susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
Silence is the Enemy

Warning: links in this section are likely to be triggering

Nicholas Kristof wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times on the rape of very young girls in Liberia. Observe my total lack of surprise, except at this issue getting such mainstream exposure.

Part of Bloglandia, mainly on, is running a campaign on this, wherein some bloggers are donating all their bloggy income for June to Médecins Sans Frontières, which is caring for child survivors. I'm late, but June isn't over yet. Posts including lists of participants can be found on isisthescientist and on Neurotopia.

Closer to home

They talk about "shattered norms", but rape culture is everywhere, and in "Western civilisation" in particular. People are now talking about it in journals: the most recent conversation to be documented by [community profile] linkspam was started by [ profile] cereta asking, according to my reading of her post, why the silent majority of men who don't rape are silent, and how many of them do anything positive about it.

PETA outrage common decency and set back the cause of vegetarianism

I found this while looking for Silence is the Enemy posts: PETA exploit murder of Dr. George Tiller in ad campaign.

Do they seriously think this will turn more people on to vegetarianism/veganism than off? Or is this just a new twist on their infamous treating-women-as-meat and dressing-up-as-terrorists campaigns?

ETA: [personal profile] shewhohashope posted On rape culture and civilisation, which has a lot of analysis of how rape is not an anomaly in present-day societies.

Her post also makes me think my connections here could be problematic. Men's assumptions of rights over women's and girls' bodies operate both in the "West" and in post-colonial conflict zones, but the context is different - it's not just "oh look, the patriarchy in action again".
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
It's "spot the connection" time.

1. At the street at the end of my road there are some shops I use regularly, and opposite them there's a Tesco. I assume the Tesco is open later than anywhere else and sells a variety of useful everyday items.

I've never been in there. If I needed any of those useful everyday items after regular shopping hours, I'd walk 3 or 4 times as far to the Spar on the High Street and see how late that's open.

I'm not Spar's biggest fan, but I don't know anything against Spar.

2. I don't have an Amazon account, for several reasons, and then there's the latest. It's not all over the blogs any more, and I don't Twitter: are people still talking about #amazonfail?

I used to be a programmer; I still would be if the IT industry hadn't decided I'm too old to retrain (whereas the Govt. thinks I'll still be fit for work in 12 years' time *hollow laugh*).

Even if Amazon reinstate the sales rank on everything that was wrongly deranked, and fix all the other problems that surfaced as a result, and apologise already, I won't be able to use the site without remembering them saying [free translation]:
"When we realised we needed a safe search, it didn't occur to us that anyone would want to turn it off, and we couldn't think of a better way to implement it than to lie about our sales figures; also, our tagging system depends on third-party metadata because we forgot we had more than one supplier ... or maybe that's all a lie and we'd rather you thought we were imcompetent than tell you the real reason."

3. Anything I might say on the latest iteration of RaceFail ([personal profile] naraht is doing the archiving this time) has already been said by people closer to the action. But I was struck by a particular derailing technique that I've spotted before (and which I'm sure goes back further than I've been paying attention): the spurious conflation of choosing what to spend your time, money and emotional energy on with boycotts, and the completely spurious conflation of boycotts with censorship.

Instead of just going "Reading comprehenshun, can u haz it?" and offering to send people dictionaries, I'll quote some coherent responses:
cut for length )
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