Nerd Test

Ok, I admit it, I am a nerd. But I am not as much of a nerd as I thought. Apparently I am only a mid-level nerd!


I am nerdier than 74% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Published in: on July 31, 2008 at 7:53 pm  Comments (5)  

Getting banned from other people’s blogs

Well, Deb and I have managed to get ourselves banned from this blog. Why you might ask? Well it appears that Deb’s passion for dogs ‘offended’ the author and I was banned too because we share the same ip address. The author was feeling ‘dissed’, because her dog Junebug was not happy to see her after an almost two month abscence and she was wondering whether or not she should just leave the dog in its current place. I commented that perhaps the dog was punishing her and that she would be sad if she was left there.

Deb read the post and commented as such:

Okay, so what was the point of this little story? You are selfish? You are irresponsible? You have a dog for all the wrong reasons? Junebug is no longer your dog? Junebug decided to remain loyal to her family, the family you have dumped her with time and again?

If you have one ounce of humanity in your egomaniacal little soul, you will walk away, leave Junebug with her family, and not look back. You will, for perhaps the first time in your life, think of Junebug’s needs first.

Oh, and the next time you think about obtaining a living being to be your security blanket, the next time you want an animal so that you can play with her/his emotions in order to make yourself feel good, the next time you want to hurt a dog over and over again by dumping and reclaiming him/her, don’t. Just don’t.

Dissed? I think not. It’s not even payback. It’s just you getting called on your abominable behaviour.

Good luck, Junebug. I hope you and your family have a long, happy life together.

Here is a link to Zuzu’s next post on the matter where she informs us we have been banned.

Now normally I would not bring a discussion like this to my blog I would keep at it the original site. But seeing as I can’t comment there I have no choice but to bring it here. Here is what I would write if I were allowed to comment on the other site:

You will have to excuse Deb’s passion. You see we have 9 dogs and all but one of them is a rescued dog. We have a dog who has been in a pen for 15 years. We have two dogs who 17 and 19 years old who have lost their homes for various reasons like cancer and incontinence. We have a dog who came to us as a foster almost 10 years ago who was so shy they were going to put him down. We have another dog who is aggressive and who likely would have been euthanized because of her behaviour towards other dogs. We have a blind, brain-injured dog who was thrown out of a moving vehicle in a Macdonald’s bag, like the trash. We are tired of cleaning up other peoples’ messes when it comes to their dogs. Sometimes that frustration boils over when confronted with a post like yours. You are treating the dog as property rather than a living, breathing, feeling animal. So yes, perhaps she was a little harsh. Was she wrong? Hell no.

I wonder if zuzu will have the cajones to post the link to here. Let the games begin.

Published in: on July 30, 2008 at 2:51 am  Comments (6)  

How do you Solve a Problem like Maria? Part 2

Well, it is over. The role of Maria VonTrapp has been cast. Elicia Mackenzie from Vancouver has won the role. It was an upset as most people thought that Janna Polzin was going to win. You could see the shock visible in the judges  when the result was announced. Many people, including me, thought that the judges had already decided on Janna. It seemed that way through out the competition when she could do no wrong in their eyes.

In other Maria news, one of the judges, Simon Lee was arrested on Sunday for assault and forcible confinement. Allegedly, he would not let his 20 year old boyfriend out of the hotel room and he had to jump out of the window. Quite a surprising end to the Maria saga!

Published in: on July 29, 2008 at 8:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Pronoun use

I have blogged a few times about the use of language and how it affects and shapes society. No where is this more important than the use of gendered pronouns. Now, I am all for non-gender pronouns but society does not seem to be embracing the use of zie and hir. I really hate it when writers try to avoid the use of gendered pronouns by using plural forms. These uses are not grammatically correct and leave the reader (or listener) confused as far as I am concerned.

The default, not surprisingly, is usally to use the male form. Most things you read (particularly non-fiction) where gender is not important to the material the male pronoun is generally used. Some writers try and say he/she or s/he or him/her etc but most do not. This has important consequences. The constant use of the male pronoun marginalizes women and renders them invisible. I can only imagine what medical text books are like. It is not surprising that the use of male pronouns wound render women and their different medical needs and realities invisible. Most medications are not routinely tested on women who have very different chemical and hormonal makeups. In the same way that children are not ‘little adults’ women are not men.

I am currently reading an amazing book: “In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction” by Dr. Gabor Mate. He is a doctor in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver which has one of the highest rates of drug addiction, HIV and Hepatitis C infection in Canada. The stories are compelling and sad and Dr. Mate provides a very interesting and instructive view of addiction – including his own. What is unique about his writing is his use of pronouns. The first part of the book is specific stories of patients he has treated and he uses appropriate gendered pronouns. In the parts of the book that are instructive, in which he explains the pysiology of addiction, he alternates male and female pronouns. I was completely struck by this feature of his writing. At first I wondered why it seemed that he was only using the female pronoun when in fact men are also drug addicts. Everytime I saw a female pronoun in these pages it jumped out at me. So then I went out of my way to notice if he used male pronouns. It seems that he uses both equally.

I think it is sad that we are so used to male pronouns that the use of the female, in equal parts, is so noticeable that one wonders if the author is using male pronouns at all. It speaks to how pervasive the male gaze is even with women and feminists. My hope is that more authors will choose to use both male and female pronouns equally.

Published in: on July 26, 2008 at 11:17 pm  Comments (6)  

Shame on our Justice System

So, Scott Young, Mayor of Port Coquitlam was convicted for harrasing and stalking his former girlfriend. He pled guilty to two charges of assault and one charge of breaching an undertaking. He was arrested after assaulting his former girlfriend and her new partner at her home over the Easter weekend in 2007. He also breached an undertaking he had signed to stay away from her. And what did he get for his crimes? A 12 month conditional sentence and an 8 pm curfew which he does not have to obey if he has a council meeting!

It is no wonder that we, as a society, cannot curtail violence against women. Here is a public figure, a mayor of a reasonably sized city in the Lower Mainland who is guilty of assault and all he gets is his hand slapped. There is no deterrent factor. He also has not really lost anything besides a bit of pride (and one could argue that this situation did not really seem to affect him at all) at having to spend the long weekend in jail. He has continued to preside over city council despite many, many attempts to get him to resign. He has refused. I get the sense that he does not think he has done anything wrong. He cops to having a drinking problem (boo hoo), has been in rehab and has stopped drinking. He doesn’t think his ‘personal problems’ should have anything to do with his day job. He is a narcissitic asshole who should be in jail not running a city.

There are much bigger implications here. What does this say to young men in BC who may follow in his footsteps? It says that women are less important and that you can do whatever you want and nothing bad will really happen to you. This kind of behaviour has its roots in misogyny and the out-dated belief that women are chattel. Unfortunately, our justice system has not caught up. There is still mostly a ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudge” attitude towards violence against women. Male privilege at its ‘finest.’

Until we get serious about punishing men who commit crimes against women the problem will only continue to escalate. There must be a zero tolerance policy with regard to this kind of violence. We need to communicate this expectation to our politicians. We need to have had enough of putting up with this kind of whitewashing violence against women.

Collusion?

So today I got gas at the bargain basement price of $136.4 a litre. Twenty days ago when the carbon tax came in British Columbians were paying about $1.54 a litre. How is it possible that gas has gone down by over 18 cents a litre in that time? There does not seem to be any rhyme nor reason for the prices we pay at the pumps. The only thing I can think of was that retailers were trying to profit over the long Canada Day weekend. I wonder what the price will be on the next long weekend??

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 12:43 am  Comments (3)  

New iTunes iPod Touch Software Update

So, I paid the $9.99 for the new iPod Touch software update. For some reason they won’t let you use iTunes Store credit to purchase this update but I digress. Anyway, it fixed the problem I had with my iPod Touch where it played the same song continuously. I am happy, even though I had to pay to get it fixed. I will have to explore what else this new software does for the iPod Touch.

Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 9:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Can you say Bollywood?

Wow, is all I can say!

Joshua and Katee from So you Think you Can Dance!

PS- if anyone out there knows how to embed youtube video into wordpress please let me know!

Published in: on July 11, 2008 at 10:25 pm  Comments (1)  

Now I am really disturbed…

I have been having a ‘discussion’ with some women on the facebook group for “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” They have actually called me a ‘feminazi’ because I dared to bring up the fact that the Marias were being referred to as girls all the time. To quote Simon Lee, I am ‘gobsmacked.’ I expect to have these discussions with some men (there are men who are feminists and who get it) but I cannot believe what is coming from women. They clearly have no understanding of their own ignorance and privilege nor their own oppression. Not only do they not see, they don’t want to see. They do not see how their reluctance to address their own oppression contributes to the oppression of others.

You know, there are days when I wish I did not see these things. When I did not see the sytemic racism, sexism, classism, ableism, hetersexism etc that exists in our society. Life would be much easier if I did not see the intersections of poverty, addicition, mental health, gender and all of the isms mentioned above. Wouldn’t life be so much easier if I was not constantly engaged in working out my own racism, classism etc. But that is not my lot in life. I do see and I need to say something or I am complicit.

Published in: on July 9, 2008 at 5:11 am  Comments (2)  

More Maria frustration…

I mentioned in my last post about how the women on the show are referred to as girls. Well this carries over into the facebook group and all the posts there. Well I finally took a stand and said what I thought of this practice. Not suprisingly, many of the women posting there say that they take it as a ‘compliment’ when they are called a ‘girl’ or ‘girly’ or the really offensive ‘chick’. The are all wondering why I care about this so much.

it is evident by their comments that they have little no underdstanding of discourse theory. They do not seem to understand that language has power, it shapes how we perceive people and things. When a woman is referred to as a ‘girl’ one immediately things of the qualities of a pre-pubescent female: giddy, silly, uneducated etc. They do not think of strong, talented women who know their own minds. The more we as women accept this terminology and allow ourselves to be referred to as girls the more we undermine our own position in society. How can we ever hope to achieve equality (and no, we have not achieved equality yet) if we allow ourselves to be demeaned in this fashion?

I fail to understand why I am fighting women on this issue. It frustrates me to no end that as a feminist quite often it is other women who don’t get it. How on earth can we expect men to treat as equals when some of us relish being treated as less?

Published in: on July 8, 2008 at 10:34 pm  Comments (12)