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Showing posts from 2008

Cory Doctorow on blogging, some tips

Write headlines explanatively: so that people know if they want to read it. Being honest with your reader means they will come back, if you are disrespect the reader (take them on a hunt for the post to rack up hits, treating them like sticky eyeballs, eyes for their ads) they won't come back.
Post informative and densely factual posts: not in your own personal shorthand, but something someone can understand immediately.First sentence must describe whole article: readers will be grateful, attention-conservation notices.Link to extensive info: Give the short bit and link to more.Attention economy: treat your readers like their attention is valuable.Data Valdezes: personal data hemorrhaging from 'secure' databases.Try anything: because the cost of collaboration, creating info, experimenting is so low, people are more creative and progress is easy, e.g. blogging - try it, don't like it, leave it.Write what you find interesting: Boing Boing doesn't write for an audience…

Homosexuals - no other minority is so openly denied a human right like marriage

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

No other minority's human rights are voted on except gay people's human rights. No other minority's human rights, their actual day-to-day lives, are subject to so much pejoration - throw-away pejoration. Unthinking pejoration. Are gay people not human too? Are gay people less human than black people, less human than Christians, less human than any group you can mention? Every other human being on this planet, no matter their country, their skin color, their religious denomination, their language - no matter anything - they are allowed to marry.

Like, the cheek, allowed! Marriage doesn't belong to anyone, and no one can say, You may, or, You may not. Jeez! Religion doesn't own marriage, there are atheists marrying daily. There are rapists marrying daily. There are murderers marrying daily. There are animal abusers marrying daily. But gay people can't marry? Huh?

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Cinnamon Gurl sparked this off. Thanks. Each we…

The PH Effect (Paris Hilton is rolemodel for the homogenisation of women)

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

The friendship pool was meager then. We kinda hadta get on with our neighbors - they were either far from us if we lived in the country, or were living 15 to a double dozen in the same room as we were and wondering where to throw their swill. Thank God we had all those institutions in the olden days that homogenised us. Church on Sunday was only one of the ways we were in a straight jacket then. Education was bare and unsophisticated for the wider population. Politics was Nationalism. Philosophy was a bore. And it worked for us. People lived too far away from each other, or too close, to not have a dozen mechanisms propping up their friendships. A dozen mechanisms brainwashing them into being too alike to be challenging. Communities relied on each other then, to fight the Plagues, to fight the Wars, to fight the Poverty. The more the same you are, the less conflict. So it was a good thing that we all salivated when we could unanimously…

You are a bully - trying to intimidate us women into being Paris Hilton clones

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

BEEN READING: Jessica Valenti on Full Frontal Feminism
Valenti is the founder of Feministing.com and says that the next feminist wave will be cyber.
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071015/bennett

...
I totally think that we are being bullied and emotionally manipulated into being terrified to not shave, terrified to call ourselves feminists, terrified to act. It amazes me that no one realises that the bullying in schools is a reflection of what happens in front of children's eyes everywhere they go. A doctor, doing a breast sonar, made a comment about my underarm hair, suggesting that I should get that shaved before I see him next. It's bullying. He used his position of power to make me afraid that he would not give me his services if I did not conform to his idea of womanhood. How shocking is it that my hair is more scary than his bullying.

Those brats in American schools, giggling and laughing and intimidating their peers... it…

GLBTQI conversation about Jon Qwelane, some notes

23 peopleCentre for Conscious Leadershipstructure: introduce everyone, introduce organization
what makes us proud, excited, fearful to meet each otherexcited: connection, part of queer community, possibilityfear: challenged by others, revealing, reports to be made, names to be revealed, white space (not very black) deep democracy: process of large group, diversity - careful of minorities, introduction to roles in groups, you can change roles during talk, not just a personal view. Hotspots - the facilitators will deheat-support for safety.Zuma said he would hit a gay manQwelane's blog taken off Media 24 and being watched at workneed a queer media forum, media is at talkQwelane should be challenged by his peersneed a reaction to hate crime, not just reaction to articlethe voice of dead gays, they live in a world where survival is more important than Qwelane's wordsdo we want an apologyis Qwelane's the majority viewblase about homophobia, don't read it because they don'…

Facebook Weekly Enquiry - What or who do you depend on?

Facebook Weekly Enquiry: What or who do you depend on? ...if you don't mind me asking.

My computer and my DSTV and my video machine.

The people part is more interesting in terms of Goodness, me-to-me - how do I think? Hmm, I think I am very self-reliant. I ask people to do stuff, but if they don't I immediately swop over to You Do it Tanya. And I don't often feel like It's Their Job. OK OK, wait, I do rely on people for love. Loving myself definitely doesn't do the trick, I can tell you. [she exits <> ponderously]

Dreaming friend

I just need to share this very specific dream I had about you last night. Sigh. I have no idea where it fits into my framework, but perhaps it you may shed some light. We were invited to view your new home that you had built – it turned out to be a big cottage in the garden of your parent’s home. There was already an established garden with strange things like a large bread bush (made from white bread, that you could smell and taste). The kitchen was big! With a table in it, we sat down to a meal (unsure what that was) and your father had joined us. His face was clear in the dream – but I only know he was your father because you said so, not because I would recognize him if I were to find him in my soup. We were chatting. You were frustrated that your dad kept hanging around. Eventually you announced your wedding (or I asked and you confirmed) and your dad threw a fit. He made it clear that he did not mind you living on the property but not to go around telling people you were to marr…

Who are the most interesting people I have met?

Facebook Weekly Enquiry asks Who are the most interesting people you have met?

Goodness. Is interesting synonymous with love!? Because I have come across stunningly interesting people and really been attracted to them, because that's HOW I become attracted to people. But in a way they aren't necessarily settling down with material. You can look up to people without wanting to climb into bed with them for a lifetime... See! OK, so now that's out of the way.... .... .... .... Dang! it still feels like I am going to list all sorts of people that are on the IN LOVE list. Because there are a few that I find interesting but am not attracted to, entirely. But I could've. But no that would be crazy. Conversely, I have been seriously ATTRACTED to people I didn't find interesting... .... .... .... where am I going with this? Ek weet nie!

Source: Facebook Weekly Enquiry

Amazon, please don't boycott South Africa

Just so you know, this is email number three, following response from you number two. I am not upset, just alerting you to the fact that I am persistent and you have been so polite and helpful that I am not upset. It's a communication error. If it happens again, I would ask you to contact me by phone at [CENSORED].

I contacted you to ask you to reconsider the action you have taken against South Africa. I suggested another solution: that you give us the opportunity to waive our right to redress if our parcels get lost. You have decided to only offer us high-cost courier services. I have been using amazon for many years and I have never had a problem.

However, when I sent this solution note through, I received a response from you that reiterated the problem and did not acknowledge my suggested solution. If you have considered this waiver option and rejected it, I would have wanted to at least find out what your reasons are so that I can think of more solutions that address your conc…

VHEMT (Vehement) is a anti-procreation movement

"Here's a novel idea to save the planet: Remove the main cause of its woes - homo sapiens. The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT - pronounced "vehement") proposes the phasing out the human race. "When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth's biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory, and all remaining creatures will be free to live, die, and evolve (if they believe in evolution)," offers the movement's website. But 'it's going to take all of us going'." See www.vhemt.org

SOURCE: Email invite.

I thought I was the only one who thought like this. Everyone I know thanks the universe that I didn't study microbiology. I would have developed a human-specific killer virus. WE are the vermin.

I am my locus of control

I was asked where my locus of control is, by an Afrikaans person, who said 'lotus van kontrole' by accident. 'Lotus', that's cute...


In me...

I take inspiration from people, 'God', Zen, whatever inspires me. But I direct the energy. I am not always perfectly in control of how I direct it, but I can see my efforts.

The 'whatever' part I take very seriously. I don't confine myself to anything, but everything I draw inspiration from, while important in itself - it has it's own value - it's arbitrary.

So, for example, I have two horoscopes that I read daily - one is the glass half empty and the one is the glass half full. I read the full one second and allow it to be a directive for my day - so if it says that I will have good advice for young children - I make a date to see young children.

And then I make sure that my sieve brain gets no help - I don't reread the horoscope, I forget what I feel like and remember what I want to.

I will e…

'Lady' vs 'Dyke' and how I 'became' a lesbian

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

Many of my friends had such a big cadenza over being gay. I had absolutely none. I never had the notion that it was not OK and more importantly I never had the notion that anyone could tell me what I could and could not do or be. The Cheek!

My sister didn't have to go to Daddy and say, Gee Dad, I am sorry, I am straight, why must I go to Daddy and say, Gee Dad, I am sorry, I am gay. Ag nee man!

But my friends definitely suffered. And I have participated in Masters degree surveys and the girls definitely were surprised that I don't have issues. I am generally a confident person. No issues about being fat, or hairy, or butch or whatever. Shame, poor you, you probably just had a frisson of disgust. Yes, girls have hair... and it's OK you don't have to sleep with them. Giggle.

I think it may be harder for guys, no pun intended. Girls' lesbianism is considered a latent sexuality, 'It's OK, once they have a good f…

What is feminism?

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

(a Facebook friend asked, after I joined the group The Radical Feminist Spring Gathering)

That's a very big request...'Please explain feminism to me.' And the answer is not simple. Just like there are many different versions of religion, politics, whatever - so there are many versions of feminism. Each person who adopts any ideology tweaks it to make it their own.

I think that the very basic, very essential idea behind all activism (and feminism is an activism), is to create an awareness that you cannot subdivide society into units - race, gender, sexuality, etc - and say that that subdivision should not be treated as equal to any other group.

Feminism focuses that rejection of subdivision on 'women'. Activism generally focuses on the unequal distribution of human rights, among other things (you get eco-feminists who are environment lobbyists). So, under human rights, you can't pay one group less than another for th…

How-to be ready for, and ace, a job interview

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Answer your phone as if you are expecting a deal of a lifetimeSubject line: One of the specified qualificationsKnow what job you are applying forDon't be late, no excusesMake a good first impressionCV must be professionalKnow where you have sent your CVShow that you are managing your CVBe professional in the waiting roomGrooming in the bathroomSit up straightKnow what value you are going to deliverUtilise your networks, job clubs - strategy not moaningStay with a job for 3 years - companies only start making money after your learning curve after 2 years - if they see you bounce, they won't want youMake lists of your skills, not just your personality - not bubbly, but 'professional telephone call screening'Thought Leader
Too many courses (which shows you can’t learn on the job and have a culture of being spoon fed).At the clericial and secreterial level I would include emotional stability, neatness, presentability speaking and writing in english and afrikaans. That me…

Woman = unnatural / man = natural

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

In her explanation of gynocidal ritual, feminist theorist Mary Daly explains that in a patriarchal culture, society uses certain ritualistic behaviors (usually in the interest of enhancing female "beauty") to destroy female connections and to oppress women.* In these situations, women are often used as "token torturers". For instance, there was a saying during the days of Chinese footbinding: "If a mother loves her daughter, she will take no mercy on her feet." Nope, instead she will torture and cripple her to make her palatable to a society infected with brainwashed men who wouldn't know a natural woman if she bit him on the ass and then ran away on her big 'ol feet!
*Discussion of gynocidal ritual can be found in Mary Daly's book, Gyn/Ecology: the Metaethics of Radical Feminism.
Source: Only one Manda
I love the way Amanda puts this. Great voice. Amanda wrote this while expressing her horror at a…

Radical feminists spit - some quotations that rile up the passively moderate to apathetic masses

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."
Gloria Steinem

"I feel that 'man-hating' is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them."
Robin Morgan

"I haven't the faintest notion what possible revolutionary role white hetero-sexual men could fulfill, since they are the very embodiment of reactionary-vested-interest-power. But then, I have great difficulty examining what men in general could possibly do about all this. In addition to doing the shitwork that women have been doing for generations, possibly not exist? No, I really don't mean that. Yes, I really do."
Robin Morgan

"We can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage."
Robin Morgan

"I claim that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own ge…

BDSM etiquette

or, Why I Love Dan

Dan Savage was attacking (verbally, on a podcast) a man who had posed as a woman who wanted to be beaten on Craigslist. The man then proceeded to publish the names, photographs, phone numbers and email addresses of everyone who responded to his fake ad. Dan was furious because those men whose names were published were doing the right thing. When you go and meet a stranger for sex (don't do it on the first date, because Dan says you should never plan sex on the first date - that way you can get out of the second date with more diplomacy if you need to. But I digress...), you should get their name, photo, phone number and email address and then tell them that you are giving their details to a TRUSTED friend. That way if you don't arrive back from your spanking, bruised, but with a smile on your face - your trusted friend will phone the cops. A spanker who wants to spank safely and consensually, will agree. Who knew, that just like in the Vanilla World, where m…

Daly lessons - Mary Daly stands her ground and demands a SAFE space for women at Boston College - and loses

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...


In response to the publishing of her first book The Church and the Second Sex in 1969, Mary Daly was issued a terminal contract by Boston College i.e. her position would not be renewed once it had expired. Her situation became the cause for student protests, petitions, and teach-ins celebrating academic freedom. With student (all male at the time) and other popular support, not only was she taken on as full professor but also was given tenure. AND she refused to admit male students to her classes at Boston College.

She believes that men's presence in her classrooms kept the women students from fully and freely exploring radical feminism. Because of her ban on men from her classroom she has provoked repeated reprimands from Boston University and accusations that she was violating both university policy and Title IX (the federal statute banning discrimination in higher education on the basis of sex) requirements.

The confrontations c…

Activities that I could get up to in Pretoria, South Africa

From Burning Man: to Grrls group, Flashmob... somewhere, body as canvas, written on the body, on our backs, put your back into it!From London: Women's Art Movement (WAM) is an umbrella organization structured for art & business minded woman to socialize & collaborate. Creating a point of contact for social and business networking. The coffee shop combining Internet & creative facilities are available for women providing a space to be inspired, socialize, read, write, research, exhibit artwork, perform, hold readings and create art/music workshops, offering low cost usage of the WAM facilities and products.Concerts: Michelle Shocked 2008, Tracy ChapmanFrom Meetup.com: Mid-Month MeetupsTenpin Bowling in MenlynPretoria ZooRietvlei Dam Nature ReservePretoria Art Museum
Hatfield Flea MarketVan Gaalen Cheese-makers (083 226-7834, vgaalen@hixnet.co.za)Welwitschia Country Market (083 302 8085, countrymarket@mweb.co.za)GlenAfric game drive (info@glenafric.co.za)Medicinal garden …

Booty call rules

No sleeping over - unless it is very good and we need to repeat it in the morning.No meeting in public except for dinner or drinks before the events of the evening.No calls before 9 PM - we don't have shit to talk about.None of that "lovemaking" shit - only sex allowed.No emotional discussions (i.e. Where are we heading with this? Do you love me?) The answer is no, so don't ask.No plans made in advance - that is why you are called the "backup," unless you are from out-of-town, then it's only a one-time advanced arrangement.All gifts accepted - money is always good.No baby talk - however, dirty talk is encouraged.No asking for comparisons with former lovers - it's really none of your damn business.No calling each other "friends with privileges" we are not friends, just sex buddies.Calling out the wrong name during sex is OK - don't be offended.No extra clothing - I don't want your ass leaving anything behind when you leave.No fallin…

World without men, amen

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

I am contemplating this, just to see how tightly I am Bound to the hegemony.

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Cinnamon Gurl sparked this off. Thanks. Each week the Flashback Friday: Feminist Edition will feature a story that has something to do with being or becoming a woman or feminist. This series will continue until I run out of stories. I love having guest bloggers. If you have a story you want to tell and you want to be a guest blogger here, please email me; or feel free to link to your own story in the comments.

The miniskirt invitation

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

Redi Direko picked up a talk show from a news report that a young girl wearing a miniskirt was raped by taxi drivers to punish her for dressing provocatively. Men and women at the scene cheered the taxi drivers on, saying she deserved it (...more, although I searched the Sowetan archives about the incident and found they were very eager to report the bystanders she-deserved-it-response and the probability that the taxi-drivers would get away with it, instead of reporting where what and how we can make them come to book. Sowetan also published the victim's full name so that her victimisation can continue. There right, but not their duty. No names of the taxi drivers, or 'alleged rapists', were mentioned.)

Direko followed the first show up with a second show that focused on what listeners suggest should be done. Similar incidents were mentioned by people who called in, speaking of women wearing pants. These were some of the sug…

Ideal companies in the second millenium

Companies that thrive in the knowledge-driven global economy are spread out, with loose hierarchies, not rigid centralized structures. They depend on complex, constantly changing streams of information that can't be contained by any one source. And the tasks of groups within these firms link them to people within the company and without. The distributed-yet-interconnected character of contemporary work dictates reaching outward...And a bedrock for any successful team is a culture that supports frank discussion even if it's about bad news or mistakes.

TIME: It's what's on the outside that counts
As a poor student at Peking University in the early 1980s, Michael Yu wanted to follow his ambitious classmates to the U.S. for graduate school. He scored high on the required Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and was accepted at several universities, but he couldn't land the scholarships he needed to pay his way. So he stayed in Beijing, teaching English grammar …

Making a joke of women

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

An email doing the rounds, I received this from a Facebook connection - but via the email:

A pornographic movie is being shot and is intended to show up in America soon, which shows Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals. This is similar to a play that has been in the Theatre halls for a while. It’s called Corpus Christi “ which means “The Body of Christ”. It is a revolting joke of our Lord. But we can make a difference, that’s why I’m sending this e-mail to all of you. Could you, please, add your name to this e-mail’s list’s end? If you do so, together we may be able to ban this movie from being shown in America . Apparently, some regions from Europe have banned the movie already. All we need is a lot of signatures! Remember, Jesus said: “That he who denies Me before men, I will also deny Him before my Father which is in heaven.” Please, do not simply forward, put your name at the end of the list and send to all your contacts. When …

God on a leash, language makes him male

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

This notion is prevalent in feminist theology, particularly in the work of Mary Daly, who first suggested that the words we use to speak about God shape the way we experience and understand God. That’s why, she argues, it’s important to be aware of gendered language when speaking of the divine. If we always describe God as “he” and, more specifically, as “God the Father,” we will close ourselves off to the whole, full, range of ways in which we can experience God. We limit the divine power in our lives, and, too, in the lives of others, by suggesting that the only way to know God is as “He,” the father. Language, she famously writes, functions.

The Grand Sweep: A Marriage, Observed and Magic Words

Maybe the reason why the world sucks is because we need to take God onto the moors and let 'him' off the leash.

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

Douglas Rushkoff, an interview with Boing Boing

Notes from an interview he did with Boing Boing.
• renewed interest in Tim Leary and the use of psychedelics for spiritual discovery
• you now get psychedelic fundamentalists
• new things that get discovered have to be evangelized because we have access to share-technology
• Hegelian dialectic - combative/oppositional has had it's day - we must engage with knowledge/our opposers. Find alternative ways of understanding and applying experiences.
• Reality is an open-source proposition and are up for discussion, they are not laws - this is the basic thing he thinks he is writing about in all his media. We still have the opportunity to engage in mankind's next renaissance - as programmers of it.
• Bible as comic book - people inside the panel -gods outside the panel. When the gods reach into the panel they show up as a burning bush. Added modern storyline. Modern echoes to the echoes of the Bible stories. Daily, modern relevance - God tells us not to sacrifice our children to fals…