Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

Gender variance around the world and through the ages

Half a century of struggle for trans rights in the U.S. is only one thread of a larger global tapestry. Employing a variety of genders beyond man and woman across the world, people who don’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth have been working for centuries to guarantee their liberties since ancient times. The recent explosion of visibility might make the fight for trans rights seem like a recent development in the United States, but it’s a fight that’s been happening here for decades and around the world for centuries. Understanding that history will only help to inform the ongoing struggle for the liberation of gender-variant people everywhere.

Call for trans and non-binary writers via James Nicoll’s blog.

I bet McSweeney’s gonna be getting some hate mail for this one. Good for them!

Capitalism sucks

The most advanced capitalist states are literally at the stage of collapse and yet we deny that perhaps the problem is capitalism. Capitalism is a system that we can prove with any science is fucking the planet and yet the rich can convince most this is progress. This is like burning your hands on a hot stove and thinking the problem is anything but fire.

Capitalism not only eats babies, it makes sure those babies suffer horrific and needless deaths first because suffering is less costly than care. Better if their parents are helpless to do anything but watch. Teaches the rest the lesson.

Need a hookup for locals who do custom sewing and alterations? Erin McKean recently posted a link to The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals on her blog.

Indigenous Feminists vs. The Patriarchy

“The difficulty for us, in creating change, is that we aren’t any more of a state of unity than dominant society. We’re a rag tag group of saviors, and we all fight internalized racism and despair and poverty. (Which is not necessarily financial). I don’t accept colonizers propaganda about what constitutes a ‘successful’ Indian. In my opinion, any Indian still alive is a success.” (Chrystos, a Menominee two-spirit poet and activist)

Dance Break to the tune of White Men Ruin Everything!

The core of the dance music scene is its music and delivering a quality product in an economically reasonable manner irrespective of the artists’ identities should be a priority. Still, dance music as we know it was originated by black, Latino, and queer artists who wanted to create safe places for people disenfranchised by mainstream society. These spaces were where they could find acceptance, community, and a damn good time, away from the straight white male patriarchy. In a cruel twist of fate, that patriarchy is now the ruling class of this once underground culture.

Chuck Wendig’s article is worth it for the title, alone: Ways to Stay Motivated in this Shit-Shellacked Era of Epic Stupid.

Not accommodating uncontrolled men

Is it normal for a guy to struggle when he sees a woman in jeans, or only when she’s wearing a short skirt? Is it normal for a guy to struggle when she’s wearing a one-piece bathing suit and shorts, or only when she’s wearing a bikini? Is there an all-male council who has decided what’s “normal” for a guy to struggle with, and what’s creepy? Because I keep hearing mixed messages from men about what turns them on and what’s modest, and it makes me think the problem isn’t with what women wear but with what men can’t handle.

Taco trucks at every mosque!

Kameron Hurley’s recent address to the Library Information Technology Association.

We like to believe that we are rational creatures. But as someone with a deep background in storytelling and over a decade of marketing experience, I know the ugly truth. We are not rational creatures at all. We are driven purely by emotion. And those emotional drives are most powerful when communicated through narrative.

Story is absolutely central to our understanding of ourselves and our reality. There is a theory that human consciousness begins with story. Our awareness of the world hinges on our ability to form narrative. This is why most of us don’t have any clear memories until we’re two or three years old. Before we are able to construct our own consciousness, we must be able to form narrative. It is story that makes us human.

It means we can be shaped and altered entirely by the stories we tell, the stories we are told, and the stories we choose to believe about ourselves.

Written poetry is generally not my jam but this article about the poetic notion of work and the American Midwest is, well, beautifully poetic.

There is no other poet that gives me a sense of geography like Philip Levine does. I close my eyes and see Detroit as smoke billowing out of factory towers, a warm echo of steam spilling out into a cold morning. But I can also close my eyes and see the Detroit I’ve known most intimately in my lifetime: a Detroit of musicians and artists who are, largely, hustling and grinding entirely on their own. This creates a dual appreciation for the idea of work ethic, or the ability to do work as a transferable tool. Many of those who grew up in the city watching the people they love put in days of hard labor are now the artists who press their own CDs, staple their own chapbooks, book their own shows, and set up their own gigs. Levine wrote about this Detroit, too. In his poem “My Brother the Artist, at Seven” he writes, “How much can matter to a kid / of seven? Everything. The whole world can be his.”

And finally, these guys (who are from LA, not Detroit):

Thank you to everyone who sent suggestions! My saviors, bless you all. Someone sent me some links along with the URL of a local organization–I meant to include the donation page as the last one on the page but I deleted the email before getting the link and then couldn’t find the message (ugh). Please post your organization in a comment, if you want!

52 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. meat_lord says:

    Ooh, what a feast. I can't wait to read all this.

    • meat_lord says:

      There's a Pride section on Poetry Foundation! I suspect some people here might enjoy it.

      • meat_lord says:

        Oh, god, reading these poems takes me back to being a teenager. No one in my small town was out, at the time (although I'd later learn that apparently vast numbers of elderly lesbians lived in [hometown]) and nothing and no one was like me. I knew there was something deeply different about me and I knew I had to hide it.

        But there were glimpses of what it meant to be me (to be queer) and I hunted for them. A few books in my high school library, the websites I timidly browsed under the guise of researching for a pro-gay-marriage paper, which felt terribly daring to write, and like a neon flag screaming I'm gay. These poems would all have made me cry.

        (And it's worth mentioning here that I knew I was queer but also was very, very afraid that I wasn't. That I didn't count. That although I was drawn to any Gay Shit I could find with an undeniable heart-tug, I also wasn't really all that attracted to girls and I couldn't reconcile those two facts… I did get that all figured out in the end, though.)

  2. Rillquiet says:

    Much to enjoy! But one technical note: the taco trucks link goes to a Kristin Stewart gif.

    Separately, for all the folks who've been talking about sitting more often, a link to a friend's meditation and social justice community, Meditation Fight Club.

  3. vladazhael says:

    So much to see! Excellent roundup.

    1. When you send that McSweeney's link to a white man and he cackles with delight, it is a good sign.

    2. PHILIP LEVINE. How did I not know about him? Everything about that speaks to my Detroit(ish) native soul, even the part about growing up close enough but not in it.

    3. Speaking of Detroit and art, I just stumbled across this article today:

    Okay, back to exploring…

      • vladazhael says:

        Hehehe. The one with whom I've been having an ongoing text discussion today about the intertwining of toxic masculinity, military hero worship, bullying, war porn, and (just for funsies) dual reality phasing. Also he's really great in bed.

    • Räven says:

      I'll out myself as the one who sent the Philip Levine piece, which I did with reservations, knowing that whatever Manka thinks of poetry, she might not care about white male poets laureate. But Levine is pretty great, you'll easily find some of his work online, he's never writing the poems that so many other men are – his writing is deeply rooted in where he came from. ETA which is working class immigrant family in the industrial midwest. (He spoke, later in life, of his realization that he had become middle aged and middle class, the shock of it. But you'll never confuse him with the rest of his generation.) And I love this essay for its reflections on work, the romanticization of industrial labor versus the work, the hard work, done by others, and for the line of heritage from the older poet to the younger.

      Here's the author of the piece, doing one of his own poems

  4. Absotively says:

    I went looking for links for you yesterday, but I stalled out after learning that Conservative senators are working hard to save Canada from historically inaccurate political correctness. Assholes.

      • Absotively says:

        It's the anthem now. It can change now and that won't mean we're denying that it had the words "all thy sons" before. "Historical accuracy" doesn't require never changing anything.

        • Xolandra says:

          My fav part about this is that the Conservative's argument only holds water if you totally ignore history. "In all thy sons command" weren't the lyrics until 1980. Before that there were loads of different lyrics, but "True patriot love thou dost in us command" was the immediate precedent, and they stood for a good 70 years.

          • CleverManka says:

            Reminds me of Eisenhower's addition of "under god" to the US pledge of allegiance in 1954 and can you imagine if people tried to remove it today? I mean, don't even get me started on the whole idea of pledging to a flag, but…

          • Xolandra says:

            White men everywhere: HISTORY IS WHAT I SAYS IT IS AND EXTENDS NO FURTHER.

            Also, fun game – when people ask if you are excited for [national holiday], adopt a cold, dead stare, and reply with "patriotism is a tool of the patriarchy". Conversation. Stopper. Every time. It is amazing

          • CleverManka says:

            I'm…honestly trying to remember the last time anyone asked me if I was excited for something. I think most of the people I interact with these days know me better than to ask that. But if it ever happens again, I will 100% use that, thank you.

  5. Xolandra says:

    Donation link: it me!!!

    My local lesbian run sex shoppe has a binder/gaffe fund and they recently ran out of paid forward binders AND gaffes. Probably it's a long shot to ask for donations from internet strangers, but I am just SO PLEASED that this fund exists, I try to donate to it every time I purchase something at the store:

    • CleverManka says:

      THANK YOU! I thought it was you, but then I couldn't find it in the email string…ah well.

    • meat_lord says:

      Well, this internet stranger donated. What a wonderful thing to offer their trans clientele!

      • Xolandra says:

        !!!!!! ♥♥♥♥ !!!!!!!

        OMG, I want to send you a thank you card (perhaps one procured from said store!). If you'd like to send an Internet Stranger your postal address (I promise to use it for good only, never evil), drop me a line at reneegibbins(at)gmail(dot)com.

  6. Xolandra says:

    I do not presently have the time to read that Establishment piece interviewing indigenous feminists, but I am here to say that I read Leanne Betasamosake Simpson's most recent work of fiction and it is sublime.


  7. Doc_Paradise says:

    I've been amusing myself with InspiroBot a lot over the past day or so…

    <img src=""&gt;

  8. vladazhael says:

    Yet more news out of Detroit, this time more… um… you know what, I don't even know what to say about it. Enjoy? I guess?

    • meat_lord says:


      The decision to not have sex, or to take religious vows, is all very well and good, but I wish the Catholic Church wasn't so dead set on conflating chastity with moral goodness. Ew.

      • vladazhael says:

        I think that articulates my unease with it pretty well. There's nothing wrong with not having sex for whatever reason one chooses, and I'm certainly glad these women are taking this step in their 40s and not at 18, but there's just so much purity bullshit and patriarchal nonsense tied up in the status and ceremony here that I really, really don't feel good about it.

    • Xolandra says:

      O HEY, funfact, i _totally_ wanted to be a nun when I grew up, and only gave up the idea when I discovered that I would have to give up sex for Jesus. I hadn't even had sex yet.

      The whole concept of consecrated virgins and nuns and also celibate priests and stuff stems from some weird church history about land rights and stuff, it isn't even integral to the gospels. Or the OT. Or… anything (well, except maybe persecution of Christians in like ancient Rome). Just Catholic dogma. And honestly, this tradition weirds me out because it relies VERY HEAVILY on the notion that women are property to be passed around unless you have a good god-damned reason not to. You know how women complain that men won't leave them alone until we point out that we have boyfriends and are therefore defacto another man's property? That, except JESUS IS MY BAE.

      I know that that is not how the people who are undertaking this ceremony feel about it, but. Literally the only thing that appeals to me about religious life is the seclusion, and this is… the opposite of that? Like all of the religion and none of the communal life? Why would anyone choose that?

      Good thing different things exist for different people.

      • vladazhael says:

        YES! All this! There are several nuns for whom I have mad respect, and I can see the appeal of a secluded, contemplative life with a bunch of sisters. At its best, becoming a nun can mean joining a glorious lady-commune and doing a bunch of good work in the world, and sometimes pushing at the boundaries of a patriarchal system. I can dig that, even if I'm not about to join up. But this consecrated virgin thing looks like the worst of both worlds to me.

  9. Doc_Paradise says:

    This song just popped up on my feed. I love the voice.

  10. Lee Thomson says:

    I found two things that are unexpected.

    one about the direction you draw circles, and other shapes, and what it saya bout where you come from:

    The other is an art installation masquerading as a museum:

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