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Showing posts from 2007

Condoms should be everywhere, especially in school bathrooms

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

It's statistically normal for kids to have sex from age 12. Does that make it desirable? Safe? Emotionally fulfilling? Irrelevant. No matter what we think of sex at 12, kids are still having it. Honestly, do you think that anything we do or say will stop it? If we know there are condoms in the ablution block, being dispensed for free (knowledge) does that mean we have to run out there and have sex (permissiveness). Or is permissiveness what it is - giving ourselves permission. Is sex voluntary for boys at 12? Is sex voluntary for girls at 12? Even if these two questions illustrate how you think about permissiveness - that for boys it's permission, and for girls it's coercion or sluttishness, they are still doing it. It doesn't matter what you think. It's irrelevant what you think.

Should we return to a repressive Victorian society? If we never see breasts, it's titillating to see them when we do. If we see brea…

You shouldn't have to come out to your parents

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

(Note: I use the word 'brand' in the James Dean/Rebel without a cause/Giant/Cowboys and cattle sense - the poke of fire that tells you which big boss you belong to.)

My sister never had to brand herself. She never had to go to Mommy and Daddy and say, "You know Mom and Dad, I am a heterosexual." Consequently, I never felt like I had to go to Mommy and Daddy and say, "You know Mom and Dad, I am a homosexual." To Mommy and Daddy's credit, when it came to a physically abusive homosexual relationship, they kept their focus on the violence. That spoke volumes. Violence is worrisome.

Nobody walks up to me and says, "Hello I am heterosexual". Why would I walk up to them and say, "Hello I am homosexual." Of course, if they say something to me like, "Gee guys would love to run their hands through your hair." I should be able to say, "Errh I would really prefer if girls would, bu…

Tips to boost creativity

Churn Without Judgment. If you stress about the quality of work you are outputting, then the flow will be cut off. Writers block is a symptom of perfectionism. Churn first, judge later.Idea Breeding. Use past ideas to generate new ideas. I’ve written close to 500 articles in the past two years. If I ever get stuck, all I need to do is search through past articles. Almost always they leave unanswered questions that can be tackled with a new article.Creative Input. Feed your brain with books. I read about 50-70 books a year. The most creative people I know can read over a 100. By devouring knowledge you add to the variety of ideas you can produce.Be Patient. It can take awhile for your brain to get into the right flow. I can write 1500 words in an hour when I’m in the right mental state. But that state often requires waiting through twenty minutes where I type no more than a sentence. Take the time to accelerate your creative flow.Use Large Time Chunks. Since it takes time to warm up yo…

It's about the work - gender differences in the classroom

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

Working with large groups of guys and large groups of girls I have noticed that with girls the relationships interfere, with guys relationships don't interfere. With guys it is about the work.

Guys might go out and drink a beer together, but they remain work colleagues, now drinking buddies. Guys don't think that it means more, they don't think it means that now they are friends - in any case the word 'friends' to a guy is a totally different word than 'friends' to a girl. In fact, I think there can be no emotional displays of any kind between men, and then, after 20 years, they sit down and are astounded that they are 'good friends'. Guys don't need emotional displays. They get the work done. They don't have to drink together to get the work done. They don't have to NOT drink together to get the work done.

With girls it's different. The drinking or NOT defines the work. That's ho…

Actions I have taken as a feminist activist

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

womensspace asked the question... "What have you done for me lately?"

doing my bit to get rid of the Ms-Miss-Mrs to Noneoffer a place to stay to women who have been abused (several)rescued a woman in a violent-home situationpick up women hitchhikersdisseminate information about feminismactively support the activities of other women, even when the women themselves would not self-identify themselves or the activities as feministpromote a theme of the-man's-friends-are-culpable-in-an-abuse-of-women-situationact against women who abuseraise awareness in relationships that one of the partners is not enhancing the goals of the other partnermake sure that women enter their houses safely before I leave, after dropping them offblograise consciousness about informed choiceraise awareness of sexual gratification
do general computer-fun training for women at every opportunity
took the education of the daughter of an underprivileged perso…

How I came to accept being fat

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

A FRIEND ASKED: I would really be interested to understand how you've managed to come to a place of self acceptance despite being overweight. So I responded...

Sjoe. That would be very hard to quantify. I will give it a bash.

In my case, firstly....My sister used to parade herself half-naked in front of guys I brought home. Probably not intentionally, she wears really tiny clothes. Of course the guys would drop me like a hot potato! Boing! Eventually I thought to myself, what a brilliant test of the guy - so I brought them home on the first date! My girlfriend passed the test.

Secondly...I also realise that I would have to lead a life of severe deprivation to get and keep a society-envisaged weight. I would have to do mind-vacating exercise almost all day long. I am WAY not going to do that. That would make me unhappy. I am prepared to lose some weight, do some exercise. Become normal like I used to be (what other people call fat), …

Are men more violent?

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

"The most hardcore radical feminists, Mary Daly, Andrea Dworkin, Sonia Johnson, agree that there is nothing genetically or biologically predetermined such that men/boys are certain or destined to behave in ways that are destructive. That’s the reason for the urgency, you know? If it doesn’t have to be this way, then why is it? How can we make the world a better place, given that we know change is ours to make?" by womensspace

Why are prisons bulging with boys? The Columbinists, the abusers, the murderers, the rapists, the serial killers - does no one else think that it's a bit odd that there are so many male perpetrators? Doesn't it signal that something has to be done, that there is something out of whack? Don't the men think there is something a little odd about themselves when they have their hands wrapped around a woman's throat, and while doing that they are thinking, Gee I think I should do this again, i…

It's their dog, a lesson in relinquishing control

Don't try and control it, let it be. Enjoy what you enjoy and let the rest go!

My mentor pointed out to me that by trying to control the behaviour of others (dog owners) I was giving up the true focus of what the situation was bringing to me (my enjoyment of walking the dogs). Ultimately... I am not walking dogs anymore. Sadly, I did not learn that lesson.

How to surf better than normal people

I just realised how I surf differently from other people. A query is an opportunity to see what ELSE google can come up with. So it's about getting the correct result - thanks google for putting it in the top 10 - but it's the misses, the curious misses. How, what, why... Google had to be this good for me to love surfing paradoxically and ironically.

Relationship longevity - Why Trump has none

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

There is something about being in a relationship for a long time. The other person really gets to know your ickynesses. And they stay. That really gives you faith in the relationship, really makes you feel that it is strong enough to handle everything. If you have screamed, hit, puked, peed, done it all in front of this one person, and they still didn't run, then it must mean something. It must mean that they really like you, that you are not all that bad, that you have the skills to make it work, that you have stamina, that you can cut it, that you are not a loser, that you... And she is just as extraordinary, she has the skills, the stamina...

But now look at Donald Trump (he's just the most perverse example of this pervasive phenomenon), he couldn't love or respect anyone if he tried. He hops from woman to woman, wife to wife, I don't think they even like him. Eeeugh. Who could? He doesn't want a woman at his sid…

Grrl counter-power, I love Doris Day

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

To be fair - it's difficult to think of a non-self-defining feminist woman as anything but a tool of the patriarchy. I have to concentrate on the fact that even though a woman would not call herself a feminist, she would never endorse footbinding (to name a radical example) and it doesn't necessarily mean she is a doormat either. In fact, some of my favorite women scorn my feminism and hate it when they are judged solely on their marital status or gender.

Ironically if you look at films made during the so-called liberal 60s and 70s you will see that movies align the woman's role less to what is happening politically in the big wide world and more to what is happening in pornography. The rise of the snuff movie mirrored the rise of violence towards women in the movies, serial killer paradise. Pornography always centers on the woman - probably in an attempt to hide the size of the penis. From my perspective, I am less uncomfo…

Feminism’s accomplishments according to Phyllis Chesler

Expanded the boundaries of what women could want, such as high-powered careers, children, sexual freedom, political power — or all four at once.

The public is now aware of research showing that the staggeringly high percentage of women murder victims have been murdered by husbands, boyfriend, relatives, or acquaintances. Nearly half of these women are killed when they tried to leave the man.

Awareness that women are endangered by other women. Worldwide, “token torturers” [Mary Daly’s phrase] genitally mutilate girl children, banish their incestuously abused daughters — and not the abusive men who perpetrate it.

Awareness that women shame each other into obedience [e.g. women barter commitment for security so sexual ‘promiscuity’ cheapens her value - Alma]

Male family violence, child abuse, and child sex abuse are being recognized as crimes by police, courts and religions.

Source: Phyllis Chesler

Why is it that as a culture we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

Photo by Steph Mineart on Why is it as a culture we are more comfortable seeing 2 men holding guns than holding hands?


Jon Stewart asks "Why can't they have gay people in the army? Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M16s going, "Who'd you call a faggot?"

School uniforms homogenise and counter difference-based violence

The debate here, in South Africa, is about a girl who refused to remove a nose-ring on the grounds that it was an expression of her religion. In fact, in that religion a belly-ring is and expression of religion and a nose-ring is an expression of culture. Her parents have taken the battle through Equality Court and are now at the Supreme Court.

A 702 caller phoned in and said that the missionaries introduced their Western uniforms during colonial times when apartheid first started and now Blacks view uniforms as a symbol of domination. A valid point. I wouldn't want to have a vacuum cleaner sewn into my hip or a stove as a breast implant.

I think uniforms are a good thing, though. Especially at school. As a student you get to know everyone else as equals, and slowly get to know them and gradually find out all the things that divide you. As time passes the feeling you have for that person is great enough for you to consider tolerance of their religion, sexuality, nationalism or wha…

Selective abortion of girl babies - India

The Indian government is planning to set up a network of cradles around the country where parents can leave unwanted baby girls. India banned gender selection and selective abortion in 1994) .... Last November a Japanese hospital announced plans to set up a "baby hatch" allowing mothers to anonymously drop off their newborns so they could be put up for adoption....
The supreme court has already made a law which forbids any sex determination while pregnant.... The researchers analysed autopsy reports of babies in three socially deprived parts of Delhi over a five-year period and discovered that the overall death rate for girls was almost one-third higher than that for oys. This was particularly the case for sudden, unexplained deaths - three out of four cases were girls. As a result of gender prejudices, in some states the male-female ratio is now so skewed that men are running out of potential brides. Many are resorting to "buying" girls from poor communities out…

Boys play with dolls all the time!

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

Anna Nicole Smith just died and the documentary about her devoted several minutes to telling us all about the infections she had after the plastic surgery, and the time she had to have her one silicone sack out for a while. She stayed at home so no one could see she was lop-sided.

The woman on Doctor 90210 that pitched to have her anus peroxided, one of many procedures she had had done. The woman who phoned into 702 crying because she was about to go for her eleventh operation to fix a botched boob job. Who doesn't see any hope for herself to ever look normal.

Put concisely, thankfully by my girlfriend: "I would feel like I was touching props." Who said that boys don't play with dolls, Barbies gone bananas. Soon they will be able to buy a woman on eBay, 'comes with five outfits and a vacuum cleaner'.

Cinnamon Gurl sparked this off. Thanks. Each week the Flashback Friday: Feminist Edition will feature a sto…

10 things you didn't know about women

1. If we run into your ex-girlfriend in public, the first thing you should do is put your arm around us. And if we have to introduce ourselves, you are in big trouble.
2. When you tell us about a business lunch you had with a woman, it's a good idea to tell us that she's fat, ugly, old, or a lesbian. Preferably all of them.
3. PMS is real. It's chemical, and it sucks. If someone told you that every thirty days you were going to get jacked repeatedly in the nuts, you'd be pissy around day twenty-six, too.
4. When we say, "I don't feel connected," the only appropriate response is, "I feel it, too. Let's go out for a nice dinner and reconnect." Try it. You will get laid.
5. If you can locate the following items in our home—tape, casserole dish, Christmas ornaments—you will get laid.
6. If you act excited about the bath mat we bought at Target, you will get laid.
7. We really want to have kids. That is, until you want to have kids. Then: "H…

What Mary Daly meant when she told us to "Sin Big!"

Mary Daly,
who writes in her book Lust:
Sin Big!

What she means is this:
In any social system,
those in power have power over many things.
Including language and religion.
And so,
to keep their power,
they label as sins those things which might lead to change.
Sin is a way of enforcing the way things are.
Sin is a way of saying,
don’t rock the boat.

Matthew Johnson-Doyle, minister, activist, soon-to-be dad, religious liberal, puzzle-lover and Colorado Springs resident. Write me at minister AT

Blatant sexualization of young girls through clothing

Broken Flower
I love romantic Paris
Picture of Cherry
Spoil Me
Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll
Piping Hot
I Dream of You
The Crack of Dawn

Public: Anti - Don't support the stores, boycott them, companies who do this shouldn't have to wait for a response from the public, companies shouldn't want to do it, retailers shouldn't buy them from manufacturers, companies cannot plead 'public demand' because they are part of our community and they should say 'no'; Pro - Chill
Woolworths: Thanks for the feedback, Woolworths have the least suggestive
UK: Little Miss Naughty range withdrawn after complaints
Childline: Paedophiles perceive that children come onto them

Source: 702

Writing - notes about voice and outlines

We talked about various ways of building an outline, and looked at the way I was using yWrite's scene description area. Or you can use an MSWord document, on the left the character, and on the right a phrase to describe the scene. Not more than one line to describe. The outline is fluid.
And about the difficulty of maintaining one voice over the 15 years it is going to take to write the book. Short stories each can have their own voice. And about the necessity of reading Fight Club to aid in the thinking about voice.Our assignment is to write a six word story, e.g. Ernest Hemingway was once prodded to compose a complete story in six words. His answer, was "For sale: baby shoes, never used."

How to attend a meeting

Listen. Try and make out when people just want to talk, then just listen. Yesterday I didn't look like I was listening, and I didn't spend enough time listening, but I learned lots nonetheless. I could have learned more had I just shut up.Don't get emotional. It's just business. Don't bounce enthusiastically off the walls. I am naturally positive and enthusiastic, I like that about myself, I want to be that. I do have to keep the bouncing down to a loud roar, though.
Expertise is not as important as loyalty. People are going to choose other people to do the work over you, despite the fact that you can do it better. Even if they have to complain daily to their boss that they have to spend so much time micromanaging the new people that they can't get their own job done. They won't even complain. They won't even think it's a problem because then are exercising their loyalty and that feels good. I do the loyalty thing too sometimes, and it is really just…

The consequences of being a hairy feminist

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

Ooh they hate the hair. I think that must be the single biggest objection. Most 'soft' feminists think it is an abdication of feminity to not shave. Well, duh. And 'hard' feminists wouldn't take you seriously if you were hairless. I know I have to work extra hard myself in that situation to overcome my own susceptibility to the stereotypes. And rest assured, I have found a space in my mind for accepting shaven radicallesbianseparatists.

Although, generally, I would fight in the streets for women's right to shave - if I can just stress that the decision to shave would have to be an informed decision. I cannot fight in the streets so that women can make uninformed decisions. I would fight in the streets for the right of women to spit at the notion that shaving their hair takes them into a pre-pubescent, pre-sexual, pre-self-controlled-sexuality state.

At least pornography has introduced ubiquitously large, firm br…