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Monthly Archive: November 2014



November 2014



What I’m Reading – November 9, 2014

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– “The judge brought Arpaio and his Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan into court after learning that Sheridan told deputies that the federal court order was “absurd” and “ludicrous,” an assessment that Arpaio had agreed with.” Federal Judge Orders Sheriff Joe Arpaio To Undergo Racial Profiling Training (via @ThinkProgress)

– “But Navell happens to be a young black man, a fact that must have something to with what happened next: Newscasters at KSTP, the local ABC affiliate, took the innocuous photo and quickly warped it into an exclusive report accusing Hodges of “posing with a convicted felon while flashing a known gang sign” and thereby instigating violence in their fair city.”  Pointergate: This Week’s Most Racist Local News Story (via @MotherJones)


– “A campaign organized by the women’s group Georgette Sand found that products such as shampoo and razors that are advertised as “female” cost more than identical products marketed to men.” France To Investigate ‘The Invisible Women’s Tax’ (via @ThinkProgress)

– “But while the men’s World Cup was played entirely on natural grass, FIFA has decided to stand with the Canadian organizers who have cited weather concerns to justify their turf-only cup.” FIFA Denies Women’s World Cup Players an Equal Playing Field—Literally (via @EdgeofSports)


– “Blackmon is among the more than 7,000 people in North Carolina — many poor, many African-American, many disabled — who were sterilized between 1929 and 1976 in one of the country’s most aggressive eugenics programs.” Payments Start For N.C. Eugenics Victims, But Many Won’t Qualify

Abuse and Harassment

– “Having said all of this, given what Dunham has written, I think she would have been indicated for sexual abuse for the masturbation incident.  I don’t think, however, that she is a child sexual abuser in the classic sense, meaning that I don’t think she’d go out and abuse a child today.” Is Lena Dunham a Sexual Abuser? (h/t @AngryBlackLady)

– “I’m more concerned at the moment with Dunham’s decision to publish them, and what that says about her respect for consent and agency right now.” On Lena Dunham and Consent (via @Shakestweetz)

– “These humorous tweets further the conversation on street harassment by showing just how strange it would be if men said these things to other men walking by.” #DudesGreetingDudes Hilariously Proves Catcalling Isn’t ‘Just A Compliment’ (via @HuffingtonPost)

Health Care

– “There are many, many people who are trying to keep something like life going for so many tragically affected people,” Dr. Faden said. “You’d be hard pressed to argue why they might be treated differently.” Treating Those Treating Ebola in Liberia (via @SheriFink)


– “But for me? I have enough shit to do. Why the fuck should some asshole cruise along being a total fucking creepy piece of shit and now I have to change my whole life? And give my NAME to all you internet douchebags and rape apologists? No thank you.” I Didn’t Report Because Fuck You (h/t @JessicaValenti)

Policing and Incarceration

– ” It also expands notions of criminality at a time when the criminal-justice system is regularly committing horrific acts of race- and class-biased violence.” ‘Yes Means Yes’ Is a Bad Coupling of Feminism and the State (h/t @ChiefElk)

– “Rather than spend money on mass incarceration, this proposal will reinvest the savings in education, which will provide youth with an opportunity for a better future and can keep young adults out of jail.” This could start to topple systematic racism. And it starts on Tuesday in California. (via @RachelLive)

– “While men are certainly responsible for their personal behavior, a law against street harassment would, in practice, randomly punish a select few individuals in the name of redressing a vast and systemic problem.” No, We Don’t Need a Law Against Catcalling (h/t @ChiefElk)


– “It’s an aggressively entrenched paradigm that I’ve only recently managed to excise from my own psyche – me, the feminist killjoy shrew – so I really can’t begrudge anyone that initial reaction. But, every time, the subtext is clear: you are reaching above your station, fat lady.” Why I Can’t Wait To Be a Fat Bride (via @TheLindyWest)


– “Fuck first is one of my rules—and it’s not even a rule. It’s a suggestion. I encourage couples to “fuck first” on Valentine’s Day, wedding days, and anniversaries.” Should the Duggar Girls #FuckFirst? (via @FakeDanSavage)


– “Q: How are you going to feel knowing that your womb is a barren wasteland? A: Relieved!” My Fallopian Tubes (h/t @nothavingababy)



November 2014



Yes, Please

Written by , Posted in Feminism, Reviews

Five Stars

amy poehler

“Good for her! Not for me.”

The above phrase first appears about a fifth of the way through Ms. Poehler’s excellent book. If you’re familiar with her “Smart Girls at the Party” project, it should come as no surprise that she offers up some pretty sweet life advice. I’m almost 35, and I don’t think I’ve seen that sentiment summed up so perfectly. I’m considering having it tattooed on my ass.

Not literally. Well, not actively, anyway. Maybe someday. But for now it is tattoed across my mind.

This book is not exactly what I expected. I was assuming it would be closer to what Tina Fey gave us with Bossypants. I know that comparing one pretty white rich comedian to another pretty white rich comedian isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but these days when I see Ms. Fey I think about Ms. Poehler and vice versa. I picture Amy/Hillary and Tina/Sarah standing at the podium during the Saturday Night Live cold open. I’ve always felt that I know a bit more about Ms. Fey (not that we really know anything about strangers, even after they’ve written a memoir) than Ms. Poehler, although I recall reading in Bossypants the story about Amy very bluntly telling Jimmy Fallon that she didn’t care if he liked something she did or not. That’s awesome.

After reading this book, I feel like I understand Ms. Poehler a bit more. She’s an interesting woman, and a complex one who can be very sarcastic, very blunt, and very sincere in the same paragraph. The sincerity threw me a bit, but I really appreciated it in this book. Unlike Neil Patrick Harris’s book (which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago), this one feels like an exploration. I’m not fooling myself into thinking it’s not a carefully curated version of herself that she’s choosing to share, but she is at least a talented enough writer to make the reader BELIEVE that she’s sharing something real with us.

And what she shares is a mixture of pride, shame, humor, and insight. She tells a story that does not paint her in a flattering light, and while I could take the cynical route and imagine that she did it to absolve herself, I don’t actually think she did. I think she wanted to point out how she screws up, and how sometimes she doesn’t make things right, or spends way too long before she tries to make things right. She talks about hard work, about her marriage ending, and about her childhood. The book jumps around, and at times it isn’t totally cohesive, but it felt real. I imagine that Amy Poehler is someone who would use the phrase “my truth” without irony or judgment. I don’t think I would have believed that before reading this book. I think folks are expecting a laugh-riot peek behind the life of a comedic genius, and while we get that peek into her life, it isn’t all (or even mostly) laughs. It’s funny, for sure, but it’s more than that. I haven’t enjoyed this type of book this much in a while. I plan to read it again, because I think there’s more for me to get out of it.



November 2014



What I’m Reading – November 2, 2014

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading


– “The colleague upbraided him for violating a citizen’s privacy, contacted a commanding officer, and arranged for Harrington’s arrest on felony charges. I kid, of course. The colleague actually complained that the photo wasn’t more explicit.” California Can’t Police Its Own Cops Stealing Nude Photos of Women (h/t @conor64)


– “Duncan’s relatives say they also sought to have him sent to Emory University, one of the specialized hospitals. Duncan’s medical records suggest he was still strong enough several days into his hospitalization to walk around his room, sip Sprite and watch an action movie.” Could more have been done for Thomas Eric Duncan? (via @AP)

– “Even some of the seemingly boilerplate language used to describe Duncan was fraught with accusatory rhetoric. He was the man who, we read everywhere, “brought Ebola to America.” There is an insinuation of intentionality, one that is embedded in the very grammar of the phrase. And his identity was thereby changed from a man who suffers from a disease to the potential infector of an entire nation.” Why are some Ebola patients portrayed as criminals, others as heroes? (via @slate)

– “He uses Twitter throughout the day to make note of the details he isn’t likely to remember tomorrow: What he was reading about, what kind of coffee he ordered, who he spoke to. Even the details of his sex life, which he tweets about in Korean to avoid embarrassing over-the-shoulder moments.” This Man Uses Twitter To Augment His Damaged Memory (h/t @RebeccaSkloot)


– “The idea that regret is, in and of itself, a reason to legally constrain women’s actions is conceptually flawed, paternalistic and degrading. It’s grounded in age-old sexist nonsense about women needing choices to be made for us, as unreasonable, feeble-minded creatures who need protection from the dangers we pose to ourselves.” (Hoping that) Women Hurt: regret as a tool of advocacy (h/t @melissagira)

– “For winning this year’s World Cup in Brazil, Germany received more than £21m more than Japan’s women did after they were crowned world champions in 2011.” Men get more prize money than women in 30% of sports (via @BBCsport)

– “That said, I’m pretty understandably confused by how Che gave himself the right to joke about catcalling. I’m confused, and I’m pissed off — because, seriously, how did the impact of that video fly so over his head?” SNL Star Michael Che’s Joke About Street Harassment is Offensive to Every Single Woman & Here’s Why

– “Yeah, well. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if I was harassed, assaulted, if I was flat-out raped, I would not go to the police. Not unless I wore clear scars from it, not unless I was bloodied or scraped. Even then, only if it was a stranger.” Do You Know About Jian (h/t @stavvers)


– “They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.” In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis (h/t @mtracey)


– “The suit makes several arguments claiming that “representatives of atheist organizations” should have the same right to solemnize marriages that ordained ministers have.” Minnesota Atheists Sue For Right To Perform Marriages Just Like Ordained Ministers (via @ThinkProgress)


– “5. What’s Your Legacy Going to Be? About the same as yours: nothing. Fifty years after we die, no one will remember us. Be honest: How much do you know about your great-grandparents? Unless you’re famous or infamous, you’ll be nothing more than an entry on” 10 Dumb Things People Say When They Find Out I Don’t Have (And Never Want) Children (h/t @nothavingababy)