Monday, 21 January 2008

stupid bbc

I just saw an extremely disturbing tv program. Mum at 14. At one point the dad said
the decision of whether the girl would have an abortion is presented as being wholly the parents decision. The first we hear of this is when the commentary says "having lost a daughter to cot death kevin and kerry (the parents) didn't want want Kissy to have an abortion; life is too precious (emphasis commentators!)
Later the father states
"we were devastate to think that she could be offered it (an abortion) and make a decision when she's scared and panicking, with already losing one...(they are refering to kizzy's older sister who died as an infant) I would have been heartbroken I think, I would have been heartbroken, I don't know how I would have got through it, so it's not just the child being affective it would have (me) emotionally. It would have affected me and I know Kerry would have been in bits. How can we live our lives having buried one daughter and then deal with the fact that our daughters then had an abortion? It should be against all human feeling, to kill a fetus, a baby, an unborn child. I don't know how we're doing it, how we're getting away with it. We should be fucking ashamed of ourselves"

The statement of a man who believes that his feelings as the grandfather should be more important than the mother or the fetus. The utterly self absorbed self righteous nature of him was repulsive and offensive and I found the anti-abortion message of the program to be really unbalanced; there was no fair and balanced respect as there should be on the bbc for both points of view. It was all "look at brave kizzy, keeping her baby, she's taking responsibility." Well actually I don't think she was taking responsibility, as far as it looks her parents are raising the child, the same parents who effectvely gave her no choice to keep the baby or not.

I am repulsed and very disappointed in the bbc

Saturday, 19 January 2008

the shame, the horror

Inspired by Feministe's weekly random ten and shakesville's recurring two minutes of nostalgia and a meme doing the rounds which mentions your most shameful music I am instituting my inaugural weekly shameful music I like/ shameful television I like post.

When this record came out I was so ashamed of wanting to own it that I couldn't even go out and buy it. Shane Ritchie, the singer of this cover, for non-British soap watching readers, had a part in Eastenders, the bbc's big soap, and was, at the time, half of a big doomed love affair. Fortunately a housemate at the time knew I wanted it and would never buy it myself because I didn't want people thinking I was the sort of person who brought records made by soap actors, even for charity, and gave it to me for my birthday. I still like the song
I have a feeling that covers of wham may become a recurring theme.

Doomed love affairs are the way to suck me into any soap. After all I actually watched days of our lives for a while purely out of vague interest into whether and how Chloe Lane and Brady Black would hook up. (This is actually more shameful than the music video. This is a show where people can ride jet skis to distant tropical islands through the eye of a hurricane. There is literally no basis in reality. Which, come to think of it, is the entire reason that I liked it in the first place. The sheer chutzpah of a show where the Christmas special involves your actors being fake versions of themselves who interact exactly as your characters do, introducing terribly saccharine clips, then turning back into their characters magically at the stroke of midnight is to be applauded
You can view this terribly unbelievably awesomely bad episode in four parts here:

Don't watch it all, not unless you don't value your sanity or, like me, you have a sado-masochistic relationship towards bad television. Watch part 4, in it's entirety though, because it is just hilarious! (If you can't stomach even that much go for 4 minutes in which is actually brilliantly hilarious)
I just watched this whole thing through again and I laughed so hard that I cried.

The things I do for feminism

I just sent this email to Russell Brands radio show.
I have no shame.

Right so I can't sleep and I'm listening to last weeks podcast which has inspired a great deal of thinking about things, as I'm sure you'll (and by you I mean the poor researchers who have to read through all these emails, most of which probably, knowing the nature of most of Russell's listeners, are pornographic in nature, don't worry this one isn't, though Russell if you're reading this for you it could be ;) ) be glad to hear.

About the monkey sex research you mentioned last week; that piece of research was an example of the gross misogyny prevalent throughout the world. The boy monkeys "groom" the lady monkeys and then the lady monkeys are more likely to want to have sex. So if you have a bit of foreplay the lady monkey will have sex with you (hopefully not you personally Russell; do not bear this in mind on your next trip to monkey world). In the minds of the twisted researchers this becomes prostitution. I'm pretty sure there's a difference between making out (the people equivalent of grooming) and handing over a load of cash for a lady doing the deed, yet in the mid of stupid researchers they become the same thing.

This kind of thing really gets my goat (not that I have a goat, I used to have part of a goat, at least emotionally if not financially, it was called Brigadier and in the end my music teacher ate it), and I imagine it gets your goat as well. At least I hope it does. You are after all a stated lover of the lady flesh, which hopefully encompasses ladies in general, not just our flesh but also our brilliant brains as well... right? You're a revolutionary, why not come out behind the most shocking revolution of all; feminism. We know you love women, how about demonstrating that love with less immediate gratification ;) How about a new segment, exposing some piece of ridiculous misogyny each week. Or a section for the woman with the most interesting brain. I notice actually that there is no ladies on your show on a regular basis, how about a few more lady guests? After all you've had on David Icke and Rainbow George and Dawkins (brilliant btw), why not have on a radical feminist or two? If nothing else Russell allow me to appeal to your baser instincts by pointing out that feminists generally have far fewer sexual hangups than non-feminist ladies. More feminists= more nookie of a better quality. Surely that's a revolution you could get behind?

You also mentioned mice and shoes. When I googled mice and shoes this is what I discovered :
Also you are a vegetarian. How do things like this story of a London hotel failing to understand the simple basic principles of vegetarianism make you feel? Cos it would really piss me off. Does this kind of thing happen to you often?
Thirdly I was wondering how a man with your reputation with members of the opposite sex feel about these contraptions; fake handholds to show you're not groping someone.... Maybe you should carry one at all times :)

keep up the good work, only, obviously, make it better :)
miss sophie

ps/ I liked you on the 'other' radio show; the naughtier you are the better
pps/ Have you seen the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch? You should, there is a moment in it, seeable here on youtube, which I think you would appreciate.
ppps/ I am aware it's a tiny bit sad that I've got nothing better to do than email you this in the middle of the night. I'm a little bit insomniac....
pppps/ If you are, perchance, looking for a runofthemill radical feminist type for some reason, presumably radio related, then look no further; I am one, contactable at this email and at xxxxxxxxxxxxx. Other radical feminists are available.

On the positive I really do think it might bring feminsim to the attention of a very worthy cool intelligent influencial human being. On the other hand I really do have absolutely no shame.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

torchwood liveblogging and such

Right I'm going to liveblog my way through torchwood cos I has no one to watch it with...
(I've also added in random asides clarifying points in this charming italic font ;) )

I am so excited, I cannot tell you how excited...

Huh the whole first section revealed by trailers; not good.
(I must admit that I could have avoided being spoiled were it not for my temptation to see lots of the james marsters John barrowman kissing that comes up later)

Although the fact that this whole first section is all kinds and flavours of awesome = love
the blowfish sports car is delight
(I particularly liked the little old welsh lady. Spot on to have her swearing at them!)

love that Gwen cares about speeding while chasing the fish because of running of kids; gwen is brill
(and its what i always think when I see them racing around cardiff, and so in keeping with her previous character development and the boy that was run over and died in Season 1's Random Shoes)

owen is some how magically sexier now, being in charge suits him, plus has he lost weight. love the music btw, very seventies cop show esque. the whole thing as a grittier feel than the last time
although blowfish's monologue is a little predictable and ott. Recognise the voice of blowfish man as well
(this is because he's always playing monsters on doctor who it seems. His name is Paul Kasey )

the face on tt= (team torchwood) when they notice its jack= great love
and jacks as they cope with out him; jealous and proud. oooooo gwen is pissed.... ianto jack shippers will be happy; that was a flirty look

james masters walking through like some sort of god!!!! boooyakasha! sex on a f-ing stick. randomly violent sex on stick. yum yum. I have a thing for peninsular war era uniforms ever since sharpe, james in one is exciting... and pick the ones he wants in the bar is hilarious. he's funny too!
(I may have gotten a little carried away in fangrrrl squee-ness around now.)

geek-gasm star wars reference!!!!
(I heart random appropriate referencing to other cultural tropes, and this one was bang on)

and they're time agent friends. tt are not happy about being left behind and their gonna follow- I think this might be a bad plan

oooo jacks sad, he's sexy sad. james masters is so flirty. Is it wrong that this is an ginormous turn on. captain jack and spike making out all sexy then fighting with guns and blur and it's crossing the same line as that buffy episode where her and spike fuck the house down....
lol! the more fun when he's around thing.... ooooooo james marsters character is called john hart sexy; is that a thing for time agents then? being called captain j~ h~? drinking together awesome.

ooooo and john's in rehab, murder rehab.

tender almost kiss. nice. gorgeously filmed.

partners for 5 years!! arguing over which was the wife. he is cute tosh! well noticed. oooo dick jokes lol
(there's nothing wrong with appreciating cock innuendo, especially when there's someone involved whose happy to admit that his is the smaller, if he'd been huffy about it I wouldn't have liked it)

ooooo he's come for the powers of good! (supposedly- don't believe that) ooo he likes tosh. cute. awww john's hurt that jack don't want him. and johns right tosh is the cute brainy one :)
(one of the things I like about torchwood is that it plays off these tropes of the cold distancing guy, the sex crazed cad the cute geek girl etc but the characters do not become the cliche; they are derived from the trope not part of the trope if that makes sense)

poor cgi for the entrance shot. disappointing. god james marsters has a nice arse.
oooooo jack gwen moment. he wants to tell her it's a moment all right. blimey jack's flirting. shit Gwen got engaged!!!! jack's jealous. subtly but still. lol stands to reason that Gwen's proposal would be a joke

oooooo jack does want her. Goddamn it I don't want her and jack I want her and Owen!

john is sexy and even more flirty than jack; unbelievable. ha no kisses!! that's gonna get broken
I've missed wales...

john in love? it's a lie. he shot her. thats my bet. john killed her.

Gwen broke a rule. oh dear. silly gwen. she's jumpy. I was jumpy. ha now he's playing the seeds of doubt card. well played captain john.

I knew the kissing rule was gonna get broken. yep he's paralysed her with lip gloss; awesome. oh and she has 2 hours not to die. excellent.

ha it's all about jack; john wants him back..... unsuprising
nice cut away trick.

owen and tosh, not a combo I woulda picked. ha! welsh word! please don't flirt with owen tosh, it'll only embarrass you. owen saying he needs a proper woman. oh my god he's flirting back? holy crap no. blimey he nutted her. owen does like her! christ last season he might have let him kill her.
(I really should have seen tosh and owen coming; owen needs a woman to feel validated and tosh is lonely/desperate)

shit did john shoot him?
ah.... ianto and jack that's more like it. ianto's not playing. he won't flirt with him. jack asks him on a date!!!!!!!!! shit yeah!!!!!! ianto will go on a date with him!!!!! blimey blimey blimey. ianto's sexy and flustered and that was bloody fantastic!!!!!!
(This was the point when I started dancing around in fangrrrl joy)

so excited. jack and ianto finally for real. they're gonna have lovely dates. torchwood is so good.
oooo open lift danger!
calling ianto eye candy = brilliant!
james giving ianto a chance to save them. ooooo john is a bit of a nihilist isn't he. sex and jokes to cover the essential nothing ness of existence
5194 jack= rear of the year! wow

tt are pretty but stupid. awwww he really has done it because he wants jack back.
bloody hell! we know jack can live but john doesn't. looks like murder rehab didn't take. no wonder he wants jack back ;)

ianto as the hero figure :) just where he belongs. ah the swagger, traditional james master swagger.

tosh finds gwen. cute. I really really miss wales. cardiff looks nice at dawn.
hmmmm john putting together his pieces. seems he know the fish boy. ah fish boy has a piece of the bomb thing. awww tt are back ready to stop him. and johns face when jacks not dead. brilliant.

awww jack comes back for beauty. I knew john killed her :) ha he's gotta try the orgy card. cute. o no. john's gonna die. and he's taken gwen hostage. plus - tt are cold they were happy for him to die.
(This for me is the main difference between doctor who and tt- tt are way way more ruthless and human and base about this sort of thing than the doctor. the doctor would have either felt guilty or been making some moral pronouncement if he'd been willing to let john die. tt are just living in the moment not the consequence)

they're doing something exciting with dna.... lol! the poodle fancying = priceless. the theory on 51st century sexuality is expanding to encompass beastiality....

shit gwen does love him

awww and they're pagan in the future

awww the final kiss is the most believable and cute.

ooooooooo whose grey. a kid? jacks kid? that's my official guess

final shot is over dramatix but excellently so

the previews are tres tres exciting. and alot of sex. an awful lot of sex.. plus they've got a doctor and Martha jones and another jm visit by the looks/ sound of it.

I am now in a state of barely contained excitement....
I think I have to go and have a lie down...

In summation; new torchwood rocks

Saturday, 10 November 2007

If walks like a duck....

University of Reading study says that placenta acts like parasite as reported here by the bbc. I think, amazingly, women might have already figured this out.

And in another university study, this time by Queens university Ontario, scientists are shocked to discover that women do NOT swing their hips to attract men, because they only do that when they're least fertile. Because women only have sex to get pregnant. Or are we supposed to imagine that the best way for women to get a good mate/ fellow parent to their offspring is to attract some random guy in their most fertile period, not build up a relationship with them. This is shoddy, culturally imperialist blinkered science. grrrrr

Sunday, 14 October 2007

all at sea

This was a hard week.

I've been quite stupidly ridiculously lucky and since I was 17 have been pretty much exclusively in the company of pro-queer, pro-feminist clever liberal types. And while during that time I've had to deal with people who were not any of those things I've done it through the lens of having regular affirming acceptance of my ideals, my beliefs, my sexuality. Which I always knew was actually pretty unusual, but it's one thing to know and it's another thing to actually live it, as I am now finding out.

I am glad in a funny stupid sort of way; it's a great way of hardening my feminist resolve, of reminding me of my privilege as an articulate intelligent person. And yet it's too hard.

I've never been an adult queer in an unwelcome environment. Avoidance of unwelcoming environments has dictated some very important choices in my life so being forced to be here isn't wonderful. And I just found out my first school placement (this course is 50% taught at uni, 50% practical placement) is in a Roman Catholic school which, according to its website, thinks that drawing pictures of dead relatives and saints is an appropriate activity for 8 year olds! Pagan queer feminist teacher in a rough inner city catholic school... yeah I'm nervous.

I just feel isolated at the moment, in a way I haven't done since I was... yeah 17. There are so many ways in which my attitudes towards things my coursemates take for granted are so different as to be alien to them( ; ie. they say:little girls are naturally sweeter and like dolls and boys have more energy I say: mostly behaviour which is induced by society, AND I don't see the difference in energy just in ways people let them express that. they say: I don't care how many civil liberties the government encroaches it if might save one life. I say: arag!! well no actually I respond with coherent if extremely simple arguments against their crazy right wing conservativeness, but inside I am saying ARAG!!

coming out is a process. I always knew that, but it feels like I keep having to come out as so many different things at once. Like when someone said "so you're a feminist to me" yesterday like I'd confessed I enjoyed dismembering puppies in my spare time, or when I talked about an ex-girlfriend during lunch one day and the whole group perceptibly moved away. Or indeed pretty much any time I express any opinion about anything. And I know this is most likely what most people go through, and I probably sound whiny and naive but I really hadn't expected it would be like this; so overwhelming and isolating.

And that's my life at the moment, which combined with a whole load of other shit is making me feel really really crap... I'm trying to keep it together, to remember why I'm here, why I'm doing this, who really matters. But urgh. Ad next weekend I have to go play nice at my parents 25 wedding anniversary, which is actually the absolute last thing I need to do right now.

But even though the people I really love are a very long way away right now they are still trying to be there for me. I spent 2 hours yesterday on the phone to a friend who hates the phone. It's just hard to remember how loved and supported you are in the moment you're feeling the hate.

Any advice on how to deal with dense conservatives who believe whole hearted in the patriarchy and are so hetero normal as to not even understand what that means will be more than appreciated.

Monday, 8 October 2007

ever noticed how buses come in 3's?

Tonight I was watching midlands today, the BBC news service for this area of the British isles. They were promoting this website. Go. Have a shufty. I'll wait.

Obviously there is an awful lot that a queer feminist can find to say about the idea of "moaning about men," an awful alot of it far to easy and obvious.
The moans themselves; mostly women complain about men treating them as lesser beings, not appreciating the work they do in their homes, not being treated as equal adults, men treating their partners as domestic servants rather than PARTNERS. All oh so obvious to the feminist reader. And pretty indicative of everything feminism is working against.

So how are these women advised to deal with these issues? Should they talk to their men about it? Should they leave their partners to find someone who will respect them? Or should you just suck it up because thats how men are; the gender role of men is one which does not encompass behaving like a decent reasonable adult human being? Well the whole "moan about men" name of the website really gives that one away.

And then there's this story. My only thought; would they perform a castration in order to prevent a boys indignity of wet dreams and the pain of blue balls? Somehow I think not.

If that's not enough for you I am watching a documentry on channel 4 right now about children and young being abducted and traficed into the sex trade or sold as wives in china. Because in the patriarchy we're chattel.

So yeah not happy. Sometimes the world pisses me off.

edited to add: while on my trip round the world I was in china and while watching this documentary I realised I saw one of the posters of missing children featured in this documentary. I remember being in the city, remember seeing the poster and wondering what the story was behind it. Now I know. Which is actually very very sad.