Other Stuff We Read, Sweet Machine

Open thread: Other people are not on fluffcation

While we’re on fluffcation for a bit, perhaps you’re jonesing for some non-lemur blogging. May I recommend some excellent reading material? Here are some non-fatosphere blogs that I’ve been reading lately:

FWD (feminists with disabilities) for a way forward is brand-spanking new as of last month and is already chock-full of awesome posts. It’s a group blog, and a few of its writers are familiar around these parts as well, so go check them out and wish them well.

The Sexist, written by Amanda Hess, is part of the Washington City Paper (so it may be of particular interest to those of you in the DC area). Amanda is sharp in both wit and tongue. She’s so fun to read, I want to send her cookies.

The Pursuit of Harpyness, in addition to having the most kick-ass name ever, is a feminist group blog with a lively (but not overwhelmingly huge) commentariat.

I’m going to assume that you’re all reading the mind-blowing Fugitivus, but if you’re not, dear god, what’s wrong with you? Harriet Jacobs is one of the best writers in the blogosphere, hands down. Plus she’s wicked funny.

Tami from What Tami Said describes herself as “a wife, womanist, writer, stepmother, music lover, black woman, sister, nappy advocate, American, yogi, bibliophile, daughter, student, Midwesterner, progressive, eccentric,” but what she leaves out is whip-smart thinker and achingly good writer. Her blog often ends up in my “Posts I will be linking to over and over and over and over” folder.

And, for something a bit more fluffy for a great cause, I am totally obsessed with The Uniform Project. Part experiment in sustainable fashion, part fundraiser for children’s education, and all awesome. Sheena’s Halloween costume is a vision. Once you catch up on the archives, you’ll never look at a basic black dress again.

What blogs do you want to pass along to your fellow Shapelings?

ETA: For anyone who needs another dose of prosimians, may I suggest the humble aye-aye?

118 thoughts on “Open thread: Other people are not on fluffcation”

  1. I love the sexist. Also, since your side-blog about trolly comments I call it “the sexiest” but that’s only in my head. And now the internet.

  2. hmmm… trollie? trollee? I guess trolly doesn’t really work since that’s also a mode of transportation… wev

  3. The goat curry recipe mentioned in the last thread? The one with chestnuts in? I’d love to have that recipe, if the poster is reading here and is willing to share.

  4. I’ve actually started my own blog. It’s about gaming from the perspective of women and girls. It’s pretty new but I’m really fired up about it. I am typing out posts like woah. (Well, I’m on break for midterms).


    I like to think of it as a counter to all the disgusting shit in the mainstream gaming media.

  5. I’ve peeked in on the Uniform Project a few times. It seems that she uses more clothing to accent her collection of identical black dresses than I have clothes* in my closet.

    She certainly gets a large variety of looks all incorporating the same little black dress but is that really more sustainable than getting a smaller variety using a variety of base pieces?

    * It is possible I have nearly as large a variety of pieces in my closet, but that’s because I have 3 nearly complete wardrobes of just a little big, just a little small, and just right which sometimes becomes way too big, just a little big and just right or way too small, just a little small, and just right.

  6. Sskipstress, she has been taking donations of secondhand (or handmade) clothing or accessories — if you read the outfit descriptions, you’ll often see that most of what she’s wearing besides the uniform comes from donations or gifts.

  7. Just posted this on the Halloween costumes thread, but am posting it here as well:

    Okay, I get that people do want to talk about stuff other than lemurs and that we all love SP and the community here – I have never been part of such a funny, clever and well-educated internet community before – so we want to talk about it with this particular group of people. But that’s why the Ning site exists. So, here’s a Ning thread for all our serious stuff:
    I would loooove it if people came there to talk about non-lemur topics – the Ning could do with more action. I have ‘flu, but I promise to check back tomorrow and give you the outpourings of my fever-addled brain if you post something on the thread. So you will get at least one reply.

    Seriously, guys, I think most “Wait, where’s the FA content?” comments are coming from a good faith place, but it’s not fair to expect the bloggers to spend their whole lives on this when they’ve said they’re exhausted. They don’t get paid for this. It’s not a job – it’s a labour of love. I was burnt out from just reading the harassment threads, let alone writing the posts and moderating the comments. No wonder people are getting short shrift.

    P.S. I second that Harriet Jacobs is totally awesome.
    P.P.S. As another non-FA recommendation, I point you towards Chris Clarke’s Coyote Crossing blog for wonderful photographs, environmentalism and beautiful writing.

  8. Just out of curiosity, why are you on fluffcation? Is there a particular reason or did you just decide it was time for a little vacation?

  9. Harriet (Ms. Jacobs?), I’m perusing your blog in another window, per Sweet Machine’s recommendation, and it is, as promised, mind-blowing. I just finished reading one of your posts from a year and a half ago. As long as you’re hanging out here, soaking up some much deserved adulation, can I tell you that your simile “So yeah, I loved him. Like a man wandering the desert loves drinking piss” is one of the most brilliant analogies I’ve come across in a long time. I didn’t want to leave a comment on your blog itself because, considering the gravity of the post, doing so didn’t seem appropriate. But since you’re here in a fluffier thread, I bow to your word craft. :)

  10. Mary – there’s been a whole lot of serious threads with 1000+ comments on them lately which have attracted a lot of new commenters, many of whom were trolling, and the mods are tired. The most recent set of posts (the ones with “Fluffcation” in the title) explain more.

  11. I second the recommendations for The Pursuit of Harpyness and FWD: Feminists With Disabilities. I read them both (and Shapely Prose) every day.

    I’m a contributor (and managing editor) at re: Cycling, the blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. Any of you with interests in women’s health might enjoy it.

  12. I would just like to second (or nth) the awesomeness of Tami’s blog.

    I’m not familiar with the others, but will check them out!

  13. I happen to enjoy a little fluffcation now and then. It gets to be emotionally draining just reading about how fucked up the world is – nevermind moderating monster threads.

    I commend you, oh weary moderators!

    Also, I totally recommend cuteoverload and icanhascheezburger for fluff. They are my regular source of fluff and happiness. Maru the cat has a very amusing collection of vids on the youtube. watch them! also, phdcomics.com for those still in school, like me.

  14. I’ve started my own blog too. At the moment I’m only transmitting it through psychic thought form rather than going to the trouble of typing it and posting it on the internet. I hope you are enjoying it and please do contribute. I once tried to write my letter to Santa this way though, and he completely got me the wrong presents that year. Bah!

  15. paintmonkey, that’s you with the psychic transmissions? Stop blogging about Orifice Crummock Von-Stoutly’s Spotted Ham-tailed Lemur I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE

  16. Stop blogging about Orifice Crummock Von-Stoutly’s Spotted Ham-tailed Lemur…

    Oh, sorry, that was me. Psychic Transmission is a new gadget on Blogger, but it’s not interfacing correctly with AdSense.

  17. The simile wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t been so reminiscent of bitter, bitter urine, so kudos really go to that asshole for being my bitter, bitter muse. I could write a book about the assholes I used to know.

    I’m gonna go write a book about the assholes I used to know.

  18. Thanks for the great links! I’ve been slowly but surely building my blog reading list and those sound like excellent additions.

    I’d like to toss in Female Science Professor: http://science-professor.blogspot.com/ As a female graduate student, this is of particular interest to me, and she does tend to spend a lot of time discussing academic issues, but her perspective as an older woman (and mother) in a senior position who *still* receives appalling disrespect (such as a person at a booth asking for her “student ID”) is fascinating and eye opening to me, and gives me an idea of the battle I’ve got ahead of me.

    Also, I don’t know if this is just a well-known one, but I love Shakesville: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/ Feminist perspective on current events – frequently depressing, but always bringing my attention to perspectives I might not have thought of, and sometimes hilarious (often in that way that makes you want to cry).

  19. ZooBorns is probably the most fascinating site of all the internet. I mean, how often do you get to see what a baby Pudu looks like? (or get to know what the heck one even is?) It’s like Cute Overload with biology.

  20. Sweetmachine, it is indeed me transmitting. Is that you remote viewing on me? I don’t mind at all, but please avert your psychic gaze when I’m at doing things of a private ladylike nature. Like eating chocolate, or shouting at my hair.

  21. Harriet, we can trade. You read through the entire ZooBorns, and I’ll finish reading your blog. I guess we’ll be finished around the same time :)
    (I like your blog very much; we tend to be neurotic about the same things.)

  22. @Harriet Jacobs: hi! I kind of have an internet crush on you! And would like it if you called your book Assholes I Used To Know.

    Additionally, I really like koreanish.com for writerly discussion type things.

  23. Cakewrecks is the funniest site on the intarwebz, I swear. Also, cake.

    I’m pretty much in the liberal mainstream on blog reading. Kos, Digby, Shakesville. Crooks and Liars is one of my favorites though because they alert me if I missed a good Jon Stewart bit or Olberman rant.

    Not blogs but Wallace and Gromit fans MUST check out today’s Google UK:

    While our regular Google here in the US also has an awesome logo today:


  24. @paintmonkey I looove the content of your psychically-transmitted blog, but is there anyway you could cut down on the flashing pop-up ads? They give me a headache.

  25. ok, Evn it’s creeping me out to see you here, too. Thalia, you’re the same Thalia? I never connected the two…

  26. millefolia: Thank you soooo much for that. I have about a thousand of those old and scary romances (thrift store grab-bags! fun!) and I never realized how much retitling them helped.

  27. Um, by the way, I just used up my entire week of Sanity Watchers TM points on The Sexist comments section, which I assume is not moderated to completely avoid asshats. So beware. I was going to comment, because I cannot shut up ever, but the level of WTF-inducing stupidity was so great that I didn’t know where to begin.

  28. I just started writing my own blog and posts are few and far between because of school, but I’d appreciate feedback and comments and whatnot. My focus will attempt to be on FA, Feminism, Unitarian Universalism, and Law stuff. Because that’s who I am right now. =)

    Please drop by In the Light of Truth and check it out!

  29. There’s a great post on Publishers Weekly’s ShelfTalker blog by Elizabeth Bluemle: Fat But, about the representation of fatness in children’s & YA books.

    Bonus: Daniel Pinkwater is among the commenters! (Who are mostly on board with the message, but there are a few on whom you could spend some Sanity Watchers points.)

  30. I lovelovelove Harriet Jacobs but when I am in an I’m-a-bad-writer space she makes me want to curl up and die. Sorry for the self-centered comment! That is my main experience of Fugitivus right now though. That post moosemuse pointed out? “Like a man wandering in the desert loves drinking piss”? I may weep.

    I really need to find a more productive way to interact with great writing. :) (Interestingly, Tami’s blog, while also fucking brilliant, does not make me want to take down my shingle, so maybe I will just spend time over there.)

    Also, Cakewrecks/Regretsy fans may not be aware of Lovely Listing, and should be.

  31. Another Sara – oooh! Daniel Pinkwater is one of my all-time favorite authors. I’ll check that out!

  32. I devour blogs written by other people with office supply addictions, It helps me feel better about my own.

    http://penaddict.com being one of my favorites. Nothing controversial; just pens all the time.

    I also like reading grant writer blogs, but they are pretty much only interested to people who write grants who have the read proposals (I do both for a living). Still, they make me LOL.

    I kind of wish my bestie Gia wrote a blog because her life is funny, amazing and fabulous, though perhaps she’s so busy being funny, amazing and fab she doesn’t have time to blog.

    oh yeah, I check out http://kristinawong.com a lot. She’s a goddess.

  33. *gets in line for Harriet’s asshole book*

    *rethinks the way that was worded and giggles in an immature manner*

    Um but seriously, love this blog even on fluff and Harriet you freaking rock. I just got the guts to seek out a therapist from all my abuse and honestly without reading some of the stuff you write I would have probably not done so. Your words really helped me put a name and ugly face to a lot of things that I didn’t even recognize as abuse because it was normal to me.

    I don’t want to creep you out but seriously, thanks.

    Anyway…I have more candy for breakfast. Try not to be jealous everyone!

    <3 much luff of fluff and stuff!

  34. http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/sweet_obesity/

    This article trots out most of the anti-fat bullshit that tends to accompany science research that touches on nutrition and weight, but I am intrigued by the human part of their supposed research: they claim to have “looked at” dieters who had maintained a 10% weight loss over 11.5 years. Does anyone here have access to the research in question? The linked page gives me an error, which seems to happen a lot from my current country, and I don’t have my student access to journals anymore. Exactly how did they select for these “successful” dieters, and how accurate is the synopsis’ claim of 10%/10+ years?

  35. SpuffyDuds….I’m proud to say you are the first person to ask me to cut down on my flashing pop-ups.

  36. Thalia! Siobhan! Squeeee!

    Thalia, I like both of our avatars, even if mine kind of looks like a very happy donated organ.

    Siobhan, I wandered over here after Deborah posted a link on her blog, and… well… there were all these lemurs

  37. Any Facebook users should come join the group: An Arbitrary Number of People Demanding That Some Sort Of Action Be Taken. We need your support!!! =)

  38. I find it interesting that the link to the aye-aye has been deemed “tasteless and offensive” and thus blocked by my employer. spike.com, however, has not been so blocked. Draw your own conclusions.

  39. I think I love “The Black Snob”. That blog makes me LOL.

    Ooh, thank you for reminding me! She wrote… something amazingly great somewhere (I forget) and I subsequently spent a very enjoyable couple of days reading her blog, but forgot to keep up with it. I really need, like, a Google Reader, huh?

  40. Ashlee, the article is great, I love it. Commenters missing the point though? Oh man.

    People just stick their fingers in their ears and go “lalalalala, I’m right and I can’t heeeeeeear yoooou!” when anyone points out their “science” is wrong. It’s funny, in a lolsob sort of way.

  41. Ashlee, I enjoyed your article. And your commenters… my oh my, even the nice ones were filing “clue” under “not a” sometimes.

    You know that “it’s not about you” thing that derails a conversation? For once in the history of the internet, the commenters were missing it is about Them. And They weren’t hearing “in the great weight debate, the most important thing you can do for other people’s health is shut up!”

    Oh well… I like the sound of your parents, too, btw.

  42. Hey all, I have a couple things to add:

    1. I do have a blog (http://donewiththisshit.tumblr.com/) that is a combination of reposts and my own writing, mostly dealing with harassment, body image, etc. I’m working on enabling comments.

    2. I’m writing a paper for a class on women and religion in contemporary America about the phenomenon of Christian diet programs. Does anyone have personal experience with this? I’m coming at it from the perspective that it’s damaging to both women and spirituality by focusing on a culturally normative standard of beauty. Just let me know and I’ll post my email address.

  43. @Fillyjonk:

    Here is the secret:

    A bottle and a half of champagne. No foolin’. Works *every time*.

    I went to an arts high school, where we just sat around and wrote all day (it was awesome, guys). There was only one exercise I ever refused to do. We were supposed to write a little vignette about sending our internal editors on vacation, so afterward we would be metaphorically “free” to write crap.. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make her go away. I had all sorts of snarky adolescent grandiose reasons for it at the time, but I think it’s really because my bitter self-and-other criticism is the biggest part of my writing, so hell no, I’m not sending it away. So instead I wrote a vignette about *how much she hated me.*

    This is what I do now. When I get in an I’m-a-bad-writer place, I write about it. You guys don’t get to see that stuff. It’s really mean. Seriously, there are just pages and pages of me going, “Oooh, what a big word you used, Harriet, won’t the Internet just think you’re hot shit? Why don’t you just write about trauma some more, because that *never* gets old. If you use the word ‘boundaries’ one more time I’m stabbing you in the fucking leg.”

    Sounds harsh, but it 1) gets me writing when otherwise I’d just be *thinking* all this shit, 2) operates as kind of a warm-up exercise, sloughing out the gunk from my brain, and 3) actually occasionally delivers. As in, I came up with that piss line this way. I was so frustrated writing that piece, because I still have a lot of self-loathing for the person I was who could dig on that guy, and trying to restrain myself from ripping on her was just leading to very heavy, clunky, dishonest writing. So I wrote about how I really felt about myself, and it was a whole bunch of, “Way to be sick and pathetic, Harriet, you big whiny girl, you are like somebody who drinks piss and calls it champagne, just ’cause there’s nothing better around.”

    I guess I can’t recommend that everybody descends into a pit of self-loathing, but sometimes I can’t do anything else until I get the hate party out of the way. And, as with any party, champagne makes it all the more festive.


    I have this dual reaction to stuff like that. On the one hand, when people come to me (internet-style) and tell me that I have influenced them in a good way, that is awesome! And then I think about it, and I realize I influenced them in a good way based on writing about rape and abuse 24 hours a day. And then the world is a sucky place again.

    So you understand when I say, Waytogothatshorrible all in one word.

  44. Grafton – “Womanist” is a term used often in the African-American community that is theory which engages with intersecting societal constructs. It’s often used to distinguish itself from “feminist” because of the history of white middle class feminists doing a piss poor job of intersectionality, although womanist philosophy has history that isn’t white-feminist-reactionary. Still, it found itself in a good place to critique white-feminist construction, and I think it would be fair to say that critique is important now, although not the whole womanist story.

  45. Actually, I’ve already sort of half-written my “Assholes I Used To Know” book, except it’s called “A Bunch of Pothead Fucks” (working title). It stalled out when I got less depressed. A few friends and I had attempted, a while back, to start a blog for sharing and critiquing each other’s writing (it didn’t pan out), and I put excerpts from the never-ending autobiography up there. I’ve never linked it; in the off-chance that my ex found one blog, I didn’t necessarily want him to find the other. I’m not so concerned about that anymore, so here you guys go:


    I don’t know if my blog writing is any kind of indicator about the quality of my “real” writing, so don’t expect to read any huge thoughtful social critiques.

    Also, I haven’t updated that blog in years, so those are rough draft versions. I’ve changed them quite a bit. I was trying to write from the place I was, mentally, at that time, which means it is occasionally full of really offensive things I thought and believed. In later drafts, I modified those slightly, just so they didn’t stick out so suddenly and completely without recognition of their horribleness.

    I’ll stop with the disclaimers.

  46. I wish all them zinester peeps would archive their old Diaryland and Pitas page (lol, damn we internet old). I devoured those online journals from people like Tasha, Yumi and pretty much anyone I ever hung out with at Southern Girls Convention, chatted with at Chainsaw or Strap-on.org or Pander Zine Distro messageboard.


  47. hey, all, if you haven’t hit Evn’s blog (www.loverofstrife.com) give it a shot — I worked my way through the whole archives!

  48. Thank you, Arwen.

    libbyblue, the link in that article leads you to the abstract only, and the abstract does not answer your question. I don’t have the full text either, which is funny because my library is mad for the journal databases.

    Phelan, S., Lang, W., Jordan, D., & Wing, R.. (2009). Use of artificial sweeteners and fat-modified foods in weight loss maintainers and always-normal weight individuals. International Journal of Obesity, 33(10), 1183-1190.

    if you should like to try for an ILL.

  49. Miss Marple would like to thank Shapely Prose and all the bloggers for adding to the arsenal of awesome snarky feminism-related blogs as she has spent (wasted?) the whole morning reading and will probably go on to spend most of the afternoon doing the same. Sadly, there is little to add except for (which is not exactly feminism related but entertaining nontheless):


  50. Does anybody know of any good blogs or links that discuss the toxicity of jealousy between female friends? I know some people say its healthy to have a fair amount of jealousy because it inspires you to work harder to improve your own situation, but I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of essays that discuss the other side?


  51. You guys, I just did the most awesome thing that has absolutely changed my life.

    I deleted my stacks of unread junk mail sitting in my gmail making it look like i have 100+ unread messages.

    Now, when I have gmail open in a different window I can trust that the number in parantheses is actually the amount of unread mail that I have.

    I don’t know WHY this makes me sublimely happy, but it does and I would recommend for everyone who can do so. It feels so good.

    (this is fluff that is serious… so I thought it would make everyone in the whole boggy world happy… but I really did do that and do really feel happy about it)

  52. Harriet: Thanks for the link to the secret blog. Should be enough to satisfy those gnawing H.J. cravings in the middle of the night.

    Man, you can write. No disclaimers necessary, m’dear.

  53. Definitely off-topic, so I’ll apologize in advance, but I’ve got a bad case of stabby pains behind my eyes after reading Anthony Lane’s review of Precious in the the latest issue of The New Yorker.

    The heroine is Clareece Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a Harlem teen-ager better known as Precious. She is grimly overweight, her face so filled out that the play of normal expression seems restricted; yet Sidibe does wonders with that sad limitation, and we learn to spot the flare of anger in her eyes.

    Oh, poor Gabourey Sidibe(who has spoken out about how she does not consider her body anything akin to a “sad limitation”), but at least her talent can seep through those copious layers of tragic fat! Maybe the real tragedy is that Sidibe doesn’t realize how truly tragic she is!


    I normally enjoy Lane’s reviews, so this has got me double-grumpy.

    (If this comment needs to be deleted by the mods, can one of you let me know of a more appropriate thread on (in?) which to post it? What with all the stabby pains ‘n’ all.)

  54. Oh, and alert the doctors: I am no longer “morbidly obese,” but “grimly overweight.” Or perhaps “somberly plump.”

  55. I read the Lane review completely different. I saw it a speaking to the limitations of the director and script rather than the fat itself. The movie itself, from my perspective, embodies the exact phrasing used by Lane. I have always felt the point of using an actress Gabby’s size was laziness, in the sense the filmmaker couldn’t count on the source material or the strength of Gabby’s performance to market the film. Remember, the marketing around this film has capitalized heavily on the size of the actresses (including Mariah Carey discussing the weight she gained for the role). I don’t think it’s problematic for Lane to point this out, though the wording could have been more thoughtful and nuanced.

    But I don’t like Lane anyway, which is odd that I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Of course I could be totally off base.

  56. harriet jacobs has some issues. i would encourage you to read the archives to find her transexclusive stuff. she had a similar reaction to the Barbie fiasco at watrd.

  57. i am encouraged by one thing that came out of that whole mess. i really got to see another side of things and being silenced and treated that way by you and your readers made me really start digging deep into trans related issues. i stopped reading, so i wouldnt know if you ever did drop the defenses and deal with your privilege, but i hope that you have. i dont like it that feminism and the network of blogs that i love so much are often times looked at as being very exclusive to anything but the white, cis, able bodied woman.

  58. ladylady, have you mixed Harriet up with someone else? I was surprised to read your comment and so just checked out the date of the ‘Barbie’s[sic] –shut your yapper!’ debacle on WATRD (12th Aug) and then did a search of every page on Harriet’s blog since then, and found no reference to that post.

  59. I took a second and third look at the review, snarkysmachine, and I’m not really seeing any criticism of the director in Lane’s descriptions of Precious/Sidibe’s fat face. Lane does mention the film’s marketing, but only in terms of the explicit (and in his opinion gratuitous) reference to the source material in the movie’s title, but says nothing about the media blitz surrounding Sidibe (and her weight). His main criticism of the film’s direction seems to be directed at the “livid closeup” of the rape scene:

    If the subject were not so grave, you would be tempted to laugh at this desperate overkill of detail. Does the director, Lee Daniels, not realize how such industrial-strength images tend to weaken, rather than fortify, the moral case?

    Lane doesn’t seem to be saying that the Daniels is lazy, so much as inartfully unsubtle. Also, I’m afraid I don’t quite understand what you mean when you write that “the point of using an actress Gabby’s size was laziness, in the sense the filmmaker couldn’t count on the source material or the strength of Gabby’s performance to market the film.” Are you saying Sidibe was only hired because of her size, and she just happened to be a good actress? Also, in the book, Precious described as being fat. Wouldn’t a better way to market the movie be casting a thin actress, so that the characters pain and suffering would be more accessible to a “normal” audience? I can see how using the title and author of the novel in the movie’s title is an example of the filmmaker’s laziness, but I don’t quite see how the casting of Sidibe (or any other skilled actress) might be.

    The above quote is also frightfully problematic, in a whole separate way. What does Lane want? Soft focus? All along I’d thought people have been laughing at rape because they’re unmitigated assholes, when in fact rape is just hilariously gauche. Sarcasm aside, Lane’s criticism seems to stem from a rape as viewed from without vs. rape as viewed from within dichotomy. I wonder if Lane’s discomfort with this scene has more to do with his inability/unwillingness to imagine himself in the body of a women being raped than any valid aesthetic criticism.

    Finally, I should mention that I have not seen the movie yet, so obviously my long-winded polemic should be taken with a few grains of salt.

  60. The trans stuff is a real thing. Quick summary, it started with a post about victim-blaming, where I said that women have vaginas. The comments exploded with cis-privilege criticism, and I got to learn a lot about moderation and being careful with my words. You can probably find the series of posts by seaching “trans” on my blog. I don’t know who ladylady is, but I banned a few people in the comment threads for using an argumentative style I was uncomfortable endorsing or allowing in my personal space. She might be one of the people I banned.

    I’ve got no idea what the barbie thing is about, though.

  61. Harriet (ZOMG I’m writing a comment to Harriet Jacobs!!) — I am just rereading the ‘Trans Stuff’ post thing now (I remembered that one but was wondering about the Barbie thing maybe being a confusion)…

    By the way I love the way you leave stuff up and then go back to address problems or issues that come out of it, because a) it helps to know Awesome Writerz (TM) rethink stuff and have to reexamine things regularly, and b) it also helps me to see places I might be letting certain assumptions go unchallenged in my own thinking. Oh yeah and I basically love your blog because it’s bloody marvellous (and also highlights the sucky-ness of the world, so it’s ‘bloody’ marvellous in the double-edged sword way — geddit?… Ok I am not an Awesome Writerz (TM), sigh)…

    The Barbie thing was about a post MamaV wrote in response to a commenter at ‘We Are The Real Deal’ who asked why the blog was not representative of a wider range of people. MamaV signed it off ‘Hugs and kisses, Barbie…the goddess you will never be’ . So it was a tad horrend. More has happened over there since, and in checking out the date of the Barbie thingy so I could comb through and see if I’d missed you writing about it, I accidentally read more of it, which was not a good plan for me today!

  62. Ah! Perhaps ladylady meant to compare my exclusivity to what went down in the Barbie thing, instead of implying that I was a part of the Barbie thing, as I took it.

    Thanks for the compliments. Not to dampen your enthusiasm or anything — and you can comment all up on me whenever you like — but I am a 26 year old secretary from the Midwest, leading a secret double-life as a person what writes letters to the internet. Zomgs not necessary; I don’t think I’m even up to squees.

  63. OMG, are you oppressing my needs to ZOMG and squee?! (/joke)

    But seriously, a good many of your posts have really helped me (looks like lots of people!) start to sort out some stuff, as has SP — even stuff that needed sorting but I had not realised was there — them letters to the internetz is stuff what has helped me deal with a shedload of poo *and* helped me to think about preferably not shovelling poo onto others, so: zomgsqueezomgsqueezomgsquee!!!

  64. Just to clarify, I may or may not look like lots of people… but I meant ‘and looks like lots of other people too’… No wonder my doctorate is flailing so badly! :-(

  65. Harriet Jacobs, I second the “likes the revisiting issues” posts. I like that they work on being honest, and deliver in a tone that is gracious. Graciousness is a skill I wish I had more of.

  66. More has happened over [at WATRD] since, and in checking out the date of the Barbie thingy so I could comb through and see if I’d missed you writing about it, I accidentally read more of it, which was not a good plan for me today!

    Zenoodle – I blame you entirely for the fact that I went over to WATRD just now and now I have stabby pains in my head. And not just from the ‘flu. You owe me a cute lemur picture.

  67. Here’s the thing: I think you can be a good writer, even an excellent one, and still be wrong. Or misinformed, or undereducated, or what have you. It’s true that I didn’t mention the trans issue that came up on Fugitivus, and in retrospect maybe I should have. But one of the things that I’ve found most valuable in reading Fugitivus is that though Harriet clearly has standards for what kind of rhetoric she’ll allow in her space (as well she should), she seriously listens and engages with people who disagree with her.

    I haven’t read all of the archives at the blogs I recommended above. I can’t say that we here at SP endorse or don’t endorse them. They are all excellent reads — y’all can take it from there.

  68. Girlfrommarz, I’m really sorry! I got to the part where there was a pile on to FA activists/proponents which characterised us as all one and the same and blablabla and my head nearly exploded… But THEN! I remembered these, which a friend of mine from Luxembourg sent me! They’re not lemurs but OMIGODTHEYRESOCUUUTE!!!

    Hope that helps to make up for it! :-)

  69. kcjones. I’m trying to comment on your blog but I keep getting an error :-(. There seems to be a drop-down box not working and that might be why… going to try again in Firefox instead in case it’s my crummy IE causing the issue! I’m so jealous that we don’t seem to have anything like as many interesting events and speaking occasions going on where I live as those you’re linking to!

  70. Ok, so sorry for the interblog comment, but KCJones, this is what I’m trying to put under ‘sppok somewhere else please’ — maybe you can paste it on?

    Hi there,

    Just to say I couldn’t agree more… I’m a medical historian and several friends/colleagues of mine work with the archives of medical notes and records from Victorian era asylums — Turning these spaces into commercial ones that cash in on the pain and suffering of those who spent time there is awful. I don’t think we have any companies doing that in the UK… but I do know of severla ex-asylums turned into flats. I think I’d find that a bit odd but i don’t object to it, because at least the building is getting use as a place for people to live.

  71. Aleks: not to worry… I am sure m. is with me when I say the multiple hipster coffee establishments of Mpls. Uptown will still be there when you’re done with the chirurgeon’s art. Heal up!

  72. BTW, I just discovered this blog over at PsychCentral. I was a bit surprised to see it there, but it seems good so far: http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/category/body-image/

    And I do still post over at WATRD. I don’t claim to speak for anyone else in FA but myself, but I think it’s worth having a presence on a blog that wants to deal with body image issues…if you can deal with the accusations of lying (what, is it that hard to believe that I’m healthy?) and some very glaring ignorance about experiential differences between fat and thin women.

  73. Hi Meems, I saw you over there fighting the good fight — it actually was probably the thing which prevented my head totally exploding! I#’m just not brave enough / haven’t saved enough sanity points. I tried a bit yesterday — probs gone into moderation or been deleted, haven’t checked yet because then I’ll inevitably read more there and can’t deal with it today. It feels like such a negative space to me. It seems like a good number of commenters over there are actually uncomfortable with some of the articles’ tones — thinking specifically of the one which was like ‘yet another FA activist’ etc. I just found it too galling to see MamaV saying she wants to create this great space, no us and them, etc, and then creates a big ‘us and them’ scenario by tarring a whole non-monolithic group with one brush. And that she seems, according to some commenters, to have *edited* their comments rather than moderated them to not show up… if that’s pretty true, it’s also pretty odd. I don’t know… some good stuff over there but it hurts my brain too much when I read a lot of the commentaries and (it seems) whenever I read anything from the ‘privilege=yawn already’ MamaV.

    The funny thing is that, although here I waited a while to comment and was nervous at first, I actually appreciated that and the comments policy a lot more. I realised when I looked at things I’d commented elsewhere in the past that I was Not Getting some important stuff, and without that space to pause and think, I would just write them on down. Here, if I write something problematic I’ll get called on it, but in a fair and clear way… At WATRD it seems there is an atmosphere of people wondering ‘who’s next’ to get jumped on in just the way they’re making out happens here a lot (and I have been reading here for nearly a year now and have never seen someone get unreasonably jumped on — there’s always a reason which is well thought out and the person is given justification with reference to the comments policy. Wagh. The fact this space isn’t a ‘101 over and over again’ space is good in my opinion — there are links to 101 spaces, there *are discussions of it, and the posts and commentaries here help to contextualise the 101 stuff and also raises the game — I think I learn more here by shushing and listening (with occasional comment splurges) than I have done in an awful lot of other places with less strict comments policies!

    Agh that didn’t need to be so long winded. Accidentally stayed up til 6am reading on the internets and being upset at all the wrongness on it, so I only have myself to blame for shattered-ness now!

  74. Zenoodle: Your comments inspired me to take another look at WATRD, which has caused me once again to feel depressed about humanity. Meems, you rock for continuing the conversation there but I am just too overwhelmed by 3D life to be able to take on that little piece of the interverse.

    Anyhow, thanks for the baby hedgehog pics. I needed the pick me up.

  75. @Zenoodle & MezzoSherri, I study religion and politics and plan to work in politics for a living, so I think I’m fairly inured to the kind of ridiculousness that gets posted on WATRD sometimes. I do think that mamaV has good intentions, but she’s very stuck in her own perceptions and outlook and has trouble seeing things from another angle. I’m also not totally sure she realizes how alienating her posts sound when she calls out moderated comments. The two new contributors, Marsha and Kim, have potential, though, and I hope they start participating in discussions more.

    Oh, and Zenoodle, two things: I think your posts did go through; I’m pretty sure I saw them up. Also, for some reason I always read your name as Zen-noodle. Hmmm.

  76. Meems, you’ve kind of hit on the inspiration behind my screen name. :-) Also, I guess we can probably discount a career in politics for me off the back of how particular posts and comments at WATRD have been affecting me – good to know though! And hats off to you for your patience – I think your comments there are really important and valuable… My frothing at the mouth there is probably less so!

  77. @Zenoodle, I always said it that way and then started to wonder if it was supposed to be “ze [the] noodle.”

    Glad someone appreciates my comments :)

  78. Meems – just wanted to second what Zenoodle said about your comments at WATRD making it readable. I am really glad someone is making the reasonable arguments over there.

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