Thursday, October 29, 2009

"How about a shave?"

Well, it took three hours, and I earned myself a nice blister, but the pumpkins are done: 

Sweeney Todd

Mrs. Lovett

Since there weren't any spectacular summer movies to honor this year, I figured I should immortalize my two favorite actors (and incidentally my two favorite movie characters) in pumpkin flesh.

Mrs. Lovett was really hard, since I was working in four shades instead of three, like Sweeney's, but I think they turned out okay.  I'll be better at it next year.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fuzz Therapy: Halloween edition

It's my favorite time of year, which means I have a lot of stuff to prepare before Halloween this Saturday.  My King Rat coat is half-finished, and tomorrow I'll be spending the day carving up my pumpkins.  I won't tell you what they are yet (in case I really screw them up), but don't worry: there will be pictures of those, too (unless I really screw them up).  So forgive my lack of posts this week.  I'm trying to savor the fall and Halloween before the snow comes.

And, for your viewing pleasure, I offer you Princess in a pumpkin hat (note: best $5 I ever spent):

This is my shame :(
But my joy!!

Ah, it cheers me so to make her pissed off.  Every cat owner knows what I'm talking about.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear my local news channel:

I'd like to discuss your take on popular Halloween costumes.  I can see why you'd say men favor the Batman and Michael Jackson costumes.  They're certainly popular.  But to say that women favor the sexy nurse and sexy barmaid completely misses the fact that there are no other kinds of costumes made available to women.  They are all some version of sexy

Yes, there are many women who love to dress sexy for Halloween, and that's perfectly fine, but don't generalize saying that women favor sexy costumes, because finding one that isn't sexy is damn near impossible.  And extremely frustrating to attempt.

I'm actually glad Halloween will be over soon.  Which fucking sucks because this is my favorite time of year. 

A woman who will be decidedly not sexy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I got it!

I've decided on my totally non-sexy Halloween costume.  I'm going as King Rat.  Yes, King Rat from the novel King Rat by China Mieville (whose prose makes me swoon).  The anti-sexy.  I am dressing as a man (or rat--it's pretty ambiguous) who once led armies of rats, and I'm totally embracing the whole "sewer denizen" image.

My fiance and I were at a Halloween Express earlier today trying to pick out costumes.  I quickly became frustrated with the women's side.  Mostly because we're dressing up for a Halloween festival.  Which is outside.  At night.  In the fall.  So no, I'm not going as a stripper.  But even the men's costumes were pissing me off.  Why must they all be designed for dudebros???  WHY???

I was about to give up and say forget the whole thing.  I was not willing to settle for pirate or vampire, even of the non-sexy variety.  That's when I looked down at a plastic cauldron full of squishy rats.  And it hit me.

So I bought rats and make up.  Tomorrow I will head back to my favorite craft store for material for the trench coat (though I'll be taking liberties by shortening the coat--I still have to be money-conscious).  I'm pretty sure I can assemble it in time for Halloween.  I thought about breaking out the rat coat, but that was inspired by the novel as a whole, not by the actual character.

Anyway, I'm having more fun putting my own costume together than I was trying to buy some pre-made (and poor quality) costume.  I'll keep you all updated.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On intention

My recent colorful discussion with Cute Overload got me thinking.  The defense of the rape-referencing post was essentially another example of "It was not my intent...."  Yeah, we've hear this before.

So, rather than waste more energy trying to get these particular people to understand why making rape jokes is not okay, I'm going to talk about intent in a broader context.

One can have the best intentions, and still say something racist.  Or portray something racist.  Or sexist.  Or misogynist.  Or homophobic.  Or anything else that might make someone feel less than.  One can, with the best of intentions, make light of rape, and then be left astounded that there was dissent.  And you all may be wondering how this can happen.

Because intent is irrelevant.  Intent does not affect how a wider audience will perceive what someone has said or done or made.  I think this is best explained when discussing books, since there's "the author is dead" perception, which basically means you only consider the text.  The author's life, experiences, education, family life, suffering, etc. is not relevant to the text.  This is perhaps the most basic way of reading a text, because most of us read just the book, and unless there's also something about the author within that book, our perception of the book is based solely on the book.  Unless we make an effort to learn about the author, we won't know about their possible motivations for writing the book.

I read Baudelaire's poetry before learning about his life.  Many of the poems are misogynist--the poem from which I get my namesake is probably the best example of this.  Learning about his life added some context, but I wouldn't go so far as to say, "Oh, that's okay, Charlie.  Those women were bitches."

And for all I know, Sara Douglass really isn't a rape apologist

But my problem with people claiming intent should change everything is that it's often used as an excuse.  Whenever I talk to someone about intent, I point to this example: 

The New York Post which published the cartoon has expressed that it was not intended to be racist, or offensive.  Except, it was.  And even if this was truly, innocently not supposed to be racist, it doesn't matter.  People are capable of saying or doing things and meaning well, and still say something racist:

Let me quickly stipulate and clarify that one can unintentionally express racism. That innocent intent, or ignorance of the history of how people of color have been marginalized, does not, however, in any way change the quality of what was being expressed. Something can still be expressed racism even if the speaker's intent was not to oppress people of color. And particularly if it does fit neatly into a historical pattern, it necessarily conjures that pattern of racism, intentionally or not.
And even if it wasn't Adam Lambert's intention to exploit women, he did:

Citing intention is simply a way to avoid owning up to one's actions, words, or work.  Saying things like "I didn't know it was racist," and "I wasn't trying to be sexist," and "I was referencing a movie, not making a joke out of rape," are all ways to avoid responsibility (though the last is also a product of our rape culture).

And that is why I say intent is irrelevant.  Your good intentions do not give you a free pass.  Sure, it's easy to react defensively and say that is not what you intended.  We've all been there.  There have been times where I have said something I regret, something which I said from a place of privilege, and which I thought was okay because I didn't intend for it to be taken that way, and the person calling me out on it was just being sensitive.  But that doesn't mean that I shouldn't reflect on it, and recognize why someone is calling me out on something I've said.  I, like anyone else, am not perfect, and sometimes I may say or write something that upsets, hurts, triggers, or offends someone.  And I will always do my very best to listen to someone's concerns, because it is also my intention to not further marginalize anyone by not owning up to my actions.  And I would want someone to treat me with a similar sense of respect. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fuzz Therapy

So I'm having a bit of a rotten week.  You can probably expect few posts from me, just so you all know.  I apologize, but sometimes I do need to take a step back.  However, I would not deprive you of some much needed fuzz (partially brought to you by MommyGrandeur).

Ah, a stretchy weenie.

I'm not sure what Rascal's watching there, but he looks interested.

And because I'd hate for Craig Brimm to miss out on his fondness for extreme fuzziness, here's the Princess:

Hope everyone's having a great week.  I'd say I can't wait for the weekend, but unfortunately I have to work.  Funny thing is someone at work asked me why I'm so grumpy.  That's where the ol' "are you fucking kidding me?" look comes in handy.

There is a non-sexy Robin!

In response to this post, Stephanie has sent me pictures of her and her husband, which I am sharing with her permission.  She writes:

I just read your post on sexy halloween costumes, which is also something that I hate about halloween, but I had to share with you the batman and robin costumes I made for my husband and I two years ago (mine was mostly out of kids t-shirts from target) that were decidedly non-sexy - note the sensible shorts. This year he suggested we switch and I be batman...unfortunately, the small mask was just a little too much, so don't think I can handle the batman hood/mask.

Totally awesome!  Any one else have non-sexy costumes they wouldn't mind sharing?  It would cheer me up to post them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Cute Overload FAIL


Some of you may have read my previous fail post regarding Cute Overload.  Well, I have some bad news.  Thanks to an anonymous commenter I have learned of another epic fail on the cute site.  There's a picture of a kangaroo (or wallaby, I'm not sure), in a post titled "The New Slave Girl, She Intrigues Me."  The caption reads:

Something in her eyes — there is a fierceness to them, a smoldering, unquenchable fire that has consumed many a lesser man.  It shall amuse me to break her spirit.  Have her bathed and brought to my tent at midnight.
Wow.  Just.  Wait, let me pull it together here.

Are you fucking kidding me?  It's a picture of a kangaroo and you're going to caption it with something incredibly racist and triggering??  Oh, that's so witty and clever of you to refer to the systemic rape of WOC (could be specifically black women, given the history of systemic rape and violence of black women in the US, but it could be referencing some romanticized idea of slave women--I don't really need to know.  It's fucked up either way).

Seriously.  What the hell Cute Overload?  I don't need racism and rape references with my pictures of cute things, especially since you've embraced the notion that cute = happy.

But, just so we're clear:  THIS IS NOT HAPPY AND IT'S NOT OKAY.

Apparently the comments section has been closed, but the post is still up.  I encourage you all to write and give the mods a piece of your mind:

**UPDATE**  The name of the post has been edited.  "Slave" has been omitted.  The caption remains unchanged.  Even without the word "slave" the caption is still triggeringly creepy and disgusting.  So is this subtle change supposed to fix everything?  Short answer: no.

**UPDATE**  The post has now been removed.  The above link will take you to an error page.  I'm hoping they'll own up to this post and apologize, rather than just pretend it never happened, but I'm not holding my breath.

**UPDATE** They didn't own up to the post.  Instead they decided to ridicule their readers.  With this sort of response, it makes me wonder why they took down the original post in the first place.  I mean, obviously they don't care if they're offending anyone. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Hosted by a leaf bug I found on my fence yesterday:

Here are some awesome links from this last week.

Femimint Hygiene: Vagina Mints:  File this under no and are you fucking kidding me??

The Pill makes you attracted to pansies:  A "study" shows that women who are on the pill are more attracted to men with feminine features, whereas those who aren't are more attracted to "rugged" men.  Oh nooeess!  Women attracted to "wimps?"  I guess the world is going to end soon.

I Do Believe in Lesbians, I Do!  I Do!: Apparently Tinker Bell dressing for colder weather makes her more masculine, and that's so awful because it will turn your daughters into lesbians.  Or something.

The Slut-shaming of Meghan McCain Over a Picture on Twitter: Aren't we tired of this sort of thing yet??

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!  And feel free to share your own links in the comments.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

But I don't want to be sexy!!!

It's nearly Halloween, and as every woman knows, that means we only have one option when it comes to costume choices: sexy.

But I don't want to be sexy.

My fiance suggested that we could dress up as Batman and Robin, which I thought would be fun.  But I told him I wanted to be Batman.  Which of course started a heavily gendered discussion.

First, a disclaimer: my fiance is wonderfully supportive.  As I'm reading up on the ways in which privilege works, and discussing it with him, he's even been noticing it and pointing it out.  He's also gotten really good at noticing gender roles and presentations, sexism, racism, etc. in shows, movies, and commercials.  Sometimes I like to play a game, where I see a new ad on tv and after it's over, I look at him and ask, "Why do you think I'm angry about that?"  He gets it right.  And I know it's not easy recognizing privilege.  I've been there.  I'm still there.  Because in recognizing the ways privilege works means that I have to give up that privilege, and there are times where it's like I'm having an internal battle.  So I know that for a straight white cisgender man this is also difficult, because there's a lot of unpacking to do there.  But it's all necessary.

That being said, me saying I wanted to be Batman still challenged some notions of gender that had yet to be discussed.  So he suggested that I could be Batgirl.  Or this abomination:

First off, NO.  Second, how many times do I have to point out that high heels are not practical crime-fighting footwear?  Third, FUCK NONo way in hell am I wearing that.  Ever.  I wouldn't even risk losing a bet if I know that is my punishment.  Note: the above image is labeled as a plus-size.  Really.

I really really really hate that the woman version of anything has to be sexy.  If I want to be Robin, why can't I just be Robin.  Robin doesn't wear a skirt, or heels (though honestly I wouldn't complain if he did), so if I'm going to dress as the character, I'm going to dress the way he dresses without sexifying it.

Oh, and what the fucking hell is this:

A sexy school girl witch?  Are you fucking kidding me?  So, what?  Now we're just mashing our heterosexual male fantasies together?  Maybe I'll dress as a slave princess kitten pirate.  With wings.

So anyway, my fiance and I were at the mall yesterday looking at costumes to kill time.  After having my fill of the above, and similar ilk, I moved on to the men's side.  That's when I saw the Edward Scissorhands costume, and I immediately got all excited and said that's what I wanted to be.  My fiance's response: that's weird.

In a way I guess it would be (though after being together for nearly 5 years, you'd think he'd be used to my "weirdness").  And for several gendered reasons.  One, it's a man's costume.  There isn't even a sexy lady version of that one (which hadn't escaped my notice).  Two, given that most if not all costumes marketed and made available to women are sexual, my choice in being not sexual is breaking from (a disturbing) norm.  While I don't care if other women choose to freely express themselves on Halloween, the one day where we're actually expected to be sexual (well, we are anyway, but we're not supposed to like it, cuz then we're sluts, or something), it's not for me.  Because, three, all costumes made available to women are all about playing up male fantasies.  If I choose not to engage in this, I'm shirking the expectation of engaging in the male fantasy.  My rejection of this effectively called out my fiance's privilege (see, the above disclaimer was relevant!).  He, as a man, can be whatever he desires to be for Halloween.  Me, as a woman, can be whatever a straight man desires me to be.  My fiance has a privilege to express himself in any manner he chooses on Halloween.  My options as a woman mean I can only express myself in a sexual manner within the confines of male fantasy.

And it gets disturbingly worse, because now us ladies can sexualize our doggies too:
Isn’t that cute? The dog looks like it’s filming a (more) pornographic version of the “Hit Me Baby One More Time” video! Seriously, dude, have the porn and entertainment industries so thoroughly brainwashed the American female into believing that her life ought to revolve around eliciting boners that we’ve now moved on to dogs?
I don’t dislike dogs. Dogs are cute and often very entertaining (though they stink a little more than I’d like them to), and I don’t mind seeing them around and even petting one occasionally. I won’t blame dogs for this abomination and affront to human decency and self-respect. I won’t blame the victim, as it were. Dogs don’t read blogs or dress themselves, so I’ll leave them out of it. Female pet owners and Halloween costume-wearers, on the other hand, I’d like to ask a question: Don’t you think it’s kind of insulting that when you have just one chance a year to be whatever you want, you’re still expected to be a sex object? Can’t we have one day of rest in 365? Men get to pretend to be any fanciful character their psyches can devise on Halloween. The don’t often come up with anything all that interesting, but still, they get to be whatever they want. And we’re supposed to also be whatever they want? That’s a pretty shitty deal.
The fuckability mandate sucks. Why foist it upon your poor dog?
This shit seriously needs to stop.  Halloween is my favorite time of year, and this is ruining it for me.  And whatever I dress up as (if I do dress up at all--money constraints and whatnot) you can bet it's not going to be some version of some male fantasy.

I'm thinking I might start planning for next year.  Since I'm an avid seamstress, I think I'll just make my own damn costume.  It sucks that the types of things I'd be willing to dress as just aren't available for me as a woman, and me making my own costume will only solve my problem.  Hmm....maybe I'll start my own costume business: Feminist Costumes for Feminists.

**UPDATE**  There is a non-sexy Robin after all.  Who knew?


Will someone plz think of teh children???

Well, this white judge does.  Or at least claiming to be thinking of the children instead of saying what he really feels.  Basically Keith Bardwell has denied a marriage license to interracial couples, with this totally not racist defense:

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."
I think Liss at Shakesville sums it up best:

Did I just read, in the year two thousand and nine A.D., a white man saying that he has "piles" of black friends who he generously allows to use his bathroom instead of sending them out in the backyard like a dog? And that's his defense that he's not racist?! For the love of Maude.
This judge has admitted he turns away interracial couples for the following totally not racist reason:
Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.
Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.
"There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage," Bardwell said. "I think those children suffer and I won't help put them through it."
Huh.  Well, apparently denying marriage to an interracial couple is somehow supposed to prevent children to those people?  Yeah, dude.  Sometimes shit doesn't work that way.

And what the hell is up with people having so much love and concern over potential children???  We have the anti-choice camp who's all about saving potential babies, i.e. exerting control over women's bodies (this same camp, of course, couldn't care less about those babies once they're born).  And now we have Bardwell, who just cares so much for children that he can't stand helping interracial children exist at all by turning away interracial couples.  That's seriously some fucked up logic. 

So asking "What about the children?" is completely pointless.  What about the children? 

macon d points out that this is simply a way to deflect the real racist implications:
Yesterday's news from Louisiana -- about the denial of a marriage license to an interracial couple -- reminds me of a scenario that I've encountered several times in real life, and also many times in movies and TV shows (but I can't remember any particular example of the latter -- can you?).

A black and white couple want to get married, but the parents and others object. Especially the white parents. But of course, they won't admit to the racism that's motivating their objection. Maybe not even to themselves.

So instead of saying something like, "I just don't want you marrying someone who's black," they often say instead, "But, but . . . what about the children? They'll have so much trouble, feeling, you know, accepted and all."
Oh, those poor biracial children.  As Liss aptly points out, "Well, he's got a point there. I mean, last I checked, the furthest a biracial child could go in America was president."

I would also like to speculate for a moment: if Bardwell asks every couple if they're interracial before agreeing to issue a marriage license, and he's only turned away four interracial couples (heavy snark), why is a complaint only being made now?  Didn't this question strike a fucking chord with any of the non-interracial couples?  I mean, if I was calling to inquire about a marriage license and that question was the first thing out of the judge's mouth, the first thing out of mine would be "What the hell does that have to do with anything?"  Or some colorful variation thereof.  How is the race of the two people any of his damn business??  And why didn't anyone else call him out on this shit?

Post-racial my ass.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Fall is undoubtedly my favorite season, and thus, Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I shamefully admit that I went trick or treating up until my senior year of high school.  Halloween is one of the reasons I can't wait to have kids (well, I can, but this will be a perk) since I will be stealing their candy.  They can try to hide it if they want, but my brother and I invented all the good hiding places for candy given that it was either hide it, or let it be consumed by DaddyGrandeur.  Not that I blame him at all for trying.  We ended up sharing with him anyway.  I mean, he does this nice "can I please have some candy?" thing, or something.  At any rate, it was good enough to make two sugar-crazed children actually want to share.  That's okay though.  He's "good dad" so he's earned it.

One of the best parts of Halloween is carving pumpkins.  This is actually one of the few activities I miss doing with my biological dad, back when I thought the world of him (my grown-up self knows better now).  I carved Vincent Price (above) while I was in college, and gave it to my grandparents the same day since I was worried about attracting fruit flies in my dorm. 

Last year I was caught up in the Batman frenzy, mostly because that was by far the best Batman movie yet, and also because Heath Ledger's performance was...incredible.  To honor the movie, and my nerdiness, I carved Batman and Joker pumpkins.  The Joker one was actually a little disappointing.  It seemed awesome in theory, but the pattern (not my own) wasn't the greatest.  So this year I'm going to try for actual portraits, but I'm not sure yet what they'll be.  Sadly, there weren't any movies this summer that inspire such art, so I might have to reexamine some of my old favorites.  I will certainly post pictures when they're done.

Happy carving!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guest post at stuff white people do

Macon D has graciously allowed me to compose a guest post for his site "stuff white people do."  Check it out:

stuff white people do: hate sagging, especially when white guys do it

So I've long noticed a common white tendency involving sagging pants: white people in general seem to hate sagging, and that hate is only intensified when the person sagging is also white.

I notice this tendency because my brother sags, and I have observed a number of instances where white people have not been too shy to express their judgments toward him.  He's been told to pull up his pants, helpfully reminded that he's not black (as if my brother is unaware of his skin color), and told to stop talking with that "accent."

These criticisms often came from members of our own family.  I can recall several instances where our dad yelled at him for "acting black."  But often this criticism comes from complete strangers (all white), usually in the form of street harassment.  He's told me that he's had white people shout at him from their cars while he walks to work, telling him to pull his pants up.
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fuzz Therapy

It's Wednesday.  So here's your fuzzy goodness!

There's Princess, pushing my hand away.  This is her way of declaring "DO NOT TOUCH" with a non-lethal scratch.

How can I not touch her though?  She's so fluffy.  And she's always tempting me with her cute pink belly...

Oh the torment!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

French Vogue does blackface for supermodel issue

Via Craig Brimm of kiss my black ads

According to this site (also courtesy of Craig):
The roster — including Kate Moss, Kristen McMenamy, Yasmin Le Bon, Eva Herzigova, Claudia Schiffer, Anna Selezneva, Diane Kruger, Constance Jabloski, and Eniko Mihalik — is entirely white. No black or Asian models made the cut. But they hired Lara — and her curves — in the spirit of inclusiveness, right?
I guess any white model with the right shade of brown paint works just as well...

I'm not really sure what the intended effect for this is, but as I've said before intent is inconsequential.  I'm just really really sick of having this same conversation every time something like this appears.  I mean, didn't we just do this?  Oh yeah.  We did.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I haven't done a link round up in a while, so I apologize (again).  Here are some awesome links I came across a while ago, and some more recent ones.  Check em out and leave the authors some love.

"Politics of Peeing: Test-driving a Go-Girl": awesome review of the device that lets us ladies pee standing up.

"Your Truth is Merely Truthiness, Friend": Liss of Shakesville on walking away from God. Though I can't say I've ever really believed in God, I can sort of relate to her post.  From the post: "I was learning how to get into Heaven. I wasn't learning how to be a good person." I applaud her for making that distinction.

"The Anatomy of a Tucker Max Joke": Tucker Max really only has like 6 or 7 jokes, and this post breaks down the formula.  Best quote: "I have one big problem with the “but it’s just funny!” defense. If an appreciation for Max’s “facts” requires only a sense of humor, and not latent misogyny, racism, or homophobia, why are his fans willing to listen to the exact same joke over and over and over again? It’s the same fucking joke."

"Schrodinger's Rapist: or a guy's guide to approaching strange women without being maced": which reminds me: I should buy mace.  This is a must read.  (Some) men need to understand sometimes ladies just want to function in public without being hit on.  Sometimes, we're just not interested (some of us are already in relationships).  This handy guide will teach you all about why we may not be interested, and about bare minimums (i.e. eye contact is usually pretty important.  No eye contact?  Then you should probably leave us the fuck alone).

"Then God said, 'Let there be sex,' and God saw it was good":  This is in case anyone should accuse me of being anti-religion/God, which I'm not.  I thought this post was quite awesome: "And somehow my mama managed to bring God into our discussions without bringing in guilt."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Want to illustrate the disposability of women?

It works best if you compare them to disposable snot rags.

I couldn't find the tv commercial to embed, but you can check it out at the above link and click for films (the as seen on tv icon).

A cursory glance at their channel imparts a few things:

  • Moms come 8 varieties: resourceful mom, Southern old timey mom, spicy Latina mom, hippie mom, strict older mom, BFF mom, do everything cuz she loves her babies so much mom, and the tough love mom.  
  • Mom varieties seem to have been yanked out of popular dudebro movies.
  • Moms can be cool and like sports (but mostly it's to impress the men they care for).
  • Moms love to tell other moms what to do.
  • Moms are apparently not exempt from racial stereotypes.
Don't like your mom?  That's okay, because now you can choose the perfect mom for you.  It's okay if you're a douchebag man-child.  There's a mom who will love you anyway.  And if you get sick of her too, just get a knew one.  Moms are tissues, I guess.

Update: I just thought of something else that bothers me about this stupid campaign: the whole mom identity.  Once a woman becomes a mom, the mom identity overshadows everything else.  Often in movies, tv shows, and even ads we see moms being moms, and any other identity is secondary to the mom identity.  Kleenex has cashed in on the mom identity.  These created moms are super awesome because their identities as moms seems to be of utmost importance in their limited characterization.

And it's like a pageant, where they're acting out skits and scenarios, and then encouraging the viewer to pick them.  Weird.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bonus Fuzz

I probably shouldn't be drinking while I'm technically sick, but it's hard to resist the allure of Blue Moon's pumpkin ale.

So here is my infamous Princess again in a bonus Fuzz Therapy.  I'll probably feel bad tomorrow about bothering her while I'm drinking, but whatever.  For a 17 year old cat, she's pretty resilient.

And she says no to alcohol:

Smart cat.

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope your Saturday is awesome (and it probably will be if you don't have to work--I do, unfortunately.  Blah).

Update: Called in sick this morning.  The fiance's on call all night, so I'll be napping on the couch all day with the kitty.  It'd be a great Saturday if I didn't feel like shit.  Bleh.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sixth graders in Sweden file complaint against Toys R Us for gender stereotyping

Just when I think the world really sucks, it's always a sharp group of kids to totally brighten my day:

Last winter, a sixth grade class at Gustavslund school in Växjö in south central Sweden reported Toys"R"Us to the Reklamombudsmannen (Ro), a self-regulatory agency which polices marketing and advertising communications in Sweden to ensure they are in line with guidelines set out by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

According to the youngsters, the Toys"R"Us Christmas catalogue featured “outdated gender roles because boys and girls were shown playing with different types of toys, whereby the boys were portrayed as active and the girls as passive”, according to a statement from Ro.

The group’s teacher explained to the local Smålandsposten newspaper that filing the complaint was the culmination of more than two years of “long-term work” by the students on gender roles.

Thumbing through the catalogue, 13-year-old Hannes Psajd explained that he and his twin sister had always shared the same toys and that he was concerned about the message sent by the Toys"R"Us publication.

“Small girls in princess stuff…and here are boys dressed as super heroes. It’s obvious that you get affected by this,” he told the newspaper.

“When I see that only girls play with certain things then, as a guy, I don’t want it.”
Children's toys are often sources of great frustration, especially for womanists and feminists, since they're seemingly never-ending pools of stereotypical gender roles.  Toys for girls often mimic the roles of care-taking and domesticity, while those for boys often encourage aggression.  And of course there's the problematic active vs. passive.

When kids like this seek to change the world, I'm reminded that there is hope for us.  If sixth-graders can see how the enforcement of stereotypical gender roles in a toy catalog can be problematic, and a third grader can organize a rally to support gay marriage, well, that's just incredibly amazing. 

H/T: Feministing


Jay Smooth on Roman Polanski

Just when I didn't think my internet crush on Jay Smooth could be more intense, he's come up with this:

In short, thank you!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fuzz Therapy (Guest Fuzz)

Sorry again for the lack of posting.  I've got a cough right now, and coupled with my asthma my breathing problems are wearing me down.  I've been going to work every day, since I can't really afford to miss a day, but by the time I get home I haven't felt up to writing anything.  So, bear with me.  I'll get back on track soon.  But I certainly wasn't going to deprive you all of fuzzy goodness.

Provided once again by MommyGrandeur.  Both my parents moved to a new house recently, and apparently Rascal and Precious have already found their new favorite place: the front porch.

Rascal looking for lizards to hide in DaddyGrandeur's shoes

And Precious, everyone's favorite weenie.

Hope everyone's having a great week.  Time for more medicine and a nap.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today in "are you fucking kidding me???"

Robert Pattinson is ranked as 44th on the list of 49 most influential men of 2009.

Um, I know he's starred in a popular movie and all, but come on.  He's not phenomenal by any means.  He's a mediocre actor who happened to land the role of a character that was already popularized by the novel.  Calling that "influential" is a tad excessive, I think.

Good thing I'm still not feeling well or I might be tempted to run into a brick wall repeatedly until I can forget that this dude even exists.

Then again, I have high standards.