Friday, 18 July 2014

Links round-up: leadership for the introverted, healing as collective, and the East Oxford Community Centre


Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

First up, from the publishing industry: the reason every book about Africa has the same cover (it's not pretty).

kaberett read 10 Words Every Girl Should Learn [content note: sexism] and recalled, with fondness, the student union executive meeting where they roared "you WILL let me finish my sentence!" at the white gay cis dude who'd just interrupted them with an extremely smug and extremely incorrect statement.

At a conference a few weeks ago, Frances Hocutt gave a talk entitled Why are these people following me? Leadership for the introverted, uncertain and astonished - and it is amazing (video and transcript at the link).

Meanwhile, there's been a lot of discussion about trigger warnings/content notes over the past few weeks: we'd like to point you at an article that goes beyond the pros and cons to instead discuss healing and activism and imperfection as collective rather than individual endeavours. Relatedly: an excellent comic about trigger warning breakfast [content note: discusses rape, rape culture, victim-blaming].

Up at realsocialskills.org is an excellent article on the ways in which Nonviolent Communication can constitute emotional violence.

In disturbing NHS news, the Home Office is accessing NHS records to "help track down illegal immigrants" and migrants are to be charged 150% of the cost to the NHS of their treatment.

Finally, the East Oxford Community Centre - in many ways the spiritual home of Lashings and the physical home of fantastic endeavour Quiltbag Cabaret - is at risk of being taken over (from the Community Association in whose care it's been for years) by Oxford City Council, who own the building; there are concerns that the intention is to sell off some of the site to developers. There's a Change.org petition requesting that OCC allow this space to continue as a space for any by the residents of East Oxford -- please do consider signing.

Friday, 4 July 2014

On plastic-free July

kaberettPosted by kaberett

Plastic-free July: this is a thing that's happening in Witney, close to the birthplace of Lashings.

It's a nice - even laudable - idea in principle, and I'd love to know if you're engaging (and how you're getting on with it) - but unfortunately as an idea it is also fundamentally inaccessible.

I take 14 pills every day as maintenance. That number goes up on bad days (whether I'm adding in extra paracetamol or codeine or diazepam makes relatively little difference). I haven't even been able to get vegetarian antibiotics: think, for a moment, about how every single one of those tablets comes in plastic bottles or plastic blister packs, and how if I stop taking them I become non-functional within hours.

Then there's the fact that I'm currently without DLA. I shop at the co-op and my local corner shops as much as possible, but making food accessible - making sure I eat - is impossible without plastic. This is, of course, absolutely not true for everyone: but it's simply not something I can find the energy for without serious impact on my ability to do my daily healthwork, the bare minimum of self-care, and the day job that lets me buy food at all.

I'm vegetarian. I use public transport. And I use a power-assisted wheelchair and I work in clean labs that consume vast amounts of energy and produce significant quantities of plastic waste - I cannot do my job without personal protective equipment that always consists of one pair of nitrile gloves and often involves double-gloving, with vinyls over my nitriles. And sure, there is absolutely no sense in which my job is either necessary or useful - except that it seems to be what it takes to enable me to keep doing activism.

I don't know how to balance these trade-offs, and every single time something like this comes up as a campaign I just... I really just want to vanish. I am so, so glad that it is something some people are able and willing to do. I just wish I didn't feel so damn guilty that I can't. By all means, give up your luxuries for ethical reasons: that can be an awesome thing to do -- but be aware that for other people, they may not be luxuries, and that you don't get to make that call for anybody else.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Linkspam - 22nd April, 2014

Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

We've another bumper-sized links roundup for you today, with several(!) quite recent ones, as well as a few more links to the past for good measure.

On the Independent, Kaliya Franklin and Gary Bourlet point out that, for disabled people and those with learning disabilities, the "sacking" of ATOS won't change anything.

Alana Mancuso at the Mary Sue takes the opportunity to speak in praise of the women of Elementary.

CN Lester explains why we're all non-binary.

On Bad Housekeeping, Umber Ghauri describes the quest for brown foundation, with triggers for white supremacism.

John Scalzi suggests the existence of four levels of discrimination, categorising different ways that people respond to structural privilege.

Alicia Liu has a post on overcoming imposter syndrome, from her perspective as a woman in programming.

Kat of Mixosaurus writes on content, choice and consent - "The specific content I will be discussing is sexual assault, but there will be brief mentions of police violence, forced feeding, transphobia and death (cancer and suicide)".

change.org has a petition asking that Chris Grayling review and amend the new rules which restrict prisoners' access to books and family items.

At cuppacocoa, Joellen provides a better way to say sorry, to help children learn empathy...

...and on MindShift, Katrina Schwartz considers recent studies with implications for how to give good praise to girls, and what messages stick.

Amina Jabbar, guest contributor on Racialicious, offers a Muslimahs guide to rocking the world.

Autostraddle has the post, Claudia is Intersex, let's talk about it - including mention of nonconsensual surgical alteration and prejudices against intersex people.

My Modern Met showcases a series of self-portraits by a young photographer with depression - with triggers for mental health issues.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Linkspam - 8th April 2014


Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

Links links links....

On Racialicious, Thea Lim explores the differences between Stories that Ally vs Stories that Appropriate, with particular reference to James Cameron's Avatar, and including reference to the historical and continued oppression of indigenous communities.

Cordelia Fine joins The Conversation to discuss a recent study within neuroscience that has been widely misrepresented in the press - New insights into gendered brain wiring, or a perfect case study in neurosexism?

Paul Cocozza at the Guardian takes a look inside the UK's first social supermarket.

Noelle, creator of Nimona, talks about body positivity and life-drawing classes - NSFW, and with reference to body image issues.

DavidG at Where's the Benefit? provides commentary on a recent speech from the Chair of the company in charge of extracting and sharing our medical records: Care.Data In Their Own Words.

At Sociological Images, Lisa Wade discusses that recent Snickers advert - you know, the one that mocks the idea that men can respect women.

On the Wire, Lilit Marcus explains Why You Shouldn't Share Those Emotional 'Deaf Person Hears For The First Time' Videos.

Slate writer Tressie McMillan Cottom highlights the dangers of ignoring structural racism and treating higher education as a market, on the occasion that Minneapolis professor Shannon Gibney is reprimanded for talking about racism.

Freedom in Wickedness offers a perspective on a piece of terminology that has created discord between and within trans and intersex communities: Once More, On CAMAB/CAFAB Terminology.

Stavvers writes on the almost unheralded shutting down of NHS Direct - in this instance, it is worth readinɡ the comments.

Musa Okwonga articulates why Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel, with triggers for racist oppression.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Linkspam - 25th March, 2014

Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

Aaaaand... it's officially spring in the Northern Hemisphere - the hares are haring around, the blossoms are blossoming, and the leaves are... reappearing. Huh.

So - links!

Trudy at Gradient Lair writes "10 Ways That White Feminist and White Anti-Racism Allies Are Abusive To Me In Social Media", with triggers for racist abuse.

On her blog Dances with Fat, Ragen Chastain writes on a recent piece of fatphobic and disablist fail from the International Congress on Obesity: "Ego Over Accessibility".

AFROPUNK contributor Jas offers a powerful personal story with "Gender and the In Between - a Genderqueer's Journey".

Paul Bernal deconstructs an insidious piece of political rhetoric, explaining why ""Hard working people" doesn't work for me...".

Our own Hel Gurney describes "Adventures in microaggressions: misogyny and ablism in public spaces", with reference to a spectrum of abuses including non-consensual physical contact, sexual comments, and misogynistic language.

In Get Bullish, jen Dzuira takes on some of the cosy assumptions of Personal Development gurus with "When "Life Hacking" is Really White Privilege", including mention of general racism and attacks on POCs.

So So Gay notes that Sophia Banks and CN Lester of the Trans Cabal have launched the Songs of Ourselves project "to celebrate the beauty, joy, pride and strength of trans people".

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Linkspam: Mary-Sues, Oxford's institutional racism, and Aether album launch

Lashings of Ginger Bee Timer
Posted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

Continuing with our catch-up of links we missed over the winter, we have another mix of ancient and modern, lovingly rescued from the thick sediment of the Interwebs....

Following on from the I, Too, Am Harvard campaign, there's now a similar project happening at Oxford - highlighting the othering incurred by students of colour at Britain's oldest university, and with associated triggers for racism.

Dreamwidth blogger kaz makes an important point about "Mary-Sues", turning the whole concept on its head to remind us of a sad truth.

The Ottawa Citizen has an article by Rakhi Ruparelia about our societal reluctance to talk about race, and the collective tendency of white people to pretend not to perceive racial difference. This is a good introduction to the issue within mainstream media.

Allie Shyer writes a thought-provoking Autostraddle piece on fatness and gender flatness, with much mention of internalised and societal fat stereotyping and misogyny, specifically within the writer's queer community. There is also some description of non-consensual physical closeness.

The Mental Health Recovery Archive presents the voices, experiences, and perspectives of four mental health service users, with triggers associated with mental health difficulties.

Mia McKenzie on Black Girl Dangerous lists 4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege - a seriously important article.

And coming up imminently - this coming Saturday, in fact - is CN Lester's album launch for their much-anticipated disc, Aether.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Linkspam: the Oscars, foodbanks, and other things you may have missed from the last... wait, *how* long has it been??

Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

So, we seem to be emerging from our customary hibernation, and have a bumper-sized links round-up of things we missed recently.

To begin with a theme, our first two links concern the Oscars...

On The Motley News, charish writes on The Fetishization of Lupita Nyongo - TW for discussion of systemic racism, as well as mention of violence (including sexual violence) against women of colour.

Laura Kate at the Geek Agenda tells us Why I can't stand Jared Leto's Oscar win - with references to cissexism, transmisogyny, and violence against trans women.

There's also been continued nastiness from a certain 80s Tribute Government, with Jack Monroe's Thoughts on the foodbank debate, from the public gallery

But the oldest link on this round-up is from 2011, the Social Justice League's Burquas and Bikinis: Introducing the concepts Macroproblematic and Microproblematic - a really useful post that some of us only discovered not long ago; it includes discussion of rape culture, body policing, slut-shaming and general misogyny.

The brilliant Reni Eddo-Lodge recently posted Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race - with triggers surrounding structural racism.

And Michelle Nijhuis suggested One Weird Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy - of particular interest to Tolkien fans and lovers of children's literature.

Gracie Hagen's photography series Illusions of the Body is a fascinating deconstruction of accepted norms of attractiveness, emphasising the effect of pose on people's bodies. This link is NSFW and includes nude photography.

An anonymous academic writes on the culture of acceptance around mental health issues in academia - with a variety of severe mental health issues and outcomes discussed.

We're also just dropping a link to Dr Nadine Muller's site for everyone interested in literature from the Victorian era to the present day, feminism, and the challenges of existing in academia....