How abusers take advantage of the social contract

[CN: abusive behaviour.] Imagine that I don’t have the slightest intention of ever having kids but have a family member who is very concerned that I haven’t had kids. Telling her my decision directly will really upset them so imagine I have this conversation instead: FAMILY MEMBER: So, when are you having kids???ME: Well…not everyone can have kids! What just happened here? Welcome to the world of pragmatics, the study of what gives language meaning other than the literal words we use (ie. socially and culturally-mediated context). The norms implied in the above exchange are probably not universal, but I […]

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Matilda, “Miss” Trunchbull and gender presentation

[CN: child abuse, Matilda spoilers] I recently saw Matilda the Musical. I’m deprived, it was my first musical and it was really well produced and everyone in it super-talented. But the characterisation of Miss Trunchbull spoiled it. Miss Trunchbull is the antagonist in the story of Matilda (and apparently the movie and musical follow the book reasonably closely). She is the headmistress of Matilda’s school who openly hates children and revels in inflicting horrible punishments and abuse on the students. This sets up a nice foil for the audience to root against, especially since she’s not merely “mean”. Roald Dahl […]

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#ChoreChallenge or how to make housework equitable

Earlier this year, Soraya Chemaly, Ishita Srivastava and Laura Bates invited us to take part in #ChoreChallenge. To do this, households first keep track of all chores and then gender-swap them, to eliminate the gender chore gap. I guess this makes it more about heterosexual monogamous couples but I imagine there would chore gaps in same-sex couples and other types of relationship (although they may not directly stem from gender roles as much). There are writeups about it in The Guardian and The F Bomb that I recommend for more background. My partner and I can’t participate in the challenge […]

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How not to be an asshole about Valentine’s day

Some people celebrate Valentine’s day and some do not. Both categories of people though tend to talk about Their OpinionTM of the day. Every year, you will probably be able to find statements from both sides of this “debate” that are assholish, whether in meatspace or social media. Here are two lists of things to remember in order not to be an asshole about it. The first list is for people who celebrate Valentine’s day, post about it and so on: Not everyone has a romantic partner: You wouldn’t know this from many of the posts about it but if […]

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Let’s have a calm rational debate about people’s humanity

So the Ethics Centre in conjunction with IQ2 have an upcoming debate called Sex, Gender & Indentity (Title TBC) which will be about transgender “””issues”””. Uh oh. Will it be a giant case of false balance that seeks to give a platform to TERF hate as a just another legitimate, objective opinion in an intellectual debate while putting someone on the transgender “side” to make the case for their humanity? I don’t know but from the event description it doesn’t look good. Speakers are to be announced which looks similar to the other IQ2 debate pages. They’ve left the title […]

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Project claims to map global happiness using tweets

I adore maps and so usually enjoy I Fucking Love Maps on Facebook. Every now and then they post something infuriating. Because one of the best ways to bypass people’s bullshit detectors is to put your bullshit on a map. They’ve recently shared a project about “Mapping Global Happiness And Sadness In 2015″ (project page here). [Source] I’ve looked before at the problems with compiling “global” indexes of happiness/well-being etc. There’s enough opportunity for bias and confounding factors in these studies. Here, the bias is on steroids. Here are just some of the ways this project, while being pretty useful […]

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Some body positive comments just aren’t

[CN: Body hate inc slurs] You might have seen media coverage this week about the following tweet, and reactions to it. walmart underwear vibes — yasmin was here (@iranikanjari) December 24, 2015 When @iranikanjari (Suraia) posted the above pics, she drew loads of reponses. Of course, they were all informed, engaging and nuanced, discussing what the above pictures show about beauty standards, the intersectional gaze, cultural dialogue/appropriation and the concept of “natural” in biology/culture. JK, she got lots of positive comments but heaps of body-shaming ones which she pushed back against and the story was featured in quite a […]

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David Bowie, eulogies and statutory rape

I’m not a David Bowie fan but now that he’s died I’ve become even more aware of the profound effect he’s had on the world. Many people are grieving (some more than they expected to!); if that’s you I’m sorry for your loss. Hopefully, you’ll have also seen something in your social media feeds today about Bowie’s statutory rape(s). It’s hard to know how to refer to it since Lori Mattix who was 15 at the time does not consider it to be rape, so I’ve opted for statutory rape as something legally accurate. You will probably be interested to […]

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2016: a wishlist for the Flying Spaghetti Monster

[CN: All the things] Dear noodly overlord, I know that 2016 has already started but you’re as generous as the FSMas season is long. I know that if you look at it from one way there’s never been a better time to be alive. Last year was the first year child mortality rates fell below 6 million. The overrall deaths from war and conflict are in decline. We might be able to cross polio off the list soon. Global life expectancy is over 70, the highest it’s ever been. Only 0.4% of the world’s population are enslaved which could well […]

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The thinly-veiled identity of lives and rants in Sydney. Views not his own, provided by hivemind. All my original work on this blog is licensed under a CC BY-NC License. Click here for the privacy policy

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