As both a lawyer and an academic, I love a good argument. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, the blogosphere is not a particularly productive place to have one. Joseph Kugelmass of The Kugelmass Episodes has a post called “On Pitilessness” that does a nice job of articulating the problematic nature of flame wars. Here is an excerpt:
The cost of a flame war is not something we know, for the following reason: the tendency of flame wars to produce a lot of links back and forth, and a lot of enthusiastic comments, makes them look terrific. However, we have no idea how many people decide they will never write a comment, or decide not to start a blog, or decide not to weigh in on their own blogs on a given subject. If that decision is based on trouble refuting well-made counter-arguments, so be it. But if it’s based on verbal abuse? Where is our triumph then?
Angry Black Bitch noted in a recent post entitled “Weekend Review“:
… the internets lost their motherfucking mind last week, thus this bitch had to do a little technical correction (wink).
As a matter of fact everything lost its motherfucking mind Friday so this bitch had to shake the dust off of the merciless rod of correction and re-establish my authority!
Lawd, why can’t people just act right?
Finally, Twisty Faster wrote recently about the difficulties of moderating blog comments in “Define this” at I Blame The Patriarchy.
At BlogHer, Carmen Van Kerckhove makes some interesting observations about the way the mainstream media discusses race in its coverage of Barack Obama’s presidential bid in her post “Michelle Obama, feminism and the strong black woman“.
Maia at Touchingly Naive blogged about pre-pubescent virgin worship in Nepal in Royal Kumari: The Living Goddess.
Watch a video entitled “Happy Weekend?” by Liz Spikol at The Trouble With Spikol, to hear Liz talk about mental illness.
Read “Bones To Pick, and Preserve” at Our Bodies, Our Blog, which notes:
In a recent commentary at Women’s eNews, Judy Norsigian and Heather Stephenson of Our Bodies Ourselves caution women about buying into the hype surrounding a new, once-a-year, injectable medication for osteoporosis.
While it might be a worthwhile option for women of a certain age or women with certain risk factors, most women should think long and hard before rushing out to get the bone density screenings needed to determine if you might benefit from the drug.
Although the drug companies don’t really want you to hear it, medications for postmenopausal osteoporosis have many potentially serious side effects, which Norsigian and Stephenson outline in detail.
Read Richard Leader’s essay at Adonis Mirror entitled “The Left, HPV and Cancer.” It is very thought-provoking. He writes:
… Where was the male Left, when it came to cervixes, a decade ago? Where were we on HPV and cervical cancer before there was a “cure?”
That answer can, ironically, be found in Merck’s own commercials for Gardasil. They feature one nubile woman after another proclaiming that she had only just heard about HPV, how it can cause cancer, and how absolutely terrified she was for that one brief second before the pharmaceutical industry heroically came to her rescue.
This terror is new. …
… Inflicting cervical cancer upon someone was never a consideration of men. HPV strains that did not burden a male with unsightly warts were deemed not worth testing for by the medical establishment; out of sight, out of mind. There were no marches. Penises were never called “the original cancer sticks.” No man ever curtailed his sexual behavior on account of it, admitting that even condoms not might prevent its transmission.
And yet that same generation of Leftist men, cure in hand, now accuses religious fundamentalists of murderous indifference.
It is only now that women can be saved—and pockets can be lined—that women are allowed to fear HPV and the very worst of its effects. Indeed, they are even encouraged to fear it. Before, it was merely part of heterosexual life for women, an uncommon yet ordinary consequence of all we ordained as “natural.” Bad luck, or the Will of God, cancer was seen as outside the domain of male control. …
Note that the ACLU released a report entitled “Religious Refusals and Reproductive Rights: Accessing Birth Control at the Pharmacy.”
Read La Doctorita’s post, “sins and virtues in medical education, part 1: pathologizing” at Unconventional Beauty and be glad she is joining the medical profession.
Read “Feminist Mama Files: A Vegan Mama” at The Red Thread for thoughts about veganism.
Read “not very exciting but perhaps useful” at One Jewish Dyke, because it is indeed useful information.
Priscilla Huang authored a thoughtful post, Family Values: Made In America?” at The RH blog.
“Books you’re likely to be hearing from soon” by Amy at Feminist Reprise offers useful book recommendations and commentary.
It’s quite a bit longer than a blog post, but some of you may be interested in Leti Volpp’s article, “Divesting Citizenship: On Asian American History and the Loss of Citizenship Through Marriage.”
Also check out Alicia Banks’ column at Eloquent Fury, “The Timeless Martin Luther King Jr., On His “Letter From A Birmingham Jail.”
Great thought-provoking links include:
Twisty’s post “XX” at I Blame the Patriarchy.
Witchy-Woo’s post, “I’m Kinda Loving…” at Well I’ll Go To The Foot Of My Stairs.
“Bizarre Defense: The Fashion Industry Made Me Do It,” by Belle Lettre at Law and Letters.
“Beauty Myths and Punk Rock Chicks” by La Doctorita at Unconventional Beauty.
“PorNOgraphy” by Ms. Amy at Scorpio Risen.
“Motherhood: Patriarchal Institution” at Sazz’s Blog.
“Friday Feminism: More Laws On Our Bodies” at Unapologetically Female.
“Porn and the Cathartic Relationship…” at Sparkle*Matrix.
“When Dead White Men Were Actually Dead White Women, and other historical things that interest me” by Anna at Feminists Don’t Bake Bread.
“Feminist Collective” at Gorgon Poison.
A couple of recent legal theory articles that might be of interest include:
“Toward a Feminist Theory of the Rural” By Lisa R. Pruitt.
The summer issue of Girlistic Magazine, on the topic of “Feminism & Marriage” is now available for free downloading here.
I also want to again plug the very useful Topics in Feminism section of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
At Den of the Biting Beaver, read “a bit of an explanation” to learn why Biting Beaver stopped blogging.
Read this WaPo article to learn about what happened to 18 year old Allison Stokke. Here is an excerpt:
A fan on a Cal football message board posted a picture of the attractive, athletic pole vaulter. A popular sports blogger in New York found the picture and posted it on his site. Dozens of other bloggers picked up the same image and spread it. Within days, hundreds of thousands of Internet users had searched for Stokke’s picture and leered.
The wave of attention has steamrolled Stokke and her family in Newport Beach, Calif. She is recognized — and stared at — in coffee shops. She locks her doors and tries not to leave the house alone. Her father, Allan Stokke, comes home from his job as a lawyer and searches the Internet. He reads message boards and tries to pick out potential stalkers.
“We’re keeping a watchful eye,” Allan Stokke said. “We have to be smart and deal with it the best we can. It’s not something that you can just make go away.”
On May 8, blogger Matt Ufford received Stokke’s picture in an e-mail from one of his readers, and he reacted to Stokke’s image on instinct. She was hot. She was 18. Readers of Ufford’s WithLeather.com — a sports blog heavy on comedy, opinion and sometimes sex — would love her. …
(NB: Twisty blogged about the situation here at I Blame the Patriarchy)
Update: While it does not diminish Allison Stokke’s suffering in any way, this information about her father Allan at Feministing is fairly discouraging.
Amananta’s post “We Told You So” at Screaming Into The Void talks about sexism in online gaming. It’s part of a series she has been running that makes me laugh even as it makes me cringe, because she is such a wonderful writer and observer of human behavior.
I mightily applaud everyone who is drawing attention to the DeAnza rape allegations situation and pressing for a criminal investigation. See, for example, Marcella’s topical post at Abyss2hope, Echidne’s post at Echidne of the Snakes, and Twisty’s post at I Blame The Patriarchy. Radical feminist blogs are doing a terrific job of discussing the case without blaming the victim, which is sometimes harder than one might think, or so it often seems.
Other violence related posts include:
“honor killings redux” by La Doctorita at Unconventional Beauty.
Heart’s post “Dorothy Stang, Confronter of Male Power” at Women’s Space/The Margins.
“From the testimony of Lola Cristeta Alcober, Tacloban City, Leyte” at LABAN! Fight For Comfort Women.
“I can’t get away from disturbing images” by Charliegrrl at Blog of Feminist Activism Against Porn.
The Smoking Gun has a copy of the indictment filed against a porn producer who sometimes goes by the name of “Max Hardcore.” The website notes: “A copy of the indictment, which was filed in Tampa, Florida and unsealed yesterday, can be found below. As described in the DOJ release, [Max Hardcore] … is a “nationally-known director, producer, and star of films featuring acts such as anal penetration, urination, insertion of an entire hand into a vagina or anus, vomiting, and severe violence” towards female performers.”
Finally, Our Vaunted Feminist Humorlessness Is Challenged By:
The Girl Detective’s post entitled “we have enough, apparently.”
Hermione’s post “Red Riding Hood: the real story” at Cronespace.
Mad Kane’s Humor Blog post: “Keeping Abreast Of Bras.”
See also this Cat and Girl.
Let me know about any needed additions, subtractions or corrections. Thanks to everyone who nominated posts, and especially to Heart for her powerful and relentless feminism, and for founding the Carnival.