greenie_breizh: (quote)
I've been accumulating links in my tabs again, so it's time to share. :) But first, since I'm going to re-post a bunch of links that [livejournal.com profile] zombie_process posted, I'd like to direct you to the original post first.

First up - public employees!
- A Letter to Scott Walker from a Wisconsin Teacher, which touches upon tons of really good points and issues that have been raised since Wisconsion public employees started protesting. On this topic, I have been watching this whole thing unfold mostly through the eyes of my facebook friends (someone reposted this excellent note, for example), Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, and the anti-teacher rhetoric is pissing me off. I just do not understand people who can't see the massive amount of work, dedication and energy that teaching (at ANY level) requires. More broadly, anti-public-employee rhetoric in general baffles me, but the anti-teacher stuff is particularly angering.

Always good - gender and race stuff!
- My son, the pink boy. It's both a reflection on raising a gender nonnormative boy and a rant against recent advice that Dr. Phil gave to a mom regarding her own gender nonnormative boy.
"Who's confused? My son knows exactly what he likes. When Sam was 4 and his male peers trick-or-treated as Batman and Spiderman and gorillas, Sam was a princess. At 5, he was a queen, regal and proud and full of the royal prowess that Disney offers all little girls. He liked feather boas and lip gloss and dancing. Did he think he was a girl? Nope. Was he confused about being a boy? Nope. Did he need to be taught what boys are supposed to like? Nope -- how boys are supposed to behave was abundantly clear from the trains and trucks we bought him before we realized he was a pink boy, the behavior of all the boys he knew, the messages on TV, and the judgments of all the Random Moms. He just liked what he liked, the way other kids did -- only his likes were different."

- Tomboy [article in French, video in French with English subtitle]An article and trailer/interview for what looks like is going to be a really fascinating movie about a girl taking on a boy identity for a summer. I can't wait to see it. I was a little uncomfortable about the director bringing in the notion of lying into it, but I like the way that the movie seems to approach the whole thing, from the perspective of the child's lived experience rather than trying to make a statement.

- A Bitch magazine article on race and this year's Oscars, in particular the (bland) tribute to Lena Horne. The author ends with a note that really strikes a chord:
"Lately, I’ve been reading how history has sanitized Rosa Parks by characterizing her as a sweet, apolitical lady who just happened to be too tired to give up her bus seat one day. In reality, Parks was a dedicated social activist prior to her arrest. She joined the civil rights movement, in part, to end sexual violence against black women. I’d hate to see history sanitize Lena Horne in the same way. Unfortunately, that prospect seemed likely during last night's ceremonies."


- A Salon article expressing disappointment about Natalie Portman would say on Sunday night that motherhood is 'the greatest role of her life'. Motherhood is one of those difficult topics, where it's hard to walk the line between embracing motherhood, respecting women who make the choice to be moms full-time, and still acknowledging that the concept of motherhood comes with very heavy string attached in our society. The problem (to me) is not that motherhood is necessarily problematic and oppressive, it's the way that people essentialize the experience and conflate it with 'real' womanhood. In short, when we continue to see and interpret motherhood as being the ultimate fulfillment in a woman's life that (1) tends to dismiss fatherhood, and reinforce the idea that it is less central to a man's life and (2) lessens the choices and lives of women who don't want to be mothers, or even just don't want to prioritize family above all else.

- Anyway, so I wanted to link to this other article which fronws upon the tendency in feminist-oriented circles to frown upon motherhood, and it's funny because I just don't see these two articles as fundamentally contradictory, in the end. (As a sidenote, I believe the author for this article is in a same-sex relationship, which very much can change how the dyanmics of motherhood play out.) I don't know. I want to believe there has to be a place for recognizing gendered dynamics and lamenting them, without necessarily throwing under the bus everything that's been traditionally considered feminine and womanly. In short, I want to be able to say motherhood as we understand it is problematic, without necessarily judging women who want to be mothers and want to prioritize this aspect of their life. Maybe I'm hoping for too much.

- Sort of in the same vein, but wildly more depressing, this article which responds to suggestions that Laura Logan (an American reporter who got assaulted while reporting from Egypt) should not have been sent to the field in the first place. Great great piece, both about the gendered and racialized aspects of this story.

And a miscellaneous link to finish.
- Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names. It's, obviously, not just about names and programmers, but actually highlights assumptions that people make constantly, and not just about names, when you think about it. Anyway, this whole post resonates with me because my first name (of French origin) contains two accents but my Canadian university (reminder: Canada is officially a English-French bilingual country) still can't handle it and replaces the characters with ? whenever I log in, and in my university email. Super professional, let me tell you.
greenie_breizh: (political)
I don't even know where to start with what's been happening with public workers (especially teachers) in Wisconsin and other places (especially Ohio) in the United States lately, or with the unrelenting attacks by conservatives on Planned Parenthood and issues relating to women's health. I can't even link to that many articles because I've been almost avoiding reading too much about these issues because they make me so profoundly angry, frustrated and disappointed. But if you are interested in reading more, I can at least recommend this piece by Diane Ravitch on teachers in Wisconsin, and this piece by Rebecca Traister on cuts to Planned Parenthood. (This is also a helpful overview of the responses from pundits to the cuts over at Salon.) If you are in the U.S., I would also urge you to sign this Open Letter to Congress on behalf of Planned Parenthood, and to consider donating to them.

If I get started on all the implications of this conservative push, I will never stop, and I have other things to get to today, so I won't start. I will just say that these moments of U.S. history are the exact reason I do not admire the country and despise its tendency to think of itself as the Best Country of All Times; these moments also make me so, so glad I ended up not attending grad school in the U.S., because I hate the thought that the decision would have been read as, 'one more person really wants to move here because we're awesome!'. Canada is far from perfect, and France regularly does its share to make me ashamed they delivered me my passeport, too (and France also has a tendency to think of itselfsuper highly, which doesn't help). But this kind of bullshit reminds me of just how awful the rhetoric gets in the United States; it's so bad (and maybe more importantly, it's given so much visibility and credence) that it almost feels like a parody of what you can hear elsewhere in politics. Ugh ugh ugh. I wish I could hope that it's going to 'get better', but I feel like there's actually very little to indicate that it will. And the saddest thing, to me, as a French citizen, and as someone who may well end up a Canadian citizen? Both these governments think that emulating the U.S. blindly is a GREAT idea.

So anyway, as usual, this has ended up as more of a rant than I was hoping. >.> The worst part is I know I shouldn't even care or whatever, but I feel so angry and tired and disappointed on behalf of all of my awesome American friends who deserve better than this crap.

To finish on a more positive note, President Obama and his administration are apparently continuing to grow a spine! : the Justice Department will no longer defend DOMA against lawsuits challenging it as unconstitutional. This is great news, although with limited effects for now, obviously; but considering court cases challenging the constitutionality of DOMA are making their way through the court system right now, it's a huge step forward. It also sends a strong message in favor of marriage equality, which is also very important.

EDIT: I also recommend this Tiger Beatdown article by "Grizzili Fetus". Funny in that way that doesn't make you laugh really, because it's too right on target.

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November 2011

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