Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s otters are brought to you via Nathan Rupert on flickr.

two damp river otters playing

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: Life

Tags: , , ,

17 replies

  1. Just dropped by to say hi, and I’ve been missing all you lovely people. Instead of reading blogs and educating myself that way, I’m being indoctrinated by the Education dept at UTS, Kuring-gai (B. Teach, secondary school).
    I also wanted to say thanks to the Hoydens, and all the other progressive blogs about the place, because I’m happy to say they have made me well educated in the leftie politics of the courses and their teachers. There were quite a few blokes having some difficulty coming to terms with the tutor explaining that she had no truck with the moral panic over “educating boys”, and felt that affirmative action had been a perfectly sensible policy.
    What was interesting, though, was how thoroughly convincing their method of explaining privilege is. They make it all about 5 year old kids starting school with all the assets they have acquired from their pre-school years, and then talk about which ones are valued by the white, middle-class dominated school system. It’s very hard not to see how arbitrary the set of “useful” skills and knowledge is. I don’t think there was a single person who came out of those lectures and tutorials thinking that sharing resources equally among all students is a fair distribution.
    And in case the blogosphere hadn’t already helped enough, for my first assignment, my group has chosen to write a letter to the Minister for Education to demand that all existing school buildings be made accessible, without individual students and their carers having to make their case for their needs to met. You lot have informed this argument immeasurably. Thank you.
    Now I’m off to find some more peer reviewed papers on the subject.

  2. Ariane, I’ve missed you too! I’m fascinated by that way of explaining privilege…in your copious free time (heh) it would be wonderful if you could write up a short outline over at your place, and maybe crosspost it here?
    And yay for the accessibility letter!

  3. Heh. I haven’t touched my blog for a month, but yeah, when I find a moment, I’ll try to write it up – the construction is clear, and yet is less threatening, I think, to us what have the privilege.

  4. I’ve just read a thoughtful article by a man about abortion which nevertheless has one bit that made me see red:

    By the same token, I don’t understand how some people can be so unconflicted about being pro-choice. Having experienced the second guessing, the what ifs, the sense of failure and the guilt, I don’t find anything simple or unconflicted about it.

    Given everything else in the article is totally pro-choice, I don’t understand what he means by “unconflicted about being pro-choice”. Yes, choosing whether or not to have an abortion is incredibly difficult. Believing that it is the person most affected who gets to make that choice, is not difficult, surely. However difficult the decision, not being able to make it at all is worse.

  5. AotQ, I’ve seen a lot of instances of people failing to understand the CHOICE part of pro-choice. It’s not saying that only the choice of abortion is acceptable, folks. It’s saying that at the end of the day, one person, the pregnant person, is the one who gets to choose.
    In other news, I wish to send some chilly thoughts Perthwards:

    The Western Australian Department of Health is reminding people of heat stress ahead of an expected heatwave in Perth over the next week.
    Perth is days away from recording its hottest summer ever and the department wants people to look out for each [other] and take precautions.

  6. I can certainly understand being conflicted about identifying yourself politically with the mainstream Pro-Choice Movement. There are still very heavy themes of ableism and eugenics running through it, a fair whack of Libertarian-style classism, and a whooole lot of ignoring the need for active support for women’s reproductive choices (birthing, etc) once they decide to birth a baby.
    Perth is horrible. Horrrrrible. And the government warnings and fact sheets I’ve seen say absolutely nothing about formal support for PWD and elderly people – nothing as useful as supported community cooling centres being set up. Just some advice to drink water, put your aircon on, dress appropriately and go wander round an airconditioned shopping centre or library if you’re hot but not hot enough for an ambulance. Really not useful for people without transport, who can’t sit up for long, who need frequent naps, etc.
    This is another damn good reason to put State-funded refrigerated airconditioning into at least one building in every State primary school, if you ask me; make that a multipurpose building that could be changed to a community cooling centre in bad heatwaves. Almost the whole suburban population is very close to a primary school, and in rural communities it’s often the centre of the community also. Reckon if you asked this middle-of-the-road school community for donations of furniture to get it going or pad it out, quite a lot would come forward, too – we have a sofabed we could throw in that direction right now. If the designated building was, say, a library, nothing wrong with a few sofas around to encourage kids to curl up and read!

  7. I can certainly understand being conflicted about identifying yourself politically with the mainstream Pro-Choice Movement. There are still very heavy themes of ableism and eugenics running through it, a fair whack of Libertarian-style classism, and a whooole lot of ignoring the need for active support for women’s reproductive choices (birthing, etc) once they decide to birth a baby.

    All very true. That doesn’t seem to be what the Salon article is talking about though.

    Perth is horrible. Horrrrrible.

    I know you always take care, but it’s all I can think of to say. Take care 😦

  8. I didn’t think the Salon article was about problems with the mainstream Pro-Choice movement either. In fact, I think I can put some specific words on what made me see red now: The difficulties, the second-guessing he talks about, I think he doesn’t want his female friends and relatives to have to deal with those struggles, and I think that’s patronising.
    I just can’t imagine an equivalent situation where men were making extremely difficult, second-guessable life decisions (eg: do I accept this job that requires moving away from everything I know?) where anyone’s reaction to how painful it might be to make those decisions, would in any way remotely imply that the decision-making should be taken away from that man.
    And in the rest of the article, he seems to get that. But just for a sentence, I think he becomes patronising. We (those of us who may find ourselves pregnant) are not supposed to be “unconflicted” about the freedom and power to make a difficult decision, and the knowledge that we can never be certain it was right.

  9. Like tigtog, I’m struggling to find something to say besides take care, but that’s all I can think of.
    That article’s core point, that lives can be owed to abortion as well as the lack of it, is one that needs to be heard more often.

  10. Maybe it’s just the juxtaposition with the second link, but the Onion article smacks slightly of rape-joking.
    Meanwhile, crowepps’ comment is … breathtaking.

    • crowepps’ comment is a beauty, is it not? Hoydenizens should be aware though that rape apologists in that and other threads are currently fighting an intense rearguard action against the mighty cluebats of the Pharyngula Feminist Horde, and that some comments could be triggering. The Horde has the upper hand, but it’s a messy time over there right now.
      I was all prepared to wade into LP today with my own cluebat ready for a different affray, but ozblogistan is having a sulk at the moment. I’m sure Jacques will coax it back into normal operation shortly.

  11. crowepps’ comment is a beauty, is it not?
    Would it be ok if I, erm, spread the word about it (ie mentioning it on a link-roundup thread)? Or would you rather I didn’t? (If you’re planning to do a post about it, say).

    • @SunlessNick, I’ve got a very busy week ahead so probably don’t have the time to write it up for a post this week, so no skin off my nose there. And I don’t own crowepps’ comment in any case, of course, so I reckon you go right ahead.


    I thought this was very interesting research, wondered if you had seen it?

  13. Lara, thanks for mentioning that, it is interesting.

%d bloggers like this: