Activity from Frowner

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Colleges and Universities: Non-Free Speech Zones
My goodness...obviously, unless straight white cis men can be paid a lot of money to debate on stage in front of a quiet and attentive audience, eg, whether some races are superior, whether it's acceptable to stone the gays, whether women are lying about sexual assault, etc, etc...why then, we have no free speech!

What this really illustrates is that "free speech" is a civil fiction, not an axiom or a really-existing thing. It's something that in certain areas… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:41 AM on April 24, 2015

When you argue that speech is a zero-sum game -- that is, when you argue "more free speech for you means less for me" -- then you're basically arguing for authoritarianism. You're saying that the Enemy Tribe must be silenced, because more resources for them means less for us.


That's such nonsense. What I'm arguing is that "free speech" is a strategy. Sometimes saying "anyone can say anything they like and we will… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:19 AM on April 24, 2015
Oh, but if their protests have actual results, that's bad, right - you can protest a speaker as much as you like, but only as long as everyone recognizes that your protest will never change anything.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:22 AM on April 24, 2015

I guess that's what bothers me the most about all this. Modern Social Justice has become, basically "Try to figure out who is the underdog in the situation and support them. Figure out who the Oppressor is and attack them". But all of us -- every one of us -- lack the information to make that decision perfectly. We can't even agree if Jews are more oppressed than Palestinians or vice versa.


The interesting thing about this line… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:03 AM on April 24, 2015
I get reminded, too, that I am not as full a member of my institution as a straight person - that it's okay to debate my humanity, but that no one is ever interested in or paid for debating the humanity of straight people.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:05 AM on April 24, 2015

The Professor in the Cage
....Back in the day, there were a bunch of green anarchist dudes who were convinced that fighting each other was a way to build up skills for fighting the man. They had a lot of ideology about toughness, willingness to use violence, etc etc. One night, I was in a mixed-gender group after a meeting. There was a huge storm and it was really late, so I was going to stay over in someone's graduate dorm (not one of the green anarchists; just a sympathizer). We got treated to quite a lot of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:12 AM on April 24, 2015

Pink Flamingos, Palm Trees, and Class Warfare
My family is responsible for unleashing a lot of crazy nonsense on the world and when the revolution comes I will fully accept my spot near the front of the line, just give me a cigarette and a blindfold so I don't have to spend my final minutes staring at those damn shirts.

I'm afraid that when the revolution comes and the anarchist hordes are baying for blood (with me at their head, that's the way this will work) , I will have to protect you because… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:09 AM on April 24, 2015

The only "preppy" bit of clothing I wish I could find is one of those old school "Norwegian" navy blue wool sweaters with the little white checks that LL Bean used to make. A pal of mine in high school had that sweater, and it looked great. LL Bean doesn't make them anymore.


LL Bean reissued some in the last couple of years, but there are about twenty million squillion billion of the old ones on eBay every winter. They… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:23 AM on April 24, 2015

A Youth Untouched By Social Media
Well, the fact that I do not have a Facebook has gone from making me feel old and boring to making me feel cutting edge and youthful-in-spirit. Perhaps all the other things I have refused to adapt to/adopt will eventually also become old fogey things and I alone will remain timeless.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:26 PM on April 23, 2015

You cannot police me / So get off my areola
The new video is wonderful. Given that I am a prudish person and definitely not the ideal listener for songs about, like, the allure of someone's yoga pants, that's saying something.

Janelle Monae and her collaborators really are creating a new aesthetic that centers women/women of color and that beautifully expresses collective joy.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:59 AM on April 22, 2015
Is the Yoga song/video taking this piss?

I can only say what I see in it, but what I notice immediately:

1. Janelle Monae in her usual position somewhat outside the main narrative of the video, playing the "romantic lead" usually reserved for men.

2. Women doing something physical/sexual who are filmed as whole bodies and whose athleticism is centered; an eroticism that is woman-directed or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:59 AM on April 22, 2015
Which of the two waitresses fawning over Jidenna is the female viewer supposed to identify with?

That's not really how I read that scene - it's true, it's a weird scene, but it's unfinished, there's no real suggestion that he gets anywhere with either one, they're hardly all over him; my original reading was that we're meant to see them as parodying/performing a sort of ghostly-ideal fantasy woman role which is then totally washed away by the rest of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:56 PM on April 22, 2015

"There have been struggles; there is no doubt about that. "
That "repeating the cycle" article is fantastic - it's a long essay that links the history of lesbian exclusion in feminism to trans exclusion and then goes into a long history of just how the MWMF became actively anti-trans.

There is also something that I had forgotten - back in the seventies, Olivia Records had a trans woman sound technician, Sandy Stone, and - when pressed by proto-TERFs - said that their politics were… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:44 AM on April 22, 2015
Also apparently when some Camp Trans activists were sold tickets to Mich Fest after identifying themselves, they were instantly harassed and the youngest girl - who was 16!!! - was yelled at and threatened by a group of grown women who should all be deeply ashamed of themselves, including one who pulled a knife on her. And of course, no one said boo except, apparently, Nomy Lamm.

This is why we can't have nice things like anarchism,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:52 AM on April 22, 2015
I can see why this was necessary for the time, but today's feminism feels so much more comfortable to me.

I think it's worth looking closely at "the time". The more I read about feminisms, it seems like there's always been restrictive and liberatory tendencies within them all at all times, and I don't want to give the bad excuse of "it was necessary in 1975" (not that you're saying that about trans exclusion). I mean, feminism is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on April 22, 2015
Very fair points all, Frowner! I guess you can take my comment as reflecting not how things actually were, but how the rhetoric of the past as filtered up to the present feels/sounds to someone born in 1987.

I also think that a lot of movements try to suggest that they are very homogenous - definitely, conservative strains in feminism really want to give that impression about the Second Wave and that's how a lot of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:32 AM on April 22, 2015
Boys under five were/are able to attend the festival with their mothers; boys from 5 - 10 are enrolled in a day camp thing called "Brother Sun" and I believe boys over 10 are not allowed. To be totally fair, I know someone who worked every summer at Brother Sun and she loves kids and works with them in her non-festival life; it's not some kind of joyless you-are-a-baby-oppressor program.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:07 AM on April 22, 2015


"Overzealous feminist women attack infant for being male" sounds way more like a story of "feminazi womyn" boogeymen than a real event.


It does except when you read about a bunch of grown women shouting "PENIS ON THE LAND" at some teenage trans girl and telling her that she is "raping the land" and then yelling at her for two hours. ("Intergenerational", my… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:43 PM on April 22, 2015

The Best of Black Punk Rock, in My Humble Opinion
This looks wonderful, and "First World Problems" is a perfect band name.

Also, I have to admit that ol' Maxi-Rocker is way more interesting than it was, say, ten years ago.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:46 AM on April 21, 2015

Why we're not running 'Maakies' anymore
That's bizarre! I haven't read Maakies in years and years because it seemed kind of repetitive, but those recent two comics aren't even jokes. I mean, I'm good old proper Gen X, I remember the alt-weeklies of the early nineties and even wrote a little bit for a couple of very small ones, and honestly "lol she has her period" would not have flown back in the high and palmy days of riot grrrl and Kurt Cobain. No, that's pure backlash late nineties nonsense; I remember when it came in.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:43 AM on April 20, 2015
And good for them; this idea that somehow there's some kind of "legacy" of "transgressive" misogyny that is more authentic than the actually existing legacy of riot grrrl and the old Baffler and all that is pure nonsense. Significant mid-nineties alt comics were feminist and gay and not banally misognyist (which isn't to say that they didn't have problems; they did, but not this kind.)

There's some old Raw comics… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:47 AM on April 20, 2015

Who is ruining comics this week?
I have read and purchased several comics because of Tumblr, including a $90 (!!!!) small press run hardback from Scandinavia (obviously an indie creator, that one). I have also watched a couple of movies that I would not otherwise have bothered with and have purchased a variety of Magneto impedimenta. I'm not exactly sure why this is a problem for Big Comics. It's as though I'd get upset that, for example, someone who doesn't really like science fiction decided to buy some Octavia Butler… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:47 AM on April 20, 2015
Also, in terms of people from "outside" fandom engaging with it: when I encounter people who haven't read much SF and who are talking about, for example, Octavia Butler - sometimes it is frustrating because they don't always understand key aspects of the logic of the books, or where Butler fits in terms of being a groundbreaking SF writer generally and a groundbreaking black woman SF writer in specific, or how Butler reworks certain ideas about dystopia, etc. But… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:12 AM on April 20, 2015

The Failure of Multiculturalism by Kenan Malik

Wow, is this true? First Nation people are forced to live in reserves or certain urban neighborhoods? How is this enforced?


In my neck of the American woods (and I live in a part of Minneapolis that is heavily Native), it's enforced on indigenous people via police violence, hiring and rental discrimination and a concentration of such subsidized housing as there is in one low-income neighborhood. If by "apartheid" you are looking… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:57 AM on April 16, 2015
Also, the US has a really different narrative about the state and religion. Obviously, we still have a lot of "we are a Christian nation" nonsense, but there is a strong intellectual trend that has a lot of traction of "people should be able to believe what they want". This leads to all kinds of other contradictions (like the religious freedom stuff in Indiana, or anti-vaxxers, etc). But it does also mean that you can make a strong, serious public argument that Muslims,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:07 PM on April 16, 2015

Aboard Flights, Conflicts Over Seat Assignments and Religion
Yeah, and if it is—as it seems to be—a rather rare occurrence, the Times' breathless insistence on reporting this (as another episode, I guess, in the long-running serial Jews Behaving Badly) becomes yet another example of majority-group members exerting power over and putting minority-group members down.

I mean, I think it's a story, but it seems like the story is about airline policy more than about a few men who are neither… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:16 AM on April 9, 2015
It is much, much less inconvenient to think "Okay, I'm going to swim on Saturdays at 3pm, not at 1pm, because noon to 3 is men-only swim; I am planning ahead and I will go to the store first" than to think "hm, I booked this seat because I really need to be able to stand up during the flight and right now today this guy is telling me I have to move".

There's ideology and there's inconvenience. It's reasonable to say "I may really loathe your… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:53 AM on April 12, 2015
I'm not sure that even could be true. Men and women seem to travel in roughly equal numbers,1 and in a dystopian Handmaids Tale-esque scenario where no women could sit next to any man you'd just end up with a game of musical chairs and one row partially filled.

No, the point is that if any woman at any point can be told that she has to move because she is a source of sin and there's no appeal to that - if there's no traction to say "I don't… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:34 PM on April 15, 2015

Bono is to the Rock Hall what Tom Cruise is to Scientology
We still don't induct a lot of women, do we?

And the "one woman comes to town, one woman leaves town" bit with Houston and Raitt is pretty funny - it's not like we could imagine kicking out a dude in order to make space (even in this imaginary way) for a lady, after all.

Also, the only hall of fame Morrissey belongs in is the hall of fame for people who inexplicably ruin my fond memories of their music by turning… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:06 AM on April 15, 2015
Also someday Janelle Monae will be in this Hall of Fame, and maybe then I might conceivably be moved to visit.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:07 AM on April 15, 2015
It's a Soft Machine cover on a Material album.

I...did not know that. Even though I love Soft Machine and have quite a lot of Material. Neat.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:04 AM on April 15, 2015

The fundamental seductiveness of the conspiracy theory
I cannot even begin to express the joy I get from pretending that vast swathes of history are just made up - were just made up wholesale by monks, even! It's an excellently SFnal backstory. Also, perhaps we could pick and choose - like, the Emperor Hadrian was real (I like Hadrian) but Charlemagne is just a story; the peasants really won the peasant revolts of the German 15th century, etc. Could we sub in other, better history, eg the unicorn tapestries show real unicorns… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:02 AM on April 14, 2015
Well, I mean, we don't have to assert that the unicorns have died out. I personally have never seen one, but then I have never been to France.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:39 AM on April 14, 2015

The Paradox of the Necktie Resolved
I feel that this essay suffers from a personal dislike of ties and a total forgetting that queer people exist, plus a little bit of Not Quite Reading Enough Fashion History. At the same time, it's a funny provocation. It's very Baffler-y - they seem to have at least partly returned to their celebrated old, sour, I-will-not-respect-your-values-or-be-nice approach from the nineties.

I think that a lot of Graeber's short pieces are mostly intended as a sort of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:21 AM on April 13, 2015
(Also, dude, if you think that ties are bad - I have worn ties, and I have worn womanly office attire, and let me tell you - ties are absolutely nothing on what women have to wear. This is not an argument in favor of ties (although I have a spotted one from Liberty via eBay that is all the go) but really, ties are not nearly as bad as it gets.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:22 AM on April 13, 2015
I think it's important to be very precise when we talk about who wears what and why - that's part of what Graeber's essay suffers from, too many generalizations about very large stretches of clothing history and too many generalizations about gender. It's an essay whose factual assertions are partly true about certain times and social strata - true enough, I think, to be worth unpacking a bit more.

Also, Graeber is an anarchist, and this is an essay which has anarchist… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:18 AM on April 13, 2015
(Just as a point of clarification - I'm not strongly emotionally engaged with Getting People To Like David Graeber. He's an anarchist, I've read some of his essays that I really like, I found his memoir-ish stuff pretty interesting because it's about my general political milieu....basically, I feel about him a lot like I'd feel about any other grumpy, reasonably intelligent anarchist person from around town, this sense of interest and social connection, but not really a sense of I Care Very… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:19 AM on April 13, 2015
In terms of shirt fit - I think different people have different degrees of awareness of Things Being Around Their Necks, etc. (Children obviously have different responses to sensory stuff generally; this probably carries over.) So where one person finds it easy to get a well-fitting shirt, another will feel choked or constrained even if they're built similarly and wearing similar shirts.

For instance, I can't wear necklaces, especially short ones - they make me feel… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:38 AM on April 14, 2015

"The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open."
Oh nooooo. Oh. Oh, this is sad. Every time I read his work, I sort of think of him sitting there somewhere, being. His voice is so alive and present. No no no, I don't want him to be dead.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:21 AM on April 13, 2015

Collective Living
This article is certainly charming, but also very weird, because in my world that's just how people live. I'm a bit odd because I am buying my house (extreme fixer-upper with holes in the walls, etc) and have only two housemates and one spare room when this house could hold at least one and probably two other people. (OTOH, only one bathroom.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:02 AM on April 10, 2015
To my mind, the tricky thing is getting people who are committed to the arrangement. When it's family, that's relatively easy, but it can be trickier when it's a bunch of young-ish people at different career stages. And you don't want the kids getting used to an adult over a year or two and then having that person just vanish off to wherever - I've seen that be rather difficult for some kids in our social circle, even though all of them have had at least one very caring and stable parent… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:34 AM on April 10, 2015
I highly recommend reading the "grotesque Brooklyn clubhouse" link from the beginning of the article in the OP. It is positively science fictional - the scenario is sort of like if someone rewrote James Tiptree's "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" and crossed it with the opening scenes of John Brunner's "The Sheep Look Up" and added a little dab of Octavia Butler's "Parable of the Sower". It's...it's very clever, actually; it's some… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:00 AM on April 10, 2015
How would a mefi commune even work? Would there be a little whiteboard on everyone's doors for favorites? How would the mods handle derails? Would the mods have to, like, totally bulk up in order to be able to "delete" people from a conversation?

I keep envisioning basically a really, really long corridor with doors on either side and every mefite having one room.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:30 AM on April 10, 2015
Also - and importantly! - would we use real names?

There are a number of people I know only by their activist noms de guerre from, like, an environmental campaign years and years ago, and a guy I see around town in a respectable capacity but know only as "Spork" from an old, old pirate radio project. And another friend's ex, who has long moved to the suburbs and gone respectable, but whose real name I cannot remember at all and who is forever Wise Dolphin… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:33 AM on April 10, 2015
I do not think so, because I live with two other extreme introverts. "Communal" does not have to mean "noisy and in everyone else's business", but the key feature is that everyone must have their own room; also, a group house works much better in this respect than a group apartment. All our bedrooms are upstairs; if people want to be all social and stuff, they use the downstairs.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:55 PM on April 10, 2015

Rebel Girl You Are The Queen of Boston
Although honestly the "and you can just cook all the tortillas" thing doesn't even come close to being excused by ignorance. "I am uncomfortable about being confronted by my own whiteness" - honestly, if you've grown up in a segregated and ignorant place, it's not an attractive fact but it's true that you'll probably find that conversation uncomfortable and say some dumb shit, at least at first; but that's not the same as literally leaving other women to do the cooking.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:09 AM on April 9, 2015
I have very mixed feelings about riot grrrl.

Partly, yes, I am old; fashions of my late teens are now being worn by people in their late teens (and very nice they look, too) and so naturally I have this bias against my youth appearing in the vintage stores and just generally getting turned into an institution because it makes me feel like I have one foot in the grave.

Partly, there's no way that something essentially cool and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:16 AM on April 9, 2015
Oh yeah, and have we all forgotten that Kathleen Hanna played at TERF-Party Michigan Womyn's Fest and has never commented on or apologized for it, despite their "womyn-born-womyn" policy of trans exclusion? How PUNK and FEMINIST and BRAVE of her.

She diiiiid? Wow. I dimly remember reading something in Bitch maybe in 2003 about Michigan and some of the Mr. Lady bands. It's funny, because she has so much… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:27 PM on April 9, 2015
entropicamericana, I own the original release of Personal Best, plus just about every queercore/homocore release I could find to buy between about 1993 and 2000. (If only I had a working record player right now!)

The existence of Team Dresch did not mean that queer women's concerns were well represented or deeply considered in most riot grrrl circles, nor did it mean that the body politics of riot grrrl were all… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 PM on April 9, 2015
Frowner that's really interesting, and the exact opposite of my experience in the UK where I was "too girly" for RG (I'm not massively girly). Shamed for wearing makeup, shamed for wearing "slutty" short skirts. I also remember a lot of slagging off of people like Courtney Love, Kim Deal and Tanya Donnolly for being whores, ie attractive to heterosexual men. Those were the words used. Pretty unpleasant, and very unwelcoming (which always seemed to be the point - they… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:02 AM on April 10, 2015

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