Friday, April 3, 2009

DEAD AIR always did like Iowa!

Once again, listening to the ever-fabulous Frank On Friday...who gives me the courage to confront the right-wing bobbleheads running my state. Sometimes I wonder what he would say if he were still here. Frank Zappa, your country needs you.

Moving to Montana soon
Gonna be a dental floss tycoon

And speaking of Montana, Governor Brian Schweitzer has just caved in time and has accepted his state's stimulus funds.

That leaves us.

South Carolina. The first state to secede from the Union, sweet schoolchildren are frequently reminded!


Yes, our beleaguered state is still fucked, as previously written... the deadline for accepting the disputed $700 million is tonight, and Head Dick, Governor Mark Sanford, is still holding quite firm on not accepting it. A press conference/brawl ensues within mere minutes, down in Columbia, and as the infamous Texas Chainsaw Massacre trailer asked: Who will survive, and what will be left of them?

As Kia, commenting on my previous thread, stated: "Surely it's a sign of the apocalypse when Lindsey Graham is a voice of reason."

I couldn't have outlined the situation any better.

Frank, we need you man. Come back, come back...


I've been a busy little bee this week, but as always, managed to catch some interesting internetz action.

Lindsay Beyerstein attempts to discuss the very serious subject of clitorectomy in New York State and the laws pertaining (or not) to its continued practice:

According to one estimate, 41,000 women in New York are at risk of being cut, or have already been subjected to genital cutting. This estimate is based on data from the 2000 census, so clearly more up-to-date information is needed.

Female genital cutting can range in severity from a harmless ritual pinprick to the complete surgical removal of the external genitals. These procedures can cause acute and chronic infections, loss of sexual sensitivity, difficult labor, and PTSD.

According to a lawyer quoted in the article, no one has ever been charged under New York's anti-FGM statute or its federal equivalent since the laws were enacted in the mid-nineties. The last state-level FGM outreach program in New York took place a decade ago.
Scary stuff.

And of course, before you can say FORESKIN, various obnoxious males show up and hijack the thread: WHAT ABOUT MALE CIRCUMCISION?!

((((reads post back))))

Well, what about it? That was not the TOPIC, assholes. Guys were not the subject. I realize this is disorienting for you, since GUYS ARE ALWAYS THE DAMN SUBJECT. (Of course, if Lindsay had issued a "no guy zone" statement on the thread, they would undoubtedly start screeching about that, too.) Lindsay writes:
Can we ever have a discussion of FGM without the neonatal anti-circumcision crowd hijacking it? This has happened about four times already, and I'm getting sick of it. I'm sympathetic to your position, but folks, please don't commandeer every single thread about female genital cutting. Have some perspective, here. You're cheapening your own cause by hijacking FGM discussions.

Yes, there exist variants of FGM that are roughly anatomically analogous to neonatal hospital circumcision--but they are more like points in logical space than health concerns. The main, pressing, public health problem of FGM is analogous to removing the entire penises of male adolescents (and, sometimes, turning the whole bleeding, unsterile mess inside out and stitching it back together).

There are extremely active forums for you to discuss the evils of neonatal foreskin docking. Please take your concerns there.
And did they? Ha, are you kidding?

As if on cue, typhonblue, a well-known and tedious internet-obsessive on the topic of MALE circumcision, shows up and starts preaching and monopolizing the subject on behalf of the poor oppressed men. (Because you know, men are just more important than women, and don't you forget it.) Even after being politely asked NOT TO.

Some people just don't have any decency; their basic sense of overweening entitlement and abject rudeness just take over everything.

Lindsay is far nicer and much more tolerant than I am.... if any of you assholes show up hijacking HERE, I will eat you for a nice little snack (burp). And I am in a rather contentious mood and kinda hungry, with all this calorie restriction... so bring it, you unsuspecting penis-obsessed pseudo-trolls!

Yum, yum!


Longish thread at Astarte's Circus, titled Be the President or Marry the President, brings up fascinating questions about whether being a First Lady is something to aspire to, in and of itself. Admittedly, I am rather clueless concerning some of the comments. I don't think Octo was criticizing Michelle Obama, per se, but questioning the whole First Lady cult...of which I am also periodically critical. But check out the thread and comments and see what you think.

Can we criticize the "First Lady culture" without also criticizing the woman who is First Lady? This echoes several old (and unresolved) feminist questions: can we criticize the housewife cult, the Playboy Bunny cult, the supermodel cult, etc etc without criticizing women who have personally made these choices? How to criticize the male-dominant culture, without hurting or disrespecting women within that culture?

It is like we don't quite have the language for what we are trying to say, and what we seek to do...


And the GOOD NEWS:

The Iowa Supreme Court has just ruled in favor of same-sex marriage!

YES! Congratulations on your progressive politics, Hawkeyes! Alas, a blog, and Feministe are also presently discussing the ruling.


It's bloody embarrassing how many of my previous musical posts are missing their centerpiece. Warner Music Group, bad capitalists extraordinaire, have taken away so many of my YouTube presentations--they are as bad as WalMart for stealing neighborhood fun away.

Nonetheless, I plow onward... let's hope some brave tunes remain!

Meanwhile, here is the song I can't get off my mind/official earworm for this week, which also helpfully fits into our Hawk motif:

Jayhawks - Waiting for the sun (1992)


Octogalore said...

Thanks for your interpretation, Daisy -- and yes, the intent wasn't to criticize specific women, but to argue for girls and boys having equivalent career role models, and therefore suggesting that first spouse per se shouldn't be a career role model for girls if it isn't for boys. I wrote a follow up post to clarify that I am not arguing that the first spouses cannot be role models in many other respects. They certainly can be. I can be a bit doctrinaire about gender neutrality in career matters, largely to offset how strongly against that the conventional wisdom is.

yellowdog granny said...

you dont have the only buttroy governor..texas has one too..such a waste of good hair.
wish all the states would follow thru....go ohio..

belledame222 said...

"Surely it's a sign of the apocalypse when Lindsey Graham is a voice of reason."

no kidding.

and Iowa's set up so apparently they will -not- go through the voter-bullshit CA did till 2012, which is just...can my state get it together now please? i mean, damn.

Kia said...

As mom to an intact son, I'm sympathetic to male anti circ advocates but am all too familiar with the lunatic fringe of the party!

Hope that the information regarding the original topic is spread wide and far.

Harold said...

Your right Daisy, Lindsay from my reading of her blog appears pretty intelligent and kind. I not sure what causes people (and admittedly more often men) to be so rude, but it appears to be a serious problem with the discussions on Internet.

On a side not meant to derail:), I had not been to feminist critics in many months, but the thread you were asked to participate was way too hostile. Essentially, there is no point inviting a person on a blog who has significant differing views on issues because the person in question gets treated like crap in an open forum.

Ann oDyne said...

Sanford must have a high faith in his own security detail.

Frank Zappa: Bless his heart and soul.

WV is dicessen

Mark Lyndon said...

Men and women are equally important, but if you really want female circumcision to end, then you have to be against male circumcision too. Even if you see a fundamental difference, the people that cut girls don't. Try arguing with them. There are intelligent, educated, articulate women who will passionately defend it, and as well as using the same reasons that are used to defend male circumcision in the US, they will also point to male circumcision itself (as well as labiaplasty and breast operations), as evidence of western hypocrisy regarding female circumcision. They get furious if you call it FGM btw, just the same as people who are used to boys being circumcised get furious if that's called mutilation.

Are you aware that the USA also used to practise female circumcision? Fortunately, it never caught on the same way as male circumcision, but there are middle-aged white US American women walking round today with no external clitoris because it was removed. Some of them don't even realise what has been done to them. There are frequent references to the practice in medical literature up until the late 1950's. Most of them point out the similarity with male circumcision, and suggest that it should be performed for the same reasons. Blue Cross/Blue Shield had a code for clitoridectomy till 1977.

One victim wrote a book about it:
Robinett, Patricia (2006). "The rape of innocence: One woman's story of female genital mutilation in the USA."

Nowadays, it's illegal even to make an incision on a girl's genitals though, even if no tissue is removed. Why don't boys get the same protection?

If people are serious about stopping female circumcision, they also have to be against male circumcision. Even if you see a fundamental difference, the people that cut girls don't (and they get furious if you call it "mutilation"). The sooner boys are protected from genital mutilation in the west, the sooner those peoples that practice fgm will interpret western objections as something more than blindly hypocritical cultural imperialism.

ouyangdan said...

Wow, Daisy, apparently you are talking to a wall, b/c you no more than say "stopping jacking women's conversations" and here comes a dude along to tell us that ZOMG you HAVE to CARE about men too!

Here's a news flash: What she is talking about can't even be classified in the same category as circumcision. I've done my research too. While I am sympathetic to the concerns of neonatal male hospital circumcision, it isn't even remotely the same as what we are discussing when it comes to FGM. We are talking about a procedure (which I am against, FTR) which takes place in a hospital under sterile conditions (I know all of the horrors of no anesthetics, so I don't need an education on this) versus girls being held down and mutilated w/ rusty or otherwise dirty instruments in completely unsanitary conditions, often w/ little or no medical professionals around.

Why can't we have one, just ONE FSM forsaken conversation about FGM w/o some dude coming in and demanding we pay attention to them and their cause? There are places for those conversations, and they are NOT in spaces where women are discussing FGM.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Mark, my point is that I want to hear from WOMEN and talk about WOMEN, not men men men men men all the time. THAT's the point. It's seems you guys don't understand that everything is not always about YOU YOU YOU.

Now, no more blather about MEN in my thread, unless you want to talk about Frank Zappa or gay marriage.

Harold, I am just about to blog about the Feminist Critics threads...I must be pretty important to get TWO threads named after me over there! (preens)

Mark Lyndon said...

Have any of you people ever tried debating with the people that defend female genital cutting? I have, and it's incredibly frustrating.

The people that defend it on the Internet are talking about operations done by qualified surgeons in surgeries with pain relief. They get very upset if the word "mutilation" is used, or if anyone suggests that there's a fundamental difference between what they do, and what is done to boys in the west. They will scoff at suggestions that it might be harmful, and resent other people (especially westerners) talking about what they do with their children.

You have to talk to them to understand how sincerely and strongly held their beliefs are.

Seriously, if you want to help stop female genital cutting, and not just talk about how awful it is, you need to talk to the people that do it, and understand why they do it.

Doc Anchovy said...

Iowa is wonderful, unless there's been a flood, it smells awful and there are dead things floating down the river. Trust me on this one, Daisy. I did Iowa last year and... "Eew".

What more "good" can be said about The Boy From Baltimore"? Yes, Frank was born in Baltimore.

Everybody Come Back! We really do need you!

I'm still shaking off my trip to north of Seattle and Portland. Train trips, while at times delightfully relaxing and full of more interesting characters than you can shake a ham sandwich at, also have their downside. It's 27 hours from Portland to western Humboldt County.

The Doctor is back in the saddle and promises to pen for genuine upon sleep and real food replenishment.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Mark, fuck off. The subject of this thread is not penises, unless you want to talk about gay penises or Frank Zappa's penis.

See how Doc Anchovy STAYS ON TOPIC? Try it once in awhile. No, you do not get to derail threads on MY BLOG.

Derail somewhere else.

Mark Lyndon said...

But I deliberately didn't mention penises in that last post. I really really want FGC to end, and that is on topic, since you mentioned it in your original blog post.

I'm going out of my way not to be obnoxious, but if you're serious about trying to end FGC, you have to understand why people do it in the first place. Just telling them it's wrong, and they're evil isn't going to work.

I'm a member of Forward btw. That's based in the UK, but if you're interested in helping end FGC, you could join a local organisation like Equality Now.

OK, I'm done. I won't post again, though I will read any replies.

Daisy said...

Mark, dig: This is a feminist blog.

I talk about women's issues here, in specific threads. The subject is not what is happening to MEN (or I would start a thread about THAT) but is about the experience of WOMEN. You are trying to re-center the experience of MEN.

BTW, I did mention men in the post, Frank Zappa (who wrote a famous song about Penises, titled PENIS DIMENSION, which you could talk about), gay men in Iowa, the Jayhawks. Those are the men under discussion here. Period. This is not to say, one way or the other, that male circumcision is bad or good, but that I DO NOT WANT TO DISCUSS MEN RIGHT NOW, unless it is the men I specifically mentioned in the post in question.

Why can't you get that?

You will not bully me into changing the subject. So, talk all you want--I don't censor posts. Go ahead and scream into the void, but understand, by continuing to re-center the subject, you are exhibiting stereotypically male obnoxiousness of the kind exhibited in the threads I posted here today.

Bwca Brownie said...

when I first heard The Mothers in 1968 (on vinyl, in Australia) I just loved them right away.
The joy in the lyric unbounded, and at the same time I heard Randy Newman and his take on America very similar to Frank's, but expressed in a different style. what a year 68 was.

Alison said...

Mark is right. AFAIC he also kept the focus on FGM in both his comments. Just because he made a comparison to circumcision doesn't mean he was shifting the focus to it.

That male circumcision is the same as some forms of FGM *and the FGM advocates use that argument* is a fact. It's a fact we need to address to help fight FGM.

The fact that I oppose "female circumcisions" that remove an adolescent's entire vulva, and that are done in secret under unsanitary conditions, doesn't mean I can't also oppose the ones that are less extreme and/or done in sanitary conditions. I agree that the more extreme and unsanitary ones are the first order of business, but still.

I am often disturbed by feminists who are younger than I am, because they take some things for granted (when I think those things are not yet granted) and they're unaware of some historical context. So I know I may now seem that way to you. But:

AFAIK when second-wave feminism was getting started, there was a lot of "stating facts in order to imply arguments" going on. So of course, baby boomers learned to assume that when someone states a fact, they're making an argument. I think, though, that Mark is a generation Xer like me. Generation Xers just state facts to state facts. They aren't arguments in themselves. I think you were expecting the type of argument that was more common in the past, and I think you misinterpreted Mark's posts because of it. That's coming from my own perspective and could be wrong.