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On "I don’t want her to wear her good nature like a gemstone, her body like an ornament"

@empathicalist I wonder if some of the difference in opinion is what readers envision when they read "when strangers talk to her." If "stranger" means, for example, a waiter greeting the family as they sit down in a restaurant, or a friend of the family asking the kid how she's doing as said friend engages a parent in conversation, then maybe there's a little room to be concerned about rudeness. (Although I suspect many of us who are perfectly sociable as adults also did a lot of scowling in such situations when we were young!)
But I don't agree that people in general (and young women in particular) are obligated to "give a chance" to any person whose only claim to a social relationship is that s/he happens to be geographically proximate. Why is it important for the Birdies of the world to "give a chance" to some dude shopping in the same store as their mothers, or a random woman standing in line at the grocery check-out asking about their favorite school subjects, or whoever else "stranger" might include? Not everyone has to be up for conversation all the time, even when it's not an issue of safety. The whole notion that young women not faking enthusiasm at forced interactions with strangers = "rudeness" is precisely the problem.

Posted on August 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm 14

On Friday Open Thread

@meetapossum THANKS I read your post and found out that the tour exists and I looked it up and they'll be in the town I'll be in next winter and I got tickets and now I have TICKETS and I am super excited. So thanks!!! :-D

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm 1

On The Books of Our Childhood Summers

@wallsdonotfall Oh, Mercedes Lackey. . . I re-read a couple of the Herald books in college and was struck by the poor writing and didacticism and the weird fetishization of Native cultures, but on the other hand it's kind of cool that my early-teen shy Midwestern self got such a huge dose of gender and LGB (probably not T? I don't remember.) equality via tales of magic horses.

Who am I kidding, I still want a magic horse. Where did I put those books. . .

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm 1

On Dresses Considered by Scarlett O'Hara for the Twelve Oaks Barbecue

Could someone magic up an alternate-world GWTW with the delightfully hateful heroine and pretty dress details and totally ridiculous love quandrangles, but that's NOT a nostalgic apologia for slavery? I would really like to go back in time twenty years and give -that- book to my grade-school self to become slightly obsessed with. And then we could have fun bloggy pieces about -that- version instead of ones like this which, if removed from all that context, would be cute because dresses! but with all that context are kind of celebrating a super racist book, one that is not just incidentally racist, but actually written to celebrate and defend a social order built on racism.

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 10:07 pm 5

On Ask Baba Yaga: Why Do I Keep Getting Drunk on Weeknights?

@Brunhilde Drinking on weeknights is a bad sign, Prudie says. Have you ever had a drink more than once in a week? More than three drinks at a time? You are probably a secret alcoholic. To ensure your drinking is not problematic or interfering with your life, you should meticulously track your liquor intake. Keep a list and note down every drink. Hide the list in your kitchen cabinet so your fiance won't find it. Practice sneaking into the kitchen every time you have a drink so you can add to your secret list without him seeing you. Think about your drinking. Fill your mind with it. It's the only way.

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm 7

On Did We Live Up To Our Yearbook Pages?

I skipped yearbook picture day and never bought one, so I have no idea what they even did with missing people. I do not regret having no photos of myself during that terribly awkward period.

I found out about the ten-year reunion when someone posted a story on Facebook that the location where it had been held burned down the next day. This turned out to be the ideal solution to the dilemma of whether to attend a reunion.

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm 2

On Friday Open Thread

@Tuna Surprise For me, #1 is getting enough food for the week (or X period of time), so that I don't end up with nothing at home but takeout menus. But I've also finally come to terms with the fact that exerting willpower once at the store by NOT BUYING cookies (or chips or pork rinds or whatever your thing is) is way more possible that exerting willpower every single time I feel like having a snack and want to eat ALL THE COOKIES IN THE HOUSE. So #2 is setting up your life so that it's easier to eat the diet you want to be eating. I'm totally impressed by anyone with the strength of mind and stomach to stick to a liquid diet by choice for 4 days! But I personally always get the best results when I'm realistic about what I'm actually going to keep up with regularly, and kind of try to work with myself rather than against me.

Posted on June 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm 1

On What Are the Consequences of Being Turned Away?

It's so important to know these stories and to do this research, and helpful to be able to point to pretty clearly bad outcomes (poverty!) from policies we know are bad, in hopes that someday people voting on policies will decide to pay attention to fact. But at the same time, I wish it were enough just to say that women are the experts on their own lives, and that's why they should be able to decide whether to be pregnant or raise a child. Even if all forced pregnancies ended in wealth and happiness and fountains of champagne, it would still be wrong to force women to carry pregnancies. Trust people with their own lives and bodies.

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 11:23 am 34

On The Craving: One Woman's Salty Confession

This comment thread makes me crave a hotdog for the first time in... ever. Anyone have a recommendation for a passable veggie hotdog, or is the pleasure mostly from the nitrates and mystery meat parts?

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 7:04 pm 1

On Crowdsourcing Preventing Abuse in the Workplace

You could also look at the case more closely: One of Kate Clancy's points in her original post about the research results is that women ARE avoiding the sexual abuse. By dropping out of research altogether, meaning we've got a system set up that actively discourages promising young scientists by protecting their abusers. "Women trying to avoid being abused" isn't a solution; it's the status quo, and it doesn't work.

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm 29