not new to Evangeline, but new to most of the babies who go to the Friday program - they don't go on Tuesdays and Thursdays.)

One of the toys there is a "garage" with three rescue vehicles (police car, firetruck, ambulance) and three corresponding figures. The figures act as keys to open the garage doors, and also to release the vehicles from the garage by pressing down where they rest. It's hard to explain, but it's a really nifty toy.

A woman was sitting there with her 16-month old, and they were playing with this toy. She told me it was the longest he'd played with a toy before but he's "always going for the boy toys".

Well, I've said before, I think people see what they want to see when they say that, but I don't know these people. She could be right. I didn't really care, anyway, so I was prepared to just nod and smile. Until... "I'm sure your girls are the same way, always going for the girl toys".

Oh no. It's one thing to say that about your kid, or about kids you at least know - but I'm sure you don't know one thing about my nieces. For example, of the toys up there, Evangeline prefers the animal shape sorter with keys (gender-neutral?), and Ana's favorite is that very same truck toy.

I didn't tell her that. What I said is that I've actually never seen that with any child of that age (admittedly I don't have years and years of experience, but I have paid some attention during these programs) and that most of the time, downstairs in the blocks, the kids all swarm towards that kitchen. "Oh, I think I've seen my son play in that kitchen." (That comment came just after she told me he wouldn't really "get" the stacking pots with the mirror in them. In fact, the mention of the stacking pots was what started this whole discussion in the first place. When I put the on the table, guess what? He loved them. Those things are cool.)

(I was so very irritated by this that I forgot to tell her they're not my kids. Usually, that's the first thing I say! I'm so tired of people being shocked several months later by the revelation that no, they have actual parents. Who aren't me. If only "Connie" didn't sound so very much like "Mommy". Even as a kid, I could never tell if my sister was calling me or my mom, and neither could anybody else in the family.)
conuly: (Default)
I'm often told how important it is to "support all women's choices".

Well, I don't. I actively disagree with the choice some women make to have abortions, and the choice other women make to not have abortions, and the choice other women make to undergo fertility treatment, and... well, I disgree with a lot of things.

It's not my job in life to validate your choices.

However, it's also not my job in life to make those choices for you, or to prevent you from making the choices you think are right with your life. I might think they're the wrong ones (and I may or may not be right in thinking that), but it's really not my problem or my concern.

And it's not my job to tell you that you're wrong to do what you're doing. (Unless you ask for advice. Don't ever ask me for advice unless you really want advice. I actually give advice when asked even if it's not the advice you want. If you want validation, and you're not sure I agree with you, just ask somebody else.) If you're doing something I disagree with, I can do this nifty thing called keeping quiet.

Basically, I may not agree with some, many, or any of the choices you make, but I will defend to the death your right to make them. Have one, ten, a hundred abortions. I don't care. Abort kids for possibly being blue-eyed, or girls, or whatever criteria you want to use. I won't stop you. Have two, five, twenty kids. Not my concern.

Because, honestly, it's not my business, and I don't want it to be. Life is slightly easier now that I'm not butting in quite so much.

(On another, more humorous note, for people who randomly declare that "[My} Mother Was Pro-Life!!!" - she's not. And during her third pregnancy, she planned for an abortion. She didn't go through with it, though. Instead, a miracle happened...

She had a spontaneous miscarriage with apparently no physical problems, and so saved herself the trouble and cost of having an abortion, which, given that money was tight, was really fortuitous. Ain't life grand?)
conuly: (Default)
Just me, Ana, and Deniz.

At the museum, we met this woman with her kid, Max. Max was wearing a pink jacket, but had rather short hair, so eventually I asked The Big Silly Question - um, is that him? Or...?

Oh, no, his mother says. "He's a boy, pink is just his favorite color, and we don't really care, it's not that important."

Max's parents rock.

Can I say that a little louder here? Because that sentence cheered me up considerably.

In *other* news, Ana and Deniz pull the same trick. If you ask them their favorite color, they'll go "Well, my favorite color is yellow (blue for Deniz), but also pinkandpurple." I take this to mean "I like yellow (blue) the most, but I'll say pink and purple as well just because", and isn't that a sad state of affairs for a child?
conuly: (Default)
Or you can just read her entire post on abortion.

Now that that's said, and let me hasten to assure you that I don't see this as being useful anytime in the forseeable future, the (in)famous post on how to do an abortion.

I'm posting this not because it's useful but because there's no reason not to.

On a similar subject, I read a murder mystery a while back where one of the characters had suffered a series of miscarriages earlier in life. It turned out that her semi-abusive husband had been slipping her rue. This is the part where I crack up. We had rue growing in our yard for a while. Not sure why, the only purpose for that plant I ever saw was to "cause a period to come early" (as our herb books euphemistically put it). Nasty tasting stuff. I tried it once, just to find out... ick. (And then I took great pleasure in daring other people to try it. So worth the experience of trying it myself!)

Of course, that'd be just as potentially dangerous as trusting an autodidactic abortion clinic.

And god knows we don't want to have to resort to anything more desperate, stuff ranging from coat hangers to outright infanticide. Infanticide, remember, is the traditional recourse of people without decent birth control.

Which leaves safe, legal abortions. Or better contraceptives than we happen to have now. Believe it or not, I don't think that abstinance counts, other than in a very technical way.

Oh, and please note that I'm not advocating that anybody use any method to create an abortion other than visiting a reputable clinic with reputable, trained doctors. Please, think of your safety.
conuly: (Default)
Here I am, searching Google to see if I can find an image of that spaceship onesie I want to show you guys (no luck yet). And I come across the following site: Tell me this isn't just the cutest stacky toy you've ever seen!

I wander slightly, and notice that they have gifts for baby girls, and gifts for baby boys... no gifts for plain old fashioned "babies". This can't end well...

Boys get an astronaut set, or a dragon set, or one of three different sports sets, in addition to the fairly bland-and-banal layettes and whatnot that you see everywhere.
A lot of stuff chosen because they're pink. No stacking toys. No dragons to stretch their little minds. Nope. There's a princess gift....

You tell me. Which overpriced gifts do *you* prefer?
conuly: (Default)
Good read. Taken from [ profile] sff_corgi (whom I just shamelessly linked to instead of linking to the article proper).

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I avoid pink when dressing Ana in the morning. It's so... bland. Plus, it makes her easy to lose in the crowd, and how I can do *that* in a room full of white kids (SICM. Lovely place, but the toddler programs are lacking some needed variety in their customers), I *don't* know.

Anyway, her favorite color seems to be orange. She asks for it a lot, if I give her a choice.
conuly: (Default)
And somebody had mentioned that lists of doctors who perform abortions, meant so that the conscientous can go to different doctors, had been used to harass and bomb said doctors.

This lead to the oh-so-indignant reply "When in your life have you heard of that happening? EVER?"


A quick search on google for "abortion bombing" brings up this site at MSNBC on abortion clinic harassment, including, yes, bombings and murders, most of which seem to have occured within my lifetime. I'm just not that old, either.

If I search for "abortion harassment", I get this site at Religious Tolerance on the same subject. Twelve murders or attempted murders in 1994! That's within the lifetime of just about everybody at the NC, I should think!

I'm not sure if I'm stunned more at the ignorance or at the fact that I appear to be the first person to call her on this (I skimmed).


Now, I am going back to sleep. I'm going to finish my snack, brush my teeth, and sleep. Cozy warm sleep. Night all!

Edit: I was wrong. I mean, I'm right on the greater issue, but this being the danger of skimming, apparently the bombing talk was about people bombing places that don't do abortions, which just... doesn't happen. Oops.
conuly: (Default)
What, now? Now they've gone too far? They didn't go too far when some of them started refusing to treat rape victims in hospitals, they didn't go too far when they started refusing to fill standard BC prescriptions, they didn't go too far when they started getting laws passed to allow people to not do their fucking jobs, but this? This is going too far? The guy isn't saying anything that they haven't been saying for years - disease is a punishment for your sins. Unhappiness is a punishment for your sins. Being a self-righteous little prick is a punishment for your sins. Having to spend eternity in the presence of other self-righteous, sanctimoneous little jerks would also be a punishment for your sins, but I'm not sure they'll realize that the joke's on them until it's too late.

I have ceased to even be shocked. Something... something's gotta change, but I don't see how. I'm thinking, though, that it's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
conuly: (Default)
I'm flipping through the channels, trying to get to the news, and this comes on the TV:

Woman: -feel better about my body than I have in years! In just six weeks using this plan, I went from a size 10 to a size 4!

It was a real ad, not a joke.

God, just shoot me now.

*feels good about her body despite being a size... what, 14? 16? large 12? Who the hell knows?*
conuly: (Default)
Here at [ profile] feminist. I'm sure it'll be interesting, so I'm directing you towards it in advance.

Am I the only one who shuts off the criticizing part of her brain when reading kid's books?

Edit: *cracks up* This is well worth reading.


conuly: (Default)

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