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For 1% of us, apparently cake IS better than sex
I'm really open about sex, and really think that it is performative, and that anything between consenting adult goes, and it's a spectrum, and all good and all of that--but it takes so much work to present a pro pleasure, fairly free sexuality

See, my experience is quite the opposite - a tremendous pressure to present a generic "pro-pleasure" "free" sexuality. I find that absolutely exhausting and depressing and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:38 PM on January 27, 2014
To add - I could say about myself "clearly I am broken, I should undertake years of therapy so that I can learn to enjoy this thing that everyone says I should enjoy, and in exactly the way that they say I should enjoy it" or I could say "hey, I am a grown-ass adult, my life has shaped me this way, I'm not unhappy, I get to avoid something I find stressful and blah* and save on therapy bills!"

*Reiterating that I am not asexual,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:51 PM on January 27, 2014
But, how is asexuality socially constructed, and what if this social construction is born out of trauma, i mean this is the case for all kinds of sex, but there has been a long tradition, of for example how instutional homophobia shapes queer sex, or how rape affects women's responses to desire...i am not sure it is fair just to plop down asexuality and say, here is a thing that exists now, without seriously working out how much of the negation comes from trauma? Or has this work been... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:03 AM on January 28, 2014
I also think that maybe fetishes and BDSM/etc sexual practices might be a good model for understanding asexuality - most people don't seem to have trouble with the idea that sexual fetishes (or identities such as submissiveness) are both highly cultural and real. No one is asserting that cultures where people don't wear shoes are repressing people with shoe fetishes, or that people who write anime porn existed (but repressed!) in 1500. More seriously, people generally seem... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:09 AM on January 28, 2014
David totally has visible chemistry with this one girl but again won't go there, he won't commit to exploring something deeper (she ends up realizing he can't give her what she needs and leaves the group).

You might want to interrogate what you mean by "visible chemistry". I have "visible chemistry" with several friends whose sexual orientation does not at all match mine, but anyone would think we were flirting like crazy. I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:14 PM on January 28, 2014
St. Peepsburg - who I'm sure is a perfectly lovely person! - is saying that because she feels that someone's motives for calling themselves asexual are mixed, this calls their asexuality into question. That line of reasoning only makes sense if there's "sexuality", which is authentic and uncomplicated (ie, you never have mixed reasons for calling yourself sexual or for sleeping with someone) and this contrasts with "asexuality", where mixed motives or... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:34 PM on January 28, 2014

Please. These aren't our real enemies.
What I always think is that I would hate to be in this guy's position, because I think you'd have to be a really tough person with your head screwed on right in order to reject (or quickly redirect) the praise, money and awards you were getting. That's one reason I'm a little bit tired of internet shitstorms about celebrities - if you're famous, you're living in a really different world from the rest of us, people are far more anxious to use you and pacify you than they are the rest of us, you... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:45 AM on January 28, 2014

"Age is a weapon society uses against women."
There's a line in a Margery Allingham novel about a woman who is doing very nicely in her forties, thank you: "She never had the looks to lose, and so she never lost them".

Honestly, once I got over wishing I was good-looking purely because I hate losing at things, it's been win-win all the way. It really does seem different for girls like Molly Crabapple - for every romantic or social opportunity she's had, she's also had to negotiate a world of bullshit... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:47 PM on January 27, 2014
"I cannot even picture 99% of the men I know saying something like the quoted text, either."

At the same time, a lot of guys will say stuff when they know they can get away with it, or to impress other men - and you'd never know it if they don't think they can get away with it in front of you.

That is another thing for me - because I just don't get sexually harassed (it happened very very... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:11 PM on January 27, 2014

let anarchy prevail
I find myself wondering how the school defines "bullying", especially since I've seen a lot of places use it to mean "any form of unkindness directed at another child" rather than (as most mefites use it) "sustained, intentional actions by someone with more power in the social hierarchy against someone weaker in order to hurt or humiliate them". I think the broader and more anodyne definition is used because it works better with a lot of "you can't say you... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:22 PM on January 26, 2014

"This book fills a much needed gap in literature"
What I always remember about Paglia is reading about how she was complaining about trans people (especially trans men) and she was saying that trans men were just doing it for the male privilege and people shouldn't really have easy access to transitioning because then pow, gender all over the place, and then she was like "well of course, if people had been able to transition freely when I was young, I would have absolutely done the same thing". [I paraphrase.] Since then I have not... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:36 PM on January 23, 2014

Where'd You Go, Thora Birch?
It blows my mind (actually I guess it makes sense) that so many of you have seen, but completely misunderstood, Ghost World. Enid and Seymour are the only sane, decent people in a misanthropic world otherwise populated entirely by severely hollow, almost sociopathic parodies of human beings with absolutely nothing going on inside any of their heads at any time. "Drowning in assholes," to borrow from the film's sort-of-hopeless-coming-of-age cousin.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:17 PM on January 23, 2014

But that's the point! Enid is so narcissistic that she doesn't realize that.


I don't know if that's really what we're supposed to take from the comic. (I haven't seen the movie since I didn't like the comic much.) I think we're supposed to see Enid as flawed and juvenile but broadly correct in her worldview. That's certainly how everyone I knew was reading the comic; it was definitely viewed as a sympathetic portrait... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:49 PM on January 23, 2014

I still kind of want the mailman pants.
Yeah, in important ways my taste was set in the nineties, although it was much more "aspirational J Crew like all the rich girls wore in HS" plus various punk and grunge stylings from college. (I'm old!)

In high school I had neither money nor friends, also I was fat until my junior year, so I pretty much wore whatever could fit. But in my senior year, my family's fortunes took a turn for the better when my mother landed a good job and I also had some part... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:06 AM on January 22, 2014
Also, the Gap had mailman pants like, two years ago.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:07 AM on January 22, 2014

What, do the xx's stand for something dirty?


Back in my particular day, they stood for straight-edge. But that's not a nineties thing, it's an eighties thing that carried over.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:26 AM on January 22, 2014

I was not going to allow the system to...take my identity away from me.
It was particularly angering because the DA had just that year pardoned two people who had killed someone to save themselves during an attack, so there was even immediate legal precedent to pardon CeCe. But of course those people were white (and, I assume, cis). It was just so transparently unjust (it happened basically in the parking lot of my grocery store and I was very very peripherally involved with the support committee, providing a little bit of secretarial help). If you are familiar... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:52 AM on January 21, 2014
The thing I thought about during all this was how if you are a trans woman, particularly a trans woman of color, and you're in an altercation, you really could die, someone really could go from harassing you to killing you pretty easily. People really do attack trans women without provocation and with incredible violence, and people really do neglect the safety of trans women. There was a woman murdered here that winter after this all happened, basically because her... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:50 AM on January 21, 2014
That City Pages article was widely held to be pretty terrible around here. I don't have time to look at it point by point and I've blocked out the memory, but it was called out for being really scandal-mongering and transphobic (and the cover was, like, a pair of scissors - it was just a shitty cover, and it made me really sad because back in the nineties the City Pages used to be pretty left wing and did some decent journalism.) I would not trust the CP article over other sources.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:12 AM on January 22, 2014

To hell with Gatsby's green light!
Honestly, a problem with teaching novels is simply that not everyone likes the same novels and students can't choose. You'd never expect a random group of 25 adults to like the same book, but we essentially expect that of HS students.

Also, a lot of students just don't read very fluently, and reading any extended work is awful for them, the more so the more the book diverges from the English with which they're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:25 AM on January 17, 2014
Also, I hated everything we read that was "relevant to modern teenagers". "Modern teenagers" are a diverse crowd, and I was way happier with Jane Eyre, Oscar Wilde, sixties essays and the WWI poets than the "relatable" stuff. Which isn't to say that no one should assign "modern teenager" books, but rather that kids should have some choices.

Also, representation is important. If you're going... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:32 AM on January 17, 2014
With regards to the critique of The Sun Also Rises itself, I think part of this also comes from the infantilization of adolescents in many schools. Jake's injury is a very important aspect of that book and Hemingway's perspective, and is utterly worthy of discussion; an essential topic, probably, if you choose to teach that book.

Yeah, and picture how many parents would get insanely freaked out if a teacher was like "a central... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:37 AM on January 17, 2014

I think it's great when students like books and obviously you should strive to provide a variety of books to appeal to a variety of tastes, but assuming the goal is to have students like or enjoy every novel they read kind of misses the point. It's great to have common points of literary reference but, more than that, explaining your issues with a book you've had to read for class instead of just saying "I don't like it" is hugely valuable.
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:04 AM on January 17, 2014

The Surreal Photos of Miss Aniela
Those are really excellent. And she so obviously knows her stuff - it's not just "surreal" in some nebulous way, but stuff that could have been a Harper's Bazaar cover in the thirties (when Carmel Snow was very big on the surrealists) or a Leonor Fini painting, etc. Just wonderful, wonderful photos.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:42 PM on January 16, 2014

Slight Future

The first paragraph of this article immediately demolishes the argument of the remainder. The filmmaker set out to make a movie with an AI in it and, after doing research, realized that the technology behind the AI was irrelevant.


I think that the person writing the linked article may not really understand how science fiction works. Even people like John Brunner, who really were interested in "predicting",... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:53 AM on January 13, 2014
So if "Her" isn't about tech but about people isn't it cyberpunk? Are we cyberpunk? Am I cyberpunk?

How are you defining cyberpunk here? I mean, how are you defining it that separates it from other science fiction?

If anything, Her sounds like a mid-period John Varley story stripped of all the feminism.

I think that a lot of popular nominally-science-fiction movies and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:26 AM on January 13, 2014
Essentially (and this isn't a knock against the movie, which I liked) there is no world outside of middle class information workers in a pristine city. The actual implementation of this technology (a companion movie directed by Terry Gilliam, maybe) is much messier than we see in a small-scale romance movie about one man.

See, this is what makes me suspect that the movie is really more concerned with the romantic and a particular aesthetic than with... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on January 13, 2014

“Is there a gay sensibility? Can you see it in a work of art?”
I think there are queer sensibilities to all kinds of stuff including cooking - but I also think these are not constant, it's meaningless to posit a transhistorical sensibility.

And of course, where does class play into this? I found myself wondering about Lou and Pat - Pat must have had a pretty good job and Lou must not have been super employable, given that after Pat died, Lou ended up in a trailer park. (I was impressed with Pat that he apparently managed to leave... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:31 PM on January 11, 2014

The local economy runs on black-market soda
...run out of profitable uses for the class of people who 500 years ago would have been known, without any derogation, as peasants.

The condition of "peasants" has varied across history - 500 years ago was before the Enclosure Acts and their parallels in Europe, for instance, and there were plenty of rich "peasants". This idea that because you are not part of the elite you must necessarily be a forelock-tugging "peasant"... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:26 AM on January 11, 2014

This is the weirdest job interview you've ever heard of.
I saw a lot of young people my age arrive, flip out, and leave. Personally, I don't think I thrived those first few years. I didn't make the most of the situation. But I was young. I wanted to par-tay.

I'm totally going to disagree with you on overseas work. I did two years of work for which I was very unprepared in a country where I had only beginning language skills and where things did not work the way they did at home. I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:41 AM on January 11, 2014

AskMe would have provided better advice

From that perspective, I'd be less interested in someone represented indiscriminately online or someone completely absent from search engines, and more interested in someone who has a respectable curated online presence. The willingness and ability (together) to achieve that is, in my mind, similar to someone whose outfits are well put together and call attention to the person rather than themselves.


See, I have relatively little... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:19 PM on January 10, 2014

Whether You're High or Low
Okay, look, this is a weird thing for a white person to say, but I feel really weird about someone taking this really powerful, mobilizing song and turning it into a sad indie white girl song. Tightrope really, really reads to me as a song that is about the power of racism, not just some generic oppression by "The Man". I know there are lots and lots of readings of any given song, but the video emphasizes mental "health"-as-white-supremacy, resistance... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:42 PM on January 9, 2014
As one of the honorees at the event, I think it was very telling that Monae asked CHVRCHES to cover Tightrope. The one thing about their cover that stood out was that it put the lyrics front and center without the excitement and visual energy we've come to associate with Janelle Monae. Those executives were being forced to LISTEN to Tightrope without being able to beg off any awareness of the political content of the song by claiming to be "distracted" or "overwhelmed .... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:34 AM on January 10, 2014

Here's how to live without fucking things up, asshole!
Yeah, gee, it sure sucks when, like, marginalized people try to participate in academia by getting, like, a degree in literature instead of something "practical"! All those queer, women, working class and people of color PhDs should totally stop wasting their time - especially because scholarship means nothing!!!! And god knows I wouldn't want any broke people deciding that getting a fancy meal or some really nice shoes for once made them feel good about themselves.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:43 PM on January 9, 2014
not sure of who thor fucks, but afp is not straight.

Fair, but the lived experience of a woman who is very visibly married to a wealthy straight man is very different from that of someone whose primary relationship is not heterosexual.

also the actual title of the piece is "how to live like a king for very little" not "absolute rules to structure your life after or you're fucking... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:56 PM on January 9, 2014
I don't begrudge your feelings, but it's a list, and we all know that not all lists are for everybody, just like we all have different likes and dislikes, different wants and desires. This list is for people who think they might want to give some of his ideas a shot, not a totalitarian "YOU MUST DO AS I SAY OR ELSE THOR WILL SMITE YOU!"

The thing is, when you write a list that is like "avoid these things because they are kind of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:04 PM on January 9, 2014

I am sorry that I was so aggro about complaining about the list. I really could have dialed that back a lot. I saw my neighbors' dog get hit by a car today (and some other life stuff has been really difficult) and I have realized tonight that it's making me extra-double-plus crabby on the internet when that isn't helpful.

Vis-a-vis Amanda Palmer - I did not mean that she "doesn't count" as queer, or doesn't experience any... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:56 PM on January 9, 2014

Justice does not take the shape of punishment eagerly dispensed.
More toxic than AVFM or Mens Right's Edmonton? More toxic than FreeRepublic?

The thing that gets missed with this kind of logic ("oh, you're saying that [radical community] is as bad as [far right assholes] when that's obviously not the case? Actually, you have nothing to complain about and since activists are nicer than MRAs we are actually Doing A Very Good Job!") is that most of us are not emotionally enmeshed with the far... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:30 AM on January 6, 2014
Also, about anger:

1. "Anger" varies from milieu to milieu. In some places, what gets labeled as "anger" is saying "well, it might be possible that your experience as a white person means that you don't quite recognize the power of white supremacy maybe a little bit". In some places, it's telling people with great depth, sincerity and inventive obscenity that you hope they get cancer.

2. Our... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:53 AM on January 6, 2014
(I was trying to say in 1 above that there are lots of times when people say "you're so angry" over something really Not Angry; and there are also times when people say "you're so angry" over something that really is kind of awful; and so when we talk about "angry" activist spaces, it's important to talk about what kinds of rhetoric and which spaces and the purpose of the anger.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:57 AM on January 6, 2014
I'm trying to imagine the look on the face of the resurrected James Baldwin as some activist explained why it so very important to be sure that people admitted that Proteus was not an interactive artwork but a video game.

It just so happens that I was rereading some James Baldwin the other week, and what actually struck me was how much he sounded like some of the better writers on tumblr. (Or how much they sounded like him.) If you want to test... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2014
The difference between a white activist with a master's degree who runs an art studio in San Francisco and her white Google employee neighbor is indeed vanishingly small. Sorry.

But as I understand it, a lot of the people who are dealing with gentrification in San Francisco/Oakland are not people who run their own art studios and have plenty of money and graduate degrees. "White" isn't verbal shorthand for "well... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:25 PM on January 6, 2014
So yeah to police how people respond to being attacked as if the source of the problem of a raging bull is THE BULL and not the people who LOCKED IT IN A CAGE AND TORTURED IT-- is problematic to me. Society really does have a lot of ideologies and practices that routinely cause and allow huge quantities of suffering and unnecessary death and poverty.

But the thing is, we're not talking about a monolithic "internet" where I can go out there... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:15 PM on January 6, 2014
can I never be an asshole to, for example, a cis woman because I have male privilege? Or can a cis woman never be an asshole to me because she has cis privilege?

I think I reversed that. What I was trying to say is: "If I am mean to a cis woman, does that not count because she is cis? Or if she is mean to me, does that not count because she is a woman and I am a transmasculine person?" And what I was trying to show is that this is a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:31 PM on January 6, 2014
But it's not just the tone of an individual comment - it's the tone of the whole conversation which matters, which is part of why this is all so tricky. How often I've seen someone excerpt something which reads really appallingly out of context and then I actually click through and think "you know, actually that was a perfectly appropriate response". I think that one reason the "tone argument" business is such a problem is that it's usually someone whose... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:33 PM on January 6, 2014
It isn't always humor. I've seen rallying Radical Feminists chant "Shoot the Rapists, Shoot Shoot the Rapists".

I have two thoughts here:

First, I don't think there's anything more terrible about shooting rapists than about committing rape. This isn't really equivalent to "I hate men because they're all worthless misogynists" or whatever, because committing sexual assault is a choice and not something that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:04 PM on January 6, 2014
"I genuinely do not understand this. We have a left-leaning president, perhaps the most left-leaning president we've ever had."

I feel like you're conflating a kind of representation with actual policy - which, honestly, in the US is easy to do, because it's so hard even to get people of color or women elected at all.

Most people are getting poorer, and that's doubly true for people of color and trans people. We're... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:40 PM on January 6, 2014

"This sounds like a near rote recitation of some "how to be called out" blog posts I've seen radicals post.


I mean, there is this tension in online activism between manners/rules stuff and individual circumstance - sometimes I feel really uncomfortable with the way that "good advice in general" crystallizes and becomes "what everyone must do". There have been times when I've sucked it... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:29 AM on January 7, 2014

The Campaign For Real Poverty
"But people being priced out of their "family homes" because they're now living on their own, not with a partner and 2.5 kids anymore? That's not a fucking tragedy. That's a necessary move to make it possible for young people, young families especially, to have anywhere to live at all."

But one of the main ways that working class and ethnic communities get destroyed is precisely by dispersing people - to remote suburbs, to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:48 AM on January 4, 2014

We don't have cameras


Here I was hoping this would be about putting away the goddamn camera/phone/whatever and mostly going through life without a lens between you and your experiences. So many people are too busy filming or instagramming or snapchatting crap that they forget to actually live it.


That's what I was expecting, too. Although I think that constant documentation is a way of experience that has its value - not just a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:50 AM on January 3, 2014

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