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Dressing queer in the corporate world
Could we not turn this into a referendum on the reality of this woman's experience or a diatribe about how awful clothes are? For preference, I would rather not talk about how the company's dress code is illegal - butch women (or people like me who basically get read as butch women) have to negotiate "women's" dress all the time, regardless of whether it's an "illegal" matter.


For many people the only time they ‘see’ a butch… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:54 PM on March 24, 2014
Also, this woman is some brave. I don't know what I'd do if I were hired into an organization with bifurcated dress code like that, but I doubt I'd be as hard core as she is.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:58 PM on March 24, 2014
Just for information's sake: ways that I, a white person who is frequently read as a butch woman, am invisible/hypervisible:

People sometimes just plain old look away. I am sometimes in situations where people are embarrassed by me or for me.

Men. Jesus god. If it's not the straight ones who get all aggro and hostile because I am "trying to be a man" (and I'm talking about suit-wearing, well-off guys more often than not), it's the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on March 24, 2014
but I'm curious about why the second topic should be verboten

Because it moves the discussion from how a particular group of queer people become visible through clothing choices to a general "if only we didn't have gendered clothes" conversation. In my experience, people who yearn for completely unmarked clothing are often people who are coming to this from a position of social comfort - not always a position of privilege, but never a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:14 PM on March 24, 2014

Doña Quixote
Believe me, it's horrible. My mother has a rare form of early onset dementia. We've been very fortunate in terms of my family's ability to care for her, she has suffered far less than many people do - and it's still unbearably bad.

Whenever anything scary has happened to me lately - someone breaking in when I was home, other scary stuff - I remind myself that if I die right now I die in my right mind and without burdening my family. I've decided that if I get cancer,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:27 PM on March 23, 2014

"It took more time than it should have for them to be put in isolation"
I surmise that the vast majority of small children I know socially are not vaccinated - my circles have far more than their fair share of anti-vaxxers, which depresses me. But I've gotten into so many arguments where I am the lone person saying "food cooked in the microwave is safe" and so on and everyone looks at me like I'm either a dupe or history's greatest monster that I just don't want to touch anything which can be framed as "Frowner wants us to subject… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:29 PM on March 20, 2014
I know, as I say, lots of anti-vaxxers. Nice people, engaged in the community, smart, creative. Generally people who have had a lot of bad run-ins with the medical establishment or the law or both - people who have been treated very unfairly by large bureaucracies, who have had difficulty accessing quality medical care so they associate doctors with people who patronize you, ignore your symptoms and either misdiagnose you or withhold things like pain pills because the poors… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:43 PM on March 20, 2014
I think that the state should do the minimum of forced medical treatment, and that forced vaccination sounds like a real slippery-slope situation. I think that the more forced medical treatment becomes normalized, the more likely it is to be used against vulnerable populations - it's not as though medical treatment hasn't been used abusively in the past. Also, even threatening that kind of law would lead to a lot of ugliness (and expense) in the courts.

Instead, I'd… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:54 PM on March 20, 2014

Locking up your treasures

No, It wasn't too bad having the gravel picked out from under the skin on my legs and knees; the doctor was able to get me in the next day, and only one knee got seriously infected. The scars were gone by the following Spring.


Ha, yes. "Round pebbles"? That might have been nice. We had pointy gravel. This did not stop us from playing "jump off the swings" from the really terrific giant swingset that had, like, ten… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:23 PM on March 20, 2014
Oh, Baby_Balrog, I wish I had previewed - I would have held back on my comment. I'm so sorry that such a sad thing happened.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:34 PM on March 20, 2014

Freegans Frustrated
It's tricky to negotiate this kind of thing. Doing it out of a private house really isn't a great idea. I know from my social circles that you can run the occasional (perhaps monthly or even biweekly) free meal for ~30 out of a private house without any real problems, but once you start getting substantially larger numbers or substantially more frequent meals, you end up drawing unwanted attention.

I wonder if he contacted organizations that do this… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:49 AM on March 18, 2014
Also I think it's kind of a curse to have a particular kind of youthful charisma - you get too much positive feedback from easily-impressed peers (because you have a lot of ideas and enthusiasm) and this makes it much harder for you to doubt yourself or seek mentoring from older folks.

As to Maximus-style dudes, I've known a variety of them - a few have ended up as merely older versions of their frustrating young selves; some have parlayed the charisma into… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:55 AM on March 18, 2014
They never seemed to seek any sort of outside help from people knowledgeable about feeding large groups of people, homelessness outreach, or supply chain management (or legal advice, or health codes, or...) but I suppose that would go against the counter-culture vibe they were trying to establish.

The thing is, I know a bunch of perfectly respectable social work types who either were once young and punk rock or who for some other… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:19 AM on March 18, 2014
In Minneapolis, both the North Country Food Alliance and Sisters Camelot* distribute donated food (not precisely dumpstered, but it would have gone in the dumpster if it weren't donated - it's pre-dumpstered, if you will) and serve community meals pretty regularly. Both are sometimes a bit punks-feeding-punks, IME, but not nearly as much so as you'd expect - they really do meet their mission fairly well most of the time. That is, there… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:27 AM on March 18, 2014
Dumpstering depends a lot on what you're dumpstering, so to speak. I had no concerns about the imperfect lemons, bagged bread in a heap with other bagged bread, bags of apples, sealed packages of yogurt which had expired that day and spent the evening in an autumn-cold dumpster, shrink-wrapped boxes of mushrooms, etc. I passed on things from sticky piles, virtually all dairy, things that had been sitting around for a long time in the heat and things that were bagged but among leaky sticky… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:43 AM on March 18, 2014
Have you ever seen what goes in a restaurant dumpster?

Just as a point of clarification - among folks I know, restaurant dumpsters are not a big source of food for precisely these reasons. There are particular places where they will, for instance, bag up all their old bread with absolutely nothing else in the bag and put it at the top of the dumpster, or places like the pizza place described in the Eighner article linked up thread where there's boxed… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on March 19, 2014

Play! OR ELSE.
I want to go look at my old Bafflers from the nineties and see if the writing was like this and my tastes have just changed, because it seems like an oddly empty piece to me.

I think the basic hypothesis is very Baffler/Adorno, and worth exploring - the way "play" gets recuperated as labor and labor disguised as "play", and why the intensification of both those trends is happening now. I think that's classic Baffler material, since they've always… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:39 AM on March 19, 2014
(I also think the "why are former-hipster 40-somethings playing kickball" is an uninteresting derail in the piece. First, because it's a generational lament of people just a bit older than me - folks who are not sure How To Be Old but are indubitably No Longer Young - and second because it's very difficult to parse out people's rationale for, like, playing kickball. I think it would be very possible to look at something like a NYT style section article about Kickball The Font Of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:45 AM on March 19, 2014

"Stories about charming scoundrels have a built-in appeal"
This was neat - thanks for posting.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:20 PM on March 18, 2014

“I’m just not attracted to Asian men.”
Okay, I have a suggestion - if you are "not attracted" to Asian men, seek out media in which Asian men are portrayed as attractive - for whatever "attractive" means to you, whether muscular or geeky or chivalrous or funny, etc - look at some of this media daily for a few months and revisit the topic.

I have found that my standards of "attractive" have changed dramatically (not about race, since not being attracted to [race] people has not,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:56 PM on March 18, 2014

Explaining the faux Irish pub revolution
There's a somewhat more detailed Baffler article from 1999 on the same subject.

My first Irish-pub-concept pub was this place in Shanghai that opened sometime in the early nineties, with real Irish workers all compleat. The rich UK expats ate there all the time; I had a pricey and so-so sandwich and a guiness there with my fellow teachers and an Australian guy who later turned out to be a creepy semi-rapist. A full meal there cost something like… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:46 AM on March 18, 2014

My Husband's Stupid Record Collection
I'm sort of weirded out by this, since it seems to rely on the idea that women are these naive listeners who don't collect records or know, apparently, anything about any sort of music at all, and it's sort of "authentic" and yet lulzy to read their ramblings as they encounter records owned by a Serious Dude. Well, serious dude, I also have many of the same albums as you, and I are a queer assigned-female-at-birth person who was at one time obsessed by latter-period… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:17 PM on March 16, 2014
Also weirded out by the idea that a naive approach to records is necessarily an internet-mockery style approach - like if you don't know anything about something, the best and most interesting way to approach it for an audience is not necessarily to take it on its own terms relatively seriously while also using your brain but to have this sort of ha-ha lookit the funny artifact from the past ironic distance.

It reminds me a bit of that one linked here where this woman… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:21 PM on March 16, 2014
I must admit "owning lots of albums and never playing them" is much easier when you have CDs than vinyl, and easier still with all that newfangled mp3 stuff the kids have now. If nothing else, this is a good reminder to me that I should be listening to my music more often. I've been meaning to take up embroidery again (as all the women in my family seem to have completed a Great Work of embroidery during their lives, and I haven't done one) and that would be a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:29 PM on March 16, 2014
I think that couples like this (okay, and then I will knock off posting in this thread for a bit) are common because of the language around music listening and collecting. I've spent much of my adult life as the one female (or female-enough-for-the purposes-of-argument) person in a group of dude record collectors - and I love going round the record shops, certainly - and it's never been fun. I'm always one down, there's always something being proved, it's often a very empty… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:33 PM on March 16, 2014
See, I'm going to disagree a bit here with the idea that this type of writing is just someone being herself, because writing isn't just a transparent placement of the personality on the page. We choose our tone, in large part, and this seems to me to be pretty artful writing in a "golly gee" vein, not a pure feed from the id. The naive style is chosen; it's not the sum total of every thought the writer has about music.

But I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:29 PM on March 16, 2014
Why "pretend to"? What makes you assume that the writer is lying, that she's not being honest in her reaction? She actually said she did know the word for record sleeve, she just forgot it, because for her it was obscure vocabulary. Given that it is 2014 and it's entirely possible that a 32 year old woman could have spent the past 30 years without touching a record player, that doesn't seem at all surprising to me. As for her not taking the album art seriously....it's the job… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:31 AM on March 17, 2014
But actually, I should have said all of this in a more positive "yes, and..." way when I responded to the blog. It isn't helpful to criticize something in language which seems to be saying "don't do this" when we're talking about music reviewing.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:54 AM on March 17, 2014
I just can't agree. One of the most difficult lessons for me as a white person from a the US, for instance, has been that I just shouldn't flail away naively about other people's cultural production, saying whatever I feel, rushing in to talk and write about whatever feels good. I think that's how marginalized voices get overwritten and how non-standard aspects of the past get disappeared - it's very easy for me, for instance, to write my naive narrative… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on March 17, 2014
But look, I don't want to be a pill about this - I feel like I've ended up arguing something much more strongly than I feel it - I'd say that this is something that I feel in a middling way rather than in a militant way, more of a "I'm a vegan and I think veganism is pretty good, but you go ahead and have your bacon" way than anything else.

I do think that enthusiasm is important, and it… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:28 AM on March 17, 2014

The Cost of Kale: How Foodie Trends Can Hurt Low-Income Families
Gentrification is a funny thing, and I feel like it can only be tackled at the structural level.

I assume that there's a small number of people who have enough money that they have a very wide range of choices in housing and food - people who can truly live almost wherever they like and eat almost whatever they like - and who choose to move to a neighborhood or buy a kind of food for purely cultural capital reasons.

There are certainly people who… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:50 PM on March 13, 2014
The thing is, I feel pretty poor. I am not objectively poor like a lot of people are - I have a union pink collar gig and good health insurance - but I make meaningfully below the median and I'm always worried about the grocery budget (especially since I went from working a single job to a "split time" position which is effectively 150% and don't have a lot of time to cook). Whenever I see those federal food recommendations add more and more and more vegetables -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:13 AM on March 14, 2014
I wrote that about tofu not because I've encountered critiques specific to tofu but because I've definitely encountered tumblrs - in general tumblrs I like and think are quite right on! - where it's pretty much "stay away from my food, white people", and my ancestors definitely did not invent tofu. (I won't link because that's the royal road to hate-following in this political climate.)

There's all kinds of complexity to this from a historical standpoint - a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:23 AM on March 14, 2014
This really is a fatuous stance to take. Where do you draw the line? I'm assuming from context that you're Caucasian--does that mean any food created by Caucasians is fine? Better stay away from Spanish food with its Moorish influences then. Or, indeed, basically any food around the Mediterranean is the result of cultural cross-pollinization from people with more melanin in their skin.

Hey, wait up. Please read what I wrote - I said that I had… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:33 PM on March 14, 2014

Being Gay at Jerry Falwell's University
"Ideological diversity" doesn't mean "hire contrarian [member of group] who cozies up to the right". That's either extreme privilege, cluelessness or tokenism going on - Klein probably hasn't bothered to familiarize himself with a reasonable number of moderately influential gay writers so that he has an actual sense of who is out there, he's just decided to grab one he's heard of who is controversial.

"Think carefully before you invite people… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:10 AM on March 14, 2014

Tehran Times - Iranian Street Style Blog
A quick Wikipedia suggests that somewhere around 65% of Iranians are Persian - and I imagine more people in the capitol would be, due to regional differences - but it does seem like it's not nearly as much of a sure bet that someone in Tehran is Persian as I had assumed. (For me too, everyone I have met from Iran has been Persian and has referred to themselves as Persian.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 AM on March 12, 2014

"One travels far to discover what was at home all along."
I don't agree at all.

The argument, as far as I can tell, is "what we now call world literature is a very recent phenomenon, itself a product of the end of the Cold War and neoliberalism; there are other things which have been different kinds of "world" literature, contoured by different historical and political forces, and I will outline some thoughts about them".

Once you get past the first couple of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:30 AM on March 11, 2014

Trigger warnings needed in classroom?
Obviously, there's some local culture stuff around trigger warnings - I definitely know people who feel that they should never, ever be uncomfortable reading or watching something, and that no work of art with "problematic" content can possibly be worth encountering whether because of its other virtues or its importance to a particular field. It's certainly possible to create a little bubble of silliness around this kind of stuff.

But then,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:36 AM on March 5, 2014
I am also interested in the trigger warning as a cultural pattern, though, both in the ways that it oversimplifies and fetishizes consent and the ways that it figures the individual as always-ill.

Like, it's totally okay to show/post/discuss/work with whatever as long as you cover it in trigger warnings so that everyone "consents"...It's very easy to avoid looking at the cultural pressures behind "consent", and to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:44 AM on March 5, 2014
Yeah, I think that it's easy to assume that people who get really upset about something are faking/oversensitive/etc, even if you yourself also have "triggers". But they are not, in general! And I think most people actually just push on through if the material is relevant or interesting - it's just easier for them to be prepared.

I have, for instance, a weird thing. It's a total surprise to me and not something that I control or want:… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on March 5, 2014
professors make any material involving classism, racism, sexism, ableism, etc. etc. 'optional'.

Optional if it's not necessary. One good thing that all this business does, IMO, is it pushes us to rethink certain curriculum decisions. I know that I am often in situations where it is assumed that the more "macho" and "realistic" something is in its descriptions of violence, sexual assault, etc, something is, the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:28 AM on March 5, 2014
This whole "but we can't have trigger warnings because they won't prevent everyone everywhere from being triggered" theme that's coming up here....well, yes, life is imperfect. The purpose of socialism, as Orwell remarked, is not to make life perfect but to make it less miserable.

I add that I have provided "trigger warnings" when teaching. It isn't actually that big a deal in general. You just do the best you can, and you try… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:37 AM on March 5, 2014
O.K., so, again, describe specifically what the policy will say such that the potentially negative consequences I can foresee are prevented. Will it specifically say that the policy is purely advisory and that the student has no recourse whatsoever if triggering material is included/arises without warning? If so, it's no much of a policy, is it? If the policy is enforceable in some way and the student does have recourse to action of some kind (i.e., if it is an actual requirement placed… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:57 AM on March 5, 2014
I think one reason to have a policy about trigger warnings is to push people to think about triggers. It would be nice if just saying to faculty "hey think about triggering material and be cautious" were enough, but some faculty tune that stuff out, some are actively opposed, some decide to troll*, some are just busy, some are new faculty struggling to figure out all kinds of stuff....A policy makes sure that everyone addresses something, even if no policy can solve all of its… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:37 AM on March 5, 2014
For those who have had not the pleasure, Cooper depicts sex acts and sexualized violence in painstaking detail. I had to stop reading once I hit the three- or four-page excerpt of the book in which a character is, shall we say, manually disemboweled. We read several books that semester that had sexual content, but the things that went down in those books was fairly extreme and upsetting. Cooper isn't as widely-written or the subject of as much controversy as someone like Bret Easton… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:35 PM on March 5, 2014
But if someone's inability to read about sexual violence means they can't read William Burroughs, Dennis Cooper, or Kathy Acker, then they should not pass a American Queer Literature class

Wait, what? Seriously? Seriously? Just how much queer literature have you read? There's a great deal more than those three writers, and sexualized violence is not the only topic queer people write about (In any case, there's a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:32 AM on March 7, 2014
Another thought on queer literature, violence and triggers: what bothers people is really individual. The person who can read Acker might not be able to read Allison, the person who can read some Acker might not be able to read all of it. That's why it seem so silly to me to have any kind of absolutist standpoint.

I've read virtually everything Dorothy Allison has written, including her critical work. I really like her. The only thing that bothers me is a short story… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:57 AM on March 8, 2014

12/12/72
If you are interested in rich people hijinks in the seventies, I highly recommend The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris. It's....well, it's a rather loosely structured book which is primarily about the people around Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld from the very beginnings of their careers through the nineties. A lot of it is pretty sad, actually, but there's certainly some lively descriptions of parties.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:21 AM on March 7, 2014

Administrative, not faculty, salaries are driving rising tuition

I can grumble with the best of them about the increasing number of administrators and part-time faculty in higher ed, but, to be honest, it's nice to have administrators dedicated to things like making sure Blackboard works, or that students are getting the class advising they need from someone who does it full-time and can handle emergencies, or that someone is looking for students failing all their classes as their full-time job. The growth of part-time faculty is more
… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:20 AM on March 6, 2014

"Anti-oppression has become a commodity"
Jezebel is a Gawker blog. They are absolutely people who are thinking about niche and brand.

What we kind of haven't gotten into - and what is suggested in beginning terms in the post - is the way that anti-oppression is recuperated by capitalism. In this instance, the issue isn't whether someone should or should not write 101 posts - it is that it is now possible to make varying degrees of a living by writing in the general… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:13 PM on March 4, 2014

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