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Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

This author has written 1622 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about Lauredhel »

47 responses to “Otterday! And Open Thread.”

  1. Renee

    This week I had to admit for the first time out loud that I have a chronic illness that is probably not going to get better. I have resisted blogging about this but I am starting to believe that as part of working my through it I should explore these emotions. I have always been able bodied and I don’t even know how to begin to deal with this change now that I am embracing its permanence.

    Renee’s last blog post..The racial & economic crisis

  2. Aftercancer

    There has been a bit of discussion over at my site about whether we women are willing to give up cocktails because of the increased cancer risk associated with alcohol. So far the answer it clearly no.

  3. tigtog

    Renee, I remember acknowledging the permanence of my own non-neurotypicality. It’s hard to really know, deep down, that one isn’t society’s normal.

  4. tigtog

    And Lauredhel? BEST. OTTERS. EVAH.

  5. The Amazing Kim

    Oooh, medical stuff.

    This week I learned that vitamin B12 is quite important, and that having none of it (the blood test results literally read “0”) can affect your whatsicalledit – memory. So now I have the fortune to be stabbed in the arm with vitamins every week for the foreseeable future.

    Frankly, it’s a bit silly that bodies need all these obscure nutrients to function optimally. If it’s difficult to obtain adequate vitamins on a generous middle-class Western diet, there’s not much hope for anyone else.

  6. Jha

    I’ve been reminded once again what a lovely place I work at. We had a discussion on computer security – which was pretty scary stuff, and at one point the presenter told us: “there’s a difference between the bots in porn targeted at men and porn targeted at women, and this is really sexist, but it’s has to be said – porn targeted at women will have bots that do outright damage and don’t even bother to hide it. Porn targeted at men are more subtle. This is because – and this is really sexist – they think that women won’t be able to call bots out on the damage they’re doing.” And I thought “wow, he recognizes that that’s sexist thinking.”

    My workplace is just amazing. I can’t believe how lucky I am.

  7. Laiste

    I just feel a deep need to blow off some steam. Why is it that of the predominately male audience blog that I write for only the women who read there feel the need to pick at any pro feminist articles I write??? Am I missing something? Is it me? Am I really, truly that far from the mark???

    Thank god for Hoyden! It warms my heart that there are still some women out there I can relate to.

  8. mimbles

    Kim, my sympathies, B12 shots hurt. Going without is worse though, I have pernicious anaemia so I’m stuck with getting a shot every 3 months for the rest of my life and if I let it go too long do I ever pay, end up feeling like death warmed up.

    I’m in the midst of a Dorothy L Sayers binge, it’s very satisfying :)

  9. hexy

    I’ve started a new medication, and am doing the “adjusting to the side effects” dance. This time around, though, the new meds coincide with not just hideous depression, but hideous depression, my back being out, and a flu-like illness. I’m not enjoying myself. :(

    hexy’s last blog post..Interviewed by Renee at Womanist Musings

  10. Bene

    Best wishes to Renee and everyone. Coming to terms with the fact that I will probably be on medication for my OCD for the rest of my life was very difficult indeed.

    Jha, that’s really interesting and fascinating. Good on your workplace, and thanks for sharing the info with us also.

  11. WildlyParenthetical

    Sympathies to all those negotiating medical stuff! And {{{Hexy}}} and {{{{Renee}}}}. Poor kittens. :-(

    I am currently trying to decide what to do tonight, as I’m unexpectedly in Sydney. I thought I’d be elsewhere, so I didn’t arrange to march in Mardi Gras, which would have been fun. But having read the response to Beit el Hob’s decision to not march at the Sydney Star Observer site, I am feeling distinctly unhappy with ‘the community’ just now anyway, so it’s probably just as well. But I still kinda want to celebrate ‘yay for sex wot ain’t wot you expect!’ Gah!

  12. Rachel (the other one)

    In the news tonight we heard that a rugby league star from Manly is alleged to have assaulted a 17 year old girl. We also heard that, from the same club, another player allegedly had an altercation with a sponsor. The response from NRL HQ? “This is very disappointing.” DISAPPOINTING?! It’s outrageous! There’s more: “These are difficult economic times for a lot of people and fans are entitled to be dismayed at the thought of any well paid player putting themselves above the standards set in our codes of conduct.”

    Bad economic times or not, I’m far more concerned at the fact that we have had years of this sort of conduct from players, and years of teams’ and the game’s administration sweeping it under the carpet and no change in behaviour. “Dismayed” doesn’t cut it and never should. Perhaps the league needs to stop using weasel words and start responding to this sort of unacceptable behaviour in one way and one way only: outrage. Only then will we see sponsors take their money elsewhere, and clubs will be forced to implement change and force change on players.

  13. Aphie

    I love those otters. They sound like my son’s squeaky toys, whilst herding that alligator! I knew those things were evil! XD

  14. Renee

    @Bene and Lauredhel thanks so much for the support. This has been much tougher than I anticipated and I am still looking for safe spaces to discuss what it is to be differently abled in a world that privileges certain bodies.

    Renee’s last blog post..The Antidote for Discrimination is

  15. The Amazing Kim

    @Lauredhel Thought I’d be responsible for once and get checked for STIs before hitting the dating scene. Dr Doc knows I’m vegetarian and have had problems with anaemia for mega-years, so got those checked as well. Dr Doc’s a good doc, except for his cute, quaint notions about long-term contraception and their usefulness to single, childless ladies.

    In latest news, full-page ads saying that humans evolved to eat meat are vaguely insulting.

  16. WildlyParenthetical

    I know that this has been hovering on newspapers for a few days now, but I only just brought myself to read it: http://www.smh.com.au/world/vatican-defends-excommunication-for-raped-nineyearold-girls-abortion-20090308-8s3s.html There are so many problems both with the situation itself and its reporting (I’m sorry, what’s with putting ‘raped’ in scare quotes? Scare quotes do not do the same thing as the word ‘alleged’. Scare quotes suggest that the word rape is inaccurate. It’s not). But what really had me teetering on the edge of tears is the fact that the rapist is *not* being excommunicated *because* his sin is thought to be lesser than an abortion. When a nine year old girl’s life is considered this expendable… and her mother attempting to support and sustain her, and being vilified by a community it would seem she considers significant (the Catholic church)… oh god, it makes me want to curl up into a little ball and cry.

    I should note that I suspect there’s some racism going on in this context; the Catholic church does seem to have a bit of a problem with South American Catholicism…

  17. Torri

    are any other Hoyden’s going to Supanova in Melbourne?

  18. The Amazing Kim

    Oooh, what’s Supernova?

  19. Kristie

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/story?id=7033295&page=1

    In my sleepy morning haze of trying to pretend my daughter wasn’t awake, the tv was spurting information about the new Dora. Yes, Dora is getting hips, mini skirts and flowing locks. They showed her silhouette on one of the US morning shows this morning (on Aussie TV) and I was appalled that they are trying to make Dora compete with Hannah, Barbie and Bratz.

  20. Mortisha

    Just noticed this. MRA lobbying has managed to shut down a domestic violence support services for women in the Wyong area– check out how gleefully they gloat about it in the comments – along with the usual lies; women are more violent than men, women sock puppet posters etc etc

    The support service workers said they don’t have the training or infrastructure to deal with men but they readily refer men to more suitable local support services. Not good enough apparently.

    http://express-advocate-wyong.whereilive.com.au/news/story/support-team-pulls-plug/

  21. fuckpoliteness

    I used to live on the Coast, not that far from Wyong. That’s incredibly depressing. I got through four fuckwit comments before I had to give up. :(

    fuckpoliteness’s last blog post..Catholic Church WTF moment: The washing machine and Women’s Liberation

  22. WildlyParenthetical

    That’s incredibly depressing, Mortisha. :-( Anyone want to join me with a flood of disapproving comments?

  23. WildlyParenthetical

    (Just so you all know, I have posted a comment, but it’s in moderation at the mo…)

  24. hellonhairylegs

    *headdesk* *facepalm* *throws hands up in air* at those comments. I’m not wading into that muck fest. Sorry WP, I’m not brave enough, good luck though.

  25. Mortisha

    Tempting, but I am happy to let that papers comment section on the matter sink into oblivion. Bit like wading through sewage otherwise. I’ve done a bit more research and reading between the lines it appeared that the Central Coast domestic violence intervention team was deemed too successful in supporting women for their own good.

    http://www.familylawwebguide.com.au/cc/pg/news/view/581

    From Executive Secretary of the Shared Parenting Council said
    “Finally the Community Services Department Docs have taken a sensible approach to this room and service which has alienated all men attending DVO and AVO proceedings at court in Gosford for many years. It has been a disgrace that has festered for a long time. I have attended this court on numerous occasions, and am quite aware of the tactics used by Police and this unit at Gosford to advantage women while blokes languish, unassisted and many totally lost and bewildered by the process for the first time.”

    Damn those uppity advantaged women hogging a whole room to themselves and having secret women‘s business talks away from the male gaze.

  26. WildlyParenthetical

    Mmm. That’s pretty tragic, Mortisha. :-( And as far as sewage goes… well, I’m not planning on posting more than that one comment, but I kinda… I feel bad for the women running the service, who wind up only getting MRA bullshit in response to this report. Besides, people need to learn to read statistics (that’s what my comment was about, basically: ABS stats on DV against women, and against men…). But seriously, the tendency to situate perpetrators as victims is troublingly prevalent in the comments… yuckyyuckyuck.

  27. Rayedish

    Mortisha @26 A victim of its own success? That’s so twisted, isn’t it? It is awful that it was so much in demand, and even worse that the service has been closed down.

  28. Mortisha

    Yes the DV statistics – I’ve misplaced my references on it but “the women commit just as much domestic abuse as men” lie is has been circulated ad nausea by MRAs for a number of years – no doubt hoping it will be become an undisputed fact.
    Their ‘evidence’ comes from a US Conflict Tactics Scale study and have been deliberately misinterpreted. (surprise!!) The actual researcher / author of the study has denounced their skewing of the facts but the lie goes on and on and on

    These guys explain the whole debacle.
    http://www.xyonline.net/husbandbattering.shtml
    http://www.xyonline.net/downloads/malevictims.pdf
    http://www.xyonline.net/menasvictims.shtml

  29. Rebekka

    I just wrote an email to the head of marketing at Telstra (Bill Stewart) to let him know that I find their latest video calling ads sexist and offensive – the ones where it says at the end “To teach Mum how to video call, visit your nearest Telstra shop”. As if women are particularly stupid when it comes to technology. Grrrrrr.

  30. Rayedish

    For anyone interested, Insight on SBS are doing a program tonight on why more women are choosing to have caesareans, 7:30pm I am led to believe.

  31. Rebekka

    Er, I didn’t watch it (it’s being repeated on SBS2 at some stage I think) but I believe the premise was *whether* the increased caesarian rate has anything to do with women chosing to have caesarians, not an assumption that they are!

  32. Rayedish

    Thanks for the clarification Rebekka. I didn’t watch it either, just repeating the info the SO gave me, he thought that I would want to watch it and taped it for me.

  33. Rebekka

    I’d love to hear how it went – I read the synopsis in the TV guide but then wasn’t quite at the TV watching point of the evening by 7.30.

  34. Zoe

    I thought Hoydens might enjoy this from my friend byrd, who is a very well known local graffiti artist in Canberra. Someone has vandalised a painting of his (of his son, as it happens) with “ur art is gay”. Scroll down here for his response:

    http://byrdhq.blogspot.com/2009/03/call-me.html

  35. Mindy

    Most excellent response from Byrd.

  36. Rebekka

    Oh dear. I am just reading about Charlemange. Apparently he wore a “close-fitting coat of otter”.

    Poor otters!

  37. Beppie

    Miranda Devine today:
    OH NOEZ — These days, the internet means that people are actually seeking out information, instead of forming opinions in a vacuum and browbeating their opponents into accepting them. And worst of all, children are cheating on video games. Why won’t anyone (besides Miranda) think of the children!?

  38. Mindy

    Doesn’t she realise that all children know that video games are generally buggy and the only way to actually get through them is to cheat?

  39. Beppie

    Mindy — Miranda doesn’t need to consult actual children — or even any information about children or the video games that they play — in order to form her opinions! That would be lazy! Her opinions are based on pure sparkly insight, not research (because research is a sign of not using your brain)!

  40. Mindy

    So true Beppie. She’d probably agree with the people calling the radio station this morning to complain that breastfeeding in public was indecent exposure. I was so angry it took almost 100m before I could focus on the voice in the back of the car wailing “Mummy, you forgot to take me to school!” Thank goodness he likes school or otherwise he might has sat there quietly while I fumed my way to work.

  41. Beppie

    Well, I did a Google search (oh noes! Not using my brain again!) to see if I could discover Miranda’s views on breastfeeding, and I couldn’t find much — except that she seemed to admire Sarah Palin for breastfeeding (among other things) — with the implication that we nasty feminists were bitter because she managed to breastfeed and hold down a high-powered job at the same time.

    I rather suspect that her opinion would be along the lines of, “it’s only because of the feminists that women feel the need to leave the confines of their home while they’re breastfeeding anyway/what’s wrong with the parents’ room/exceptions will be made for conservative women who make their living undermining the evil feminist agenda. Oh, and teh evil wimminz are also responsible for global warming (not that it exists).”

    Of course, that final paragraph is pure speculation, but it does have the benefit of being an opinion that I formed by raiding my own imperfect memory banks and extrapolating upon my familiarity with Devine’s generally conservative, poorly executed arguments — with no Google in sight. Of course, it’s not quite the “creating [an] answer from thin air” that Devine aspires to, but I’m just a feminist who doesn’t know her place, so she can’t expect too much of me. ;)

  42. Beppie

    Absolutely, Lauredhel, and I apologise for not stating that explicitly in my previous response. Of course, I doubt that someone like Devine would be willing to acknowledge the degree of privilege afforded by wealth — that would probably be discrimination against rich people!

  43. Mindy

    I wonder Beppie if Devine would even recognise the degree of priviledge afforded by wealth.

  44. Beppie

    Of course not, Mindy — if rich people can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, then poor people should be able to too*!

    *And if they can’t afford bootstraps, it’s because (a) they’re not working hard enough, OR (b) feminists and greenies stole them.

  45. Otterday! And Open Thread. — Hoyden About Town

    [...] Last week it was otters telling a crocodile who’s boss; this week, it’s a coyote. The otters take a brief moment out from playing to smack the stalking coyote down; the coyote rapidly decides that it’s just not worth the effort. [...]

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