keryx: (this machine)
Oh, hell. 

K bought me the game Life Is Strange for my birthday, on the grounds that it is basically an immersive YA novel with indie music. And I started out loving it - there is seriously a moment where you have to choose between three hipster songs to play on the hi-fi, and I can play two of those songs on the uke. It also has time travel, and poor explanations of chaos theory. And STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS. Two women kissing! This is how much this game has my number.

And then.

There is no way to get around the end of the 4th and basically all of the 5th episodes. And they are rapey and murdery as fuck. 


Fuck that. Young women's unconscious bodies are not decoration to illustrate how fucked up some dude is. This is shitty entertainment, and I'm not sure whether to stop playing immediately or try to play through to the part where my character breaks the fourth wall to scream at the game designers that this storyline is only marginally more empowering than the ones in which the male character's female romantic interest is raped/murdered/threatened. Because surely that must be an option, right?

The could've had a woman be a villain. They could've had a man be a victim. They could've done so many other things, and I am sad for every one of those choices they ignored in favor of this.
keryx: (tummy)
If this year's internet New Year propaganda bears fruit, it may be the greatest year of fatness, ever.

No one I know has been talking up their diet plans on Facebook. ReVolutions not Resolutions is all happy and inspiring. PDA Nation is video-mad about it.

Some people will be FATTING IT UP ALL OVER.

Aaaaand fattivists have hopped on the blogger teleconference bandwagon with Body Love Revolution. I am seriously sick of invitations to teleconferences, but this one I will make a special exception for.

Finally! If you're in the UK (or just like to talk in a posh accent), Endangered Species Women is kicking off their Ditching Dieting campaign this month, too.

I'm serious, y'all. 2012. The year fattivism wins.
keryx: (Default)
I'm reading this rambling-yet-delightful Tiger Beatdown piece about attitudes toward virginity, and it makes me curious about people's early sexual experiences.

Because I am nosey!

So, you know, if you're comfortable sharing that sort of stuff, what do you remember thinking?

[Poll #1562031]

Note that if you read this via Facebook or a reader, probably you'll have to click through to the original post to read and respond to the poll questions (and I think Livejournal only lets registered users answer polls per se, though your comments are still of interest).
keryx: (blanche)
I saw this photo yesterday that made me wonder if there's a sex- or gender-based trend in the postures people assume while having orgasms.

My purely anecdotal conjecture is that women tend to squinch while men sprawl, and women become convex while men become concave (though upon reflection, I'm not so sure about the latter). So tell me: where do you fall on this totally scientific spectrum?

[Poll #1545057]

Thank you for supporting my adventures in bad science.
keryx: (work!)
I forgot that Ada Lovelace Day was yesterday, and failed to make this post I've been saving up. But I'll make it today, on the Day After Ada Lovelace Day. Admittedly a less-recognized global holiday, but still totally worthwhile.

What's Ada Lovelace Day, you ask? Well, since your clicky finger is broken, I'll tell you: Ada Lovelace (née Augusta Ada Byron. Yes. That Byron) wrote the first computer program(me), for the Analytical Engine. Ada Lovelace Day started last year as a blogging-based recognition of women's accomplishments in science and technology.

So. You may argue that my subject doesn't represent much of a science & technology accomplishment. Hey, good thing it's not actually Ada Lovelace Day, eh? Because I? Want to talk about Mary Baker Eddy.* Who was, possibly, as founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, a cult leader. Her tract on science & health is certainly a little weird by contemporary standards. Christian Scientists are probably best known for their controversial ideas about spiritual healing, which comes from their fairly extreme belief that the only reality is spiritual. Trying to treat the material body with material medicine is, by extension, foolish. Mortality rates among Christian Scientists are apparently higher than among people who follow more traditional approaches to medicine. I'm just saying.

But. Baker-Eddy's beliefs spring from an interesting life, including successful recovery from illness while rejecting the common medicinal practices of her time (keeping in mind that she was a contemporary of Ada Lovelace, and that one's chances of getting better without leeches are almost better than with). And her seemingly wacky religion demands a higher standard of proof than other faith-based religions of its time, while mostly leaving room for scientific and technological inquiry.

She also founded the Christian Science Monitor, in response to "yellow journalism". Again, proof, facts and curiosity: things the world could use a bit more of. Also, Christian Scientists designed this totally awesome giant globe, one of my favorite things, and I love far-reaching minds that decide things like "I think I will build a giant globe in my church library".

I find her an interesting example of the complexity of humans and our beliefs. On one hand: revolutionary beliefs about Truth from a daring woman. On the other: kindof a cult. All told, I suppose, rather a weirdo. And I like weirdos.

I'll leave you with this quote, on a photo I took outsider her library in Boston. It makes me happy.
To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.

* I rarely advocate reading talk pages on Wikipedia, since they're often a bit ridiculous, but this one I think shows well how polarized opinions can get around Christian Scientists.
keryx: (Default)
More evo psych jokes! You can never have too many.

Today Alas, A Blog covers that sexist Washington Post opinion piece. You know, the one about Tiger Woods and women's inherent love of babies? You may recognize it as that thing I mocked yesterday. This quote from Alas would make an excellent slogan for evo psychers worldwide: Our “youthful aggression” is tied to sex somehow, which I thought was about love, or at least general friendliness. Also, saber-toothed tigers.

Saber-toothed tigers are the answer to everything.
keryx: (excuse me?)
Man, sometimes entire countries and disciplines just make it too easy to make fun of them.

Case in point: evolutionary psychology. Not only has it recently demystified shopping, but now it's getting in on the OMG GUYS WE HAVE TO TALK MORE ABOUT TIGER WOODS phenomenon.

RAsex makes it even funnier than I would have. To summarize: conjecture has it that Woods's philandering is because
Women seem not to have the evolutionary urge to couple with cheaply dressed strangers. They have a stronger need to mother — to have a child and then raise that child. (To be fair, this conjecture isn't actually from an evo psych professional)

Yeah. Totally. It's all about an evolutionary push towards childrearing, and not that a woman, childrearing or no, is more likely to have her personal and sex life hyperanalyzed by the people near her, that so many people believe in ridiculous stereotypes of women as largely asexual (or, conversely, hysterical, irresponsible, and dirty), or that women do disproportionately more household work & just don't have time for philandering. Nooooo. It's the babies.

That, by the way, isn't the worst of the original post. This next quote gains the original author a rain check for one poke in the eye, from me:
The reason the Glass Ceiling has not broken is that women have other priorities — maintaining relationships and being a mother. This is the way it is, and this is the way it has always been.

He might as well have said I'm an asshat. This is the way it is, and the way it has always been. What about how it ought to be (even if those statements are true)? It's hard to believe sexism is actually still that alive. "Gosh, women just love babies so much" should really no longer be an explanation for inequality. Or anything.
keryx: (Default)
Breaking news: Psychologist who still refers to adult women as 'girls' is nonetheless taken seriously enough to have theory published!

That's not even plausible evo psych. It's just the sort of crackpot theory one might make up over dinner. Probably during the cigar course...
George old pal, why do you think the girls love shopping so much?
Why, Dan, I don't know. Could it be a convenient excuse to temporarily avoid our harrumphing sexism?
No no! It's evolution. Me man. Me hunt. It's genius! It manages to separate the men from the girls while simultaneously making me look like a neanderthal! A suburban neanderthal, at that.

And just to make sure I personally was as amused as possible, the article throws in some shenanigans about linear directionality vs. spatial awareness. Which doesn't even make logical sense in this argument.

Those silly evo psych boys.
keryx: (blanche)
I have a hard time saying much besides GAH with my mouth stuck open in this "omg no they didn't" face.

video of America's Next Top Model doing the world's most bizarre racial-image-having photoshoot I recall ever seeing.

As one friend said: this is post-racism?

Apologies if this is a repeat for you, but Kim hadn't seen it, so now everyone has to.
keryx: (kills fascists)
Everyone's seen that Glamor magazine OMG publish a photo of a nearly-nude woman (NSFW), right? Specifically - a nearly-nude woman who models plus size clothes, and therefore looks "normal" as a wearer of size 12 or whatever, poofy little tummy and all. She's cute.

I stopped reading magazines so long ago that I can't comment on the power of seeing someone look "normal" in the pages of a fashion magazine. It seems like a nice idea & one that garners lots of praise on the rare occasions it happens - why are those occasions rare, though? I'm guessing aspirations are still assumed to be more effective sales tools than relatability. Are they?

The article featuring the photo is about as annoying as any other fashion magazine article; instead of your appearance being a thing you need to fix, it's your self-opinion.
keryx: (mofo)
I suspect the thought process that makes a person - or the fringe element of any political group - think let's put a stop to this violence... by committing acts of violence is deeply ingrained in our culture (cf most wars). This is sad. It makes people behave in stupid and cruel ways.

George Tiller (a Kansas doctor who was known for performing late-term abortions) was shot on his way into church today. I can only imagine what his life has been, knowing the volume of hate and violence directed at him for doing what he believed was right - providing a medical service that is legal in this country.. Gah. Go in peace, Dr. Tiller.

Strange to think people can still be martyred in 2009.
keryx: (excuse me?)
Now and again I wonder if I'm missing something very important by ignoring print and television journalism (and, really, everything but NPR). And then a newspaper will publish something like this. I'll save you a click, if you like: it's a random stream of evolutionary psychology "facts" that purport to celebrate Darwin.

Well, sure. If you want to celebrate Darwin's 19th century attitudes about gender.

My favorite is not actually about gender, but the idea that abusing one's stepchildren is somehow explainable as a biological imperative to adore only one's bio-kids. Cause it has nothing to do with the family functions that result in & from stepfamilies. Nothing at all.

Oh, and for the record? I've never met a man who can mentally reimagine a 3-dimensional object in space as effectively as I. That whole "men are better at spacial relationships" thing grates on me.
keryx: (bored lj - p&p)
Waiting for data migration to finish. I'm sitting at the office listening to a series of songs that all sound like DDR tunes. I miss DDR, but I'm not enthusiastic about housed-up Madonna versions of "American Pie".

I can, however, totally imagine that this particular stretch of music would feature a lot of center-right-center-left steps followed by a series of jumps and spins.

Oh, but wait. Here's "Beat It". That's better.

I bought mats for my trunk room so I can have a matted room again [90 year old floor is cool, but a recipe for ass splinters when you're doing yoga on the floor, and Prasara does not confine itself well to a yoga mat.]. Between the mats and the camp fuel [Hey! I have a yard! I can have my own fuel and fire toys!], I ran into a series of boyfriend-themed tshirts.

This is kinda cute and ironic. It was grouped with other Nike shirts, one of which said "Your boyfriend likes my game". Like. Seriously? Does even women's sporting trash talk need to be about men? What about OUR MOMS? "Your mom likes my game" (now with 10% more lesbian innuendo); I think that's better. Cause you know there aren't any dude's shirts about girlfriends.

I suppose there's an alternate reading of the shirt, too - it could be a "feminist" critique of women being focused on men & being pretty or something: you know, sport-boyfriend woman vs. man-obsessed woman. In which case, I'm actively disgusted rather than the amused sort of offended I'd be in response to my original reading.
keryx: (burden being right)
This conversation I've been having with [ profile] dreamalynn about fashion and zombies gave me an idea. Let's all dress up to highlight our so-called "worst" features!

Like, how can I show off my double chin? Or my flappy upper arms? What could I wear to accentuate a nice muffin top AND some sassy "cankles"? Cause the rules that say these things are unhot are just arbitrary rules.

keryx: (blanche)
Ah, the men of Fairmount.

Saturday morning while I was stretching on the back porch, one stopped to pee on my fence. He looked around Sex Workers' Dispute Alley but not at the houses or yards that face it (there are like 4 - this is no dark and private alley), and was so surprised when I chortled that he turned around without zipping up. To his credit, he excused himself politely.

Sunday evening a slightly gap-toothed man in at least his 40s (I'd guess 50-something) on R street waved me over as I drove home. He wanted to tell me how sexy I am and ask if I'd call him if he gave me his number. He was also more-or-less polite, so I avoided pointing out that I do not drive down the street for his consumption and questions.

I'm annoyed by the presumption that some guy has a right to just proposition me like that, the idea that I should interrupt whatever I'm doing to consider it. Is this a class thing? A culture thing? The menfolk of my acquaintance pretty much never do this thing.

Ironically, I'm really not annoyed by the alley peeing at all.


Sep. 19th, 2008 02:10 pm
keryx: (march)
US gets served by Rwanda. We should seriously consider bringing it.

Smartypants friends list, is that the first country to have a majority female parliamentary body?
keryx: (Default)
I am bothered by some of the gender-focused rhetoric about Palin. I am also - don't mistake me here - bothered by her.

But. I've heard the "if Palin gets the votes for McCain, that means women are crazy and irrational and vote for people who are like them" argument. Well. DUH. Everyone votes a little bit irrationally. How else do you think Bush II got elected [Meaning, whatever you think about his politics, one of his selling points in his first campaign was personableness.]?

This seems like yet another way of accusing women of being the sole owners of a trait that is a) human and b) not inherently that bad. It's not wrong to vote for someone in part because they're relatable. In many ways being human and genuine makes a person better at leading.

Palin is human and genuine and believes a lot of things I find DEEPLY DISTURBING AND WRONG. But I don't think people/women who agree with her and also think she'd make a nice party guest are being irrational, hysterical wimminfolk. They're just being people I disagree with.
keryx: (excuse me?)
I work on the 4th floor now, which is officially the number of flights of stairs I am too impatient to climb. So. I take the elevator more often than not.

Invariably I get in the elevator with a couple of guys, end up in the back because they insist I enter first, then have to wait for them to carefully step to the side when we all get to our floor... so they can again insist that I leave first.

This is mind-bendingly inefficient. And then! I feel obligated to say thank you, because that is the agreed upon polite response to someone holding the door. Grr.
keryx: (mudflap girl)
I've been struggling for a couple of weeks to put into words how weird it is to work with all dudes suddenly. Most of them claim to not notice that they're in a room full of dudes, for one [I can understand that - without someone pointing it out, there are many ways I wouldn't notice my own majority/privilegedness.], although I suspect from their initial circumspection and silence that they are lying.

It's weird in a surprisingly pleasant way, though. The lack of other women coincides with a general absence of gender-role-play. That thing mixed-gender groups (at least mixed-gender white people groups, which is where I've seen it) do where they divide along gender roles, and there's supposed to be some kind of kinship with your own gender... not happening here. I'm not reminded of any perceived affiliation with All Women Everywhere, so in some ways my network affiliation seems more pure: I am primarily affiliated with the team, the project, the work. It's as if gender doesn't exist in this bubble of the team. It's. I mean. It's strange. It's as if I've inherited that whole male-privilege thing.

By the way. No one has said anything that directly offended me in any way; it occurs to me that more often than not it's been the women at work who've managed to push my fat queer feminist liberal buttons. Men, if anything, are curious about those things. Which. Well, duh.

Stay tuned for: 1000 ways in which I am culturally insensitive and refuse to let my Indian peeps call me "ma'am" and "boss". I'm not kidding. My metaphors and mannerisms are so influenced by American popular culture that I have to work harder to be understood (that is, to not be a jackass). Meanwhile, the guys are accustomed to a more hierarchical model in which I am the boss, so they won't admit that they have no idea what the hell I'm talking about.


Apr. 25th, 2008 11:32 pm
keryx: (Default)
I hadn't intended to post anything about the whole "Open Source Boob Project" thing that so many of my friendslisters have been talking about cause, honestly, y'all have way stronger opinions on the subject than I do. On both sides. And I don't know - I can imagine a kinder, more utopian form of sexuality where people were simply curious about touching (which is how I read the thing when I first saw it, and how I'd still like to imagine it), but I also realize that people can get way out of hand with the public skeevitude without the aid of a regulated invitation to groping... especially at cons. Which are, oh, by the way, places where women often really really really hope to get away from that physical-appearance-and-sexual-availability-defines-us crap. Alas, geekitude does not guarantee a safe, grunch-free, space. Note the massive "milady, blahblahblahblahblah" comeons at Pennsic, ferinstance. And the Boob Project? It doesn't help that the dude who posted it comes of as King Skeeve in other posts. Or that, you know, they're "boobs" all jeering middleschooler style.

But. Whatever perspective one may have on free-touching passes in public spaces, I think it's safe to say that interpreting participation in such a 'project' as self-victimization and an invitation to sexual assault is RANK BULLSHIT. It isn't the only "don't walk alone at night" style post I've seen on the subject, but it & its comments are by far the worst. There's some nice sexism with a hint of classism and racism in a variety of the other counter-projects, too.

It disturbs me greatly how much wrong shit surfaces when we start to talk about sex and sexism.

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