The Anita Sarkeesian mess. You can be incensed by a) the threats, b) the invocation of Marc Lepine, and c) the state of Utah’s gun laws:
The school confirmed Sarkeesian’s explanation in a statement. “During the discussion, Sarkeesian asked if weapons will be permitted at the speaking venue. Sarkeesian was informed that, in accordance with the State of Utah law regarding the carrying of firearms, if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue.”
Why interrogating teenagers is not the same as interrogating adults, and why having their parents present isn’t a clear fix:
Parents have conflicting roles, Dr. Cleary said. “They want to defend their children against accusations of wrongdoing. But we also socialize children to obey the law and tell the truth.
“Some parents might have felt compelled to use the situation as a teachable moment, or they might have felt their parenting skills were being threatened.” Dr. Cleary said. “It’s not fair to put parents in that situation, particularly without a lawyer.” But how do parents balance encouraging children to respect authority against the harm that can befall them by speaking with interrogators?
The New Yorker has a beautiful introduction to the work of newly-minted Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan, and I am going to buy BOOKS BY A MAN as a result (he also wrote this excellent piece for the magazine in 2013):
Flanagan’s tender, direct way of writing about the body is reminiscent of D. H. Lawrence, and some have found this side of his work a little embarrassing, even cheesy, but I’m moved by Flanagan’s sentimental men, known in the beginning as numbers and by the end revealed to possess secret wells of sentiment. In “Narrow Road,” Dorrigo is celebrated for his machismo and for being a paragon of his gender: brave, strong, stoic. Australians traditionally value hyper-masculine men who don’t expose their vulnerabilities, and Flanagan is deliberately writing against type. You might even say that he’s proposing another way of being, though he would hate the didacticism implied there. And it’s perhaps why reading the book ends up an uplifting experience, fundamentally of the material, not the dramatic, world. Flanagan said recently in an interview that “love is the scent of a sleeping back, death a slight draft of bad breath,” and, on finishing “Narrow Road,” that seems about right.
You mentioned earlier the question of ego in this work. Generally, it is male artists who are known for and expected to work on this scale. How was this process for you as a woman?
I don’t know. It’s such an anomaly. I felt like I had to draw on the early industrialists. This wasn’t just going to be about, “We’re all [messed] up and we’re all gonna die and we’re all trafficking in other people’s bodies.” [Laughs.] We were also building something fantastic. So I had to go with that spirit: “We’re going to change the world and we’re going to do it like this!”
But the gist of the piece was that it wouldn’t be rebuilt again, that it would never happen again. It was ephemeral. You build these monuments, but they’re really castles in the sand. It’s like sugar. It evaporates and goes away. I think that side of it, the disappearance of it, the absence of it, that’s something the proverbial male artist isn’t doing. The quintessential monument sculptors build something to stand for ever and ever or [create something] to be rebuilt and reconstructed in some other form. That’s not what I’m doing.
The title of this alone. THE TITLE. It made me happy.
RIP, Ted Gullicksen:
“I think that all renters in San Francisco will be diminished by the loss of Ted to our movement,” she said. “He was a tireless advocate for tenants and really led the charge for tenants’ rights in this city for over 30 years.”
In a city where almost two-thirds of the residents are renters, housing “was Ted’s passion,” said his longtime friend and former partner, Sheila Sexton.
“For all of the intense personalities at City Hall, Ted was an amazingly gentle, kind and decent human being,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. “He really truly was one of my favorite people at City Hall.”
A transplant from Massachusetts who moved to San Francisco in the early 1980s, Mr. Gullicksen was known for his passion for the Giants, doughnuts and Falcor — a moppy part-Maltese mutt that showed up at his door several years ago.
I don’t usually link to Kickstarters here, but Doll Hospital has theirs up, and I’ve already sent authors their way successfully, so feel kindly towards them.
The return of Lesbian Bed Death Radio.
The question of whether trans men should be welcome at women’s colleges! Oh, man, sometimes I’m just happy not to be the person who has to Make Decisions About Things That Seem Complicated (I can’t imagine kicking out a trans dude who transitioned on campus/trans men are unlikely to be the first wave of traditional patriarchy overwhelming women’s colleges/trans men are men/what does it mean to be a women’s college/I will punch anyone who doesn’t think trans WOMEN should be accepted at women’s colleges/trans men face a ton of garbage and could use the environment offered by women’s colleges/literally thousands of other things/interesting metaphor in article talking about how HBCUs may accept some white students but can still identify as a community of color):
When I asked Eli if trans men belonged at Wellesley, he said he felt torn. “I don’t necessarily think we have a right to women’s spaces. But I’m not going to transfer, because this is a place I love, a community I love. I realize that may be a little selfish. It may be a lot selfish.” Where, he wondered, should Wellesley draw a line, if a line should even be drawn? At trans men? At transmasculine students? What about students who are simply questioning their gender? Shouldn’t students be “free to explore” without fearing their decision will make them unwelcome?
Other trans students have struggled with these questions, too. Last December, a transmasculine Wellesley student wrote an anonymous blog post that shook the school’s trans community. The student wrote to apologize for “acting in the interest of preserving a hurtful system of privileging masculinity.” He continued: “My feelings have changed: I do not think that trans men belong at Wellesley. . . . This doesn’t mean that I think that all trans men should be kicked out of Wellesley or necessarily denied admission.” He acknowledged he didn’t know how Wellesley could best address the trans question, but urged fellow transmasculine classmates to “start talking, and thinking critically, about the space that we are given and occupying, and the space that we are taking from women.”
The reactions were swift and strong. “A lot of trans people on campus felt emotionally unsafe,” recalled Timothy, a sophomore that year. “A place that seemed welcoming suddenly wasn’t. The difficulty was that because it was a trans person saying it, people who don’t have enough of an understanding to appreciate the nuance of this can say, ‘Well, even a trans person says there shouldn’t be trans people at Wellesley, so it’s O.K. for me to think the same thing, too.’ ”
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.