Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

There is a discussion underway in the NY Times about whether modern men are manly enough. As my favorite colleague says, idiots abound.

The TSA employees do not understand that my visceral level reasons for not going through that airport scanner that takes and keeps the equivalent of your naked photograph is not shyness about the body, but the fact that to have that photograph taken, you must stand in the prisoner of war position, hands on your head, and so on. That we are being asked to do this for our safety, and that people believe it, is highly disturbing in my view.” It is highly disturbing in my view, too. And humiliating.

Louisiana proves that voucher schools are a huge, horrible scam.

Maternal martyrs of the 21st century.

A perfect example of how people turn their children into helpless toys to compensate for being pathetic losers professionally and socially. Please tread lightly before you make idiotic comments. There are people around here who had this done to them and are still living with the consequences.

An interesting theory why radical feminists hate transwomen so passionately. I’ve never heard this explanation for this irrational hatred advanced before but it makes sense to me. What do you think?

On the importance of challenging oneself intellectually. This is precisely why everybody should be reading Clarissa’s Blog with all of its outrageous statements and unexpected, frustrating, angering approaches to everything.

A lying article from Yale Daily News that is trying to sell the idea of a post-doc on the Humanities as something positive. Is there an idiot stupid enough to believe this load of steamy BS? Hey, GESO, where the hell are you? Why aren’t you doing something about this?

A really good and very funny post about different models of professorial behavior.

Comedian Daniel Tosh is a vile horrible creature. Let’s all do what we can to denounce him and make sure he never performs anywhere without being spit on. If there are people I hate it’s nasty jerks like this one.

A great visual on how anti-abortionists don’t even notice the existence of women.

This sounds like a total urban myth but, who knows, these pox parties might just be real. What do you think?

A really great post on the Kardashians and birth control.

If you don’t like beets for some bizarre reason, do read this post.

They really know what matters in revenue-strapped Kansas. The attorney general’s office there has paid $675,000 to outside lawyers to fight challenges to the state’s draconian new anti-abortion laws.” I have a questions to the idiots who voted these jerkwads into office: do you hate women that much? Really? The taxpayers who allow their money to be wasted in this way by politicians who need to feed their psychosis deserve all that is coming to them.

This blogger is such a wonderful, caring, understanding mother to her small daughter that it makes me want to cry. Is it too late for me to get adopted by her?

I really know how this blogger feels! What is it with the idiots who just can’t take “no” for an answer?

And the post of the week that celebrates emotional independence: “I’m done with being held responsible for other people’s emotional states. Whether that’s a parent, a significant other, or a friend. Once we reach a certain age, we are, each of us, responsible for how we choose to respond to difficult or taxing situations. I survived too many years of emotional distress for being blamed for something I couldn’t possibly be responsible for or do anything about, and I bought my ticket to freedom by learning to cope with my own emotions and hold myself accountable for how I addressed them.”

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48 comments on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. Hey Clarissa, hope your vacation has started well. And even better yet, I finally think we are in visceral agreement!

    In regards to the professor who talked about her kids being essentially the one thing that brings her joy, I completely agree this is way too common and a terrible thing. I guess my question would be is if you don’t seek this sort of reward/pleasure why would people have kids? I’m curious of your opinion on this. I am currently in mid-20’s and probably will want to have children.. but I cant exactly say 100% rationally why. Ultimately they are a huge financial drain (not saying good or bad, but they sure cost a lot :) ), there is no need to have them like in past societies where you needed kids to help on the farm / work in the family business, and you have a ton more responsibilities and less freedoms.

    While it is unhealthy to live solely through your kids (which the one professor seemed to be advocating for and expressing) is there perhaps some degree of reassurance/validation that might be healthy or necessary to have kids?

    • Your question is irrelevant, since at ho time has Clarissa or anyone else said you shouldn’t feel at all rewarded by your kids or never enjoy them.

      • Thank you for the aggressive and hostile response! (for our first interaction a polite hello might have worked LOL) I at no time said she implied that parents shouldn’t feel rewarded or never enjoy them, but was more specifically talking about the reassurance/validation angle. I do think a major reason people have kids is to make up for other parts of their live’s which they are unsatisfied. I was asking if any of that might be helpful. And I still would like to hear her response, regardless if you think that is irrelevant)

        (BTW, not trying to be hostile… clearly seemed like you took an attitude with me, but perhaps not so if I attributed malice when none was intended then my apologies)

      • I guess there is no way to remove comments.. so my apologies to the twisted spinster. After re-reading the comment I probably over-reacted..

      • // I do think a major reason people have kids is to make up for other parts of their live’s which they are unsatisfied.

        Agreed.

        Doesn’t have to be something dramatically bad in other parts of life either.

      • Yeah, the tone argument doesn’t work for me. I see no reason to be polite to a bad idea.

    • “Hey Clarissa, hope your vacation has started well.”

      – Thank you, it is going great!!!! And more !!!! And even more !!!!

      “is there perhaps some degree of reassurance/validation that might be healthy or necessary to have kids”

      – I´m probably not the best person to ask. :-) I can just share how I feel. I feel at this moment that my life is very full and happy. There is a lot of love, joy and really good things. I think it would be good to share that with somebody else. Other than that, I don´t have a single reason to have children. Whether the reason I named is a good one is something I´m not sure about. Should there be some greater motivation?

      If anybody has insights, please share.

      What I do know, however, is that it is a very heavy birden to constitute the meaning of somebody´s life. They want to live vicariously and this makes you feel like you are being robbed of life. That is not a happy state of affairs. And the potential for failure is too huge. Imagine being a small kid with such a huge responsibility.

      No, I definitely don´t need a child to provide my life with a meaning. I find that it is very meaningful as it is.

      • Yes, well, this was our responsibility as children, to be the meaning of our mother’s life. It meant we had to have certain personalities and interests, and get home as soon as possible because she was waiting for us all alone, and on, and on. And she was never satisfied since she had imagined other personalities — we would be more social, and I would be less intellectual, and there would be 1950s style teenager parties, and she would provide the food… and it just did not work out exactly that way and I still feel guilty about it.

        • “t meant we had to have certain personalities and interests, and get home as soon as possible because she was waiting for us all alone, and on, and on. And she was never satisfied since she had imagined other personalities — we would be more social, and I would be less intellectual, and there would be 1950s style teenager parties, and she would provide the food… and it just did not work out exactly that way and I still feel guilty about it.”

          – THIS. Word for word. This was my experience. :-(

      • //- THIS. Word for word. This was my experience.

        I don’t understand. Haven’t you said you brought up your little sister because of both parents working all day & that your mother became a housewife, when you were 16+? So, you have lived even early *teenage* years without it.

        Not that it can’t be bad starting from 16, but I remember myself: at 16 I was already quite mentally adult, unlike at 13 f.e. Much easier to influence 13 than 16, which you described as the age of teenage rebellion.

  2. Two other articles i want to comment on. The one about voucher schools has two important points. First, the issue is not so much charter schools and the potential power of the “market place and choice”, but rather the issue of religious fanatics taking over the movement or at least using it to their advantage. I fervently believe that charter schools are very important, particularly in low-income areas ( KIPP http://www.kipp.org/ has done amazing things from everything I have read, they are not controversy free but breaking cyclical poverty is good enough for me!) but I definitely agree with the article that charters need to have the same accountability of public schools! Secondly, the larger point with charter schools and many “pro-market” ideas is they only operate better than government controlled solutions when failure is allowed! Often “free-market” ideals and ideas are championed by “crony capitalists” (the most vile creatures who should have their finger nails removed one by one if I had my way :) ) who want the ability to make tons of money without the chance for failure. The reason capitalism and “free markets” generally work is they provide incentives but also allow for failure and don’t let bad systems, people, ideologies last forever. I apologize for the long diatribe here but I think it is really important to explain what I view as the true “capitalist, free-market” ideals because many leaders of this country do a dis-service to the cause I feel passionate about (hopefully one day I can be a leader who isn’t a crony capitalist douche!). If you are interested in further explanation of this concept I would love to write a guest post or at least another comment to you about the whole LIBOR scandal going on and how the crony-capitlasts, wallstreet, govt. types are different than true capitalists and “free-market believers”.

    Lastly, your link about intellectually challenging yourself is so great. And it is why I have loved this blog so much in the last month or so! I love to debate, and usually with people with different viewpoints so that I can both grow my understanding of issues, be kept intellectually honest, and potentially help others do the same! The critical piece is you should only challenge yourself with people who are fair-minded! I have read feminist blogs for the past two years and usually I just get frustrated with standard tautologies and get turned off when they shy away from the genuine intellectual discussion/debate that I and many other commenters have been able to have with you here! So, in other words… keep rocking it here :)

  3. An interesting theory why radical feminists hate transwomen so passionately. I’ve never heard this explanation for this irrational hatred advanced before but it makes sense to me. What do you think?

    The basis of all their opinions on this subject is certainly that trans women are men. Everything follows from that premise, on which they refuse to be budged; they’re right and everyone else is wrong.

    The idea that that basis may itself be based on tr*nny panic is an intriguing one. It does make a kind of sense :) – though I guess the why doesn’t really matter all that much.

    • Maybe that is what it is but I think it is more like just essentialism. They want purity, people who have only ever been women. The background of a trans person is not the same in terms of gender experience and they are not comfortable with it.

      Perhaps it is just my experience but every trans person I have met retains many psychological characteristics of their originally assigned gender and also skills, as well as childhood memories and perhaps memories far, far beyond childhood. This lack of apparent purity bothers essentialists.

      • That’s certainly one of the things that they claim to justify their behaviour (i.e, that we have “lingering male privilege” and that there are certain experiences that are universal, and exclusive, to people raised as girls), but frankly it doesn’t even begin to explain the level of vitriol.

  4. Thank you for linking to that piece on Jindal and the charter schools, it is so important.

    Matt, one piece of the iceberg of which you are unaware are that some of the schools Jindal is so proud of do not have buildings, books, or teachers. They have warehouses where someone puts on learning DVDs. Another teaches that the Loch Ness monster is real and uses this as evidence for the young earth theory. There is a lot more to say but just think about those two things for a minute.

    • Thank you for the perspective Z. I did not know those specifics, but I am not surprised. Perhaps I didn’t convey my message articulately enough, but my point was they should be held to the same testing standards, and if those kids in a warehouse do well on state tests, send mroe kids to college, and parents want to send them there then they be on to something.

      However, it is HIGHLY unlikely they will. And after a period of bad performance (3-5 year likely, but the exact guts of the policy would need more analysis) they SHOULD LOSE FUNDING.

      You and the article very rightly point out that is not how the system currently works, and frankly I will call the vast majority of “conservative” leaders out for bulll shit because they want the “incentives” (i.e. financial rewards) of the market system, but they do not want the risk/or potential for failure.

      TRUE conservative/pro-market individuals recognize and in fact celebrate failure because that is the reason it works so well (incentives vs. failure.. both are great!).

      I would welcome more info on the schools down there or on the debate in general!

      • The point of the vouchers is to transfer taxpayers’ money to private corporations. Remember charter schools do not have to serve anyone, but only niche markets, so they can refuse anyone it is expensive to teach, e.g. the disabled and so on.

        You can shut down a charter school that is bad, sure, and try another one, but it is not easy to resurrect the public school system you shut down for this. I repeat, the point is to use public monies to benefit some of your cronies; it’s the ultimate in corruption and of course it is sold to an ill informed public as “choice.”

    • “Thank you for linking to that piece on Jindal and the charter schools, it is so important.”

      – I´m completely shocked by this story about the charter schools. How can we possibly afford as a country to put such shady operations in charge of educating children??? We will end up in a nation of illiterates and plain idiots. This is such a completely ridiculous idea.

      “They have warehouses where someone puts on learning DVDs. Another teaches that the Loch Ness monster is real and uses this as evidence for the young earth theory.”

      – And then they will come to my classroom and I will be expected to teach them. Even worse, then they will grow up and start voting. Oy vey.

      • Vouchers are obviously yet another one of those great American ideas that no one bothers following up to make sure they actually work right. It’s the American way to throw money at a problem and walk away, thinking we’ve done our work.

  5. Wow, linked twice, and post of the week! Thank you!
    The bit about the beastly Daniel Tosh dovetails nicely with my post on challenging myself intellectually. Thanks to my spending so much time around contrary people, I think I’ve done a great job this week explaining to people outside of feminist-land exactly why he did the unforgivable, and changed a few minds about the subject, which I consider to be a good deed on my part. :)

  6. Re the pox parties: urban myth or not, I really would have preferred to be vaccinated rather than having to stay home two weeks with chicken pox and get permanent scars. And I’m really not looking forward to getting shingles. (I got chicken pox before they’d developed the vaccine.) Those people who won’t vaccine their kids are not just weird, but a freaking public health menace. I’m not into calling child services for every last little thing, but this is one of the reasons I’d be in favor of it. You can literally die from things you get vaccinations for, that’s why they developed the freaking vaccines. When these kids’ children start dropping from whooping cough, diphtheria, and polio I’m sure we’ll hear another tune from the anti-vaccination freaks.

    • My uncle is suffering from shingles right now. The poor man is in excruciating pain.

      I agree that such people are a public menace. This is the height of irresponsibility. Are they conspiracy freaks of some kind? Do they believe vaccines will kill them or something?

      • They think vaccines cause things like autism, apparently. It never occurs to them that less dead children could possibly be the reason why we’re supposedly seeing “more” autistic kids. (Also autism didn’t used to be recognized as a thing separate from other mental illnesses and/or behavior variations. Autistic kids were written off as mentally ill, or if they were high-functioning were just thought of as “odd.”)

        Anyway, that’s one thing I’ve heard about the anti-vaccine people. I try to avoid reading about them, to be honest. I like to keep my blood pressure steady.

      • Shouldn’t such things be illegal? Shouldn’t endangering one’s child’s health for years to come carry severe punishment?

  7. Pox parties are real. There are even forums on Mommy websites where they exchange addresses so that they can give each other their kids’ germs, like mailing one person their kid’s lollipop which he sucked on while he had chickenpox. There was even a facebook group for the address exchange until facebook shut it down, because of course, sending a pathogen through the mail without proper protection and notification is a federal offence…

    • “There are even forums on Mommy websites where they exchange addresses so that they can give each other their kids’ germs, like mailing one person their kid’s lollipop which he sucked on while he had chickenpox.”

      – I thought I´d heard of every insanity under the sun but the world keeps surprising me. And often not in a good way.

  8. @Venerable, level of vitriol, actually I think it might explain it. People do not like mixed-race children, mixed marriages, etc., either. They are willing to kill over this and have often done so. My theory is that the gender mestizaje is similarly upsetting to those for whom ostensible purity matters. Don’t know, but it’s my theory for this hour.

  9. So, as I’ve said elsewhere, I was supposed to be an extremely conservative young lady, very oriented toward the family and warm and deferential — conservative. Oh, and dutiful. I have kind of like the opposite personality, which would have meant trouble enough, except that my parents (especially my father) attached profound importance to bringing me up all Bible reading and unreasoning. I’m convinced this was because of the war and what it cost him. This was how the war started:

    “We have struck a blow for the preservation of justice, civilization, and Christianity; and in the spirit of this belief we have this day assumed our sovereign independence. God bless you all.” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1965Rhodesia-UDI.html

    So, Christian belief and a certain idea of “civilization” became a huge factor in my parents’ consciousness, whether or not they were aware of that.

    When we migrated I was fifteen. That was when the battle started to keep me on the straight and narrow. I had entered a society that was much more liberal in many ways, and I’m sure this represented the “communism” my father had fought against, in the war, to keep outside of our borders.

    (As a funny aside that confirms my thesis, about five years ago, I came across a badly written blurb on a free publishing site a while back. The writing was by an ex-Rhodesian, who spoke of “Communism hovering on our borders”. Actually, the phrasing was worse than this, something clumsier and funnier. So amusing was it that I used the sentence in my Facebook update and immediately some guy living in Johannesburg (in exile from Zimbabwe’s poor economy) popped up in chat and said, “It’s me! I’m the communism lingering on the border!” This was how I got introduced to the members of the Zimbabwean Revolutionary Youth movement, who turned out to be two in number.)

    Anyway, I then became the betrayer of the war and everything “Rhodesia” stood for, the more I adapted to liberal ways. My parents waged a really strong psychological battle against me. It was quite extreme, involving physical “discipline” at times, but mostly chasing me around and attempting to undermine my self esteem by telling me I was grotty.

    Such is life.

  10. When my daughter had chicken pox, our friends’ children came over to share lollipops with her. Intentionally exposing our children to chicken pox instead of getting the shot is real. :-)

    • I heard the same thing as a kid. “Our kids have glandular fever, so if you want your children to get it now, rather than when they are adults, send them over.”

      • My daughter was 3 when she got it and my younger daughter is just 3 now. I see no reason to vaccinate against a likely-harmless infection when they are so young.

      • It isn’t what the virus does to your child at the time that they have chicken pox, it’s what it can do to them at any time during the rest of their lives. Shingles, yes, but more than that: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002559/ . I see no reason not to vaccinate, when it can prevent so many future illnesses (myocarditis, encephalitis, etc)- not only in your child, but in anyone else exposed to them when they have chicken pox or shingles.

      • It’s not anti-vaccination. It’s simply that I feel it’s unnecessary when the actual virus is available so easily and harmlessly. When the children get the shot, they often (mine do, with their other vaccines) get flu-like symptoms anyway. Why not let them get sick “naturally” instead of forcing it on them?

        To be clear, I’m not anti-vaccine. It’s just about chicken pox. If my 3 year old doesn’t get chicken pox in a couple years, I’ll give her the vaccine.

        PS Shingles SUCKS.

  11. Thank you for the link, Clarissa, although frankly getting roundup link for a post over a year old is something I’ve never experienced before. First time for everything, I guess.

    And yes, pox parties are very much real and for the reasons I and others have given they are dangerous.

  12. Hi Clarissa, thanks for the link! I appreciate you referencing some of my other posts this week too. I love everything you’ve got going on over here.

  13. Hi there–sorry if this gets in moderation twice, I can’t tell if my first went through.

    Thanks so much for the link and the other mentions of my blog this week. I love everything you have going on over here!

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