Are We Equals? (Hint: Are We Women?)

Are We Equals? (Hint: Are We Women?)

It’s funny how things come up all at once sometimes. A friend linked this yesterday.

This is where I draw the line. This is where I asks moms all over the world who are SICK OF PINK to take a stand and make it stop. I’m making it stop. I’m asking you to say no to saccharine hues of fuchsia and cotton-candy daydreams and obsessions of anything anything anything princess related, my god, my god, say no.

…And say yes to real princesses. Say yes to princesses that will kick your ass. Say yes to princesses doing good. Princesses from history. Princesses from real storybooks- you know, the stories as they were before Disney got their clammy hands all over them. Teach your daughters about Diana and Kate Middleton. Teach your daughters who Pocahontas and Mulan really were. Teach your daughters how The Little Mermaid really ends. Teach them about reality. About strength. [The Craning Gap]

I read. I cheered. I passed it on. You see, I have a daughter. She is brilliant. She is funny. She is creative and amazing and yes–she’s beautiful. And sometimes she wants to Not Care about looking pretty. She wants to look tough. Or boyish. Or carefree. She wants to wear neon green cargo capris and a baggy Adam Lambert t-shirt and not bother with make-up.

She feels like she has to explain to everyone she meets why she doesn’t look pretty (though she is just as beautiful as ever.) Sometimes she revolts against all the fucking pink. Don’t get me wrong–she likes pink. She likes purple. She just gets a little sick of it being shoved down her throat.

I’ll tell you a secret–sometimes we shop in the boys’ clothing section, because they have more choices. And, as I’ve told her many times, if you want comfortable clothes–go for boy stuff. No one making clothes for women is particularly concerned about comfort.

Today my friend linked this.

I want to live in a world where little girls are not pinkified, but where little girls who like pink are not punished for it, either. We can certainly talk about the social pressures surrounding gender roles, and the concerns that people have when they see girls and young women who appear to be forced into performances of femininity by the society around them, but let’s stop acting like they have no agency and free will. Let’s stop acting like women who choose to be feminine are somehow colluders, betraying the movement, bamboozled into thinking that they want to be feminine. Let’s stop denying women their own autonomy by telling them that their expressions of femininity are bad and wrong. [meloukhia.net]

I cheered again. My daughter does like pink, and she does like to wear a skirt fairly often, and she lives in anticipation of the day I allow her a real pair of heels. None of those should ever hold her back from anything she wants to do (except possibly marathon running IN heels.) None of those indicate her intelligence or her commitment to herself and the rest of femaledom. She can handle a wrench, people. She takes great pride in telling people she built her own bike “almost.” She can wear a damned pink shirt if she wants to.

And then–hells, and then. I was reading an article on something else and the headline “Daniel Craig in Drag” caught my eye, and I found this.

I showed it to my daughter. I told her it’s because this is what she’s up against. You know what she said?

“I can take them!”

She can, but she shouldn’t have to do it. I say we need to stand together. Our daughters, our nieces, our brilliant neighbor kids are growing up in a world that still doesn’t see their value. The more we stand together, the stronger we fight our battles, the less they have to fight. The less time they waste fighting a war that should have been over long ago, the sooner they can get on with their mighty lives.

Let’s GO, girls.

We Need Another Way

Have you ever thought about that one inevitable line on nearly any form? You know the one.

Sex: M  F

Odds are you know the answer–and it’s there. You joke “yes, please!” or “as often as possible!” but you also circle the letter that applies.

Imagine it wasn’t that simple.

From here:

Imagine you’re me, six months before this, and you’re young and naïve and full of stupid, figuring that putting M will help them you treat you better (ha!), checking yourself in to see a doctor because you’re struggling to breathe. And the dude takes one look at your forms and your barely passing self, and refuses to enter the room. He just stands there at the edge, asking you to holler symptoms at him, and you sit there knowing that if you collapse, this man will pause and debate whether to save you or not. This is what happens when forms, bodies and cis prejudice collide.

She’s a transsexual. Obviously a doctor needs to know the gender of the body he’s examining–different sexes have different parts. But there’s no way he needed to treat her like that!

It gets worse:

Imagine how vulnerable you feel. Driving (what if a cop pulls me over). At the bank (what if they think I’m trying to scam my own money). At the doctors. At school. At work. At anywhere they want a piece of ID, anywhere they want you to tick a box that divides humanity into two. Anywhere they want you to fill out a form. Confess, little tranny girl, confess. Tell them what in their minds what you “really” are. Or else. And they’ll get you anyway.

Why does a driver’s license need “sex” on there? It has a picture.

I don’t know how to make it all work. But we need a better way. We need to think about this. Something so simple as removing the “sex” from official ID could make life so much easier for many people. Wouldn’t it be a step in the right direction, at least?

Why I Still Won’t Buy at Amazon

I was going to write a long, carefully thought out post that would wow you with my logic and stun you with my persuasive abilities.

So I haven’t blogged in weeks because I wasn’t ready to write that. That’s okay. You can read about it here, where it’s explained why the “glitch” isn’t just a glitch.

The issue with #AmazonFail isn’t that a French Employee pressed the wrong button or could affect the system by changing “false” to “true” in filtering certain “adult” classified items, it’s that Amazon’s system has assumptions such as: sexual orientation is part of “adult”. And “gay” is part of “adult.” In other words, #AmazonFail is about the subconscious assumptions of people built into algorithms and classification that contain discriminatory ideas.

Also, this is interesting: AmazonFail–10 Unanswered Questions. I’d like the answers too. This follow-up also makes some excellent points.

Also on the Amazon Fail Whale: Why Kindle may not be your best option. Srsly. They can make it (pretty nearly) a doorstop with the press of a button.

All of these things, every last one, can be debated, I’m sure. And so can this one, but it’s the one I’m standing by–Amazon is so big it’s driving others out of business, and I don’t trust them to be my sole provider of anything. Who knows what they’ll try to protect me from next?

Powell’s Books has tons of stuff, excellent customer service, a free shipping offer after a certain amount, and their free-shipping is faster than Amazon’s. Not to mention they’re just lovely people. I’m still looking for a safe place to buy DRM-free music, though.

So. There it is. My big Amazon Still Sucks post. Next time, back to the writing! Yay!

And #Amazonfail Goes On

Some say it’s a glitch. GLBT themes weren’t meant to be removed. Someone meant to pull “gay sex” stuff and went too far.

But if you go on Amazon and search “homosexuality,” it seems the ANTI-gay stuff is still there. Search “gay” and the first result you’ll get (at least, that I got when I did it a minute ago) is a DVD of a movie called The Pool (nearly explicit image here).

WTF?

This entry is really just so I can GoogleBomb again–I really can’t add anything to the eloquent anger already being expressed. One has to wonder, though, exactly where Amazon’s PR people are today. One would think at least one of the employees of a Seattle-based internet firm would know to keep an eye on Twitter. Or the email. Or the Customer Service phonelines. Yet there’s been no response to the issue. My email to cancel my order received a polite “Sorry for the inconvenience” answer with no mention of my clearly-stated reasons for the cancellation.

Amazon Rank

(If you want to know what it is to GoogleBomb, go to Google and search “Amazon Rank.”)

This is Huge

From CNN:

What could be bigger than the appointment of the first female minister in Saudi Arabia?

Possibly the appointment of a new minister of justice who may actually help her get equal rights with her male counterpart.

Right now, Norah al-Faiz, the new deputy minister for women’s education, is bound by the same laws as every other woman in the land. She can do only what her closest male relative permits. For many women of her status and education, that law is interpreted liberally, but for the vast majority, it is not.

Over the weekend, at a single stroke, King Abdullah set Saudi Arabia on what appears to be an irreversible new course, one of modernization.

He replaced the conservative ministers of justice and the head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice with people closer to his way of thinking. The king also appointed a new head of the central bank, SAMA — widely seen by financial experts as a wise move — and brought in young blood and fresh ideas to the Majlis al Shura, the closest thing the country has to a parliament.

Seriously, ladies–this is an event to celebrate. It has been and will be a long hard road for female followers of Islam, but this is a huge step forward.

Here’s to freedom, equality, and tolerance for and from all the world’s religions (and those who choose none.)

KD Sarge




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Polar Star
Magic's Pawn
The Mote in God's Eye
Startide Rising
Raymond E. Feist's Magician Master
Changes
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Rimrunners
How to Teach Physics to Your Dog
A Christmas Carol
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Wikis For Dummies (For Dummies
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