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Monday Miscellany

Bitchtopia has a story you’ve heard before, written beautifully.
[Content note: suicide, self-harm, abuse]

Just because a story is difficult to tell, does not mean it should not be heard. Unfortunately, this story is neither unique nor rare. The odds of you having heard it before are high, perhaps you’ve even heard this one. But I want to tell it because I want everyone to know how proud I am of the girl in this tale. Because she did beat the odds. She did eventually “win”. And her side of the story deserves to be heard.

Chana would like you to stop FAPing, please. It’s [not] exactly what it sounds like.

Because I’m not heading into grad school right now, I get this less than Miri does, but seriously, stop telling me that social work pays badly.

Intent is, in fact, fucking magic. An argument against a phrase I see floating around the FtB commentariat.

Guys. Stop with the “chemical free” junk. That is not A Thing.

I hope I’m not being a bossy condescending whatever. I’m really sorry if I am, but I find the demonizing of chemicals deeply disturbing. When all chemicals are lumped into the same category, the world becomes an unnecessarily scary place. I’m not saying that none of them are scary. I’ve inhaled thionyl chloride and I thought my lungs were going to crawl out of my burning nose. It was a yet another case of “You know better, asshole” but I only needed 10 mL, so I thought I could just pour it really quickly outside of the fume hood and everything would be fiiiiiine. Thionyl chloride is used in nerve gas so everything was not fine.
ANYWAY.
“Chemical free” is a term made up by some marketing person to scare you.
Implicit Association Tests and Suicidality. Like the author, I’m a little skeptical, but happy that research into predicting suicide is being funded.
This is the ethos behind Sandberg (and Anne Marie Slaughter’s “Having it all”) kind of feminism: women should be able to chose a career and have the very same options as men. Here’s where I was wrong: this is not merely capitalist feminism. This is a neoliberal, libertarian articulation of feminism. It was John Stuart Mill who stated “that no one should be forcibly prevented from acting in any way he chooses provided his acts are not invasive of the free acts of others“. Or, should I say, it was Stuart Mill who set the foundations of contemporary libertarian politics. This idea of personal freedom is then presented to us as “neutral and universal”. We all have the same choices (or so we are told). However, I want to challenge this idea of freedom just by bringing out the fact that slavery was abolished in the US only 148 years ago; in the colonial territories of The Netherlands, it was abolished 150 years ago; France abolished slavery in its former colony of Anjouan in 1899 (to give a perspective of how contemporary this event is, there is a man in Japan who was already alive when this abolition took place). So, our ideas of freedom are not only not universal but they haven’t been universally granted and, moreover, the choices available to us as a result of this freedom (or lack of it) are not universally equal either. These choices come with a heavy legacy of racial, class, ability and gender normativity histories, both personal and affecting our families, communities and heritages.
I’m in need of more blogs to read–ideally with daily or semi-daily content. What do you like?

Comments

  1. Sylphiae says

    I really like this blog, though it’s more of an opinion blog than a blog with empirical research. But his/her opinions are entertaining and very well informed.

    http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/

    Also, in regards to the last link and quote: I feel like the author has a poor understanding of both Slaughter and Sandberg if she’s going to equate their feminist views. And it was not Stuart Mill who set out the foundations of contemporary libertarian politics.

    Contemporary libertarian politics are far more influenced by someone like Robert Nozick then JS Mill. Mill is a classical libertarian, which does not exist in today’s world. Nozick is the anti-taxation Tea Party-friendly kind of libertarian. Clearly the author has no understanding of political philosophy, or of philosophy in general, and is simply attempting to make a fallacious appeal to authority by quoting JS Mill.

    JS Mill’s libertarianism does not preclude the consideration of the sociological factors the author is talking about. Again, the point simply is: libertarian means something totally different to Mill than it does to the uninformed, ignorant author.

  2. Sylphiae says

    Also, neoliberal and libertarian are not the same thing, and ought not to be conflated. Has the author ever studied political philosophy or any political science? I am doubtful.

  3. says

    Blogs:

    http://joreth.livejournal.com/ Writes about poly, feminist issues, safe sex, and arguing with people on the Internet.
    http://naamah-darling.livejournal.com/ I follow this one for the incredibly insightful posts about depression
    http://tacit.livejournal.com/ poly, feminist issues, sex, technology, relationships, etc.
    http://promiscuitykeepers.com/ not updated very often, but insightful when it is. The most recent post is pretty well representative.
    http://www.schneier.com/ A blog about security, both with respect to the Internet and technology, and with respect to designing societies as a whole. Not something I’ve seen you specifically express interest in, but I always end up reading things on here about trust and the ways in which it works in complex societies that I find apply to other things that are closer to home in interesting ways. Also, it’s very well written.
    http://www.feminisnt.com/ As you may imagine, a not-very-feminist blog in certain respects (mostly an enormous amount of frustration toward the branches of feminism that are against sex work and sex workers rights). The only one I’ve ever come across with intelligent things to say. A lot of posts about the importance of sex workers rights and related issues. I’ve come to affectionately think of this blog in contrast to most of the other blogs I read as the Ainsley Hayes of the West Wing of my RSS feed :-p

  4. Kate Donovan says

    Oh, this is wonderful! And SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT for having a West Wing reference.

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