firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This is about how the word "disablism" makes more sense to describe "oppression against people who are labeled as disabled and/or the idea that disabled people are not as good as to non-disabled people."

The main way it speaks to me is in the bit about the continuity of life as ability changes. I still go back and forth about whether to call myself disabled because I didn't have a sudden change in what I am capable of; I feel like the same person except in certain "metrics" (how far I can walk, how much of certain meds I need to take, etc.).

http://still.my.revolution.tao.ca/node/68
ableism implies that this oppression is somehow related to ability – which it is not. Disability is a social category and its label is imposed on certain groups of people because of their perceived characteristics as un(der)productive.
...
using ableism makes it really easy for people to equate ableism with discrimination based on ability.
...
Words like "paralysis" and "disabled" are often used in disablist ways to talk about full stops but this is far from the way disabled people live our lives. If someone becomes disabled, their life continues and their body, while different (and possibly even painful or frustrating) is what allows their life to continue.
...
We all have able bodies. If we don't have able bodies we are dead.
firecat: uhura making a scary hand gesture (uhura nichelle nicolls)
Kiera Wilmot is a 16 year old black girl who attends high school in Florida. While at school (not during school hours) she engaged in an extracurricular chemistry experiment that produces a small explosion and some smoke. No one was injured and no property was damaged. She was expelled from school and will now have to attend an expulsion program. She was also arrested and charged with two felonies ("discharging a weapon on school grounds").

Rocket Boys: A Memoir is a book about some white teenage boys in a coalmining town in the late 1950s. They build and test rockets. Their first attempts cause property damage, but many of the adults they know help them. They win a science fair. The author and protagonist of Rocket Boys became a NASA engineer. The book, according to Wikipedia, "is studied in many American and international school systems."

Wikipedia claims: "According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) non-Hispanic blacks accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population in 2009. According to the 2010 census of the US Census Bureau blacks (including Hispanic blacks) comprised 13.6% of the US population."

http://www.change.org/petitions/polk-county-school-district-don-t-expel-kiera-wilmot

https://www.change.org/petitions/polk-county-state-s-attorney-drop-felony-charges-against-16-year-old-kiera-wilmot

http://raniakhalek.com/2013/05/02/prosecutor-behind-kiera-wilmot-arrest-filed-no-charges-for-white-teen-who-killed-little-brother/

http://www.policymic.com/articles/39061/kiera-wilmot-arrest-racial-inequality-arises-from-a-science-project-gone-wrong

"Would a White Girl Be Prosecuted for a Botched Science Experiment?">

http://hiphopandpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/the-case-around-fla-teen-kiera-wilmot-is-part-of-a-bigger-more-disturbing-pattern/

"Kiera Wilmot's School Expulsion Is Racist"

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/education/black-students-face-more-harsh-discipline-data-shows.html (This one is not specifically about Kiera Wilmot, it's from 2012.)

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/urban-scientist/2013/05/01/florida-teen-charged-with-felony-for-trying-science/ "I can’t name a single scientist or engineer, who hadn’t blown up, ripped apart, disassembled something at home or otherwise cause a big ruckus at school all in the name of curiosity, myself included." --DNLee, a biologist and animal behaviorist (one of a few black women who didn't manage to get the science harrassed out of them).

http://www.policymic.com/articles/39381/kiera-wilmot-how-her-arrest-and-expulsion-exposes-americas-racial-discipline-gap
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
The OH and I are going on a cruise in May, but I have misgivings because of the way cruise lines are reported to treat some of their workers.
http://www.salon.com/2013/02/15/cruise_from_hell_dont_pity_carnivals_passengers/
(beware the comments)

Linkspam via the OH:

http://www.salon.com/2013/03/31/new_york_times_obit_for_rocket_scientist_introduces_her_as_mom_and_cook_first/ (self-explanatory)


http://smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=1765767
I should probably keep my mouth shut about religions that I don't follow. So I'll just quote this.
at the Casal del Marmo juvenile detention facility in Rome...the 76-year-old Francis got down on his knees to wash and kiss the feet of 12 inmates, two of them women. The rite re-enacts Jesus’ washing of the feet of his 12 apostles during the Last Supper before his crucifixion, a sign of his love and service to them.
The church’s liturgical law holds that only men can participate in the rite, given that Jesus’ apostles were all male.

...

“If someone is washing the feet of any females ... he is in violation of the Holy Thursday rubrics,” [canon lawyer Edward] Peters wrote in a 2006 article that he reposted earlier this month on his blog.
http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/21/news/economy/stripper-labor-rights/
Strippers seek benefits:
As independent contractors, strippers' income comes solely from tips. Often, club owners' long list of fees take a big bite out of that too.
Hima B., a former stripper in San Francisco who is working on a documentary about strippers' labor rights, paid $5 "stage fee" for a six-hour shift when she started working in 1992....By the time she stopped working in 1999, she was paying $200 per shift....Sonja also paid stage fees, and more -- $80 for showing up late, $25 to dance one song and $60 for a half hour in a private room. Some strippers also have to pay DJs and other overhead costs like rent.
...
There are other professions where employees work for tips or have to pay for a spot -- like waiters and hairdressers. The difference is that these workers also earn wages.
...
Workers at The Lusty Lady, a San Francisco peep show, formed the Exotic Dancers Union in 1997. Soon after that, The Lusty Lady became fully owned and operated by its employees, who continue to vote on all business decisions.
"I get paid a little bit more than minimum wage hourly on top of my tips" said Victoria Privates, a dancer who started working at The Lusty Lady last year.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-21/fab-dot-com-winning-in-e-commerce-with-whimsy
Being a target demographic: I had a membership on fab.com for a brief period and I had to get rid of it because I wanted to buy so many of the things they sold. (None of which I actually needed.)

trigger warning for descriptions of violence against women (advertising $fail) )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
via [personal profile] snippy. It seems like a good idea to create free teacher training materials for teaching children about consent culture.

Help fund / signal boost 'Creating Consent Culture by Providing Youth the Tools: A Teacher Training Model' http://igg.me/p/creating-consent-culture-by-providing-youth-the-tools-a-teacher-training-model/cstw/330779
firecat: hothead saying "feh" "muh" "nist" (feh muh nist)
There was a controversy at Pycon 2013 in which a woman of color tweeted a complaint about the language some men were using. As a result, she and one of the men lost their jobs, and she's getting a metric gigaton of harrassment, which is still ongoing.

This op-ed says IMHO all the right things about it. I'm mostly putting it here so I can find it later.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/deannazandt/2013/03/22/why-asking-what-adria-richards-could-have-done-differently-is-the-wrong-question/


The situation is well summarized here:

http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/PyCon_2013_forking_and_dongles_incident


I'm not really in the mood to argue about whether the forbes op-ed is right, so I might be wielding an arbitrary ax in the comments section.

Linkspam

24 Jan 2013 04:58 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Passing along some linkspam I got from the OH.

Assuming you think it's a good idea for abortions to be available to women who want them, even poor women, take your blood pressure medicine before reading this one.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-17/how-state-governments-are-regulating-away-abortion

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49998217
Is Women's 'Retirement Gap' Really a Pay Gap?
By: Paul O'Donnell
Much is made of women's lack of engagement in basic investing, including investing for retirement. Reasons given range from a lack of confidence to a congenital fear of risk to a simple lack of information....But here's a reason that may be too simple to get much attention: It could be that women invest less than men because they don't have as much money.
D'oh!

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/10/bigger-better-google-ngrams-brace-yourself-for-the-power-of-grammar/263487/
The Google NGram now offers text from more books, and more parameters, including the ability to search for a term in British English or American English.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15965768-a-way-out-of-the-landfill-paraguay-kids-play-mozart-with-violins-made-from-trash?lite
Musical instruments made out of trash and other recycled materials

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201212/dsm-5-is-guide-not-bible-ignore-its-ten-worst-changes
More problems with the DSM-5, e.g., "Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder: DSM 5 will turn temper tantrums into a mental disorder."
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Via [personal profile] deirdre
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-03/job-applicants-cultural-fit-can-trump-qualifications
An audit staff applicant at New York accounting firm Ernst & Young was asked, “What are the top five cities you want to go to and why?” An online magazine asked an editor, “Where do you vacation in the summer?”
I guess being asked personal questions in a job interview isn't new. At my Apple interview I was asked if I liked pineapple pizza. But how often are "cultural fit" questions used to keep out people who are different?
“A lot of times, cultural fit is used as an excuse” for feelings interviewers aren’t comfortable expressing, says Eric Peterson, manager of diversity and inclusion at the Society for Human Resources and Management. “Maybe a hiring manager can’t picture himself having a beer with someone who has an accent. Sometimes, diversity candidates are shown the door for no other reason than that they made the interviewer a little less at ease.”
How ironic that "having a beer" is given as the example of a social activity a manager should expect to perform with an employee. A lot of people don't drink alcohol.

Interesting:
A 2009 study by University of Illinois sociologist Cedric Herring found that companies with the highest levels of racial diversity reported, on average, 15 times more sales revenue than those with less diverse staffs.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
via [personal profile] jae, who describes it as "A piece from the New York Times about the damning influence of social class on success at university in the U.S., even among those with intellectual and scholarship resources."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html
SAT coaches were once rare, even for families that could afford them. Now they are part of a vast college preparation industry.
Certainly as the payoff to education has grown — college graduates have greatly widened their earnings lead — affluent families have invested more in it. They have tripled the amount by which they outspend low-income families on enrichment activities like sports, music lessons and summer camps, according to Professor Duncan and Prof. Richard Murnane of Harvard.
...
The idea that education can be “selfish” — a belief largely alien among the upper-middle class — is one poor students often confront, even if it remains unspoken."
This seems kind of victim-blamey and armchair-psychologizing (discussing a woman who had problems with financial aid at her college and ended up being suspended):
Ms. Newton, Angelica’s former supervisor at the library, wondered if her conflict went beyond money, to a fear of the very success she sought. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say she was committing self-sabotage, but the thought crossed my mind,” she said. “For someone so connected to family and Grandma and the tamales, I wondered if she feared that graduating would alienate her.”

1 Nov 2012 12:14 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
A former judge criticizes the US justice process in ways I find compelling.

http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2012/09/04/criminal-justice-media-nancy-gertner
"The Media's Reporting On Justice Is Criminal" by Nancy Gertner
We lead the world in imprisonment not just by a little — but by several orders of magnitude. Our nearest competitors are Rwanda and China, hardly good company. And the racial figures are even worse: At the end of 2010, black men had an incarceration rate of 3,059 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. black male residents. This rate was almost seven times higher than the incarceration rate for white men (456 per 100,000).

and, discussing a case of DUI that resulted in deaths,
[Massachusetts sentencing] guidelines were established by a Sentencing Commission consisting of prosecutors, defense counsel, public safety and correctional officials, and victim-witness advocates. And the judge accompanied the sentence with an elaborate recitation of the reasons for the sentence — on the record and in public.

The prosecutor cannot be so monitored. He picks a number and does not have to explain it, beyond justifying it in the particular case. There are no public, transparent guidelines for prosecutors, no Sentencing Commission, no standards. He cannot be easily reviewed to see if he is biased, choosing mandatory minimums for defendants of color more than for those who are white, or simply going with his gut.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I failed to record the sources where I found these, but many are from [personal profile] andrewducker and [livejournal.com profile] moominmuppet

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112661209/young-gorillas-observed-dismantling-poacher-snares

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lyapalater/30-awesome-behind-the-scenes-photos-from-old-movie
"Old movies" are now movies made in the 70s and 80s, and in a couple of cases, 90s. Ghod.

http://boingboing.net/2012/07/23/eagle-scouts-stand-up-to-the-b.html
Some Eagle Scouts are returning their medals in protest of Boy Scouts of America homophobia and religious intolerance.

http://www.igda.org/why-crunch-modes-doesnt-work-six-lessons
Complete with equations! Now to get medical schools to also realize that days-long shifts aren't a good idea.

http://vimeo.com/28457062
Video of lightning captured at 7,207 images per second

http://www.salon.com/2012/07/21/paranoid_parents_kill_cities/
This is about how in the US and some other cultures, children are no longer allowed outdoors unsupervised.
"In the Sydney Morning Herald, a writer recently marveled at seeing children wandering unchaperoned all over Tokyo. When she worried to her Japanese colleague about the lack of adult supervision, he responded, “What do you mean, no adults? There were the car drivers, the shopkeepers, the other pedestrians.” In Japan, 80 percent of kids between 6 and 12 walk to school grownup-free."
Note: I don't judge any parents. But I wonder about the consequences of a culture where children are not allowed to have any time to themselves outdoors.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/07/geeks-guide-ursula-k-le-guin/all/
Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin. Includes the cover of an SF Masterworks version of The Dispossessed that strikes me as the most awesome bookcover ever. This interview also links to an article Le Guin wrote for Harpers in 2008 about reading:
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/0081907

http://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/dc-and-marvel-superheroes-as-manatees
MANATEE SUPERHEROES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/happiness_is_about_respect_not_riches
Yes I agree, but that doesn't mean people who have survival needs going unmet are happy. So I hope no one uses it as an excuse to continue suppressing the minimum wage and promoting other underpaid work.

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/12/156664337/stereotype-threat-why-women-quit-science-jobs
How Stereotypes Can Drive Women To Quit Science

And can I just say that I'm disgusted people are criticizing the body of a female swimmer who has won multiple gold medals? (Leisel Jones of Australia). I'm not linking to any of the news articles about it because they quote body hatred, but you can quack it.

http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/fluoride-lowers-your-iq-b.s.-headline-week
Fluoride lowers IQ, or does it? (How science is misreported, especially by people with an agenda.)

http://darkarchive.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/de-gendering-academic-dress-at-oxford/
I approve.

http://scienceinmyfiction.com/2012/07/23/science-fiction-fails-immunology/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-flooded-with-brand-police-to-protect-sponsors-7945436.html
Olympics organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including "gold", "silver" and "bronze", "summer", "sponsors" and "London", if they give the impression of a formal connection to the Olympics.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/pot-legalization-is-coming-20120726
Interesting article about the ramifications of various ways to legalize and regulate marijuana.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/06/21/the-new-elite-attributing-privilege-to-class-vs-merit/ (emphasis in the original)
sociologist Shamus Khan...argues that new social mandates to diversify elite education may have some pernicious negative effects. A generation ago, when most students who attended the high school came from rich backgrounds, St. Paul’s students knew that they were there because they were members of the privileged class. Today about 1/3rd of students do not pay full tuition. Students, then — both those on scholarships and those who aren’t — learn to think of themselves as individuals who have worked hard to get where they are.

The problem, as Khan articulates it, is that identifying as a member of a class acknowledges that privileged individuals are lucky and may owe some gratitude to a society that has boosted them up. Thinking of oneself as a uniquely talented individual, in contrast, encourages a person to attribute all of their privilege to their own merits, so they not only feel no gratitude to society, but also fail to notice that our social institutions play a part in disadvantaging the disadvantaged.
The first comment is really insightful (emphasis mine):
EXACTLY! This process is alive and well in many institutions of higher learning. In law school, the same process is at play. Class privilege brought many of the young lawyers to law school, but the 3 years of hard work (which is fetishized) transforms that class privilege into something 'earned' - something that the individuals have to hide.

It is a way of laundering class privilege. And just like money laundering - turning the ill-gotten proceeds of crime into legitimate business ventures - the appearance is fundamentally altered. Instead of rich brats who had everything handed to them; they become bright, hard-working, intellectual go-getters who earned everything they have. Brilliant.
I'm not sure I like the implication that scholarships are responsible for the loss of understanding of class privilege. (Because then it's too easy to say "Let's do away with scholarships.") But the "laundering class privilege" metaphor strikes me as very powerful.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Wiscon panel report: Class, Culture, and Values in SF&F
Tracks: Reading, Viewing, and Critiquing Science Fiction (Power, Privilege, and Oppression)

Description:
Class isn't just how much money you have or what work you do; it also involves cultural beliefs, values, and attitudes that are expressed in how you talk, what you do in your free time, and all sorts of less tangible elements. (See Barbara Jensen's book Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America, due out in mid-May.) The SF&F writing and fannish communities are mainly middle-class folks, which makes the class values of SF&F works mostly middle class, too. What works and creators explore classes outside the mainstream, white, European, middle-class value systems? What class markers tend to show up most, or least, often? Do these works show the non-middle classes positively? negatively? realistically?

Panelists:
Moderator: Debbie Notkin
Eleanor A. Arnason
Alyc Helms
Danielle Henderson
Rose Lemberg

[My notes aren't a complete transcription and may represent my own language rather than the actual words of the panelists. I welcome corrections. I did not identify all audience commenters by name. If you said something I paraphrased here and want your name to be used, please comment or send me a private message.]

[The book mentioned in the panel description, Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America by Barbara Jensen, is available at http://cornellpress.cornell.edu/ For a 20% discount use promo code CAU6.]
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Untangling Class
Tracks: Power, Privilege, and Oppression (Feminism and Other Social Change Movements)

Description:
What do we mean when we talk about class? Is it about how much money we have? How much education? How we grew up? Our position with respect to a global capitalist world system? There have been a lot of WisCon panels in the past focused on speculative fiction that "does class well"—but how can we know whether something's being done well if we don't even know what it is? This panel brings together WisCongoers with expertise and experience in talking about class to hammer out (if not actually decide upon) some definitions.

Panelists (and key to my notes):
JA—Moderator: Jess Adams
BC—BC Holmes
AL—Alexis Lothian
CW—Chris Wrdnrd

[Firecat's note: Going to this panel was like walking in on an ongoing discussion, because the panelists have been discussing class together for a while, and some of the audience appeared to have been in on the discussion as well.]

[My notes aren't a complete transcription and may represent my own language rather than the actual words of the panelists. There are parts I definitely didn't catch or came out garbled, still trying to get used to my tablet's onscreen keyboard. I welcome corrections. I did not identify audience commenters by name. If you said something I paraphrased here and want your name to be used, please comment or send me a private message.]
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Body Acceptance: From All Sides
Track: Feminism and Other Social Change Movements

Panel description
Body love movements have been gaining momentum recently, but for many people on the margins, the discourse needs to be expanded. The current movement of body love fails to account for persons with disabilities, people of color, trans and gender nonconforming people, pregnant and postpartum people, and fat people, among many others. We aim to discuss how (and in some cases, whether) body love and acceptance apply beyond a purely gendered analysis and expand to nonnormative bodies.

Panelists:
Julie Hayes
s.e. smith
Tanya D.
E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman
Mary Ann Mohanraj
Moderator - Annie D Chen

Twitter hash tag: #BodyAcceptance

I have a paraphrased transcript of this panel, and will post it on request, but that doesn't seem like the most helpful way to present the good stuff about this panel. 

I also tried to write it up by making a list of all the inappropriate assumptions mentioned that people make about each other's bodies and attitudes, but that just depressed me after I had gotten to 22 items (which wasn't all of them). 

So here are my general thoughts and notes.
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
via [livejournal.com profile] moominmuppet

http://eminism.org/blog/entry/291
"Reclaiming 'victim': Exploring alternatives to the heteronormative 'victim to survivor' discourse"

The article discusses the rigidity of societal narratives around people who have been subjected to violence. I quote from it below the cut-tag.
cut-tag )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
via [personal profile] andrewducker

http://gravityandlevity.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/your-body-wasnt-built-to-last-a-lesson-from-human-mortality-rates/
"This startling fact was first noticed by the British actuary Benjamin Gompertz in 1825 and is now called the 'Gompertz Law of human mortality.' Your probability of dying during a given year doubles every 8 years." The article goes on to explain what we can conclude from this statistic: "By looking at theories of human mortality that are clearly wrong, we can deduce that our fast-rising mortality is not the result of a dangerous environment, but of a body that has a built-in expiration date." (Also, the law refutes the popular notion that thin people don't die.)


via [personal profile] onyxlynx

Face-recognition camouflage: http://www.cvdazzle.com/

Four rhetorical techniques the media or government can use to increase fear and hatred in the populace: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/africaatlse/2011/12/05/new-lse-research-the-psychology-of-security-threats-evidence-from-rwanda/
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://www.socialjusticeleague.net/2011/09/how-to-be-a-fan-of-problematic-things/

One could also describe this post as "how to be a fan of things that have problematic elements, without necessarily being a fan of the problematic elements themselves." And/or "how to be a fan of what you're a fan of without attempting to defend it as perfect and without badgering other people to consume it if they have decided they don't want to."
Liking problematic things doesn’t make you an asshole. In fact, you can like really problematic things and still be not only a good person, but a good social justice activist (TM)! After all, most texts have some problematic elements in them, because they’re produced by humans, who are well-known to be imperfect. But it can be surprisingly difficult to own up to the problematic things in the media you like, particularly when you feel strongly about it, as many fans do. We need to find a way to enjoy the media we like without hurting other people and marginalised groups. So with that in mind, here are my suggestions for things we should try our darnedest to do as self-confessed fans of problematic stuff.
firecat: gorilla with arms folded looking stern (unamused)
I was in Walgreen's just now, and the cashier was wearing a button front and center on her uniform that said "Is my smile a 9?"

I assume that she had to wear it. I was tempted to ask, but I didn't want to waste her time because there was a long line. It made me furious on her behalf. If your policy is that employees should act friendly, I suppose there's nothing I can do about that, but I really don't like requiring employees to wear buttons that invite the customer to police their behavior (behavior that has nothing to do with whether they're doing the work of cashiering correctly).

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