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Here are quotes from posts linked from the 17th Carnival of Feminists (http://blog.pulpculture.org/2006/06/21/the-17th-feminist-carnival/) that I found insightful or interesting:

I can relate to this sometimes:
And can I just say that I find a certain joy in knowing that I am finally invisible in the eyes of men? Can I get a hallelujah here, folks? Isn't old, fat, menopausal and invisible supposed to plunge you into deep depression? It ain't happening here, which makes me wonder what is wrong with me.
http://amber.tangerinecs.com/viewentry.php?entry=1598 discusses the phenomenon of attacking the appearance of someone you disagree with (something I am always dismayed by especially when I see it from lefties):
But you know, it's not like there's anything really remarkable about any of this. People do it all. the. time. Men, women, lefties, righties, about any subject matter and in any setting (blog, IRL, et al). People who are supposed to be sensible and respectable do it. I think a lot of people do it without thinking about it - I know I have. Then I started catching myself at it and going, "WTF?" And if I had a nickel for everytime I've heard or read someone else doing it, I could retire right now and just blog all day.
A number of posts discussed Carol Hanisch's essay "The Personal Is Political," published in 1969, and her new 2006 introduction to the essay. (The PDF is here.) Other bloggers reproduced these quotes from the introduction but I couldn't leave them out of my post:
They could sometimes admit that women were oppressed (but only by "the system") and said that we should have equal pay for equal work, and some other "rights." But they belittled us no end for trying to bring our so-called "personal problems" into the public arena -- especially "all those body issues" like sex, appearance, and abortion. Our demands that men share the housework and childcare were likewise deemed a personal problem between a woman and her individual man.
I wish we could have anticipated all the ways that "The Personal Is Political" and "The Pro-Woman Line" would be revised and misused. Like most of the theory created by the Pro-Woman Line radical feminists, these ideas have been revised or ripped off or even stood on their head and used against their original, radical intent.
This quotes from the original essay is also resonating for me:
I believe ... that these analytical sessions are a form of political action. I do not go to these sessions because I need or want to talk about my ”personal problems.” In fact, I would rather not. As a movement woman, I’ve been pressured to be strong, selfless, otheroriented, sacrificing, and in general pretty much in control of my own life. To admit to the problems in my life is to be deemed weak. So I want to be a strong woman, in movement terms, and not admit I have any real problems that I can’t find a personal solution to (except those directly related to the capitalist system). It is at this point a political action to tell it like it is, to say what I really believe about my life instead of what I’ve always been told to say.
http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2006/06/14/the-language-we-use/ speaks for me on why I find it difficult to support the Democratic party:
that’s what the pragmatists are missing: They assume that the Democrats can ignore or backpedal on certain issues that have to do with “identity politics” — abortion, affirmative action, welfare, marriage equality, etc — and that they’ll still have other things to offer people whose very identities they just sold down the river. But when you tell me that my right to my own body is a political issue up for exchange, you haven’t just insulted me. You’ve denied me the right to exist as you do. You’ve treated me as less than human.
Switching to the WTF category, http://melancholicfeminista.blogspot.com/2006/06/whats-wrong-with-being-sexual-object.html comes up with a strange, Humpty-Dumptyish definition of "sexual object":
One of the challenges for modern feminists is find a way to articulate why being a sexual object--that is an embodied sexual being who is inspired by the desire of another--is not necessarily an exploitative relation.
And http://diaryofafreakmagnet.blogspot.com/2006/06/busted.html tries to say two things at once, and fails to convince:
On this particular spa trip, however, I saw something that really depressed me; a beautiful, petite woman with the most horrible implants I have ever seen. ... At the risk of sounding terribly patronizing, I felt sorry for her; it looked like she'd been enhanced by Dr. Quack Tits, M.D.
Let me be clear; I don't think less of women who want or get implants.
Sorry, but IMAO, if you "feel sorry for" someone that means you think less of them. You might sympathize or empathize with equals, but you don't "feel sorry for" them.

http://www.jaysennett.com/blog/2006/06/dying_to_bring_you_the_bounty.htm gives us another reason to support organic local produce - slavery rings in Florida tomato and orange farms.
So it makes sense that liberals aren’t interested in ending sexual slavery in farm camps nor amending the 1938 Federal Minimum Wage Act that exempted – and continues to exempt – farm workers from federally mandated minimum wage requirements.

They don’t want to pay ten dollars for a tomato. Would you?
http://www.volsunga.co.uk/?p=11 has a problem with one of the standard pieces of advice for women on how to avoid rape:
The email went on to say that women should be aware not afraid, and take simple measures to protect themselves. Number one on the list of “simple measures” to take at night was; Never go out alone.

Simple? How are we supposed to not be afraid when we’re told the only way to avoid attack is to basically give up our freedom?
is a long, interesting critique of Western thinking about female genital mutilation.

http://labracknell.blogspot.com/2006/06/because-youre-worth-it.html lets us know that the cosmetics industry is going after men's facial wrinkles:
one of the products featured in the L'Oreal advertisement is called "Anti-Expression Cream". Surely Lady Bracknell cannot be the only person who is horrified at the suggestion that facial expressions ought to be eradicated
I can really relate to the take on rock music described at
I love the form of rock music, the loud, crushing guitar riffs coupled with beautiful melodies- those who adhere to essentialist and stereotypical concepts of sex might say it is a very masculine form- but I’m a woman and I fucking adore it.

However, sometimes it is difficult to reconcile my feminism with this male-dominated, ‘masculine’ music culture. I can enjoy the music, but sometimes recoil at the sexist lyrics of some of my favourite bands and feel uncomfortable with their sexually objectifying portrayal of women on their album sleeves and in their videos.

These links are from the Second Erase Racism Carnival at http://www.jaysennett.com/blog/2006/06/the_second_erase_racism_carniv_1.htm.

http://irrationalpoint.blogspot.com/2006/05/three-things-you-should-know.html is about everybody's favorite topic, privilege. The comments included the following very important point:
Hurtful and powerful are not the same thing.
and also some interesting criticisms of the notion that prejudice from a member of an oppressed group does not count as 'ism'".

http://allywork.solidaritydesign.net/2006/uprooting-racism-part-1-its-good-to-talk-about-racism/ discusses the secret coded language of race:
We actually talk about race all the time, but we do it in code. Much of our discussions about economics, military issues, neighborhood affairs, public safety and welfare, education, sports and movies is about race. Some of the code words we use are “underclass,” “welfare mothers,” “inner city,” “illegal aliens,” “terrorist,” “politically correct” and “invasion.”
Incidentally, Paul Campos would in some cases add "obesity" to the list. I think some folks might be tempted to comment that when they think of those words they don't assume ALL of the qualifying people are non-white. The point still stands, though, IMO. (Note that the comments on this one kind of got sidetracked.)

http://whyaminotsurprised.blogspot.com/2006/06/world-cupof-hate.html describes racist culture surrounding the World Cup that I didn't know about:
Thousands of fans screaming monkey noises and throwing bananas onto the field when a Black player is trying to make a kick. Entire groups unfurling pro-Hitler banners, complete with swastikas, and using intricate choreography to form human swastikas or even the face of Der Fuhrer in the stands. Teaming up to spit on Black players. ... And keep in mind: we're not talking about occasional instances here or certain countries or a few particular people. We're talking about routine attacks.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC)
Super Babymama's not the first one to make the observation about the joys of becoming invisible to certain kinds of people - we were talking about it (and reveling in it) over in alt.support.menopause five years ago, and I have the feeling this is one of those bits of secret woman-wisdom that don't often get shared. But it's the part about aging that feels the most geniunely liberating to me: The ability to go through my day and move around in the world without feeling all sorts of judging eyes on me. Twenty years ago, I don't think I could have told you I even felt them, but it's like a shift in the atmospheric pressure - when the eyes are all looking elsewhere, one feels lighter, somehow. And safer.

These days I think of it as selective invisibility. When I want to be noticed, I can. But it's in my power. And that's a novel treat.
Jun. 24th, 2006 02:59 am (UTC)
I'm still working on being visible when I want to be.
Jun. 24th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)
And can I just say that I find a certain joy in knowing that I am finally invisible in the eyes of men? Can I get a hallelujah here, folks? Isn't old, fat, menopausal and invisible supposed to plunge you into deep depression? It ain't happening here

i used to say something very similar about being fat, long before i added old and menopausal (though i never felt the appraisal was particular to men anyway). i've since come to the conclusion that it's mostly -- quelle surprise :) -- about me, and my own attitude. the eyes are still there. but for one, i now know that they're often not judging at all, but staring off into space (which i coincidentally cross) while thinking about the person's own trouble. for another, those who do judge are still there, they just judge different things -- really, fat and old people are by no means miraculously exempt from being criticized by random strangers. but i don't give a damn anymore. those random strangers don't know me from adam. they don't know my strengths, my true weaknesses, and what obstacles i have overcome. there is no reason whatsoever to care what they think of me while i am crossing their field of view. and that's what makes me feel lighter.
Jun. 24th, 2006 02:59 am (UTC)
Very true.
Jun. 24th, 2006 10:20 am (UTC)
We were having a (brief) discussion about racism and the way it's different between Australia and the US, and this has a brilliant example. I don't think of non-whites when I hear "underclass" or "welfare mother" (although I'm now aware that USians using those words might mean that). It's taken me years to realise that "inner city" is supposed to make me think of African-Americans. These words just aren't used like that in Australia.

We do have "terrorist" as code for middle eastern, and illegal immigrants or refugees (you decide what they really are) most commonly come from south-east Asian countries.

I'm very unclear what racial connotations "politically correct" is supposed to carry.
Jun. 24th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
I'm very unclear what racial connotations "politically correct" is supposed to carry.

Me too, actually. It can be used to shut down discussions of race or accusations of racism, but it can be used in a lot of other ways, so I don't see it as strictly a race code word.
Jun. 25th, 2006 01:36 am (UTC)
It's not strictly a race code word. It's equally used about feminism. There are lots of different kinds of discrimination, lots of different groups working against discrimination, and "politically correct" can refer to any of them.

I hesitate to translate the racial connotations here, because the words are so offensive. When "politically correct" is used in a sneering way, to shut down discussions of race or accusations of racism, the implications are usually "nigger-lover" or "uppity nigger." (As you say, it's not specifically racial. For other conversations, it means "uppity bitches" or "uppity queers.") In some ways, the sneering can be harder to deal with than the overtly, outrageously, offensive words...it's harder to call people on it. But it's very hard to continue a serious conversation with a group of people who are sneering at you, who think you fundamentally are not worth taking seriously.
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
The real difficulty of course is that most of the people who use these code words would never admit to the implication, even to themselves. But using the code gives aid and comfort to the enemy (as well as framing away the opportunity for personal enlightenment) nonetheless.
Jul. 22nd, 2006 07:57 am (UTC)
wow. that was great to read through, to see someone engage with the carnival entries.

i can relate to kactus, too!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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