A girly sadness

By , December 29, 2010 3:47 pm

I feel kind of silly – well, kind of girly – to be bummed about this, but I just learned my hair stylist moved to Baltimore last month. She didn’t exactly do anything amazing with my hair, but I liked her a lot and had seen her for maybe 10 years. She was one of the first people I came out to (in college) who was neither a friend, family member, or doctor, and going to the salon where she worked of the first publicly ‘girly’ things I allowed myself to do.

In a small way, this makes my life easier, since I had to come up to Evanston instead of going to one of the many salons down the street from me in Chicago. At the same time, I’m going to miss having someone I know so well – and who knows me – and have to search out someone new.

Stay tuned, though! Hopefully I’ll come back with photos of an amazing new haircut…

Consent redux

By , December 28, 2010 5:05 pm

A recent post I wrote, Consent to be Touched, was linked to from the reddit.com MensRights section with the title A example of how consent laws will turn everyone into rapists. Seriously, how long until a feminist claims rape because a guy touched her on the shoulder to tell her she dropped something? Since I don’t have a reddit.com account, I figured I’d respond to some of their comments on my own blog. (At the admitted risk of engaging trolls.)

Let me first quote myself, from Consent to be Touched:

Because, ultimately, touch and consent exist on a continuum. Patting someone on the back is not the same as rape, I’m not saying the two are equivalent, and I’m not saying this guy last night was a rapist, or the girl was raped. But I do think, in general, assuming nonconsensual touch is acceptable is a bad thing, and can be one of the factors which – on a cultural level – leads to people thinking sex without explicit consent is OK. (Emphasis added)

I stand by both parts of that: the action I described in the post is not rape, and non-consensual touch can lead to a culture in which rape is considered acceptable. (To the credit of the reddit commenters, a few people point out that – contrary to the title of the link – I didn’t actually say patting someone on the back is rape.)

To dive into the reddit comments, I want to distinguish between what I think should be legally true, and what I believe to be morally right.

From reddit:

How long will it be until just looking at a woman is illegal?

Once you move into the territory of “making someone uncomfortable”, conceivably just existing could constitute assault.

Continue reading 'Consent redux'»

A little trans fiction story for Christmas

By , December 25, 2010 2:03 am

It’s been quite a while since I’ve added anything to the Trans Fiction section of this website. My reading trans fiction sort of goes in cycles, and very often I’ve been most into reading it when I’m feeling the worst about myself. It’s an escape, very often into worlds where the main character doesn’t choose to transition, but has the transition happen to her. Recently, though, I’ve been seeking out trans fiction which actually involves characters who identify as transgender. (Shocking concept, I know!) Characters who aren’t dragged, kicking and screaming, into some sort of magical or medical or forced transition, but choose to transition for the same reasons any of us choose to do so.

In that vein, I came across The Silence of the Night. It’s not super-long, and it deals with some dark subject matter – child abduction and implied rape – but it’s really a lovely story about a trans person trying to come to terms with her past. I was skeptical at first, but the magical and religious elements all come together in the end. Even I, agnostic at best, found a lot to like in the story, and definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a little hope to come out of all the darkness.

Pinning down “rape” in the media

By , December 23, 2010 4:39 pm

The rape accusations leveled against Julian Assange have  meant the media has lately been discussing what it means to be raped, and – more broadly- how is rape defined? I must admit, I’m having difficulty finding exact information on what Assange has been accused of. I know two women allege he committed some sexual misconduct, but some places I’ve read it wasn’t (legally) rape, while most news sources are nevertheless calling it such. (If anyone has links to better information, I’d appreciate ’em. Thanks!) Regardless of Assange’s guilt or innocence, though, the news coverage sparked an interesting conversation between a friend and I, about the difficulties of presenting objective coverage around rape accusations.

Specifically, it made me think about the differences between discussing a crime left theft – or even murder – in comparison to discussing rape.

Because when you’re talking about those crimes, there’s (usually) no debate about whether or not a crime occurred, it’s just an issue of who did it. Most news coverage you hear around non-sexual crimes don’t debate that, say, Alice was robbed or Bob was murdered. Every so often there will be a story of arson for insurance money, sure, but those are the exception, not the rule.

Not so with rape.

Continue reading 'Pinning down “rape” in the media'»

Review: Amante Remoted-Controlled Vibrator

By , December 22, 2010 9:15 pm

Mention a remote controlled vibrator to anyone my age, and they immediately think of the scene from The Ugly Truth where Katherine Heigl is wearing vibrating panties at a dinner meeting and accidentally allows a random child access to the remote:

Alas, my experience with the Amante Remote Control Egg wasn’t quite so exciting, but still provided good fun. Read on for the full review!

Continue reading 'Review: Amante Remoted-Controlled Vibrator'»

Obligatory cloud reference: CR-48 and Google’s Chrome OS

By , December 21, 2010 7:19 pm

This post was begun in my kitchen, something not too impressive in today’s connected and wireless world. In fact, my laptop since college – a long-in-the-tooth Dell Inspiron – has let me type posts in kitchens, at friends houses, on interstate busses, and on airplanes. (With varying levels of connectivity, admittedly, but I could at leas type the post at those places.) What makes this post unique is it’s the first I’m typing on my tester hardware of Google’s CR-48 netbook, complete with Google’s Chrome OS operating system.

What does that mean? First and foremost, it means I’m working in the ‘cloud,’ without any local file storage. If the computer isn’t online, either via WiFi or the included Verizon Wireless connection (which I have yet to get working) I’m SOL. For working at my apartment or a coffee shop, that isn’t an issue. If I’d had this netbook on my trip to Minneapolis, would the Verizon connection have worked on the bus? I don’t know.

BetaNews has a pretty good 7-day breakdown of one reviewer’s experiences with Chrome OS, and is worth reading if you want a really in depth look at what this machine could mean. After the break, I’ll go into some of my impressions after 36 hours.

Continue reading 'Obligatory cloud reference: CR-48 and Google’s Chrome OS'»

Consent to be touched

By , December 19, 2010 3:10 pm

EDIT: Welcome to all the lovely folks from reddit.com’s MensRights section, from which this post was linked to with the desctription A example of how consent laws will turn everyone into rapists. Seriously, how long until a feminist claims rape because a guy touched her on the shoulder to tell her she dropped something? I’ve responded to some of the comments in a new post, Consent Redux.

Last night, the friend I’m visiting hosted a Christmas party. It was lots of fun: tons to eat, delicious deserts, pretty decorations, huge number of drinks, and good people, some who I knew and some who I was meeting for the first time. But around 12:30AM, as the party was starting to wind down, I came upstairs to hear “I said don’t touch my back!” screamed as a girl rushed past me and to the basement, followed quickly by the host.

Walking into the living room, I saw a guy, J, standing there sort of confused, asking, “What the hell was her problem?”

I couldn’t help myself, and snapped, “Well, did she say not to touch her?”

“I only touched her once,” came his obviously frustrated reply.

This made me pause, because I didn’t want to unfairly assume that he’d been a dick, if she actually had overreacted. Nonetheless, I asked, “Yeah, and when she said ‘Don’t’ did you apologize or act like a jerk?”

“She didn’t need to be such a bitch about it!”

Continue reading 'Consent to be touched'»

DADT on its way to being DEAD

By , December 18, 2010 4:23 pm

The Washington Post has responses from Obama and others about the vote, but the long and short of it is that the Senate passed a DADT repeal, 63 to 33. I’m very pleased to say both Senators from Illinois – Dick Durbin (who I like a lot) and Mark Kirk (who I don’t particularly like) voted in favor of the repeal. I just called both of ’em to leave them “Thank you!” messages, and hope you’ll all do the same – call your Senators, whether or not you agreed with their vote, especially if you disagreed – and tell them so!

Thoughts on motherhood

By , December 16, 2010 11:25 pm
A smiling baby

BABY! (Not the actual baby I was sitting for)

Yesterday and today I was babysitting a friend’s kids, a three month old girl, Isabella, and a three year old boy, Ben. (These are the friends I’m visiting in Minnesota.) Isabella isn’t much trouble – eat, poop, sleep, repeat – and Ben is a cutie. We’ve had a lot of fun building forts, playing in the snow, hunting werewolves, watching the Narnia movies, and generally being silly. And now, at the end of two days of ten long hours a day of babysitting, I have a few thoughts on being a parent, a child’s caretaker, and a mom.

Continue reading 'Thoughts on motherhood'»

Nursery Rhymes

By , December 15, 2010 5:08 pm

Some Wednesday silliness…

Jack and Jill
Jack took a spill, chased up the hill
Calling “I’m not a son, but daughter!”
Jack fell down, still in his gown
Jill cried forever after

Little Bo Peep
Little Bo Peep has nowhere to sleep
And can not stand to act femme
Leave her alone, she wants to go home
But fears those who’d condemn

Yankee Doodle
Yankee Doodle came to town
A-ridin’ on a pony
Said she was a pretty thing
But they called her a phoney

Yankee Doodle keep it up
Yankee Doodle dandy
Mind the music and the steps
With other girls be handy

Panorama Theme by Themocracy