Luckily, while I don't get health benefits from either job, I do earn vacation pay (and retirement $) from the library job. So I can actually afford to take some time off. Not much, because I'll still be losing hours at the store, but I can afford an extra long weekend.
I suppose it's a sign that on the day I made up my mind for sure that I was going camping in Sequoia/King's Canyon, we got this into the library:
Doesn't it look yummy?
It's so cool. I love s'mores and this has so many great recipes that I can't wait to try. And the best part is that some of them sound almost breakfast or snack-like instead of dessert-like: croissant with raspberries s'more (is that really any less healthy that the crap I buy far too often from Starbuck's?) and even and stuffed apricot s'more.
I can't wait for my trip!
(Although I'm starting to get really paranoid about packing and eating food while on the trip - Sequoia/King's Canyon is serious bear country. My stained and crumb laden car is getting a thorough washing from top to bottom, inside and out before I go.)
Friday, August 24, 2007
Luckily, while I don't get health benefits from either job, I do earn vacation pay (and retirement $) from the library job. So I can actually afford to take some time off. Not much, because I'll still be losing hours at the store, but I can afford an extra long weekend.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I remember hearing a while ago that they were doing a movie version of Sweeney Todd.
But I didn't hear anything else for a while...
It's coming out this December!
and Helena Bonham Carter
and Alan Rickman
(Harry Potter villains unite!)
Directed by Tim Burton!
What not to love about a Sondheim musical, that's directed by Tim Burton, stars Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman, and features the subtitle: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street?
Monday, August 20, 2007
MTV Films optioned Twilight back in 2004. But, despite having "engaged in a heated biding war" for the rights (e_e) they let the option lapse last April.
The rights were recently bought by Summit Entertainment.
Let's hope they actually do something with it, and that they do it right.
Summit Entertainment produced Perfume (ack!) Miss Potter :( and Bridge to Terabithia :) and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants :) . So, we'll see. At least movies based on kid/teen lit are really good. Two of the best out there, I think.
In any case, do check out Stephenie Meyer's just for fun casting suggestions. If for no other reason than to look at all the pretty men.
I picked up Black Canary 1 cuz, well it had Black Canary looking kick ass on the cover. I thought the story was fun, but it didn't hold my interest enough for me to have bothered to read #2.
Mommy Canary falls victim to the awesomeness of Kara!
Honestly. Seriously. I bought both (yes, late) and got incredibly distracted by how cool Supergirl was. I had been almost looking forward to reading more of about Mom- er - Black Canary but well, it was like when I was forced to go back to American chocolate after having traveled through Belgium and Switzerland. It was just too depressing. I needed some more time to savor the latter before going back to the former.
Having read pervyficgirl's critique of Black Canary 4, I'm kinda glad I haven't been by the comic book store in the last few weeks. Because omg, if I want to read about a relationship marred by Big Misunderstandings, Alpha Males who do not appreciate the the awesomeness of their women, Heroines that are TSTL*, and everything else that goes along with all that - including bad dialogue, I'll pick up a romance novel, thank you very much. A crappy one at that. (Julia Quinn would ashamed to write such dreck.) At least then I'll be getting beefcake instead of cheesecake.
(with special thanks to ami for teaching me the emoticon for "rolls eyes")
*for non romance readers, this means "Too Stupid to Live." While this term is generally reserved for damsels who can't manage to wake up in the morning without bringing calamity upon themselves, I think it also accurately describes a superhero who breaks down in tears in the middle of fights.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Finally, we have a new American Girl!
Meet Julie, a girl of the 70's. Yes, you read that right, a girl of the '70s. Yes. The 1970's. Which I think is supercool because so much of recent history doesn't get taught to kids because it's too "controversial."
And the books are written by Megan McDonald. How cool is that!
And OMG! here's the synopsis of the first book:
Julie Albright doesn't want to move away from her San Francisco neighborhood near Chinatown, even if her new apartment is just a few miles away... Julie tries to make the best of it by joining the school’s basketball team, but the coach won’t allow girls to play. She learns that it’s up to her to make positive changes in her new school—and her new life. The “Looking Back” section discusses the women’s movement, divorce, and other issues of the turbulent 1970s.(emphasis mine, of course)
The second book focuses more on Julie dealing with her parents divorce, and the fact that it wasn't as common back then. The third deals with culture clash between Julie's family and her best friend Ivy Ling's family. It also breaks tradition by being about about New Year's instead of Christmas. (The AG books all follow the same pattern - with the exception of Kaya's: Meet [blank], school story, xmas story, spring/birthday story, summer/heroic story, winter/growing up story.)
It gets better! In the fourth book
Julie and her best friend, Ivy, find a baby owl in Golden Gate Park—and it needs help. At a wildlife rescue center, Julie meets Shasta and Sierra, two bald eagles that will be caged for life, unless money is raised to release them back into the wild. For Earth Day, Julie thinks of a unique way to tell the public of the eagles' plight. The “Looking Back” section explores the beginning of the environmental movement.
Bwhahahahaha. (Sorry, I'm just imagining the reactions of all the conservatives that like the AG series bc it's "good, clean fun.") That is just so cool.
The fifth book is about the bicentennial. (Which is another break in tradition, because the first book takes place in 1974 and the series usually span only a year and a half, if I remember right.) In the sixth book Julie runs for school president. (Nice timing there, AG. ;) )
Although, of course, we are left with one big question, and I hope you are all asking it along with me. (Especially since the American Girl books are supposed to be about the idea of American girls being diverse in all kinds of ways.) Why the hell is this Julie's series and not Ivy's? Did American Girl think that they just didn't have enough blonde girls in their line? Are we ever going to have an American Girl of Asian descent? :(
At least they do give Ivy her own book (written by Lisa Yee), like they did for Samantha's friend Nellie, Felicity's friend Elizabeth, and Molly's friend Emily, when their movies came out. Which makes me wonder if this year's movie will be about Julie. That would be interesting. But I doubt it, since they have a theatrical release movie about Kit coming out next summer.
Maybe the fall doll drawing will feature Julie and Ivy this year? The first one featured Kaya, when she first came out. The last few years have featured the girls whose movies were about to come out. So maybe this year it's back to the new girl since there doesn't see to be a fall movie. Hmmm. I hope they at least keep the drawing as being for two dolls, American Girl and Friend. At least that will mean Ivy will get more exposure than she normally would.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I'm breaking my "no posting from work" rule today because OMG, I don't care that this is just a rumour, I can't not say
in response to the idea of Katies Holmes as Wonder Woman. (via Shakespeare's Sister)
I know that not everyone was thrilled with the idea of Whedon doing Wonder Woman, or some of the ideas he tossed around, and I could see a lot of their points. However, his leaving the project left with the sinking feeling that he and the money people were clashing over the no-brainer stuff rather than Whedon's style.
This rumor does little to reassure me that my suspicions are wrong.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
So, as I said earlier, I was going to notify all the people that I included in the carnival but who didn't suggest their own stuff, but....I really wanted to get this up on time and I have to go to my second job in about an hour and I haven't had dinner yet and I can't find half your e-mail addresses anyway! So instead, you get this:
If I included a post of yours in the carnival, but messed up your name, your link, misqquoted you, or you just don't want to be included - for whatever reason (and you don't need a reason) - please email me at QMickle[at]gmail[dot]com or leave a comment on either this post or the carnival one and I will fix the problem as soon as I can.
Welcome to the 16th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans!
Before we start, I have a confession to make.
I like science fiction, I really do. Fantasy too. I like the world-building and the hypothetical plots, the technology and the magic. All the things that make it science fiction and/or fantasy instead of something else.
But I have to admit that part of my love for scifi/fantasy is really a love for action heroes. More specifically, female action heroes. I spent a lot of time as a kid looking for adventure stories that featured - or at least included - girls, and a lot of them ended up being science fiction and/or fantasy stories. Women with swords, girls with magical powers, heroines with blasters. For some reason, leaving this world behind and building another made it easier for writers - and their audiences - to wrap their head around the idea that girls could love action and adventure.
When I was younger, the main obstacle to finding girl heroes seemed to be the relative lack of them. As I got older, I kept running into the uspoken and rarely broken rule that, when they existed, action heroines must be sexbots first and action heroes last. So when I stumbled across the Ask.com commercial featuring "chicks with swords" (via The Hathor Legacy), I knew that had to be the theme when I hosted the carnival.
So without further ado, here is the 16th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans, chock filled with sword carrying women and all kinds of other great - or not so great - stuff.
It's a bird. It's a plane....it's Supergirl!
My thoughts on the new incarnation of Supergirl lean towards gibberish along the lines of "Pretty. Shiny. Me like. Me want more."
Fortunately, others have been much more loquacious than I.
First off, ami at Super Cute Rants of DOOM XD (totally the best blog title ever) writes about why she loves Supergirl:
Why do all heroes have to be angsty and mean? Why do they all need "reasons" to be heroes?Indeed, why must heroes always have "motivation"? I like characters with depth, but I don't think that means their reason for being good always needs to be complex.
Can't we have some heroes who are just good ppl and dun have to become good ppl?
Why do girls need to be abused or live on the streets or be hookers in order to be heroes?
Can't they just crash land on a planet and be a hero? :D
Aren't we even allowed a few happy heroes? :)
Anyway, back to Supergirl.
Kalinara is one of the many who loves the latest issue of Supergirl:
Yes. Thank you.
That's what a real teenaged girl looks like. That's even what a real teenaged girl wears....She looks amazing.....Bedard's character is one I want to read about. Guedes's is one I want to see.
Brown Betty's praise is simple but oh so true for oh so many of us:
I just look at it and *siiiiiiiigh* with happiness.
A lot of the gushing over Guedes' art and Bedard's writing has happened in the forums, so I thought I'd include a few quotes from the ones hosted by Girl-Wonder.org (which I'm not sure is technically allowed, but I love this Supergirl so much I don't care!):
I have all-around feelings of joy for this issue. ^^-Linkara
At last, fantastic artwork (only one upskirt shot and it didn't feel like fanservice because of the shorts!). And Supergirl actually tried to do something to fix her mistakes instead of just wallowing in it.
I loved this issue so hard. Supergirl - and the other characters! - looked human, and instead of sulking about her mistakes, which were so very much those of a superpowered teenager with a lot of naivety, she tried to do something about them.-KPhoebe
For sure, the art in this was WONDERFUL. And I love how Supergirl and Wondergirl, despite both having blue eyes and blond hair, actually LOOK like two different women.... I really like how Supergirl is obviously a very young girl who is trying really hard to be a good hero.-Caribou23
Which brings us to the very sad news that a new creative team has been announced for Supergirl (via Occasional Superheroine)
Crash! SMASH! KABOOM!
(sorry for the interruption, that was my house blowing apart from the sheer amount of despair and rage inside my brain)
However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't still write to DC (if you haven't already) and tell them how much you are loving Guedes' and Bedard's Supergirl. Occasional Superheroine has some tips. (If you do, please keep in mind that Guedes' and Bedard's run was always meant to be temporary. Their departure is not (necessarily) a reaction to the idiots who think that Guedes' Supergirl is fat.)
Hermione is always right, unless she's being emotional.
(needless to say, do not click any of the links unless you've finished the series or don't mind spoilers.)
Over at Capitalism Bad, Tree Pretty, Maia hones in on one of the main complaints I've been hearing about Deathly Hallows:
'I'm going to leave you because I'm putting you in danger' is my least favourite relationship device ever.....What I find so frustrating about this, is that limiting women's choices for them is portrayed as a romantic act....Loving someone shouldn't mean limiting their agency.
*e, at A Blog Without A Bicycle, ponders the newest movie villian and brings up a good point:
"...I just wish that it wasn't her (overly) stereotypical "feminine" traits that made [Umbridge] so memorable. What if a female villan was just...villanous?"
I'll admit to being one of the many who enjoyed Imelda Staunton's Umbridge, but it does bring up the classic feminist dilemma when it comes to femininity: how does one analyze the limitations created by traditional femininity, or create a feminine villian, without bashing femininity itself? Hopefully with more finesse than the movie manages to have.
Sara of Sara Speaking discovers that sometimes gems do lurk within Amazon forums, after stumbling across this excellent question about power and gender in Potterverse:
I can understand how men would be better at physical fighting than women, but simply waving a wand in the air using spells based on pure intelligence….??? Hello?????......Where was the female equivalent of Dumbledore?Sara adds:
I find it a very valid question, especially since it’s a fantasy book. Why should it have to conform so closely to the male-dominant standards of the society we already have?....And why, oh why, is it called the wizarding world — when there is a clear gender-based differences between wizards (men) and witches (women)?
I think that fireeyedgirl sums up a lot of feminist fans' feelings towards the series as a whole when she writes that
I don't hate the Harry Potter books because of [it's treatment of female characters], I just am sad because I feel like there was potential in this series, written by a woman who is also the mother of a daughter, for a rebel girl heroine who breaks rules and succeeds.
All of which makes it that much sweeter to learn (via Jessica at Feministing) that Emma Watson, the talented young woman made famous by her role as the always clever Hermione Granger, considers herself to be "a bit of a feminist."
And on that note, Sara also points us to an illustration by makani of one of the few showdowns between female characters in the series.
"No....there is another."
There's a great article over at Jive Magazine about why "Star Wars fans hate Star Wars."
Never is this more true than when it comes to feminist fangirls who love Leia. (ie people like me) The knowledge that Leia was capable of becoming a Jedi, and yet was not the one who brought about the Return of the Jedi epitomizes why being a feminist SF fan is often a bittersweet experience.
Princess Leia was My First Idol, my first hero, the kind of princess I've always wanted to be.
She didn't just wait around and pray to be rescued.....[and] She told the scary bad guy that had us all quaking in our boots to fuck off.
And guess who else loves Leia:
“Outta my way, nerf-herders. Guess it’s up to me to save our skins—again! ZAP!”- from the always amusing mind of Meg Cabot.
No wonder why Mia is such an awesome princess.
Also, fellow Star Wars fan Sarah (Still Life With Soup Can) made some cool shirts for herself at Cafe Press and was surprised when other people bought them. I'm not surprised that the most popular are her Girl Revan shirts mocking "LucasFolk['s decision] to go and ruin the fun by declaring "Canon Revan" to be a light side male." Revan being a playable character in various Star Wars games, for the two people other than me who are unfamiliar with the name.
"It Slices, it Dices, and Makes Julienne Preacher." - And Other Sharp, Shiny Objects
Yes, I know Buffy's signature weapon was a wooden stake, but let's face it, we all loved her best when she was wielding something sharper than the pointy end of a picket fence. Which may be why Grace's summation of the best and worst of Buffy at Heroine Content features Buffy with a sword, not a stake. Like me, Grace
didn't watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it was first aired...[does]not believe the show deteriorated when it moved to the UPN.... [and] loved it from start to finish...she adds
All that being said, I've never seen anything on television so in need of feminist and anti-racist analysis as Buffy. The show gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "so close but so far away."
At 100LittleDolls, Shions_Glasses also reminds us that sexism often goes hand in hand with racism. (warning: spoilers for Rogue Galaxy within)
Of course the only woman of color in the game has to hail from a "backwards" tribal jungle planet. .....On top of that, her bow is pretty worthless in combat.Obviously, Lilika deserves better clothes, a better backstory, and a better weapon. XD
A sword, maybe? ; I
Amber Night finds yet another fantasy game with sword-wielding women sporting unlikely armor.
in the world of WAR, do they just go for the legs? ....You could make an entire suit of normal armor just out of her leg armor. Which…you know…probably would have been a good idea, given that her guild seems to be short on armorers able to craft from the crotch up.
Meanwhile, Tekanji uses a picture of a sword carrying girl to demonstrate (at Shrub.com) the dangers of assuming that your good intentions will mean your message is clear, even when the context is ambiguous. (I'm not going to quote the posts because it's more of an audience participation experiment. Just follow the links. It will take you to the girl and her bloody sword and explain who she is.)
"We rule Terabithia, and nothing crushes us!"
Alice, at Wonderland gives us some pictures of the incredibly awesome woman who won BlizzCon's costume contest, and her kickass getup.
BomberGirl (Girl in the Machine) talks about why she loves Heather from Silent Hill:
Throughout her story, we come to root for Heather. She's not perfect; she has flaws, from her short temper to the freckles on her face. She stands as my most favorite video game character of all time (just take a look at my icon!). And here at Girl in the Machine, game developers hand us so much to be negative about, and it feels wonderful to celebrate the positive aspects of women in games.
Kotetsu gives favorable reviews to two recent anime movies, Paprika and Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo. Regarding the former, she writes:
One thing that I love about Paprika, however, is the heroine....Like in all of Kon's movies, a woman takes center stage. Sure, there are lots of male characters, and sure, they're important - but they're only important in the sense that they interact with and support the heroine. It's almost the complete opposite of most Hollywood (and Japanese) movies.
Lyle, at Crocodile Caucus lets us know about an interesting possibility on the upcoming season of Supernatural:
Unfortunately, one thing that’s always kept me from fully getting into Supernatural is the show’s WiR-ness......Now, an interview with series creator Eric Kripke gets me excited about Supernatural for the first time. There’s no money quote, but, at the least Kripke shows an awareness of the problem and seems like he’s looking to correct the course.
Lastly, I'm apparently not the only one that adored Spider-man, Fairytales #1. Pervyficgirl writes:
I love this comic. Possibly I read it six times. Possibly I will be sharing with my eight year old niece. Something I dearly wish I could do in good conscience with Black Canary or current Wonder Woman.
Also, it is implied that Peter is going to make his Spider-costume out of the remains of MJ's red hood. Awwwwww. I love you, Peter Parker. You wear your strong woman's clothes.
"It's just so illogical, you know, about being a Smurf... what's the point of living... if you don't have a dick?"
The latest version of the Smurfette Syndrome is brought to us by the new Transformers movie. Ragnell eloquently rants:
Why is being a girl so fucking special? Why is it that every other fucking robot has a male fucking voice and no one questions why they have gender coding but the fucking second you bring in a female voice and god forbid you put it in a feminine color you have to suddenly explain why everyone has gender?Amen!
And the next time someone tries to argue that it's all because girls don't like action and explosions and the like, feel free to spit out the stats from a recent study that says otherwise. Mighty Ponygirl (from Feminist Gamers) summarizes:
While the numbers still show that boys play more videogames than girls, the gap is not as wide as people would like to believe: while 2/3 of boys reported playing a violent video game at least once a week, so did a full 1/3 of girls interviewed. This means that even the remaining 2/3 of girls who play videogames may still play violent videogames, just not as often as once a week.
On a more "high-brow" note, Eleanor at Ambling Along an Aqueduct has some thoughts on why there don't seem to be as many female SF writers:
I think there is a double prejudice operating here. One is a prejudice against the life sciences as opposed to physics and engineering.....The other, of course being that it can't really be "hard" SciFi if it was written by a woman. (Women being soft and gooey and all, I guess.)
Charleanders at She's Such a Geek! asks us to help Free Julie Delpy!. She also asks:
Why does Steven Spielberg get to make dozens of increasingly braindead films, when Julie Delpy doesn’t get her shot?Good question!
On a similar note, while the statistics are not about Science Fiction/Fantasy in particular, gillpolack points us to some interesting, but depressing, stats on gender in movies:
72% of speaking character parts are male;Ouch. I can't imagine the stats are better when one looks at just scifi/fantasy.
83.5% of crowd scenes are male;
83% of narrators are male.
(note: the link to See Jane's research seems to be broken. Their site is currently being reworked, and that may be why. I'll try fix the link when/if I can.)
At Feminist SF - The Blog! lizzard let's us know that
Juno Books’s Paula Guran is looking for stories for Warrior Women [a reprint anthology]...Amazons to warrior princesses to space cadets—strong women who meet the challenge of fighting the good fight.If you have any suggestions - send them in!
I'll admit that I don't know much about LiveJournal, and many of the postings about the recent controversy over LJ banning various fandoms and fanfiction journals has left me more confused than enlightened. However, Mastor Erestor has some strong words to say on the subject:
"Obscenity" is the perfect tool to weed out everything that doesn't fit in a nice, clean, straight, male-dominated and preferably white world.(sigh) Isn't that always the case.
Ahh! Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal!
Bellatrys, at Nothing New Under the Sun, takes one for the team and reviews the first two Gor books. Her reason?
After about the fifth or sixth reiteration of the (usually-male-made) claim that "the first ones weren't so bad, the misogyny and male dominance stuff didn't come in till later," I resolved, in my Chaotic way, to challenge this dogma and put it to the test.What she finds is scary in so many ways.
While I'm sure everyone knows by now just why the lamentable Gor series is getting more dicsussion lately, it should also be noted that, as J. E. Remy (Die Wachen) points out, apparently
Dark Horse feels it not only appropriate to support the subjugation and victimization of women by republishing this long out-of-print work, but to market it to “all age groups.”(emphasis mine)
Remy's posts critiquing Dark Horse's decision also include all kinds of contact information in case you want to write letters to the parties involved.
Because I cannot end this on a bad note, I leave you with 1) Space Invaders Against Sexism!
(Yes, it's from kotaku - but it's space invaders against sexism! - and it's via Jade Reporting. I think......It's been a long couple of days.)
And 2) a reminder that Ragnell is still looking for someone to host the 17th carnival.
That's all folks, thanks for coming!
Sorry all, the Carnival is coming. I just need to do one last proofread and shoot off warning e-mails to people whose inclusion came about through some means other than self-submission.
But before I do that, I need to get something off my chest. I have a looooooong post hidden somewhere in the drafts about this, but it's just come up far too many times lately for me to not give the short version (which is probably better anyway) and yet still be able to concentrate on the proof-reading.
So here goes:
Television and movies suck because no one knows how to make them. And by no one, I mean us, not the people actually making them.
Better writers make better readers. Better readers make better writers. And an audience consisting of good readers who know how to write always demands higher quality material than an audience consisting of bad readers that don't know how to write.*
The problem with TV and movies are that they are read-only. Don't believe me? Read Amusing Ourselves to Death. Count how many times Neil Postman rants about how the written word is inherently better than moving pictures. Count (on one hand) how many times his argument doesn't include examples of readers also being writers. Ask yourself if moving pictures really need to be read-only. Start yelling at the book. Then start caring about media literacy. And by media literacy, I don't mean "TV bad, books good."
* pretend there's a detailed caveat here about why this doesn't mean what it seems to mean when it comes to kids books.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I'm trying to track down a source for "Hermione is always right, unless she's being emotional."
Google gives me this:
Did you mean: hermione is always right unless he's being emotional
Stupid google. Stupid google math. Stupid people. Stupid patriarchy.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
So, I'm rummaging around the internets for feminist commentary on the latest Harry Potter and I discover, via the amazing Ms. Watson's website, that there is going to be a movie production of Ballet Shoes.
A "girly" movie for girls that isn't about cliques or fashion! Plus, one based on a great book? Yay!
And it will star Emma Watson? cool!
Oh, it's a bbc production, not a theatre release? Well, at least I won't have to worry about them messing the books up.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
How did I miss this ?!?!?!
I was rummaging around Mo Willems site (because I have an idea/manuscript for a kid's book and I wanted my fav's advice on how to edit it and market it) and I ran across this:
Q. Just ignore the name and listen. I LOVE your pigeon books.....when will plush pigeon,knuffle bunny, and leonardo be out....?--Kuzco Bang
A. ....By Toy Fair in early 2007....Wow, that's a name alright.--Mo
What? WHAT!? WHAT?!?!?!?!?
Why haven't I seen them. I MUST SEE THEM. I MUST HAVE THEM!!!!!!!!!
They have a plush Pigeon that says "Let me drive the bus!"
And Leonardo is puppet!
Where can I buy????????
Friday, August 10, 2007
when bullies travel in packs, they generally don't give a shit about their targets reaction
they mainly just care about how much their peers will approve of their asinine behavior
and whether that will move them higher up on the pile of dirt they are all fighting over
so don't suggest in my presence that calling attention to such sludge is the same as feeding the trolls
i'm likely to go all ape shit
or at least curse more than usual
especially if you are suggesting this through concern trolling
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Or: "Shades of Gray" is Still a Binary Construction
Are you a feminist?
that "There is no such thing as a "man's job." It is wrong for men to be given preference for any job position, even if women traditionally aren't in that field.."
Well, obviously, I strongly agree!
Which says so much about how feminist I am.
more blah blah blah about how men and women should be treated and judged.
But wait! Now we are asked:
Women should take an equal role in dating. Women should ask out people they are interested in and take their turn in paying.
So, is this "In an ideal world, women should..." or is this "In the real world, where men are more likely to treat women like shit if they do so, women should...."
No answer? Well then, where's my line for "This is a dumb question?"
Wait, you mean there isn't a way to do a write in answer?
phht! Stupid quiz.
In fact, now I want to take back my other answers. If you are asking questions like that, what exactly do you mean by "Women should be economically and socially independent. They shouldn't rely on men to take care of them."
Is that, like, code for "Yes, women should have the right to be stay at home moms. But tough shit if they want a divorce. Alimony? Hah! Get a job!!!"
|You Are 90% Feminist|
You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).
You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.
I mean, yes! I am. I meant no to the 90% since I got 90 instead of 100 because I hate stupid questions.
And yes peoples, I know it's just a dumb, fun internet quiz. That doesn't change my point about the "women should..." questions, which pop up in far more serious situations than silly multiple choice quizzes but are still phrased in ways that imply the only answer is "yes" or "no" - or degrees of "yes" or "no."
yeah, you with the boxing gloves
The fact that even you ask so many dumb questions may be part of the reason why "[feminism is]... somehow complicated for the world to put into action." Despite it being "a simple idea."
just a thought
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
The 16th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans will be held HERE! on August 16th.
(huh. two 16s. I totally didn't notice that the first time.)
You can send submissions to me via email at QMickle[at]gmail[dot]com or via the submission form.
Submissions should be sent by August 13th.
(note: by sundown on the 13th is more than ok.)
Anything written between the 30th of June and the 13th of August that fits these guidelines is welcome - nay, encouraged! The theme for this edition is "women and weapons" (but that's really just there in case you need inspiration).
Thanks to everyone who has sent in links so far - they all look great. Keep 'em coming!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
This is probably not important enough for a post, but I cannot stop cracking up about this.
I think that the part that keeps giving me the giggles is that they registered a third contributer named "WFA" (who has no profile, as of yet) just so that they could sign the post "WFA" instead of "Kalinara" or "Ragnell the Foul."
'Cuz just when I start to get annoyed at the people that prompted the post, I picture Kalinara and/or Ranell realizing "oh, wait, we totally need to sign this WFA!" and then bothering to create a new contributer just so that they can get the point across. Which is just so awesome and so funny.
Studies like this - or rather, articles like this - drive me crazy.
'Baby Einstein': a bright idea?
Infants shown such educational series end up with poorer vocabularies, study finds. Researcher says 'American Idol' is better.
By Amber Dance, Times Staff Writer
August 7, 2007
Parents hoping to raise baby Einsteins by using infant educational videos are actually creating baby Homer Simpsons, according to a new study released today.
Studies never say shit like this, and while I realize that newspapers need to try to sell information/newspapers, they can do so while being scientifically accurate. First of all, the writer should have used "may be" rather than "are." (for reasons I'll go into in a bit) and "according to the results of a" rather than "according to a" because the way it's written now makes it sound like they are paraphrasing rather than interpreting the study. Also, the bit about American Idol needs to be crossed off. It's eye catching to be sure, but since the exact quote (found at the end of the article) is:
"I would rather babies watch 'American Idol' than these videos," Christakis said, explaining that there is at least a chance their parents would watch with them — which does have developmental benefits.
it's misleading in the extreme. Headlines should not act like all the adorable newsboys in Newsies.
So, what does the study say? Well, the article has three whopping paragraphs about the actual study (about a third to a quarter of the total story):
For every hour a day that babies 8 to 16 months old were shown such popular series as "Brainy Baby" or "Baby Einstein," they knew six to eight fewer words than other children, the study found.
Christakis and his colleagues surveyed 1,000 parents in Washington and Minnesota and determined their babies' vocabularies using a set of 90 common baby words, including mommy, nose and choo-choo.
The researchers found that 32% of the babies were shown the videos, and 17% of those were shown them for more than an hour a day, according to the study in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Christakis said children whose parents read to them or told them stories had larger vocabularies.
Two things stand out.
First, that half the parents who showed their kids the videos had their kids watch them for more than an hour a day, which (I believe) goes against the instructions on the videos. It definitely goes against common sense. Considering how much time babies/toddlers spend sleeping and eating and how much time they need to spend talking to people and doing physical activity, doing anything other than these four things for more than an hour a day is generally not a good idea. It's not the positive act of watching the videos that's the problem, it's the negative act of not doing the talking and the moving around. So, as long as you make sure your baby/toddler spends a lot of time doing these things, there's really no reason to think that you are dumbing your baby down by popping in a video every once in while. And since the study didn't divide up kids who watched up to an hour and kids who watched more than an hour, it doesn't really tell us more than were already knew, or could have guessed.
Secondly, the way the last sentence is phrased suggests that there are two groups of parents, the ones who show their kids videos and the ones who talk and read to their kids. In reality, there are three, parents who show their kids videos, parents who talk and read to their kids, and parents who do both. (Well, four, there are also parents who do none of these things, but we don't need a study to tell us that this control group would have a lot of developmentally lagging children.)
This is why the "are" instead of a "may be" annoys the crap out of me. My niece and nephew have had both Baby Einstein videos and a crazy amount of books since day one. They've always been read to a lot and have only watched more than an hour of television a day on very rare occasions. I don't know if the Baby Einstein videos have helped or hurt them or neither, but they are most definitely not Homer Simpsons. And since having to sit with them while they watch videos and cartoons would have taken away one on my sister's breaks and made her more frazzled and worn out during the rest of the day, I very strongly disagree that watching American Idol or anything else with my sister would have been to anyone's benefit.
As I understand it, the Baby Einstein videos were not created to make babies smarter so much as they are meant to be media that is developmentally appropriate for babies and toddlers. In my opinion, the Baby Einstein videos are developmentally appropriate as long as you follow these three conditions:
1) no more than an hour a day (preferably less than an hour and not every day) - except on rare occasions.
2) stick to the ages recommended as much as possible (it's ok to bend the rules if your kid is above or below the curve and if your kid as become obsessed with a particular topic)
3) Repetition. Don't buy a bunch and show a new one each day, start with just one or two and show the same one for an entire week - or even month, if you are only showing them videos a couple times a week.
We've already discussed rule number 1. Rule number 2 is there because the concepts in the videos are broken down into age appropriate concepts and matched with age appropriate pacing and dialogue.
The article describes the videos as
The videos, which are designed to engage a baby's attention, hop from scene to scene with minimal dialogue and include mesmerizing images, like a lava lamp.
Which isn't really accurate. They do not "hop from scene to scene" - at least not compared to most TV/movies. They are very slow paced, with much fewer cuts per minute, and tend to include a lot of logical transitions. Seriously, minutes will go by at times without a cut*, which pretty much doesn't happen in regular TV unless you're watching a show by Joss Whedon or the like.
The minimal dialogue is good for the babies, who don't benefit from dialogue on screen the same way they benefit from the conversation around them.** The "dialogue" in the videos for babies is meant to act like a parent consistently pointing to a dog and saying "dog." They pretty much repeat a handful of vocabulary words at appropriate times. Which, no, does not work as well as having the child interact with others, but it is better than lots of dialogue on screen. The videos for older toddlers have more actual dialogue than what babies can follow on screen, and that's part of the reason why it's best to stick to the recommended ages.
Rule 3 is there to remind parents that kids need repetition in order for things to sink in. That's why the videos will repeat the same images and words over and over again. That's also why your kid will ask for the same book over and over again. One of the TV shows that has been proven to increase kid's vocabulary and thinking skills, Blue's Clues, only really does so when the repetition that the creators intended (the same show repeated throughout the week) is followed.
Videos are not a substitute for parent-child interactions or books and stories. But considering how much information adults get from media like TV, it's about time we started thinking critically about how to make our kids media saavy in ways that go beyond "advertising bad" and "TV bad." Part of that includes more nuanced studies than just "reading is better than watching movies!" Well, considering the state of the media, duh. But until we acknowledge that moving pictures can be more than just entertainment, very few of them will be anything other than entertaining.
*A noticeable one, anyway. Some of the videos have skits with puppets, and there will be cuts between the skits when the puppets are offstage, but you have to know what you are looking for to see them.
**A caveat: while still not as good as person to person conversation, dialogue that rhymes a lot (songs, nursery rhymes, poetry, Dr. Seuss books on tape) should work as well as the concentration on particular vocabulary words. The idea is that, because babies have a harder time following dialogue on screen, you want to focus on one thing instead of expecting them to pick it all up together. Having mostly words that rhyme allows them to focus on the sound of language, rather than the meaning of words. This is the one area I think the Baby Einstein videos are lacking in, they concentrate too much on vocabulary and not enough on the other parts of language that babies need to learn.
Monday, August 06, 2007
As usual, I don’t know what the fuck Scott is trying to say here. One would assume that he is either trying to make fun of people who call him names or trying to say that people shouldn’t call hi-….er…other people names, but in a funny way.
But for some reason he’s decided that the insult “misogynistic douche” is, in and of itself, snark worthy. (Which, it kinda is, but not for the reasons he goes into.) So he asks, "What would a misogynistic douche look like?"
A “misogynistic douche” would look like, well, a douche. Seeing as how the premise of the douche is that the most female of female parts is so dirty that one not only needs to clean it out regularly*, but that sometimes it needs to be cleaned out with bleach. (Yes, bleach.)
In case this is news to anyone (other than Scott), here is the PSA: douching is NOT a Good Idea. (Unless your doctor prescribes it.) It tends to cause problems rather than prevent them because it messes up your body's natural defenses. Even when all you use is water. It is even thought that douching may increase the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy and all sorts of other nasty stuff.
The question should not be "what do we need to put in douches to make them misogynistic?" , but rather, "why was using water not misogynistic enough?" and "What in god’s green earth moved Lysol to advertise (once upon a time) as a feminine hygene product?" And "why the fuck would anyone write a post contemplating ways to make douches more misogynistic than they are?"
The insult “misogynistic douche” is a bit redundant, and I can see making fun of it for that reason. But otherwise….as usual, Scott rants just make me very, very glad that I never have to deal with him in person.
*Yes, we all bathe regularly. We do not, however, all have enemas regularly. Or, in general, at all - at least not outside of non-mainstream porn or the doctor's office.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
While going through the latest Jade Reporting post, I learned about an online clan for XBox that consists of kids ages 8 to 16, chaperoned by an adult. The clan, GR8, is all sorts of cool, giving kids reasons to finish their homework and stay away from gangs and the presence of adults helps the kids learn to be good sports and even pick up school related knowledge (like negative numbers) that would likely have taken them much longer to figure out on their own.
Unfortunately, the articles are all about the fact that various groups of assholes will often come and harrass the kids and parents (often - always? - moms) with all kinds of graphic language - and then report the parent as an abuser when they kick the offending parties out of the room.
A co-worker came and told me yesterday - quite excitedly - that they are making movies of Where the Wild Things Are, Horton Hears a Who, The Tale of Despereaux, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. (There were a couple others, but I'd either already heard about them - Spiderwick, The Dark is Rising - or I can't remember them at the moment.)
I don't think she got the reaction she expected.
Friday, August 03, 2007
It occurred to me today (while reading something only somewhat related ) that the Pie Fights happened over two years ago.
My, how time does fly.
It makes me wonder about how much things have changed and how much they've stayed the same.
It also makes me wonder if the MJ Kerfluffle (because, you can't give them serious names) will be the same sort of benchmark event for the comics/scifi blogosphere as the Pie Fights are.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
In the tradition of legislating on abortion, a certain distinction was made out of prudence: On the one hand there may a young, unmarried woman, who finds herself pregnant, with the father of the child not standing with her. Abandoned by the man, and detached from her family, she may feel the burden of the crisis bearing on her alone, with the prospect of life-altering changes. On the other hand, there is the man trained in surgery, the professional who knows exactly what he is doing — he knows that he is destroying a human life, either by poisoning a child or dismembering it.
NRO "pro-life expert" Hadley Arkes, responding to Anna Quindlen's question (via Shakesville)
(emphasis mine - but I'm enough of an idiot that someone else had to point this out the gender division to me)
Women are not moral agents. (Also, apparently, not doctors).
The people that should be punished are those evil men who take away what rightfully belongs to other men.
Of course, I also love the fact that she is unmarried and childless. Which, while statistically likely, isn't always the case. She isn't always young, either. Or, at least, she's usually old enough to die for her country. Although, a lot of women getting abortions are at an age where people tend to not have health insurance, and thus many affordable options for birth control. Hmmmmmm.....
Posted by Mickle at 11:59 AM
Not that anyone who would disagree with me is likely to read this, but having waded through quite a few looooooong threads on the recent Ohio bill (ok I skimmed some) and the inevitable questions of rights, child support payments, etc. I just needed to say a few things just for the hell of it. But I don't really think they'd add much the the several hundred long comment threads...so, well, this is why I have my own blog.
1) When it comes to abortion, having equal reproductive rights does not mean that men have "veto power," "a say" (legally), or even the right to be notified regarding pregnancy. Why? because it's not your effing body.
"But, but, but, I have a right to have a say it what happens to my child!"
2) If the state does not have enough of an interest in the fetus' welfare to override my bodily autonomy and privacy, neither do you. Why? Because you only have rights as a parent because you are the custodian of your child's rights. If the fetus' rights don't supersede mine, neither do your rights as a potential parent.
"But, but, but, then I should get to opt out of child support payments!"
3) Child support payments are not a contract with the mother, they are a contract with the child. Not being legally able to override a woman's autonomy does not change your responsibilities as custodian of your child's welfare and rights.
Or, as EG states over at feministing, Your complaint is really that biology is unequal. "[W]omen take on by far a greater burden when it comes to reproduction, and thus the stage of pregnancy falls into the purview of women's bodily integrity rather than men's." In other words, the fact that you are not the one pregnant means that you don't get to make legal decisions about pregnancy, but that has no bearing on the rights your child has. Biology is something that laws can work around (ie, does equal number of bathroom stalls mean equivalent number, or proportional to the number needed?), but it's not something that laws can change.
I love it when we get neat stuff into the store. (My wallet, however, doesn't fare too well.)
We just got in a pop-up version of We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. I love, love, love this book, but can never tell it well. The kids always love it anyway.
I wouldn't recommend getting the pop-up instead of the original (in any format) because they had to cut stuff to make it fit. Plus, pop-ups and toddlers don't mix well, no matter how much they love them. But it's absolutely adorable and the pop-ups are well done. So it's a nice treat for older kids (preschool-age, at least) or adults who love the book.
(btw, someone gave the board book a one star review on Amazon. I think the review itself is hilarious. And sad.)
We got in book 2 of Judson Robert's Strongbow Saga: Dragons From the Sea a few weeks ago. I haven't had a chance to read the second book yet, but I liked the first, Viking Warrior. More importantly, it was an engaging and well written non-magical adventure story that should appeal to teen boys - and is marketed to them, and not to adults. A rare occurrence indeed.
But of course, what I'm really waiting for is Eclipse, which is due out next week, and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?, which is due out a few weeks after that.
And this has nothing to do with cool new stuff, but having stumbled across the one star review of We're Going on a Bear Hunt, I was curious about whether or not other classics had gotten one star reviews on amazon as well. And sure enough, there are one star reviews for Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Goodnight Moon, and Where the Wild Things Are. Of course, the best ones are for kid's novels.
I don't expect everyone to love every classic, but some of these reviews just crack me up.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
"I hate this book SOOOO much. I was seven when I read it for the first time. It scarred me to irrevocable fear and forced its malicious, acrid depiction of the murder of four innocent children down my vulnerable throat. Many have argued with me and have said that the children didn't die. However, I argue intensely. First of all, Willy Wonka is a liar and anything that expels from his horrid monstrous mouth can be regarded only for the sake of malevolence and remain at that..."
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing:
"Subversive. I swear kids like this book because it is their first introduction to sexuality. The persistent thread of "oh no, this forbidden thing can't be happening" makes for a sort of naughty thrill ride, a sort of prepubescent fantasy about acts of social misbehavior. Covertly sensual acts (like the eating of the turtle, the ultimate "oh no!") and bathroom allusions help charge kids up in ways they can't even grasp themselves."
A Wrinkle in Time:
"...is an extremely terrible book. Its attempt at science fiction is out of place and corny to the extreme. I read this book expecting it to be a decent novel, but instead I encountered garbage. Oh, and don't pay attention to the Newbery Medal Award that they awarded. They probably awarded it to A Wrinkle in Time because there were no other books published that year, so it won by default. Even then, it was more than likely that the people who gave the award were reluctant to do so. It only says that I gave it one star because there was no choice for 0 stars or lower. This book would be much more entertaining...if it were burnt. "
Bridge to Terabithia:
"My daughter was assigned Bridge to Terabithia as summer reading for 5th grade. Whenever I suggested she read it, she would groan and reply, 'Mom, its SOOOO boring.' Thinking she was stalling and complaining about nothing, I picked it up one night after she had gone to bed. She was right - it was boring. Really boring. The characters are not developed, the plot is superficial, and, in the end, none of the questions that are raised are really answered. I realize that it was an 'award winning book', but the competition must have been truly awful for this book to have been the best. If I may, I would recommend 'A Wrinkle in Time' instead (also on my daughter's reading list and a story we both have found much more enjoyable.)"
So, dear readers, which classic book(s) that everyone loves, did you hate with every fiber of your being?
I have to admit that I can't think of any myself at the moment. Once upon a time I might have said Goodnight Moon (not that I hated it, just that I didn't get The Big Deal), but having studied it in kid lit classes, I know understand why babies and toddlers love it.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
A review/analysis of Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
(Go here for the Intro and links to Part I and beyond.)
As the back of the books says: "Beware the Wild - it bites..."
So, you know how I said in the last post that it would contain spoilers? That goes double for these next two. Seriously. I'm going to give away the two big twists, so DO NOT READ THIS UNTIL YOU'VE READ THE BOOK!
A review/analysis of Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
(Go here for the Intro and links to Part II and beyond.)
One of the things I've noticed lately is that when movies and TV shows want to depict a meaningful but complex relationship between a parent and an adult/older child, the parent is almost always a father. At least outside of "chick flicks," anyway. (In fact, that rather seems to be the definition of a "chick flick" - a movie that is about the relationships between women, rather than the relationships that men have.)
I think that part of the reason that a lot of girls and women are drawn to fairy tales is because the opposite is true. While the characters in traditional fairy tales are often one dimensional and not always the best representations of women, the relationships in fairy tales tend to include a lot of mothers. Cinderella, Hansel and Gretal, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty...while the mother figure is often an evil one, at least she is there, making the stories usually about girls with mommy issues, not boys with daddy issues.
Sometimes there are even other adult women - good and bad - who figure prominently in the story. And they aren't all bad; in Little Red Riding Hood, it is Red's positive relationships with the adult women in her life that provides the catalyst needed for the story to start. (Despite the paternalistic tone of the version most of us grew up with.)
WARNING - massive spoilers below the cut!
I'm going to be fiddling around with the hide/show feature today, so ignore any repetitive posts, and ignore any new posts for today unless you want Into the Wild spoiled.
update hide/show now working. You may now read without any fear of spoilers.