'It was the most highly-decorated unit in the Soviet Air Force, each pilot having flown over 1,000 missions by the end of the war and twenty-three having been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title. Thirty-one of its members died in combat.'
The now-grandmother-age Nachthexen meet every year on May 2nd to catch up and reminisce, medals jingling on their chests.
See also: A story of the U.S.'s 'Mercury 13' from the beginning of the space programme
How did Sarah Palin become a symbol of women's empowerment? And how did I, a die-hard feminist, end up terrified at the idea of a woman in the White House?
By Rebecca Traister
...In this strange new pro-woman tableau, feminism -- a word that is being used all over the country with regard to Palin's potential power -- means voting for someone who would limit reproductive control, access to healthcare and funding for places like Covenant House Alaska, an organization that helps unwed teen mothers. It means cheering someone who allowed women to be charged for their rape kits while she was mayor of Wasilla, who supports the teaching of creationism alongside evolution, who has inquired locally about the possibility of using her position to ban children's books from the public library, who does not support the teaching of sex education.
In this "Handmaid's Tale"-inflected universe, in which femininity is worshipped but females will be denied rights, CNBC pundit Donny Deutsch tells us that we're witnessing "a new creation ... of the feminist ideal," the feminism being so ideal because instead of being voiced by hairy old bats with unattractive ideas about intellect and economy and politics and power, it's now embodied by a woman who, according to Deutsch, does what Hillary Clinton did not: "put a skirt on." "I want her watching my kids," says Deutsch. "I want her laying next to me in bed."
Welcome to 2008, the year a tough, wonky woman won a primary (lots of them, actually), an inspiring black man secured his party's nomination for the presidency, and a television talking head felt free to opine that a woman is qualified for executive office because he wants to bed her and have her watch his kids! Stop the election; I want to get off....
Anyway, I have been duly chided for not having updated in Forever, although trying to get something written for yesterday seemed somewhat... self-defeating somehow. I have, however, managed to miss everything involved with March 1 (in my defence there, my internet WAS out for a week around then until I got a good tech to come to the house), Herself's birthday, St. Patrick's day, Rozberk's birthday, the Equinox and Goddess knows what-all's been on my Flist.
May I offer, to start, ( this interesting essay from J-List (mostly the first and last paras, although the chimp proves that it's not just celebrities and the rich who're doing this:) )
Let's see... ah! ( OMG MARTIANS! )
Through complex and torturous means (it's a good thing I'm still kinda stuck on eating Japanese rice and edamame, although the dogs don't eat cheap), I have a second computer, a desktop whose name is '17 Tauri' but is called 'Electra' (spelling optional). Because of Elektra, I can bring you a couple pictures from my 'adventures' in Second Life' which are much, much nicer than before:
( Pictures behind the cut, alt-tagged without being reminded *grin*! )
Dogs: Everybody's OK and doing much better with the housebreaking stuff and the chewing stuff, for the most part. Annie managed to wriggle out of her harness; I refused to chase her, so eventually she got bored or anxious enough to come home on her own. Gemma has found a new way out of the yard, said portal not having been located yet (obviously). If it weren't for cars and utter gits, I wouldn't worry so much about them being out. Sirius is still in his denatured Azkaban until he realises he is NOT in charge of domestic security issues - he decided Sesame needed beating on, and I was pre-tired of cleaning up dogblood, so Cait's been coaching me on this problem I've never had to deal with previously. Meissa's platelets are finally back up to normal range, so cross your fingers, and hope she's finally spayed at the end of the month. D'Argo is itchy. Would you believe just about everybody's grown up already? Sirius is the only one still under two years for sure, as I'm still really vague on Sesame's age.
Still looking for a job. I am bad at this, by which I mean I look at the listings and NOTHING seems to fit, so then I get depressed and everything grinds to a halt.
But my LAST CAR PAYMENT is on the verge of getting mailed, so that's one less worry!
And with that, I think that's enough babble for now.
Girls, are you sick of boys' superior spatial skills? If so, just plant yourself in front of a video game for, say, 10 hours and you'll be prepared for a career in math, science or engineering!
*cough*try using Second Life*cough* - technically, it's what's called a MMORPG, 'Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game', but it's also not a game at the same time. Most gamers aren't interested in whether they've got enough inventory to pay the rent, for instance. Building is a big part of participation, and that includes homes and other buildings on one end of the size scale, and clothing detail and jewelry on the other side. The gender ground is effectively levelled, because even those players who have identifiably masculine or feminine names may decide to wear an avatar of the other physical sex, either part-time or full-time - and you have no way of knowing whether their typist is an XX or an XY... and it never really seems to make a difference. (Outside of Caledon and the other civilised areas, your mileage may vary.)
In a related vein, though (no heart-surgery puns intended), take a look at GamerDad:
As a freelance game critic, who had just become a parent, I realized something: I play every game that comes out. I read most websites, most magazines, and am privvy to super-secret press releases. But when I walk into Toys R Us, Best Buy, Target, and look at the games for the kiddies.... I have no clue what's good and what's bad. I realized that the game press has (almost) completely ignored the parents among its readership. For shame!(GamerDad just had a mostly-genetic quad bypass after dismissing atypical symptoms of his heart attack for three hours [eek!] before seeking attention - he's doing well and the gamer community really helped out with the bills.) Here's an approach to develop girls' skills AND have fun with your kids AND still be responsible in parenting. :) Not that I think any of you need help, but points of view are always interesting.
Then I saw KidsDomain and The Children's Software Revue and, while they're excellent publications for what they do, they don't really satisfy the needs and curiosity of the hardcore gamer. I visited message boards and noticed there's a lot of hardcore gamers out there and many of them want to share gaming with their kids. There's also a lot of moms and dads out there concerned about the negative rap gaming gets in the mainstream press.
GamerDad exists because I think there are parents out there who want straight talk about gaming. Want to share games with their kids or at least learn about what their kids are playing. Maybe they want to talk to other GamerParents and kids about why they love games, why their kids love games, and what games are good.
Oh, that and the fact that I'm also a stay-at-home dad... and I needed something to do during naptime.
Some of you might remember a while ago I picked up on somebody's going off about Bat-family costumes -- the boys got a full, serious Batman or Robin uniform, while girls got cutesified Batgirl miniskirts and stuff that doesn't even LOOK like her uniform in any incarnation. Here's a new non-super one at which Broadsheet's curling a collective lip: 'Sexy Anna Rexia' - 'you can never be too rich or too thin'. HAHAHAHA, oh, that's HILARIOUS, poor self-image killing teenage girls! What a great costume!
...in the annals of "sexy costumes," a micro-industry straddling Halloween garments and fetishwear, flogging flagrantly demeaning images of women is old hat. Along with the nasty nurses uniforms and naughty schoolgirl get-ups, there's the Brick House costume, a brick-patterned minidress with three operable apertures: a door at the crotch and two windows fixed over the breast. The Brick House's date can wear the Brick Layer costume. Funny! The Doll in a Box consists solely of a pink polyfoam box effectively turning a woman's body into a Barbie-like product. The box is labeled "Pretty Polly, the Poseable Dolly!"Which reminds me, I just accidentally found out from a completely separate source about a very specific subgenre of bondage called 'ponygirls' which is actually kind of fascinating in its out-there-ness and heavy roleplay element. I'll... let you look for yourselves, though. (Yes, there are ponyboys, but apparently they are fairly rare.)
Irrelevant to fetishes, one reason to point this out is another Salon article about a new book pointing out how the ubermacho reaction to 9/11 that keeps being cultivated is also trying to shove women back into a post-WWII role. 'There's the adoration of the firefighters and of the "Let's Roll!" male heroes of Flight 93 -- remembered always for their college sports achievements and their regular-guy toughness -- while the stewardesses who boiled water to throw on the terrorists were written out of the myth.' and 'Faludi concludes Chapter 3 by asking, "If women were ineligible for hero status, for what would they be celebrated?" Well, see Chapter 4: "Perfect Virgins of Grief."' Notice the female war hero most celebrated was passive during most of her misadventure; it's easy to celebrate the victims and the dead, not the living.
She apparently doesn't address the concept of Karen Hughes [*spits to one side*], Condaleezza Rice and Bush's other female appointees/staff, but one could point out that they're cast in the Adoring Supporter roles, each of them. I would remind you of Rice's rather... interesting... 'joke' reference to the soi-disant President as her 'husband' that one time....
I'm not actually rambling here. It makes one wonder - this burgeoning choice of 'sexy' costumes, almost exclusively female-targeted: How is this related to Faludi's summation of the attacks against feminism and women? It can be seen as part of the trivalisation of women as a class, that they're only available as sex toys once they've been pinkified and role-shaped by childhood games and toys. What happens when a busy woman is given a choice between quick (all in a package for $35) and demeaning, or slow (making her own costume) and expressive?
Instead of cake, and with appropriate timing (i.e., I just found out about it), I give you an Act of Progress (partial quote):
And bits from the Guardian:
I stayed home from work tonight because O Joy Unbounded, I woke up vertiginous. It seems to've faded after a nap (after all the dog-wrangling in the disgusting heat here) so no worries, but I was pretty sure it wasn't going to go away in time for me to drive safely/comfortably to work, and being at work wouldn't have mitigated anything either. So here I am with a couple of questions and some interesting links:
- Anybody out there a member of Netflix?
- Anybody out there a fan of The Wild Wild West, with a good memory of the details of the show?
- Anybody out there conversant with the mechanics of semi hitches?
Stuff I picked up by way of lyellian:
By the time children enter elementary school, they already hold a negative view of older adults... Last year, the [Brigham Young U.] team analyzed depictions of older characters in cartoons from public TV and cable networks. They discovered many of the characters were angry, senile, crazy, wrinkled, ugly and/or overweight. "The most negative older characters in the Disney animated films were the villains," said lead author Tom Robinson, an associate professor in BYU's Department of Communications.
[the films and TV shows] ...portrayed older females in a particularly negative light, while older male characters tended to fill authority roles, such as that of clergyman, ruler and mentor.
"Snow White" had the most elderly characters, with an average of 3.8 such characters in subsequent films. Eighty-three percent of Disney's elderly characters were Caucasian, 9 percent Asian, 1 percent African American, 7 percent Native American and Pacific Islander and no older Hispanic characters.
The system uses a vehicle's onboard computer, GPS, low-cost sensors, custom software written by the UCLA team, and existing wireless channels.
In recent experiments, the researchers used the standard protocol that allows laptops, for example, to connect wirelessly to the Internet. The typical range is between 330 to 990 feet.
In the near future, vehicles will switch to the Dedicated Short Range Communications standard being developed by the Department of Transportation. This signal, which has a range of up to 3,300 feet, will allow high-speed communications between vehicles or between vehicles and the roadside.
The software written by the UCLA team locates its own car and the cars it wants to talk to, selects the strongest signals, determines if any of the drivers should have priority (emergency workers might, for example), and organizes the various data being exchanged.
Last month seventeen year old Dua Khalil was pulled into a crowd of young men, some of them (the instigators) family, who then kicked and stoned her to death. This is an example of the breath-taking oxymoron "honor killing", in which a family member (almost always female) is murdered for some religious or ethical transgression. Dua Khalil, who was of the Yazidi faith, had been seen in the company of a Sunni Muslim, and possibly suspected of having married him or converted. That she was torturously murdered for this is not, in fact, a particularly uncommon story. But now you can watch the action up close on CNN. Because as the girl was on the ground trying to get up, her face nothing but red, the few in the group of more than twenty men who were not busy kicking her and hurling stones at her were filming the event with their camera-phones.
There were security officers standing outside the area doing nothing, but the footage of the murder was taken – by more than one phone – from the front row. Which means whoever shot it did so not to record the horror of the event, but to commemorate it. To share it. Because it was cool.
I could start a rant about the level to which we have become desensitized to violence, about the evils of the voyeuristic digital world in which everything is shown and everything is game, but honestly, it's been said. And I certainly have no jingoistic cultural agenda. I like to think that in America this would be considered unbearably appalling, that Kitty Genovese is still remembered, that we are more evolved. But coincidentally, right before I stumbled on this vid I watched the trailer for "Captivity".
A few of you may know that I took public exception to the billboard campaign for this film, which showed a concise narrative of the kidnapping, torture and murder of a sexy young woman. I wanted to see if the film was perhaps more substantial (especially given the fact that it was directed by "The Killing Fields" Roland Joffe) than the exploitive ad campaign had painted it. The trailer resembles nothing so much as the CNN story on Dua Khalil. Pretty much all you learn is that Elisha Cuthbert is beautiful, then kidnapped, inventively, repeatedly and horrifically tortured, and that the first thing she screams is "I'm sorry".
What is wrong with women?
I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.
How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I'm no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn't buy into it. Women's inferiority – in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they're sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable.
I try to think how we got here. The theory I developed in college (shared by many I'm sure) is one I have yet to beat: Womb Envy. Biology: women are generally smaller and weaker than men. But they're also much tougher. Put simply, men are strong enough to overpower a woman and propagate. Women are tough enough to have and nurture children, with or without the aid of a man. Oh, and they've also got the equipment to do that, to be part of the life cycle, to create and bond in a way no man ever really will. Somewhere a long time ago a bunch of men got together and said, "If all we do is hunt and gather, let's make hunting and gathering the awesomest achievement, and let's make childbirth kinda weak and shameful." It's a rather silly simplification, but I believe on a mass, unconscious level, it's entirely true. How else to explain the fact that cultures who would die to eradicate each other have always agreed on one issue? That every popular religion puts restrictions on women's behavior that are practically untenable? That the act of being a free, attractive, self-assertive woman is punishable by torture and death? In the case of this upcoming torture-porn, fictional. In the case of Dua Khalil, mundanely, unthinkably real. And both available for your viewing pleasure.
It's safe to say that I've snapped. That something broke, like one of those robots you can conquer with a logical conundrum. All my life I've looked at this faulty equation, trying to understand, and I've shorted out. I don't pretend to be a great guy; I know really really well about objectification, trust me. And I'm not for a second going down the "women are saints" route – that just leads to more stone-throwing (and occasional Joan-burning). I just think there is the staggering imbalance in the world that we all just take for granted. If we were all told the sky was evil, or at best a little embarrassing, and we ought not look at it, wouldn't that tradition eventually fall apart? (I was going to use ‘trees' as my example, but at the rate we're getting rid of them I'm pretty sure we really do think they're evil. See how all rants become one?)
Now those of you who frequent this site are, in my wildly biased opinion, fairly evolved. You may hear nothing new here. You may be way ahead of me. But I can't contain my despair, for Dua Khalil, for humanity, for the world we're shaping. Those of you who have followed the link I set up know that it doesn't bring you to a video of a murder. It brings you to a place of sanity, of people who have never stopped asking the question of what is wrong with this world and have set about trying to change the answer. Because it's no longer enough to be a decent person. It's no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself. I've always had a bent towards apocalyptic fiction, and I'm beginning to understand why. I look and I see the earth in flames. Her face was nothing but red.
All I ask is this: Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause – there are few unworthy ones. And nudge yourself past the brink of tacit support to action. Once a month, once a year, or just once. If you can't think of what to do, there is this handy link. Even just learning enough about a subject so you can speak against an opponent eloquently makes you an unusual personage. Start with that. Any one of you would have cried out, would have intervened, had you been in that crowd in Bashiqa. Well thanks to digital technology, you're all in it now.
I have never had any faith in humanity. But I will give us props on this: if we can evolve, invent and theorize our way into the technologically magical, culturally diverse and artistically magnificent race we are and still get people to buy the idiotic idea that half of us are inferior, we're pretty amazing. Let our next sleight of hand be to make that myth disappear.
The sky isn't evil. Try looking up.
...and this is how Joss Whedon makes me cry.
And more to the point, I don't see any of my Flist as members. How did you miss this community? *grin*
As long as I'm at it, why don't you also take a look at Feminist Science Fiction, Fantasy & Utopia (est. 1994)? Among other points of interest, there's a really neat history page that seems at the same time to be sadly underpopulated.
Thinkin of trolls, though, I had read the post(s) Valenti refers to in her column, when her mere appearance was attacked by another woman. So much for sisterhood, right? The comments from Althouse's cronies and lapdogs were stomach-churning and blood-pressure-threatening. It's amazing how creative viciousness makes people, isn't it? Even worst — what purpose did it serve?
Back to Sparkle*Matrix, and another post of hers. Sparkle linked this article (I'm ashamed to say it happened in Wales). A classic case of blaming the victim, and a 10-year-old girl at that. Because, you know, the rapist was traumatised and that makes it all OK. (I found another news link to this story with the headline '20 year old man seduced by 10 year old.' Hyeah. Right.)
This is why I find
But really... can there be any question about this? Can there be any question that popular music (yes, I mostly mean rap/gangsta rap/rap that isn't Queen Latifah and her ilk) and the false Christianity (yes, I mostly mean Bush, his ilk, and all that Jesus-forgetting Bible-waving which is concealing hatred poorly) that's in fashion nowadays are actively promoting 'those OTHER women' as the sekrit villains behind everybody's problems? Or as one of Sparkle's commenters said (about different post):
But first, to wrap up Women's History Month in a bunchy clump, here's the last six profiles:
Anna Garlin Spencer
If you Google for Emma Brunskill's latest work, you'll see she's been involved in ambulatory robot studies. Very technical page, though.
On September 16, 2005, Laurie’s exhibition The Waters Reglitterized opened at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City. According to the press release by Sean Kelly, The Waters Reglitterized is a diary of dreams and their literal recreation as works of art. This work, created in the process of re-experiencing or re-working her dreams while awake, uses the language of dreams to investigate the dream itself. The resulting pieces include drawings, prints and high definition video. The installation ran until October 22, 2005. In 2006, she contributed a song to Plague Songs, a collection of songs related to the 10 Biblical plagues.
Laurie Anderson narrated Ric Burns's Andy Warhol: The Documentary Film, which was first televised in September 2006 as part of the PBS American Masters series. Anderson also performed in Came So Far For Beauty, the Leonard Cohen tribute event held in The Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland on October 4 and 5, 2006.
Recently, through her web site, Laurie announced a re-release of her first album, Big Science, on Nonesuch Records, a DVD box set containing her short films and the concert movie Home of the Brave, a book of drawings titled Night Life, and a new album to be released in 2008, Homeland.Wikipedia
Elizabeth Holloway Marston
|Virginia 'Ginny' Heinlein|
Here's the 'favour' part. I'm not going to have much access, if at all, because
However, this means I won't be able to do my webcomics voting — especially since the turnover is on Sunday, when I'll be back, but Myfi with or without boychild, might still be visiting here.
Can you please take a few minutes (5, 10 if your pages load slowly), and indulge your buried urge to just click like crazy? (c.f. 'Oooo, ticky-box!') Especially on April 1 (no joke)? Top Web Comics and WebbedComics turn over at midnight Pacific (GMT-7, currently); BuzzComix is every 24 hours, from whenever you vote.
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon
The marriage licenses granted on February 12 were voided on August 12 of that year. Ms. Lyon said in response:
- "Del is 83 years old and I am 79. After being together for more than 50 years, it is a terrible blow to have the rights and protections of marriage taken away from us. At our age, we do not have the luxury of time."
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Update: since this piece's original composition in 2004, Hillary was re-elected to her Senate seat in 2006; and on January 20, 2007, she announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee for the United States presidential election of 2008. footnote 6
Since her presidential campaign started, though... the usual slanging matches have begun. *sigh* Link to current coverage here.
(This was one of my favourites to do initially, in part because it took a good bit of effort to beat the table structure into a Mondrian-like background for such a fascinating artist without the text getting disjointed. And because I got to see The Dinner Party in Boston ages ago. *grin*)
THIS stupid thing is NOT Batgirl's costume.
It is pseudo-sexy cheap fetish gear for/from people with little imagination and shallow taste. (And unhealthy diets — probably only overly-skinny people can wear that without looking ridiculous as well as trampy.)
The holiday is NOT called Slut-o-ween, thankyew.