Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

Have you heard about Gisella Perl? If not, you really need to. Please read this great and important post. We should not forget heroes like Gisella Perl.

A great blogger is asking for help.

“Having read the proposed content of the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known by psychologists as DSM-5, I now realise the entire family is a psychiatric basket case and should be ingesting a bucket-load of prescription medication.”

A funny anecdote about teaching.

And this is how Canadians shop for food, at least in Toronto. Warning: this post should not be read on an empty stomach.

For teachers and public speakers: how to preserve vocal health.

A very insightful post on how to discover what it is you really want to be doing.

Does modernity cause autism? This is probably the most profound post I have read about autism in a while.

How to write an article over the winter break. Useful, insightful practical advice.

What’s in store for China?

Striking clothes a woman in Russia makes for herself. The text is in Russian, but don’t mind that. Just look at the photos. This is all hand-made, including the hats and the coats.

It’s so great to find out that I’m not the only person who drops everything and starts making wishes while staring intently at the clock when 11:11 strikes. How come such superstitions transcend all possible borders?

This is the most offensive, nasty piece of garbage anybody could have come up with in response to the Sandusky rape allegations. I strongly suspect that the person who wrote this article is being paid to discredit the cause of feminism. Surely, nobody can really be that dense?

Toothless feminism: I kept yelling “yes” to every word of this post, which made my husband suspect I was watching porn instead of reading posts on feminism.

Well-deserved ridicule for Russia’s ridiculous election-time propaganda.

Pseudo-Liberal Self-Identification

It seems like pseudo-Liberals try to outdo each other in ridiculous self-representations. Here is the most recent one I encountered:

Coca Colo is a graduate student in economics who researches gender issues and international development.  She has white, cis, hetero and US privilege, but is also a religious and ethnic minority.  She is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

The statement makes me wonder what the blogger would do if she belonged to no minority to compensate for all that nasty privilege she has. It’s possible that the article that is introduced in this manner makes some important points. However, I feel no desire to continue reading it because the way in which its author introduces itself is so artificial, boring and unintelligent that it’s hard to expect anything useful from the article.

Slavoj Zizek tells a story of his encounter with the humorless earnestness of American pseudo-Liberals in one of his books. He was visiting an American university, and the professor who invited him organized a round table with his colleagues.

“First, let me introduce myself,” the host said, “and then everybody can do the same. I’m a heterosexual, cisgendered, middle-class American.”

Then, everybody around the table introduced themselves in the same way.

Zizek says he was petrified. The idea of introducing himself by mentioning his sexual orientation to a group of complete strangers seemed both weird and useless.

In my opinion, people who present themselves with these strings of meaningless collective identifications do so in order to compensate for lack of any individuality. As a blogger, one could choose the road of developing a distinctive personal writing style that readers would immediately recognize. That, of course, is hard and requires a lot of time, energy, and effort. It is much easier to create a pseudo-Liberal persona on the basis of important-sounding terms that create an illusion of a personality where there is none.

Are Horrible Acts Always Horrible?

Reader Kinjal says:

People ought to be judged according to the times and social mores they lived in.

I disagree with this statement profoundly. I believe that horrible acts such as rape, murder, torture, abuse of children, and pedophilia are always horrible. Their evilness is immanent and does not depend on when the perpetrator lived and what his or her society sanctioned. If you abstain from doing horrible things only because you are afraid of retribution, what is the value of your morality?

Tolstoy raped his wife. In my eyes, he is as much of a vile rapist as anybody who lives today and does the same thing. He saw a human being in pain, crying, begging him to stop, suffering because of what he was doing to her. And he somehow didn’t know that it was wrong because nobody told him that it was? And then he continued doing it many times over because he kept not knowing? I just can’t buy that.

Major crimes like the one I listed are not relative. Some people are capable of them and some aren’t. Different times and changing social norms are just an excuse used to justify perpetrators and disgusting creatures who mask as human beings.