In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

Open Thread with Pi

Pi Day celebrations feature for this week’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

Pi pie2
Pi-Pie By GJ [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
So, what have you been up to? What would you rather be up to? What’s been awesome/awful?
Reading? Watching? Making? Meeting?
What has [insert awesome inspiration/fave fansquee/guilty pleasure/dastardly ne’er-do-well/threat to all civilised life on the planet du jour] been up to?

* Netiquette footnotes:
* There is no off-topic on the Weekly Open Thread, but consider whether your comment would be on-topic on any recent thread and thus better belongs there.
* If your comment touches on topics known to generally result in thread-jacking, you will be expected to take the discussion to #spillover instead of overshadowing the social/circuit-breaking aspects of this thread.

38 thoughts on Open Thread with Pi

  1. When I was a kid, sometimes I decided to take those fun-looking downhill paths on my bike. As it started rolling faster and faster down the hill, I quickly discovered that I had no way of stopping aside from jumping onto the grass or braking with the hope that I wouldn’t fly forwards onto the path. I could barely even understand what was going on until the hill was over or I was on the ground.

    It’s funny how such a typical childhood memory serves to also convey the feelings I currently have, as I prepare to come out to extended family once and for all.

    1. Sorry for the cryptic metaphor, which I came up with during a depressive episode. Bottom line is that I’m just a step away from coming out to my entire extended family on my dad’s side, and I’m nervous as hell. Everything is going way too fast in my life right now.

  2. For two weeks or so, I’d been feeling so ill. I could barely eat anything, heartburn would wake me up in the middle of the night two or three times, and every time I bent forward even the slightest amount, I felt like I was going to throw up. I felt bloated and distended all the time, my balance was off, and I huffed and puffed like the asthmatic big bad wolf and could barely speak for half an hour after walking 8 blocks home one evening.

    “Call your doctor,” said my best friend.

    “No, no,” I said. “I know what’s wrong. The growing baby is smushing my stomach. This is just the way it is.”

    “It wasn’t this bad for me,” she said. “Call your doctor.”

    “I think I just have to suffer,” I said.

    Finally she prevailed.

    “Take Zantac every day,” said my doctor. “Call me again in a week if it doesn’t work.”

    Within two hours of my first Zantac, I stopped feeling sick. The following day, I was eating real meals again.

    This has been a PSA brought to you by The Foundation for Calling Your Damn Doctor When Something is Wrong and You Have One, Because No, Suffering Is Not Just Your Lot In Life, Even If You Are Pregnant (FCYDDWSWYHOBNSINJYLILEIYAP). The more you know.

      1. The Foundation is going to sponsor another phone call tomorrow, because the zantac has stopped working miracles…

        1. My theory is that this stage is so unpleasant so that women (and anybody else pregnant) stop fearing labor, because we just want the baby out already! Only three more months or so to go!

  3. So I read The Hunger Games (all three books) and I’ve been debating how much of Katniss’s heroic actions were actually by her and how much she was manipulated or forced into doing. I’ve started a list of heroic actions she did without any manipulation from anyone else. You can help add to it if you want. It’s in no particular order.

    **SPOILER ALERTS for the whole Hunger Games series**

    1. Volunteered in place of her sister for the first Games.
    2. Asked Haymitch to save Peeta instead of her in the second Games.
    3. Shot President Coin.
    4. Interfered with Gale’s whipping.

    1. – avenges Ru, also builds the flower shrine thing, also mourns her publicly by doing the hand gesture thing.
      – forces the rebel leaders to save Peeta after he start’s doing propos and they deduce he’s being tortured.
      – goes back for her sister and the cat during the bombing
      – arguably every time she goes hunting for more than just her food she’s committing a heroic act.
      – there’s also a bunch of war stuff I can’t remember

        1. I think she’s referencing the Seneca Crane hanging doll.

          By the war stuff, I assume you mean everything that isn’t explicitly for propaganda – and I agree. Kicking what’s-his-face in the face so that she could help try to District 8 should count.

    2. I actually like her (comparative) lack of heroism. It turns what started out looking like a dime-a-dozen teenage-hero-saves-world story into a much more profound examination of war, trauma, innocence and grief.

      It actually reminds me a little bit of Animorphs (for those of you who grew up in the 90s), which started out as a ‘plucky band of teenagers get superpowers, skip school, secretly fight evil aliens’ and slowly matured, ending up with a pretty precise depiction of what being a child soldier does to people (PTSD, the destruction of their relationships with their family and friends) and the general evil that is fighting a war (one of the protagonists ends up being charged with war crimes). Even the ones who come out of the whole thing relatively unscathed live the rest of their lives full of grief and regret.

      The author of that series, K.A. Applegate, summed up why I think it’s good for pre-teens to be reading more stories like this, and less of the triumphal hero variety:

      Animorphs was always a war story. Wars don’t end happily. Not ever. Often relationships that were central during war, dissolve during peace. Some people who were brave and fearless in war are unable to handle peace, feel disconnected and confused. Other times people in war make the move to peace very easily. Always people die in wars. And always people are left shattered by the loss of loved ones.

      Here’s what doesn’t happen in war: there are no wondrous, climactic battles that leave the good guys standing tall and the bad guys lying in the dirt. Life isn’t a World Wrestling Federation Smackdown. Even the people who win a war, who survive and come out the other side with the conviction that they have done something brave and necessary, don’t do a lot of celebrating. There’s very little chanting of ‘we’re number one’ among people who’ve personally experienced war.

      So, you don’t like the way our little fictional war came out? You don’t like Rachel dead and Tobias shattered and Jake guilt-ridden? You don’t like that one war simply led to another? Fine. Pretty soon you’ll all be of voting age, and of draft age. So when someone proposes a war, remember that even the most necessary wars, even the rare wars where the lines of good and evil are clear and clean, end with a lot of people dead, a lot of people crippled, and a lot of orphans, widows and grieving parents.

  4. I had a rough week, but i’m having a good weekend. (there will be links tomorrow)

    And there is blueberry pie in the oven, because we are geeks who can’t let the only 3.1415 of our lifetime pass.

  5. Anyone here take yoga and find the whole thing to be preachy and religious?

    1. I think it depends on the instructor.. most yoga classes I have taken have really just focused on breathing and relaxation and stretching your muscles, and haven’t brought any religious or spiritual stuff into it at all.

      1. Not even the bland affirmation type? My studio is really heavy on the “You are exactly what you need to be and exactly where you need to be right now.”

        1. Ha, I’ve only done yoga in one place and while the owners were personally converts (to an actual religion, not just new age sayings) they never, ever brought it into it except where relevant to the roots of a given practice.

          I felt it was as respectful as a Western, white yoga practice could be and was also body positive and supportive so I was relieved. (It was Astanga, which may or may not make a difference. Also in NZ.)

  6. We had cottage pie for supper and strawberry-lemon galette for dessert. Double pie!
    Now I have the rest of the batch of lemon curd to find a use for, which is not a bad thing

    1. Yes, hello! The auto-renew for the domain didn’t work, and Jill was travelling, so it took a few days to get hold of her and get it sorted.

      1. Good thing nobody bought it from under you in the meantime! (I saw the page saying the domain was available for purchase.)

        1. It wouldn’t really have been available right away – domains are held for 30 days after expiry before going back on the open market. People would have been able to express interest, that’s all.

  7. I sincerely wish all yall lived near me because I have 10 puppies I need to rehome. In my entire dog owning life I’ve never had an accidental litter until now. Ome week before getting our male Anatolian/white german shepherd mix fixed, he knocked up my catahoula. So I have 10 gorgeous puppies that need homes. If you know anyone in Texas or east new mexico who may want a large breed, good tempered, very protective and naturally protective with women and children puppy, let me know.

      1. Yup. By the 8th I was shocked. She didn’t look that full of puppies but they just kept coming.

  8. Trigger Warning

    I’m working on a list of feminist laws we should have in America (don’t know enough about other countries to include those.) Here’s my first draft.

    Age of consent to sex is 18 years regardless of age or sex/gender of partner(s)
    Bullying based on gender outlawed in public schools and public colleges
    Child marriage outlawed (age of consent to marriage and cohabitation is 18 years regardless of parental consent, pregnancy, sex/gender of people to be married etc.)
    Child sex workers under age 18 treated as victims rather than criminals
    Comprehensive sex education required by law in public schools
    Enforcement of restraining orders mandatory under the law
    Employers required by law to offer paid parental leave
    Federal funds allowed to be used for abortions regardless of the reason(s) for the abortions
    Forced abortion outlawed
    Forced marriage outlawed
    Forced sterilization outlawed
    Free daycares widely available
    Gender recognized as a suspect class by the Supreme Court
    Health insurance required by law to cover birth control
    Health insurance required by law to cover abortion
    Rape (as opposed to the lesser crime of sexual assault) legally defined to include all forcible sexual acts, not just vaginal penetration
    Rape by person(s) gaining sexual consent by pretending to be other person(s) outlawed
    Rape by person(s) ignoring sexual consent being revoked after sex act(s) begin outlawed
    Ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
    Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment
    Ratification of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women
    Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
    Selective Service Registration ended
    Sex discrimination outlawed in public accommodations, public facilities, and public transportation
    Sex discrimination outlawed in the provision of goods and services in places of public accommodation
    Sex discrimination outlawed in public hospitals
    Treatment of marital rape and cohabitation rape in the same way as other forms of rape under the law

    1. Bullying based on gender outlawed in public schools and public colleges

      Can you define bullying, in this context? I have a lot of potential issues with criminalizing (for example) one adult gossiping about another adult, but I want to wait to understand your actual goal before critiquing it.

  9. Non-comprehensive thoughts, spurred partially by me being in a jurisdiction (NSW, Australia) that is already more progressive on some points than what you are aiming for:

    Age of consent to sex is 18 years regardless of age or sex/gender of partner(s)

    Age of consent where I live is 16. It was 16 for male/female and female/female couples and 18 for male/male couples when I was 16, the age I started having sex, but it’s since been equalised. Any particular reason you have chosen the age of 18?

    Child sex workers under age 18 treated as victims rather than criminals

    In NSW all sex work is decriminalised for people aged 18 and older. Do you think sex workers aged 18 and older should be treated as criminals? You seem to be aiming pretty low here.

    More broadly, if you’re looking at feminist law reform in the US you should really be examining addressing the massive levels of imprisonment perpetrated by the state, which has a huge impact on communities of colour and the lives of women of colour, as well as other forms of state violence like police-perpetrated violence. I don’t have my source book on me so I can quote particular studies but a huge proportion of queer and trans people of colour experience violence, including high rates of sexual violence, in their interactions with police.

      1. Good point, I’ll change that to all sex work should be decriminalized. I chose 18 because that’s the usual age of majority in America.

        Also I forgot to put the Paycheck Fairness Act.

    1. Age of consent where I live is 16. It was 16 for male/female and female/female couples and 18 for male/male couples when I was 16, the age I started having sex, but it’s since been equalised. Any particular reason you have chosen the age of 18?

      I have a tough time with this question. Obviously at some point and age of consent is too low, but where that is seems largely a gut reaction, which is in turn largely the result of the norms you grew up with. I feel squicky about the idea of a 16-year-old consenting to have sex with an adult (say, a 24-year-old), but I can’t really defend why it should be 18 and not 17.5, or 18.5. Similarly, the people for whom 16 is normal can’t really make an argument for why it shouldn’t be 15.5 or 16.5 years- except that eventually, it just feels gross and too young.

      If someone has a better way of thinking about this than I do, I’d be extremely interested.

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