Thursday mid-afternoon round-up
Jess McCabe // 21 August 2008
The latest Carnival of Feminists is out now at Mind of Genevieve.
This one includes some great posts, including Kate Smurthwaite’s about the origins of her name:
I personally like the word “cunt” as I have expounded at length on this blog before, but it gave me an excuse to look up the etymology of “twat” and I am delighted to report that it derives from the Old English from the Northern English from the Viking “thwaite” meaning a small clearing in a forrest (rather picturesque I think you’ll agree). “Thwaite” of course is the second half of my viking surname, the first half being “Smur”, which means light rain (still used here in Scotland in some places) so I now have the joy of translating my surname as “rainy cunt” or even maybe “wet cunt”!
Glued Blue Glass records her experiences in Lebanon:
However, there is one place in Lebanon where women can love whomever they choose. If you are in search of a space in Lebanon where you can be yourself as a queer person, I recommend MEEM. The group was young and oozing with energy. Their location is secret and I plan to do my part to keep it that way. I was honored to go there and meet these incredible young women. One woman in particular struck me. When I first met her, she was wearing a veil. I left the room and came back, introducing myself to a young woman in a boy’s shirt and shorts. She looked vaguely familiar. Of course, it was the woman in the veil whom I had met earlier but I can be a bit dense. We talked about how her sister was up on the latest veil fashions while she threw on whatever was available. The clothes she had on underneath were her baby brother’s.
Most of the members of the family, even those who shun you, are decent people. They just never had to face someone with your courage. -Rabih Alamedinne, Koolaids
A week or so later, I was in a swankily shiny mall in East Beirut feeling super frumpy and not fitting in. After a high heeled shoe buying experience, (I don’t wear high heels), I couldn’t hold it anymore and went in search of a restroom with a straight friend of a friend. I recognized one of the Meem women in the bathroom. Ah, let there be light. A short dyed punky kind of hair light. For confidentiality purposes, I wasn’t sure I should say anything but she smiled and so I said “Hi” while dashing to the stall, my friend’s friend behind me.
Go, read the whole thing. I love the categorisation (Vera the Angry Tiger for Choice is my personal favourite, hence photo right).
Meanwhile, in the editorial section of today’s Guardian, Jessica Valenti calls on American ‘mainstream’ feminists to tackle media portrayals of Michelle Obama, often a “nasty racism-sexism combo that is quickly becoming a national disgrace”.
Melissa Batten, a software developer for the XBox, was murdered by her abusive husband. Tekanji at the Official Shrub Blog says:
As gamers and game industry professionals, it’s our responsibility to take a deep look at ourselves, and our industry, and think about the ways that we’ve enabled a culture where violence against women is not taken seriously. Many gamers think that greater societal problems such as domestic violence and violence against women has nothing to do with their beloved hobby, but they are wrong.
Do writers steer clear of semicolons because they are too “girly”? The Boston Globe considers the evidence:
Ben McIntyre, writing in the Times of London a couple of months later, added to the collection of semicolon snubbers: Kurt Vonnegut called the marks “transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing.” Hemingway and Chandler and Stephen King, said McIntyre, “wouldn’t be seen dead in a ditch with a semi-colon (though Truman Capote might). Real men, goes the unwritten rule of American punctuation, don’t use semi-colons.”
Pam Spauling posts about how Kiera Knightley was made buxom for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies through the nearly-forgotten art of “bosom makeup”.
Kenneth Zucker – a psychologist who claims he “cures” gender-varient children using tactics similar to those of the “ex-gay” movement) – is set to speak in London, at the Royal Society of Medicine. A petition is being collected to get him disinvited. More at Questioning Transphobia.