Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flesh of my Flesh....

...bone of my bone, indeed.

The kids at my kid's school were insisting to her that men had one less rib than women did, recently.  Nor would they take any evidence she presented as proof to the contrary (anatomy textbooks, Wikipedia, her suggestion that they consult a biology professor -- she knows a famous one, who works at our university).  Nope.  God says it, they believe it, that settles it.

I suggested she send them this link.

"Ma!" she said.

Yeah, They're Not Racist

Glenn Beck mocks Obama's eleven year old.

"Those people" can't educate their children.

I'm sure this will end up being just like when Rush mocked 13-year old Chelsea Clinton's looks-- something the Right claims never happened.

Friday, May 28, 2010


...just is so bad.

Via Vance at EoTW.

At 6.35 a.m. this morning...

From the bedroom....

The Kid: (crowing with delight): It's summer!

Me: (from my desk): So it is.

The Kid: I can sleep all day!

Me: Yes, you can.

(Two minutes later, she is up and bouncing about the house.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Taking Time Out From Being Depressed About BP

To be depressed about RaceFail.

My kid absolutely loved Avatar: The Last Airbender.  After every episode, she would give me lengthy disquisitions on what had happened, her favorite characters, why what was going on was important, why she thought this person had done this thing, why it mattered.  I saw only random episodes, but I read enough critical work on the show to be deeply impressed.  When I heard a movie was being made, I was pleased -- as much for the kid as because we'd have a show we could see together.

However:  Here's why you should NOT go see the movie.

Oil Spill

More on why I'm depressed.

(Via the Rude Pundit.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010


But if you haven't read it, you gotta.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yet Another Post...

...I want to put into the hands of my students, both male and female, but especially female.

Every semester I have three or four students get married halfway through the semester.  I'm not Sally Swearingen anymore, they will giggle, now I'm Sally Benton.

I sigh and mark the roll book appropriately.  I do not give them my Feminist Lecture 112B, no matter how much it burns at the base of my gullet.  (I do not burst out with my rant about how they will be coming to me in two semesters giggling how they are Sally Weston now, either; oh no, I restrain myself.)

But seriously: wtf? I long to say.  Is this not 2010?  Why are you "taking his name"?  Beyond the fact that it is extremely annoying for me, the professor, to keep track of just who the shit you are if you are changing your name every semester and a half, do you not understand the meaning behind this tradition?  Do you not understand what you are doing when you "take" his name?

I actually did go off on this once, when a sweet little lamb in one of my literature classes asked me why I was Dr. Delagar rather than Dr. My Husband's Name.

"Why would I do that?" I demanded of not just her but of the entire class.  "Don't you know what it means when a woman is given her husband's name upon marriage?"

The woman who asked the question stated, very boldly, "It means she's committed to the marriage."

Committed.  Interesting choice of words.

"It means she becomes part of her husband's clan," I corrected, as patiently as I could.  "It means she becomes part of his chattel.  Like his cattle, or his pigs, or his kids."

They scowled.

"Why doesn't he take your name when you marry him?" I asked.  "Wouldn't that mean he was committed to the marriage?"

"Because that's not how it's done," she said.

"Right.  But why?"

She folded her arms over her chest.

"Maybe because he's not property and you are?" I said.

"It's just your father's name anyway," said one of my smarter male students from the back row.  "Right?  So what difference does it make?"

"So it's just your father's name anyway," I said to him.  "So why don't you give it up and take your wife's when you marry her?"

Which  I didn't mean to make the class laugh at him (really, I didn't, I'm just seriously sick of guys thinking they're SCORING with that stupid question) but they all did.

I waved them quiet.  "It's my name," I said.  "Your name is who you are.  No one should ask you to give it up.  No one should want to take it away from you, for any reason.  Anyone who wants to, seriously.  You should seriously think twice about a relationship with that person."  I took a breath.  "And this isn't Tennyson, so we should move on."

Oh, Please

This is something I do not often admit, and I'm only doing it now under the influence of exasperation and a deal of rum: but in my youth I too was a libertarian.

I blame too much SF, too young.

The point is, I grew out of it.  

(I remember the exact moment, in fact.  I was on a houseboat on Bull Shoals lake talking to one of my Fundie uncles, who was trying to explain to me why I needed Jesus in my life, and I was explaining to him that I was an atheist and a libertarian, and we didn't need nothin' but guns and freedom, and he asked me what a libertarian was, exactly, and I started explaining to him how people didn't need governments or laws or anything but their own wits and boldness to make it in this here world, and the more I explained, the more I knew that every word I was saying was utter bullshit, and by the time I finished talking I was a libertarian no more.)

(OTOH, I am still an atheist, despite his devoted attempt to save my dark and evil soul.  Oh, well.)

Here is my point, and I do have one: Who, who, who over the age of 19 can truly believe this crap?

Friday, May 21, 2010


My book review of John Barnes' new novel is up at Strange Horizons.

(Sadly, I found two typos as I was reading the published version.  Sadly, b/c no way to edit published copy.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Something That Might Be Funny

If it wasn't making me gack:  Why (some) of the Right-Wing Fuckwits can say it's the Lie-brals who are the racists, not THEM, and even believe with all their Xtian Hearts that this is so.

Sing It

This is a post I wish I could get into the fists of every one of my first-year students -- especially the women, of course, but the men too, to some extent.

It's Amanda over at Pandagon, on that Red Families/Blue Families book, among other issues: specifically, on that divided way those of us who are Blue and those of us who are Red approach the notion of sex and marriage.

Red state families raise their kids (and especially their women) to believe if they aren't married they aren't anything.  I see this with my women students all the time.  Nineteen years old, twenty years old, twenty-two years old, smart as any student I have taught anywhere, smart enough they need to be thinking of getting their Ph.D. somewhere, and -- well, they've got two kids already, or sometimes three; or they're on their second or third marriage.  "I can't leave Fort Smith," they tell me.  "Eddie's job is here."

Or, if by some blind, blissful stroke of fate they have managed not to marry?  They are wracked with guilt.  They feel like horrible failures.  What is wrong with me, they moan, that I can't get married?  I tell them, when they ask (I tried to stay out of it if they don't ask, though it is FUCKING HARD) that they should not even be thinking about marriage until they're 28 or 30, until they have their Ph.D. I say, but then I relent and say, okay, until you have your masters.

Better no man than the wrong man, I tell them.  What are you thinking?

They look at me like I am speaking French.

Blue state families raise their kids (this is the book, it's research now, not me, though in my experience it is true) to get the education, to put the education and the life's work first.  Once you have that, then you can look to whatever relationship you might want to get involved with. I know that's how we're raising our kid.  I've explained to her (only when she asks, mind you) about sex, what it is, how it works, what sort of partner she wants to avoid doing it with, what kind of partner she'll want to seek when she's ready; and every lesson ends with a diatribe about contraception:  "And if you do decide to start doing sex," I always say, "WHAT are you going to do?"

She rolls her eyes.  "Mom, I'm twelve!"

"I said WHAT are you going to do?"

"Use condoms, use protection, I know, I know.  Geez."

Whereas, she tells me, the Red state kids at her school aren't even allowed to speak the word sex.  "How do they know what to do about it then?" I asked her.  "What if someone tries something on them?"

But I guess that will never happen to a bride of Jesus.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Religion Hates Women

Or: Why I'm raising my kid to be an atheist.

So let's say you've got a woman, and she's pregnant.  And the fetus is going to kill her.  Once she dies, the fetus dies too, obviously.  (She's 11 weeks pregnant.)  What do YOU do?

Yeah, that's just because you're sane.

Here's what the Catholic Church advises: Let Them Both Die: God Will Know His Own.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Who Cares About Those People?

Fred at Slacktivist is talking sense again.

...once a right is denied to any group, it ceases to be a right even for those groups for whom it has not yet been denied, becoming instead a mere privilege. Privileges are much weaker, much more fragile things than rights.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I've been avoiding the oil spill b/c it's just too depressing.

But here.

Note To Self

I should totally stay off Facebook.  I just get in trouble over there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Boosting The Signal

Not the white knapsack -- the black one:

1. If I'm in a group of others who look like me, that is a cause for some kind of suspicion.

2. In order to not cause suspicion, I must be in the company of (mostly) whites.

3. If I move, I can be sure I will likely end up in poor neighborhood whether I want to or not.

4. If I move into a white neighborhood, it will be enough to arouse suspicion with my neighbors.

5. When I go shopping, I can be sure I will arouse suspicion and be followed around.

6. I will be sure that when I turn on the TV, I will most likely see others who look like me as ball players, criminals, clowns or overall failures of society.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ah, Bliss

We are now in the happy period where my grades have been turned in, the kid is still in school,and Summer Session I is still 17 days off.

That is right:  I am left with solid writing time, interrupted by nothing, nothing, nothing at all.

Oh, bliss. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't Go Using That S-Word Here!

Via Joe.My.God, we find a Republican senator in Iowa who only upholds family values so long as the families look like his family.  No shock there, I guess.

Iowa, you'll remember, is one of the places in America, where everyone has equality, where the state has actually allowed (some of) its citizens (some) equality, in that gay folk can marry there.

This has Senator Bartz all bent, and apparently no related issue is too small for him to get bent over.

The current point he's all warped on is a change in the language by the Department of Natural Resources in the rules for camping at the state parks.

Apparently in Iowa they charge for the campsite.  Doesn't matter how many people are sleeping on or using the campsite.  Only one tent per campsite is allowed.  So far so good.  An exception is granted, however, for families that are camping, for obvious reasons -- mom, dad, three or four kids, you might well need a couple of tents, and mom and dad don't want to have to put the kids on a separate site that might well be some distance away, depending on the campground.

Anyway, the previous rule said "husband and wife"; the new rule will say "spouse"; this, according to Senator Bartz, cannot pass unchallenged.

Bartz says he wants to be “vigilant” and keep state agencies from writing rules that extend new benefits to gay couples. “A lot of the advocates of gay marriage in Iowa have said, ‘It doesn’t affect anything. Nothing has changed,’” Bartz says. “The reality of it is that everything is changing.”

Let's not have parents camping safely with their kids -- I mean, unless they're straight white Christian parents.  That's the kind of family values Senator Bartz can get behind.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Oh, Man...

The British are better at everything.

Why can't we have Leftists like this?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Science Is Cool

Not to mention another reason to love Randall Monroe at XKCD.

(Yeah, like we needed another reason!)
Update: See also Language Log on this subject, esp. the comments -- so cool!
Also from the comments at XKCD: This cracked me up.

Monday, May 03, 2010

This is Why I'm Depressed

Unless you've been living in a cave, you've heard of Stephanie Grace by now. From the same white class/enclave that gave us George W. and his ilk, she decided to enlighten the world last week with her notions of why black people just can't cut it in law school, or any other really competitive ilk. Here's a page outlining what happened then, with links.

Even more depressing than Ms. Grace (a 3L at Harvard Law, you must not forget, about to graduate, the product of years and years of expensive, highly honed education at what is supposed to be America's best schools) and her sad nonsense, though, are the comments being made on the piece. Apparently it is still 1951 in America. Or 1851. Apparently white folks will never have anything but their white skins to make them feel worth anything in this country.

See also this for Jesse Taylor's comments on the topic.
And this, for an old paper but a good one.

May! Spring! New Stories!

The new issue of Crossed Genres is up.  We've gone Eastern this month.

Also?  Start getting your current submissions in shape and submitted.  This month's genre is -- Lies.  Lies X SF.  You know you love it.