Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s otter is coming to you from Amy Lloyd on flickr. The photo was taken at Whipsnade Zoo in the Chiltern hills, UK.

river otter basking in the sun on a rock, tail curled around, looking as though it is about to fall asleep.

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?

NB: (from tigtog) we’ve got a few current threads on the NSW elections, for those who are affected/interested.

Categories: Life

Tags: , , ,

18 replies

  1. I’m REALLY loving Robin Hobb’s taking on racial and colonial ideas in her fantasy, but am a bit disturbed by the slut-shaming in the second Rainwild Chronicles book, that I just finished. I’m thinking maybe it’s because she deliberately seems to be trying to write male/”neutral” and wanted to point out the double sexual standard in a world with unreliable (access to) birth control to the guys reading, but at the end it kind of felt like it got swallowed in the “Ladeez, keep your legs together! It’s up to you to safeguard yourselves against teh rampaging menz!” message.
    Anyone else read it and have any thoughts?

  2. Anyone know/know of any non-male tradies in the Sydney area? I need to get some quotes for a variety of work; I’m going off recommendations but they’ve all been for men so far and I want to shake it up a bit.

  3. Will ask around re tradies Jo – as I’m a renter I have had no call for them to date.
    I’ve read a lot of the Robin Hobb stuff but a LONG time ago, though I remember having a similar reaction to some of the stuff around women and sex.
    I woke up today with an incredible headache that has spread numbness into the left side of my face, and pain down my neck and back as well as my head. Bombed on pain killers and willing myself to go vote.
    Frustrated in seeing that when a female friend posted a link to an article a male friend of hers came along and talked down his nose to her about ‘schools’ of thought and ‘false consciousness’ and ‘fringe thinkers’, and completely dismissed both the article and the view of the woman who posted it and lectured her on leftist thinking and the need for more voices, particularly mens.
    He also presumed incorrectly that the author of the article was female and upon being corrected said that that didn’t change his thoughts about the article because even if it wasn’t ‘standpoint epistemology’ it was elitist thinking. I couldn’t quite believe he was calling for all viewpoints while eliminating this one as based in false understandings and ‘elitist’ thinking while using the term ‘standpoint epistemology’. Argh!

  4. I’m feeling the need to say something of a light mood, so two questions…
    1. How is it that two such markedly similar things as apples and oranges became the poster-metaphor for difference beyond the capacity to meaningfully compare?
    2. Is it ok to refer to one of the islands in the Bahamas as a Bahama?

  5. @FP
    That’s quite a headache. You could bottle that and sell it as the “NSW Labor Election Experience”.
    I meant to go to the Equal Love rally. I really did. But all the trains on my line were cancelled and replaced with buses. Totes a conspiracy to keep queers sad so we can’t generate mind-unicorns and are forced to rely on public transport.

  6. @Nick, item 2.
    I see no baham in that.

  7. You’re right, Nick. From now on I’m going to speak of comparing apples and iguanas.

  8. I’m moving overseas today, not coming back for 10 months. Holy crap. In my top three of big things I’ve ever done.
    I’ve been staying with my partner’s mum, which has been a trying week. “Trying” as in trying to bond, trying not to be somehow wholly and unalterably wrong, and trying to speed up time as I think I’ll be relieved to get on the plane.
    Think I will now throw a new noun in every time I speak of comparisons. I like apples and iguanas, but might try apples and concrete pylons, apples and fence posts, or apples and right-wing shock jocks also.

  9. Hm, I wondered whether that “dancing laptop thief” story was too good to be true. It’s not a slam dunk that it’s a hoax, but the probability is rising.

  10. belatedly @Keira, best of luck for the big move!
    In Crikey, Bernard Keane on misogyny and Australian politics.

    The problem is the casual misogyny of the placards on display was not unusual or inconsistent with the normal tone of political debate, but entirely complementary. It may have been more crudely expressed, but it is not the particular product of angry right-wingers or climate change deniers or old conservatives. They don’t have any monopoly on misogyny. It is widespread through both sides of politics and media coverage at the highest levels.

  11. tigtog: Bernard Keane opens with his opinion that labelling behaviour “bitchy” isn’t misogynist? How super that Crikey got a bloke to mansplain that to us all. Eyeroll.
    I’m wondering – has any mainstream outlet looked at the homophobia of the phrase? Or is it all men ‘rationally’ debating whether or not it’s sexist, and looking no further?

  12. Just wanted to say that I just watched Q&A and Tanya Plibersek’s responses were gold. Everyone said some fairly interesting and important things about the treatment of strong women in politics, and how Tony Abbot should not have allowed himself to be photographed in front of those signs (which he totally knew were there).
    I only caught about two thirds of the program, but what I saw was excellent. The full transcript can be found here and if you want to watch the program, you can probably see it on iview or through the Q&A page. I am going to watch the whole thing again later, to catch everything.

  13. I’m wondering – has any mainstream outlet looked at the homophobia of the phrase? Or is it all men ‘rationally’ debating whether or not it’s sexist, and looking no further?

    Everything I see, even amongst the top-ranked definitions on the urban dictionary site that Keane so coyly linked, is all about domination/subjugation – even the popular meaning of whining/moaning is emphasising that the person has no power to improve the situation of which they complain, so it’s reinforcing a social dominance paradigm.
    That appears to be the most insidious way that its misogyny plays out – the way that it is a feminised term plus the dominant/subjugated meanings – they positively feedback on each other to provide a really nasty misogynistic momentum behind the word.

  14. @Julie, thanks for the Q&A rec – I never get to watch it live, I get outvoted in this house 😦

  15. tigtog: I’m reading it as even more twisty & sneaky and layered than that. “X’s bitch”, the way I read it/hear it, isn’t about any and all types of subjugation: it’s more specifically about dominance/subjugation between two men, with implied sexual violence, deriving from “prison bitch” terminology.
    So Julia Gillard is simultaneous masculinised and re-feminised by this phrasing (as an effeminately-read subjugated male person), while Bob Brown is being cast in the dominant, violent gay man role – the person who has seized control of the government by metaphorically raping Gillard.

  16. And yet that revolting Liberal rep on Q&A last night (missed who she was, but she was obviously instructed not to deviate from the Abbot press office script) could only splutter “well, if you lie you can’t get upset about being called a liar” when asked about the signs.

  17. @orlando

    Well yes. Her name is Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (The Shadow Minister For Ageing and Mental Health), and I was washing the dishes so conveniently did not hear most of her responses. Also, I was too busy enjoying the rest of the program.

  18. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was also very rage-inducing on the ABC coverage of the Federal election last August. It was very irritating, especially when Stephen Smith and Nick Minchin (Nick Minchin!) managed to be fairly amicable and informative.
    I am following the case of Yang Hengjun today, presumed to have been arrested or held by police in China, and hoping for his release or at least consular access.

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