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Bras for Trans Women: Controversy and Resources
I can see the argument that says, We don't want random dudes walking in here, claiming to be transgender and then scoping the women in back.

People need to be real thoughtful about this line of reasoning.

First, because I (generally read as a butch woman) could be perfectly capable of being gross and inappropriate. Women can sexually harass other women, either from an "I am a queer woman perving on you" standpoint or... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:22 AM on July 17, 2014
It seems like "oh, there might be a man in the dressing room, we must avoid even the appearance of gender ambiguity" really does stem not just from not-thinking-of-trans-women-as-women but from not thinking of them as people. "We need to kick you out of [useful place] because someone might confuse you with a wrongdoer or else people might get anxious because they might worry that you could be a wrongdoer even if you showed no other signs of wrongdoing" is... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:43 PM on July 17, 2014

"Because your wardrobe is a pretty complex organism."
The thing I always wonder about these capsule wardrobes: how do you handle office work? Like, I can sort of repeat my less noticeable pants once a week, but unless I want to wear only black pants all the time, I need at least four pairs of office-worthy ones per weather season. And while I can repeat five shirts every week, that gets noticeable too - "Oh, it's Tuesday, time for Frowner to wear the blue stripe again" - and it really seems better to have a few more,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:30 PM on July 17, 2014
See, these are all cute clothes, but where the hell does one work in any of them? Even when I was young and punk rock, none of those would have been work outfits except maybe the dress. I can't even wear shorts to work, so any shorts that I own for weekend purposes are just one more item in the count.

Which is not to impugn the idea or the blog! I just always get really anxious because I keep thinking "And then I have ten... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:39 PM on July 17, 2014

Another way the school testing regime is rigged against the impoverished
One problem is that no one is keeping track of what these students need and what they actually have. Another problem is that there’s simply too little money in the education budget. The Elements of Literature textbook costs $114.75. However, in 2012–2013, Tilden (like every other middle school in Philadelphia) was only allocated $30.30 per student to buy books—and that amount, which was barely a quarter the price of one textbook, was supposed to cover every subject, not just one.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:57 AM on July 15, 2014

Hope you're happy, Sandy Allen / Hope your garden is blooming
Buried in the article is the fact that if her family had been able to afford brain surgery when she was a child, she would have been tall but not a giant, and would presumably be alive today. But they weren't insured, so they just never went back to the doctor.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:14 PM on July 13, 2014

Things not to say
I had never ever even thought of saying "totes emosh" and now I am going to start. I feel totes emosh about lots of things lately, so it will come in handy.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on July 11, 2014
I mean, I assume it's short for "totally" and "emotional". Maybe it's something else, though.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on July 11, 2014
For a long time, I thought that "totes magoates" had something to do with moving one's goats around, though.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:29 AM on July 11, 2014
Don't say "personal brand". I would infinitely rather have to recite a list containing all the usual suspects ("moist", "adorkable", etc) than have to hear people refer to their "personal brand". Every time I hear it I have to remind myself that it's not some kind of nineties body modification fad but is in fact a thing we are all supposed to have.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:39 AM on July 11, 2014
It doesn't?

That is clearly toting only one goat, and is thus invalid.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:41 AM on July 11, 2014
I do say "knock knock" when I'm standing in the open door of someone's office because it seems sort of peremptory to just, you know, knock, what with the door being open, and it's helpful in performing secretarial...uh...adorkability...to have some kind of kitsch phrase to deploy. But perhaps everyone could get a little chime instead.

(That's a question - can one deploy "adorkable" so on in a strategic fashion?... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:06 PM on July 11, 2014
I mean, I really like this tumblr...partly because it feels sort of eighties avant-garde blank, and partly because it sort of conjures up a set of scenarios - it makes one hyper-conscious of language. Obviously, I'm going to say "cougar" if I'm talking about the animal or "end of", and for some reason "does what it says on the tin" still delights me (because I never get tired of imagining a tin full of angry meercats or artisanal nail files or whatever) and yet the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:11 PM on July 11, 2014

Do you object to the concept of a personal brand, or to the phrase itself?


How separable are these? I mean, I suppose my "personal brand" could be the brand I use for branding my personal cattle...

I loathe the idea that we're all supposed to be "building our brand" by making sure that our hobbies are interesting and make us more internet-fun! and employable!...that we are encouraged to think... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:15 PM on July 11, 2014
I'd say, in fact, that the ideal "personal brand" is one of "adorkability" - cute, faux-unique, non-threatening, able to "geek out" about work-related stuff and golden age television in equal measure, but 100% unlikely to agitate for a union or say something off-brand in front of a client.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:17 PM on July 11, 2014

Hell toupee
But but but...you have the hair part that god gave you. Or I do, anyway. Whenver I try to part my hair anywhere but the one spot that it's always parted naturally, even if I apply a lot of product in the morning it's reverted by noon. Change your hair parting? I was not aware that this was even possible absent gobs of hairspray, which carries its own trustworthiness problem.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:41 AM on July 11, 2014

Your home, Bricksburgh, is one of many realms in the universe.
I like the checkerboard tile floor on the last one. And the way that the lab equipment seems overwhelmingly large, clearly to represent its psychological weight. I think I may get a set of these for the office. (I am not a scientist, but lord knows I work with scientists. Most of them wear outfits that do scream "scientist", though - invest in no-name polo shirt producers now if we're looking at a researcher boom. And Tevas, even though one is not supposed to wear open-toed shoes... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:49 PM on July 10, 2014

"Ugliness, Empathy, and Octavia Butler"
Bloodchild is also a kind of draft of the ideas in Dawn.

The more science fiction I read, the more I realize that Butler is one of the biggest influences on...well, let's say post-1990 science fiction. (Not that no one was reading her before that - one the contrary! - but I really feel like her ideas sort of built up a critical mass and became very influential at that point.

It's interesting, too, that she's suddenly become... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:25 AM on July 10, 2014
Interesting. Which writers would you say were influenced by Butler?

I'd actually have to go home and look at my book case to see who all I had in mind - I did a feminist SF class last year and was struck by how almost everything we read after 1990 seemed Butlerian to me, though. Off the top of my head, I can think of L Timmel DuChamp, Nisi Shawl, Aliette de Bodard....jeez, we read a lot of interfacing-with-aliens stuff and I can't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:57 AM on July 10, 2014

Learn about societal norms by violating them and seeing how people react
That article was so depressing. But also hilarious! The interviews which boil down to "Oh, everyone should make their own choices and we are all free to do that, but I would never do that because I think it's gross and unfeminine and I think women should shave everything except their heads, and I would stand ten feet away from a woman who didn't shave!" The whole "I am a special snowflake who makes all of her own decisions from pure personal... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:15 AM on July 10, 2014
Weirdly, this reminds me of my thoughts yesterday about the "I smack my partner lightly when he tells a racist joke" askme.

[Naturally, I have no knowledge of the actual experience of that poster.]

I was thinking about how women are socialized to respond to stuff like sexist jokes or inappropriate behavior with a sort of "oh, you bad boy, stop that, tee-hee!" response, like a light smack on the arm or something. (Picture this... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:42 AM on July 10, 2014

Exactly. Shaving is a personal choice, and I believe strongly that whatever people do or do not shave should not invite comment by anyone else. But it's disingenuous to think that we make these choices in a vacuum and that our perceptions as women of what "feels clean" or what's "tidy" or what we "like the sensation of" are completely uninfluenced by growing up in cultures where it's likely that every single image of female beauty we've been
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:39 AM on July 10, 2014

“Does he identify as Slytherin? That changes things.”
This type of internet humor depresses me so much.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on July 9, 2014
It's actually making me tired of complaining about straight white cismen, in fact. Because it seems to eviscerate the critique.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:50 AM on July 9, 2014

Dumbledore's Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup Final

I know JKR joked about no one wanting to read about Harry Potter and the Midlife Crisis


...but there are hundreds of thousands of words of fanfiction suggesting that everyone wants to read precisely that.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:31 PM on July 8, 2014

Social Justice and Language
It makes me laugh that Jack Halberstam is a director of feminist anything - you have only to read his cultural criticism to see what a pass he gives to sexist crap as long as it validates his ideas about trans male identity. (Note, in particular, his essay on Fantastic Mr. Fox, a film I actually showed at a radical movie night, sight unseen, on the strength of that fucking essay...only to be absolutely horrified by what a 1980s-esque misogynist shit-show it is. More fool me,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:40 PM on July 8, 2014
The thing about "the left eats its own, why can't we focus on [whatever, usually class but sometimes race]" is that it's precisely what has always been trotted out by whoever is on top of the movement heap at the moment.

Communists post-1917? Check! All the women who want birth control after Stalin decides he wants a jump in population, all the queer folks who don't want to view their sexual identity as bourgeois pathology, all the Jews... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:41 PM on July 8, 2014

Hollywood Magic: impossibly young mothers, ageism against women
The whole "no actresses in major roles over thirtyish" thing really spoils movies for me, because I'll be watching something where a character is supposed to be a brilliant scientist, or an accomplished career soldier or just a really smart and together person with a well-established career, and they'll be, like, twenty-five. And honestly, although there are some prodigies out there, it's really unlikely to have, like, a PhD and an established career with a lab and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 AM on July 8, 2014
Honestly, I occasionally watch an imperfect movie because friends want to see it or there's some other reason to watch it (so I saw an X-men movie a couple of weeks ago because a friend who teaches junior high promised his students he'd watch it). Movies and TV are pervasive - I don't even have a TV and I almost never go to the movies, but I've seen a little bit of a lot of stuff.

Sometimes I just want a superhero movie that isn't,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:22 AM on July 8, 2014
People watch movies for a sense of escape and fantasy, and what is more "fantastic" that an older man screwing a much younger woman?

I am only one data point, but "escapist fantasy" for me pretty much requires things that are minimally racist, sexist, misogynist, etc. It's not "escapist" if I am yanked back into reality by thinking "jesus, that was a racist depiction of an Asian dude" or "once again, I am... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:14 AM on July 8, 2014
Again, gender comes into play - for me, "escapist" means "escaping from all the routine sexist shit I encounter daily, while also enjoying a lighthearted plot", while for straight dudes, I guess, it's "thinking about women I will never get to bang in life and imagining someone my age banging them".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:17 AM on July 8, 2014

loaded questions
I actually dislike "what keeps you busy" and "how do you spend your time" because they seem to me to be transparent workarounds for "what is your job", and they [mostly] elicit the same type of information, since in most instances, the people with jobs to boast about boast about their jobs and the rest of us talk about something, anything else. I notice this particularly because I have a lot of degrees and a secretarial gig - people routinely expect me to have a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:19 PM on July 7, 2014
And some people are simply trying to make conversation. If you have just met, they need to find some place to start. It's only nefarious if, beneath the civil exterior, they are really, deeply assholes.

I have a really, really different experience - again, mostly because my job and demeanor are at odds. I look and sound like...oh, a mid-career nonprofit administrator, or possibly someone with a stable community college teaching gig, or a late-start... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:26 PM on July 7, 2014
When I was younger, and hadn't learned about etiquette, I was still trying to please everybody. Someone told me they hated it when someone said "excuse me" because it was just a polite way of saying "get out of my way". And that's true, "excuse me" is just a polite way of saying "get out of my way", but the point is, it's a polite way of saying it. But, people-pleaser that I was, I resolved never to be so bossy and presumptuous again, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:19 AM on July 8, 2014

#peakedinhighschool
Okay, hold up, what about this from the Racialicious article:

Peterson was frustrated that the school didn’t investigate her anonymous attackers, even after another scary incident in the winter, when someone sent an email to the freshman class containing photos of Peterson half naked in her room. Peterson had no idea where the sender had gotten those photos, she said, and the administration, while sympathetic, didn’t either — or didn’t tell her if they did.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:50 AM on July 7, 2014
"nastiness toward Sikh student" = determined to be faked tweets, not anything she did. (See the Racialicious article.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:53 AM on July 7, 2014
Personally, if I were a black kid hearing white people using the term "Trayvons", hearing from my fellow students of color about the shit they had to deal with, saw fucking Confederate flags hanging on campus, and had already had a whisper/smear/sexual harassment campaign against me, I would be inclined to strike back any way I could.

Seriously. Why didn't the school shut the "Trayvon" business right down? It sounds like it was... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:15 AM on July 7, 2014

men as feminist allies
It still seems strange to me, because I have zero interest in the first thing and think of the second one (caring for each other) as the basis of any relationship, but maybe I already have non-traditional relationships.

Oh god the emotional work when living with "feminist" men. Who are perfectly nice and who, as a broad generality, are people I like and consider friends.

Here's the thing about our house: nothing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:42 PM on July 3, 2014

If you build it, they will come

Anybody that lived in Atlanta through the 90s could have told you this. They doubled the size of I-75. It was congested within a week.


The thing is, induced demand has been a commonplace of urban geography courses since the nineties, if not before - I remember reading a case study on Atlanta in 1998 or so, and I'd already encountered the idea somewhere else before, IIRC.

It's one of those... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:54 AM on July 3, 2014

Summer Is for Skinny People
I feel like recommending therapy to the guy - it's not that people aren't assholes and there isn't any body-shaming or that it's all in his head, but getting some help to get you to the "I get to wear a swimsuit if I want, assholes" place can be really good. And he just sounds so horribly distressed. I have lots and lots and lots of body issues, I had them when I was thinner, I had them when I was fatter, I'll probably have them til they put me in the ground - and god knows I've been... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:18 AM on July 2, 2014
Also, he should make some fat friends. I have friends who are much fatter than me who go to the beach all the time, and this year I think they may actually have persuaded me - fully equipped with rashguard and baggy men's swimtrunks, admittedly, but that's gender performance as much as anything else - to join them.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:22 AM on July 2, 2014
This guy needs some sort of therapy, self-administered or otherwise. I can relate to a lot of what he writes, but there is not a single thing in that entire piece about taking steps to mitigate his issue. He does however spend a whole lot of effort maintaining it.

I spent my twenties and early thirties in the grip of really crippling physical self-hatred, and this piece really resonates with me. For some of that time, I was actually delusional about... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:52 PM on July 2, 2014

How can you do justice to all? You can't.
As a secretary, I found the "you too can work late and assist in parenting the boss's daughter" section particularly amusing. Secretaries, of course, never have children, so we're happy to be "trained" to support the boss's family - it fills the gaping emotional void at the core of working class life, you know.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:32 AM on July 2, 2014
And the servants and the secretaries are being paid so this woman can focus more time on work. Today, I paid for childcare and a housekeeper so that both my husband and I could work, albeit paid waaaaaay less than the CEO of Pepsi.

Yes, and they're paid enough less that they can't afford help themselves. If you're a working class woman, you too work long hours (if you have kids) - just not very well paid long hours. You too miss 9am... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:59 AM on July 2, 2014
More, actually, people think that's it's emotionally fulfilling and appropriate for you to spend your energy on the boss's daughter.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:00 AM on July 2, 2014

There are very very few secretaries that spend half the year traveling for corporate meetings, working full-time weekends, and working from 9pm-midnight once they get home. And if they do, it's by choice, since that's an atypical secretary job.


The point is that we have so arranged society that if you are rich, your kids can have the "seamless parenting" experience, and if you are not... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:49 AM on July 2, 2014

Penny in Your Pants
Actually, I think the clip garter one would be pretty useful (not the penny one as much, for fabric-damage reasons). Back when I wore skirts and biked in them, I pretty much chose skirts based on being a fairly structured a-line that was just above the knee, or else a relatively heavy fabric which hit at or just below the knee if a full skirt - anything else was either too flippy or too constricting.

The thing is, even if your skirts fit well and don't ride up, your... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:55 PM on July 1, 2014
Since when has dressing modestly prevented street harassment?

I noticed a sharp drop-off in street harassment when I stopped wearing dresses, skirts and heels - quite seriously, I got hassled on the regular when I was wearing perfectly modest dresses and skirts and rather ordinary nineties platform heels, and then ~boom ~ it dropped right off when I stopped. I notice that my friend who wears very tight, very short shorts and crop tops gets a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:34 PM on July 1, 2014


Also, Frowner, I guess I don't get your point. No one invites street harassment, I get you are saying that. but you're also saying that a change in dress can change the amount of harassment, your mileage may vary. Ok? Not really information anyone can use, just a data point, I suppose?


I was, initially, commenting on the post - saying that I had not been particularly worried, when wearing skirts on my bike, about anyone seeing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:51 AM on July 2, 2014

Canadianisms
The basics are the same - meat sliced off a rotating vertical spit, wrapped in pita. But donairs (Halifax-style aka the right way) are seasoned ground 'meat' (no idea what kind - lamb? beef?) with a sweet sauce (sweetened condensed milk and vinegar) topped with raw onions and raw tomatoes.

You poor things.

I used to live in a house with people who hosted Canadian anarchists every year, and I noticed that they were... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:19 AM on July 1, 2014

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