Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

The Seitō women at a New Year’s party in 1912. Courtesy of Jan Bardsley/Public domain.

The Banned 1910s Magazine That Started a Feminist Movement in Japan

As they provoked government censors with their writing, the women of Seitō tried to live according to the principles of freedom and exploration that they advocated for. They left husbands and started affairs. They found themselves pregnant and considered abortion. Raichō started a relationship with a younger man, left her parents’ house, and gave up their financial support. Pursuing an unconventional life and publishing a controversial magazine, though, strained her emotional resources. In 1915, she handed over editorial control of the magazine to Itō Noe, who pushed further into contentious territory. But the magazine had been struggling financially and, after Japan entered World War I, attention began to fade. It closed, without warning, in 1916.

For many years after that, Seitō’s creators dropped out of the spotlight. “They were notorious in the 1910s, but then you don’t hear too much from them,” says Bardsley. But after World War II, the occupying Allies pushed for women’s equality, through coeducation and the right to vote. All of sudden, interest in the Bluestockings rose again, and they were seen as a pioneering feminist organization in Japan. Today, anyone who studies the history of women’s rights there learns about their work.

Gods and Spirits in Miyazaki movies. Spirited Away is my comfort movie–in fact I watched it the night before I saw this article!

Nicole Chung is making waves across the internet with her article On American Identity, the Election, and Family Members Who Support Trump. I’ve been seeing it referenced everywhere and I’m happy for her to be getting this exposure, even though it’s not a easy read–I can’t imagine how difficult it must’ve been to write.

When white kids called me names no doubt learned from their white parents and siblings, when white people told me to go back where I came from, they didn’t care that my where had always been here. As a child I rarely gave voice to my fury and confusion when I was made to feel this wasn’t my country; that it never would be. But every morning at school, standing beside my desk with my hand over my heart, I was conscious of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance clearly, reverently, just a fraction louder than everybody else, because I knew I was the only one in the room who had anything to prove.

I didn’t even know the name Gloria Allread until I read this New Yorker article and now I want to make a novena candle with her on it.

Songs about gender identity.

I am rarely tempted to buy academic press books, but Women at the Wheel looks pretty great.

Ever since the Ford Model T became a vehicle for the masses, the automobile has served as a symbol of masculinity. The freedom of the open road, the muscle car’s horsepower, the technical know-how for tinkering: all of these experiences have largely been understood from the perspective of the male driver. Women, in contrast, were relegated to the passenger seat and have been the target of stereotypes that portray them as uninterested in automobiles and, more perniciously, as poor drivers.

Although women drove and had responsibility for their family’s car maintenance, twentieth-century popular culture was replete with humorous comments and judgmental critiques that effectively denied women pride in their driving abilities and car-related expertise. Parkin contends that, despite women’s long history with cars, these stereotypes persist.

I had never before considered the question of why trans women call themselves “trans women” and not just “women” until I read Galen Mitchell’s essay.

Take care that when you use the term “intersectional” you don’t erase black women. Here is the article where clarifies its use (mentioned in the comments of the previous link).

How to Protest Without Offending White People

When protesting, you must not only refrain from lumping Caucasians together, but you must also be careful not to remind them of your blackness. Again, the word conjures the imagery of oppression and makes everything about race.

Plus, it is divisive. Any mention of race is divisive because it overlooks the fact that every color and creed has problems. Some people have to worry about the leader of the free world trying to deport their children, vilifying their religion or referring to their mothers as bitches, while others have to live with the terrible burden of people constantly belittling their chicken seasoning and potato-salad-making.

We all have a struggle.

Protect teenage fangirls and respect their dollars.

The privilege of a good death

It’s true that categorizing any death as “good” is radical in our death-fearing society, but lurking behind this movement is a complicated disparity and dichotomy: A good death is often a privileged one, and the bad deaths — the violent, untimely, unexpected and patterned deaths — are disproportionately experienced by the country’s most marginalized people.

This essay about changing with the seasons addresses, I think, the way a lot of us feel disconnected from the passing of time and the constant change of the world around us.

If I never again see or hear the phrase “Strong Women” applied to anything other than powerlifters I’ll be happy, but this NPR story on Mongolian women fighting the patriarchy is inspiring despite the headline word choice.

Xolandra linked this article about plus-size androgynous fashion in a check-in comment and I wanted to include it here just in case someone missed it.

Original at boingboing

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51 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. CleverManka says:

    Hello, beloveds! Work is a little nutty after my absence yesterday and I have my nutritionist appointment right after I leave here, so I'll be slow in replying to comments. I will do my best to keep up in a timely manner with comment approvals, though. We might be getting some new faces (welcome!) as the dust from the slack implosion settles and I want to make sure you all know it's lovely to see you, even though comment approvals might be delayed.
    <img src="https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/352291/352291_900.gif"&gt;

  2. Alluvial_Fan says:

    Galen Mitchell’s essay was really useful for me; also I feel like a blunderbuss for never thinking about this issue before!

  3. Flitworth says:

    Many great links as per usual! Thank you:)

  4. Doc_Paradise says:

    I like the article that described "trans" as a descriptor rather than a qualifier. I really like where that leads.

  5. Xolandra says:

    OOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo, that article on teengirls and fandom! So gr8.

    One of the reasons that I am reluctant to out myself as a music nerd to a lot of people is because I am total _shite_ with names. Artist names, song titles, album titles, labels… I am garbage at remembering it all, and so the inevitable cred-checking discussions go very, very poorly for me. Which is fine, because like 9 times out of 10, if you're going to give me a hassle because I cannot remember which album came out 4 years before I was born versus which one came out 2 years after that, I don't want to be talking to you anyway.

    I'm super interested to hear these teen's disdain of the old ppl standing at the back. Like, when I was a wee bb scenester, that shit was #lifegoals, because it meant that you were old but still into the music, still going to the shows, and still making an effort. But then again, I was hardly at the Boys 2 Men or the Hanson shows or whatever to begin with, so maybe these girls are different from the ones I used to know.

    • CleverManka says:

      Instinctively, I think those are two different audiences. I wonder if that's largely because the elder gods at punk shows are very different than the oldsters at shows that are big enough to fill stadiums (although idk do grumpy parents still take their kids to concerts?). I also attribute this to the Tumblr-adjacent attitude of "what are over-30 people even doing here!??!?!?" posts. They don't have much if any experience of people over the age of 30 who aren't in some position of authority over them, and so there's no way they can be cool.

  6. Kazoogrrl says:

    I took a class about Japanese women's writing in college, I loved it. I remember learning an insulting name for early feminists in Japan, and it was the only kanji tattoo I ever wanted. Sadly I lost the notebook where I wrote this all down.

    • CleverManka says:

      I hate losing notes like that.

      • faintlymacabre says:

        The worst. I had a brilliant idea for my senior thesis as a junior. Wrote it down in a notebook. Lost track of notebook. Found notebook a couple years after I graduated. Would have been such a better topic. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        I had carefully copied the kanji and figured I would take it to the teacher later and see if she could recommend someone to write it out properly for me before I took it to an tattoo artist, and, well, life happened.

  7. jenavira says:

    Browsing the blog attached to the "changing with the seasons" article (which is excellent), I came across a fairly insipid NYTimes piece about free speech that nonetheless contained this insightful paragraph:

    Liberalism is founded on the belief that we should tolerate one another’s error, not because we approve of it, but to avoid the violence that would result if we each sought to silence the other. The liberal believes that life is more important than truth — that it is better to live in a peaceful society full of error than in a pure society full of persecution. The price of this toleration is that we must constantly put up with hearing speech that we consider wrong; we must smother our moral instincts.

    (emphasis mine) which seems to me to sum up the actual problem we are currently actually failing to deal with: when faced with genuinely morally reprehensible views, most people have so much practice smothering their moral instincts that, even though they disagree with the Nazis, they genuinely don't think they should do anything about it, because they can no longer distinguish morally between "disagrees with me about how the economy works" with "disagrees with me about whether or not some kinds of people are people."

    I don't have an answer, but it's nice to see the problem articulated.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      That seems… wrong and weird.

      • jenavira says:

        Which part?

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          I totally see people doing what they describe. It seems weird and wrong to me that smothering one's moral instincts would be considered a good thing. Justice is important.

          • jenavira says:

            Yeah, exactly. But I can see the logic, even though I think it's backwards – free speech is, after all, one of the things that Americans pride themselves on, and use to defend the US as "the greatest country in the world." If free speech is all-important, then the free speech of Nazis is also all-important, so…

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            Bingo… found another one of siderea's articles… this one is in 3 parts.
            http://siderea.livejournal.com/1272731.html

            I'm not sure if any of these will give you pieces to articulate what you are trying to articulate. But maybe. (BTW… all of these were written before the election.)

          • jenavira says:

            Ooh, yeah, I definitely need to reread those.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            I reread them periodically.

            It's depressing how much this particular set is proving itself.

          • jenavira says:

            Yeah.

            I think she's really on to something with the different moral systems; I just wish I knew what could be done about it.

      • Xolandra says:

        Yeah, I'm with you. I think the premise is incorrect, that "liberalism is founded on the belief that we should tolerate one another's error… to avoid the violence that would result if we sought to silence the other".

        I'm not sure how I would reframe it, though. But believe you me, this here liberal WILL FIGHT YOU if you start spouting harmful nonsense. Like, you wanna believe the world is flat? Fine, you do you. You wanna tell me that some people are more cloesly related to monkeys than other people because evolution is linear and reaches an apex? WE WILL HAVE WORDS.

        • jenavira says:

          I agree with you! But I also think that this view, that liberalism (in the traditional political sense of the word, which is not entirely the same as the colloquial sense) is about putting up with people you dislike, is…pretty common?

          • Xolandra says:

            Hunh. Whereas I thought it was just a spot on the political spectrum somewhere between anarchist and conservative and had more to do with the government's role in your life than it does about tolerating other people's crap. Like, you can be a liberal (believe that the government has no role to play in your bedroom, for example) but still socially conservative (believe that trans people are lying about existing or whatever trash)

            Also FUNFACT, i have learned that Canada and America talk politics very differently (had a HUGE fight with a friend who grew up in the States about whether or not Canada is a democracy because the queen is our head of state. Spoiler: we are), so maybe this is one of those differences?

          • jenavira says:

            The lack of mutual comprehension when talking politics is a big problem, I agree. Maybe we all need to stop using generalizing terms and just sit down and talk actual goals? (That would be effective if everyone were working in good faith. I think about asking Paul Ryan what his actual goals are and how his policies support them and I just have to laugh.)

          • Xolandra says:

            Yet another avenue in which ~labels are for soup cans~, i agree 🙂

            Ugh, the problem with acting in good faith is the assumption that everyone at the table is acting in good faith. I no longer have enough faith for that.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            "the problem with acting in good faith is the assumption that everyone at the table is acting in good faith"

            I am utterly unwilling to allow other people's potential, expected, or actual failure to act in good faith to rob me of my integrity by forcing me to act in bad faith.

          • jenavira says:

            Yes. But you have to apply a different strategy, when you know other actors are acting in bad faith, than you would if you were sure your problem was just (!) one of irreconcilable differences and mutual misunderstanding.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            From where I see things, it is "Yes, AND…" not, "Yes, BUT…" AND there are many different strategies for dealing with other actors.

            To clarify my statement to Xolandra, I vehemently disagree that acting in good faith requires the assumption that everyone at the table is also acting in good faith.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            Ah… I remembered that Siderea has written a few articles related to this topic.
            https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1258134.html

        • meat_lord says:

          I'd say that the majority of liberals are more like you, and draw the line at harmful nonsense. But there is a not-insignificant subset of self-identified liberals who are doing the thing that jenavira identifies above–tolerating the intolerable, and then proclaiming that doing so is part of their politics.

          I think there's a couple different definitions of liberal at play in the discussion around these issues.

          • Xolandra says:

            Right, right. I tend to think of ppl as libertarians, and i give them a HARD side-eye.

          • jenavira says:

            Wikipedia says you're kind of right, that what gets called "liberal" in Europe is more like what we call "libertarian" in the US. Age of Enlightenment liberalism (which, if we're gonna be originalists about it, is what the Founding Fathers practiced) is about freedom from tyranny, and so from that angle I can see why freedom of speech is more important than dealing with hateful speech.

            I wish we could get to the point where – hah, paradoxically, where Enlightenment-type liberals could understand that their way is not objectively the best but one of many strategies, including progressive-type liberals like you & me who consider hate speech a kind of violence and want a way to deal with that without becoming tyrants.

          • Xolandra says:

            consider hate speech a kind of violence and want a way to deal with that without becoming tyrants.

            They're called hate speech laws and they exist in Canada (we aren't a paradise, i swear) and I am keeping a careful watch in my hood for the asshole that is drawing swastikas all over public/private property because if I get pic of him his ass is going to JAIL. Or probably actually just getting a fine. But still, there will be consequences.

          • littleinfinity says:

            I applaud this type of vigilante justice for said asshole.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            "I think there's a couple different definitions of liberal at play in the discussion around these issues."

            I agree.

          • CleverManka says:

            Same. I agreed with the paragraph and couldn't figure out why everyone here felt so different than I do. And then I remembered I've separated "progressives" from "liberals" because I've lived for too long in a town that likes to consider itself liberal and always goes blue in a red state but last week someone on my neighborhood association's email list sent out a message panicking about a black man walking around with a backpack and should someone call the police.

            So yeah, some of us have had to internalize different vocabularies regarding "liberals."

          • m vasterling says:

            Frankly I have never met such people, unless they made a decision to Not be a morally responsible person. Nihilism. This sadly hits me as the 'banality of evil' which Hannah Arendt wrote about some years ago which seems to be coming to the fore in our everyday life. It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to adhere to our principles and live those in our lives. No matter who you are, no matter your social status. The price of toleration in my life can never be toleration of wrongdoing in yours – my fellow.

          • CleverManka says:

            You're very fortunate to never have met any all-talk-no-walk "liberals."

            A while ago, I posted this video that talks about how nihilism isn't inherently bad/destructive. You should check it out!

          • meat_lord says:

            Seconding Manka–you're very lucky to not have encountered these self-congratulatory milksops. (I have an FB friend who is a particularly big offender… argh.)

  8. Xolandra says:

    If anyone would like to rage-watch a video of a tenured professor saying what a shame it is that he cannot assault "crazy" women who call him names, this exists: https://www.reddit.com/r/onguardforthee/comments/

  9. snickies says:

    These links are all wonderful! Thank you! I especially liked the one about changing with the seasons. It's something I've noticed about my work habits, but haven't really articulated before.

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