What can I say?

This story came to me in a somewhat convoluted manner – through Tiger Beatdown, via Shakesville. The original article is in the Guardian.

Briefly, because I have unfinished coursework coming out of my ears, the story is… well, not a story.

One quote that stood out for me:

“The brain scans showed that when men saw the images of the women’s bodies, activity increased in part of the brain called the premotor cortex… The same area lights up before using power tools to do DIY. “It’s as if they immediately thought to act on these bodies,” Fiske said.”

It’s not like it surprises me, it’s just the way it’s put. “They immediately thought to act on these bodies“. Not women. Bodies. Things. To be acted on. This is the researcher saying this. The one supposedly pointing out sexism. Being… fucking horrible. Ugh. I feel unclean.

Also, in a comment that perhaps illustrates the value (ha!) of those headless pregnant women, “the men best remembered images of bikini-clad women whose heads had been digitally removed.

Well, there’s a good, solid patriarchal reason to not wear makeup, perhaps the first I’ve ever found – ladies, the sexist, patriarchal men are only going to remember your torsos! No wonder those men always express bewilderment at “how long you take to get ready” – they never even look at your face!


Today was the refreshers’ fair at the University of Sheffield, and Sheffield Fems were duly present, in the form of myself and Alex. Not next to the Labour Party, this time, but sandwiched between the Disney Society and the Dance, Trance and Electronica Society. Who had a sound system to rival that of the people ostensibly in control of all music in the room. Perhaps now is the time to mention that I am most at home in grotty metal bars. Three hours of being deafened by the antithesis of my musical taste (such as it is) has sent me a little crazy, I think.

Still, that minor inconvenience was balanced out by my attempts at getting people to play bingo with me. Good times.

As it is practically mandatory in some online social circles, I created yet another anti-feminist bingo card. It’s a blend of those that have come before – I used my entire collection to help me – so my thanks go to anybody who’s ever created one! I did remove the more internet-troll style comments, though, replacing them with things that you tend to hear in real life. If I include this hybrid card over at A Second Thought with the others, it will bring the total up to 23!

It did seem to help, actually. It’s always good to have something to talk about, and I remember one woman in particular who not only seemed fairly enthusiastic about what we do, but was also practically spitting blood remembering all of the times she’d heard “all blonde women are stupid”. At least I can reasonably claim to have an effect on people!

In other news, we’ve got a lot of good things lined up for the next month or so. We’re starting to plan some larger events than we normally manage, so it’s especially worthwhile at the moment to keep an eye on our upcoming events.

And, because I’m [vain/ proud of my work] *delete as applicable*, I leave you with my lovely hybrid bingo card:


I am simultaneously impressed, and disgusted.

Impressed, because this is the first really creepy guy that I’ve encountered so far in Sheffield. Disgusted, because Sheffield was doing so well, damn it! And also because his excuses, although ingeneous, were frankly bizarre.

To set the scene – I was on my way home, walking up West Street (a big main road, full of bars and buses), when two teenage girls walked quickly past me, closely followed by a man who was in his forties at least. The I’ve-been-pickled-in-alcohol, leathery-faced kind.

He was being bloody weird, and so, donning my humourless feminist mantle, I turned round and shouted out to the girls to ask whether he was bothering them (“yes”) and whether they knew him (“no”).

He was still trying to follow them, so my next – loud – question was “do you want me to call the police?”

It’s amazing how quickly you can get a creepy man’s attention doing that. So he walked back to argue with me, and the girls quickly disappeared. And we had an exchange that involved the following statements from him:

  • He doesn’t want to be on the front page of The Star (South Yorks newspaper).
  • I shouldn’t “lump him in with… them” because he has a wife. And daughters.
  • He knew those girls really.
  • He’d had a drink.

Call me hard to please, but I personally wasn’t impressed by any of those things. But presumably he was impressed by me, because he really was very insistent that he didn’t want to be in the paper. Perhaps I looked like a journalist. Or an undercover police officer, moments away from radioing for backup. Or a superhero, with the mandatory cleavage-enhancing PVC outfit. It must have been quite disappointing for him when I turned and walked away, still wearing my hoodie and jeans.

Is a now defunct blog. But when I stumbled across it, some time ago, I found this post. And given that troll-baiting has been my daily entertainment whilst revising, I thought it seemed like an appropriate time to give it some credit. So, with thanks to the Open Pit Irony Mine and Thus Spake Zuska, the blog whose commenters sparked off the post, I bring you:

The Universal Feminist Blog Comment Template (version 1.0):

Attention Blogger:

  1. I am female. Your post describes my experience also. Thanks.
  2. I am male. I feel threatened by your words.
  3. I am male. I feel extremely threatened by your words.
  4. I am male. I don’t get it.
  5. I am male. I don’t get it, but I do feel threatened.
  6. I am male. Won’t you please say something nice about men?
  7. I am male. I command you to say something nice about men.
  8. I am male. If you don’t say something nice about men, I may stop reading your blog.
  9. I am male. If you don’t say something nice about men, I may stop reading your blog. I really mean it!
  10. I am male. If you don’t say something nice about men, I definitely will stop reading your blog. Ha! So there! See if I don’t!
  11. I am male. Have you acknowledged my superior intellect yet?
  12. How about now?
  13. I wish to debate with you about something you’ve written.
  14. I wish to debate with you about something I assume you’ve written.
  15. I wish to debate with you about something I assume you believe.
  16. I wish to debate with you about something I believe.
  17. I wish to debate with you about how smart I am. Feel my rhetorical wrath!
  18. I wish to debate with you about … anything! I just like to debate. Call me Mr. Devil’s Advocate.
  19. Spam, spam, spam, spam…”

Feel free, of course, to add to this list in comments!

It’s Carnival time!

Over on A Second Thought (hey, we’re all good with gratuitous self-reference here!) I tend to refer to the place as my own, virtual pub, with myself as sole proprietor – which is great, because that means that for the first Carnival of Feminists of 2009, the virtual drinks can be on me! Happy January everybody, and thanks to everybody that sent in reccomended reading.

I’m not the most organised of people, and didn’t specify any particular themes. Which meant that I got a whole host of great, wide-ranging submissions, and had to try to classify them. And, of course, I did this in the most logical and least time-wasting way possible… with the cunning use of lolcats!

Roughly speaking, we’re talking Science here, which means we range from articles that are actually about science to ones which merely go crazy with the number-crunching:

Veronica at Girl With Pen writes eloquently on Why We Need a Scientifically Literate Citizenry.

“Science is portrayed as the only field that uses big words… and thus intimidates many to think one needs to be a rocket scientist to be well, a scientist.”

Greg Laden in his eponymous blog talks in great length about  The Natural Basis For Gender Inequality.

Barry Leiba at Staring At Empty Pages does the number-crunching in Women, millitary academies, and sexual assualt.

What we worship, how we worship it. With a little social commentary thrown in, for good measure.

Lindsay from Female Impersonator writes about  Gendered Language and Early Christian Thinkers in part 4 of an ongoing series.

The Professor from Professor, What If…? asks herself: What If You Could Buy Social Justice (part 4 – the Church of Disney).

Jender, writing at Feminist Philosophers, provides the only social commentary entirely unrelated to worship here: On Tomboys.

Yep, some feminists get angry. And looking at the posts below, you can see why.

Genevieve from Une Femme Plus Courageuse gives us a Question Based On Usual Blog Patterns

Steph sends in a post from …Or Could Be Again about one guy’s opening words: I Don’t Mean To Be Weird Or Gross But…

Jane Doe from Written On The Body tells us Alanis in OK Magazine: Hopefully this is all a misunderstanding

Brianna J at Fourth Wave Feminism posts about  Male Authenticity

On parenthood, and who gets what share of the dirty work.

Renee at Womanist Musings writes about The Easy Bake Oven In My Vagina: The Role Of The Good Mother

Bad Mom, Good Mom posts about Virginia Woolf in You Call That A Feminist Icon?

And finally, a Feminism 101 category!

Renee from Womanist Musings is back, and on the subject of  The Illegal Hijab

Nandita sends in a post from Cold SnapDragon about A Guard At Kotla Ferozshah. I’m using my host’s perogative to also reccomend the latest post, A Rape-Defense World, because it goes very well with:

Marcella’s post at abyss2hope on Understanding and Misunderstanding Genuine Consent

Lindsay from Female Impersonator appears again to point out that Fashion Is Not Political News, part 3 – Catty Bitch Edition

Lastly, I had a late submission from Robin Reed from the National Women’s Law Center. It’s a video post by Melanie Ross Levin, one of her colleagues, which I didn’t want to include without a transcript, but luckily, it’s short, interesting, and she sent me a nice email about it!

“Hi, I’m Melanie Ross Levin with the National Women’s Law Center and I’m so, so happy to report that the House of Representatives just passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.  This is huge news that we should all celebrate! Now the ball’s in the Senate’s court to do the right thing by women and pass both of these important peices of pay equity legislation very quickly so that President Elect obama can sign them in his first few days in office. Take a moment to write to your senators to make sure that they know that these acts are important to you. Information on how to do that is available on our website. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done so far to help pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. I can’t wait until they’re signed by President-elect Obama and we can really celebrate!”

And that concludes the Carnival for this time. There’s been so many good posts to read, I can only assume that you’ve all decided that I don’t really need to pass my exams!

Submit an article to the next Carnival of Feminists using the Carnival Submission Form, and check out past editions and future hosts here.