I can’t say I’m sorry to see 2011 go. It’s been a pretty shit year for most people I know, there have been bad relationship breakups, deaths, illness, and other stressful events. I’m hard pressed to find three positives for the year to focus on, in amongst all the crap that has gone on.
My trip to Malaysia earlier this year was a big highlight for me. It was warm, interesting, cheap and fun – and a well needed break at the time. It would have been more awesome if my two other partners could have joined me, but it was a great place to visit and I’ve love to go again.
My girlfriend finishing and submitting her thesis was a definite highlight – all that work and learning over (for now), and she has a life again!
I suppose the third highlight was finding my feet at work and being given my own project to run (with all the support I need to run said project). Settling in, making friends and finding security in my job has taken a huge weight off my shoulders.
In relation to my resolutions for 2011, I learnt some Spanish cooking, but nowhere near enough – but then work and stress ate heavily into my free time, I continued going to the gym, but not as much as I would have liked (see previous reason), and I climbed all the stairs (certainly while I was in Malaysia).
So yes, not a stellar year, and one which I will toast the fuck off out of on Saturday night when we welcome in 2012.
The last (and second ever) linkspam for 2011. Here are some articles and/or links that I’ve found interesting over the past… whenever it was since the last time I did this. (Blogging sporadically because I’m playing lots of Skyrim).
The awesome Greta Christina blogged on why “Yes, but” is a terrible response to misogyny *trigger warning for discussion of rape*.
When the topic of misogyny comes up, and men change the subject, it trivializes misogyny.
When the topic of misogyny comes up, and men change the subject, it conveys the message that whatever men want to talk about is more important than misogyny.
When the topic of misogyny comes up, and men change the subject to something that’s about them, it conveys the message that men are the ones who really matter, and that any harm done to men is always more important than misogyny.
And when the topic of misogyny comes up, and men change the subject, it comes across as excusing misogyny. It doesn’t matter how many times you say, “Yes, of course, misogyny is terrible.” When you follow that with a “Yes, but…”, it comes across as an excuse. In many cases, it is an excuse. And it contributes to a culture that makes excuses for misogyny.
If it was not clear before, we must understand now that Facebook wasn’t built for us — it was built for the profit of the very few. That Facebook is of value to the public as a communications platform is only important to Facebook insofar as it allows them to sell targeted advertising against our own speech. Its governing document, the Terms of Service, has been repeatedly applied unfairly and without accountability to its users, as its purpose is to legally protect Facebook from our conduct, not provide us with a free space, or even a safe space. Facebook needs to be only as minimally welcoming to us so as to ensure our return to use it again. And that we might use Facebook as a public square for activism? Not even in the business model.
Frank Brennan SJ, had a piece republished in ABC Religion this week, titled “The law of death: Reflections on the right to die“. Unsurprisingly, Brennan is a Catholic theologian afterall, he came down against euthanasia, throwing around some alarmist, but un-cited references, and making appeals to higher powers.
What I find interesting is that the bible doesn’t really have a position on euthanasia, instead has many examples where family kill other family members for minor transgressions, or suggestions that said family members should kill other family members.
I love computer games. I’ve been playing them since I was at least 10, so for the majority of my life. And, in what used to be something unusual, I’m a female gamer. Like all computer gamers (and people who read books, watch TV, grow plants, etc), I prefer some types of games over others. I’ve never been much of a first person shooter (FPS), though there have been the odd FPS I’ve enjoyed multiplaying with friends/the household. I’ve always tended to play god/civilisation-sims (Civilisation, Populous, Sim City, Tropico, etc) and Role Playing Games (yes those based on AD&D style mechanics).
One of the things I’ve noticed about these games is that either you’re playing a faceless character with no specific gender (though the nations in Civilisation are represented by particular historic figures who are gendered), or you can create your own character and pick the image or now the entire appearance that this character has for the game.
Some gays and lesbians view their relationships as equal to those of straight people. But I know of others who would admit to feeling “lesser” or, even if they don’t, are fed up with receiving negative physical, verbal or other signals from the world around them.
“(Suppressing the desires) worked for a while. … but I started to become quietly insane,” Humburg said. “My craziness was getting worse and worse and worse. I was a jerk.”
He said he briefly considered suicide.
“Within 10 seconds I concluded that was not the answer,” Humburg said. “I just thought, ‘You’re a straight-A student headed (into) medicine at some point. What are you gonna do – throw that all away just because of some Bronze Age understandings of the Bible and human sexuality?’ Let’s just take this slow and see how it goes.
“So I stopped fighting it. And as soon as I allowed (homosexuality) to be a consideration – bam. I knew.”
In order to preclude the legal recognition of same-sex marriages, the 2004 Bill proposed to incorporate the common law definition of marriage set out by Lord Penzance in the case of Hyde noted above, which involved the status of Mormon polygamous unions made in America. Lord Penzance noted: “marriage, as understood in Christendom, may for this purpose be defined as the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”. The words, “as understood in Christendom”, do not appear in section 46 of the Marriage Act nor in section 43 of the Family Law Act. The Hyde definition is otherwise intact in those sections.
For years, it’s been an open secret that having a visibly female online identity – especially if one writes about sexism – is a personal security risk. Highly visible bloggers such as Jessica Valenti report receiving hate mail every day. Some have been subject to campaigns aimed at getting them fired. This doesn’t only happen to high-profile feminists, or women; some people, including men, have been harassed at work simply for commenting on the wrong blog. But it is a gendered phenomenon: W.H.O.A. reports that, in 2010, 73% of cyberstalking victims were female.
At one point in the “conversation,” I’d tried to point out that my dress wasn’t any different from what the other women in the department wore. In fact, it was pretty common knowledge one of the other women had a certain outfit she wore when she wanted something from her boss. I, uh, did not mention that to the department head. That was when my department head told me, in uncomfortable and tentative wording, that the issue was really my large boobs.
You know, with the exception of scientific laws, every time I hear someone say the above, I know that I have ever just heard or am about to hear, something that is complete bollocks.
So today the Australian Labour Party voted in favour of “gay” marriage (from here on in referred to as equal marriage). The ALP national platform now supports equal marriage, though sadly the conscience vote still holds. I don’t understand how elected representatives are allowed to vote with their conscience and not with the will of their electorate, clearly that’s just me (and several million other Australians).