Otterday! And Open Thread.

This weekend’s Open Thread is hosted by two playing otters. The otters were snapped by Vic Sharp in Edinburgh, and shared on flickr.

two otters playing in water

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

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31 replies

  1. Loving the Thank You Hater video so much that I’ve given it its own post.

  2. It looks like Violet Socks has started writing a bit more again, which is good to see. This one (including the comments) has a bunch of useful names to know.

  3. I found this useful graphic of axes of privilege, domination & oppression via a commenter on Twisty.

    Lady K says: “I transcribed the following chart from my old Women’s Studies textbook. It’s not perfect (I might switch out some of the “isms,” for example I hear “heteronormativity” more than “heterosexism” and i think it speaks more clearly to what the problem is), but it helped with my feminist “click” moment…”

  4. Mimbles: There is NOTHING BETTER. NOTHING. 😀

  5. Mimbles: That is such a gorgeous bench top I wouldn’t get any cooking done. I’d just be standing there looking at it.

  6. I was hoping to find some feminist comment and critique of the case and media coverage of the Deputy Coroner Anthony Schapel’s handing down of findings in the case of former midwife, Lisa Barrett. Is there going to be a post about it? So far all I can find in the MSM is about how stupid women to want and exercise bodily autonomy.

    • Arcadia, I haven’t been following the case myself, but I’m happy for there to be a discussion of it either here in the open thread or on a dedicated post if somebody else wants to write it. Do you feel up wr iting a guest post at all? Even if it’s mostly just a links roundup and a discussion starter?

  7. I’m at the crunch end of semester and am exhausted. I’m about to go to sleep because I really ought to, but I can’t help but feel that I “should” be starting on my secondary reading for my analysis of a book I very much did not enjoy.

  8. I don’t think I could do a guest post, but here’s some links.
    The best I’ve seen so far’s-birthing-rights-now-perched-on-a-slippery-slope/
    and the worst (although really a dead heat with many others, check the link to the opinion piece on The Punch)
    I’ll come back later with more if I can (and when I’m not typing on a handheld device).

  9. Have a four-year-old with a temperature, a dog with dementia, a flat full of washing I couldn’t put off any longer (at least we have a tumble dryer – counting both my blessings and sins there), and a husband calling to say that in a couple more hours he’ll be able to tell me when he can finish work tonight (what public holiday?). How did this become my life?

  10. @orlando Can’t speak about the others, but my childhood dog died of dementia, and it’s really tough. My condolences and best wishes to you.

  11. Firstly, Otterday!
    Second, Orlando – I hope things get easier for you soon!
    Third, Arcadia – it’s a real sticky one. To paraphrase the Crikey article, it would be horrific if we went down the US path of fetal “rights.”
    But then childbirth is inherently dangerous. We’ve medicalised the hell out of it, but in exchange we have a really low mother/infant mortality rate.
    There’s got to be a way to reconcile feminism, women’s autonomy, and safety within a regulatory framework. I just don’t know what it is.

  12. For well nourished women, which we mostly are in Australia, childbirth isn’t inherently dangerous. For individuals it may be, but statistically no. A homebirth in a low risk pregnancy is no more likely to have an adverse outcome than a hospital birth. However, a pregnancy in a private hospital is more likely to end in a medical intervention.

  13. Also, the massive decline in maternal mortality in most western countries happened in the 1940s and 50s whilst the majority of women continued to give birth at home (it happened due to the availability of antibiotics and similar medications). It has continued to decline at a much slower rate since then until recently when it’s plateaud somewhat in the last decade or so. This latter decline has been effected by lots of things, including better nutrition and prenatal care, in addition to what happens in hospitals.
    In the UK, the government has a commitment to providing a homebirth to any woman who wants one. This is not controversial because of any risk, indeed for most women the risk is considered minimal and there is an assessment process for high-risk women, but because there often aren’t enough available midwives to allow every woman this option. So, scandalous headlines in the UK usually revolve around lack of provision, rather than any controversy over homebirth itself. There is also a similar scandal around lack of midwives in hospitals, with complaints that some midwives are trying to birth several women at once! (Doctors only get involved when there are complications in most UK hospitals, so the benefit of a hospital is meant to be about proximity to a doctor in an emergency, but this is counterbalanced by a higher risk of infection for mother and child).

  14. Mindy and Feminist Avatar, thanks for the info! It’s a really fraught issue that often produces more heat than light – as does any to do with women and control over our own bodies.
    [URL deleted – you’ve already linked your website to your name above, please don’t repeat it in the comment body ~ moderator]

  15. Here for venting purposes because plastering my child’s problems all over twitter and facebook is bad. Today Ms13 was informed by a classmate that there has been a rumor going around for the last 2 weeks that she’s bisexual. Not entirely sure whether the informant had good or bad motives in sharing this with her. Feeling very powerless to fix stuff for her. Very glad that the rest of her classmates present at the time responded with love and caring and hugs, particularly the out gay boy who said all the right things (I suspect he’s kind of awesome).
    Anyway, have suggested that the correct response to being told such a thing is to laugh. Failing that, to answer “Yes/No/Maybe/And if I was, so what?” so hopefully if someone brings it up again she’ll be better able to cope.

  16. Bloody kids. So being bi is the new bad? Maybe not caring is the best defense. If I think of anything I will let you know. At least she can confide in you, you are a great mum.

  17. For the record, it was established that the content of the rumor is not the hurtful thing, it’s knowing that people are having that kind of malicious conversation about you that sucks.

  18. One of the first things that popped into my head was hey, if that’s the new insult that must mean we believe bi is real now! #silverlining?

  19. Obviously being so great is making other insecure people jealous and they feel they have to talk her down.

  20. 😦 She will be ok. I went to an all girls school and I don’t think any of us escaped without a rumour that we were a lesbian at some point (and turns out half the time they were true). But truth is fairly irrelevant to these rumours which are just designed to hurt.
    I don’t think there is anything you can do except give her a cuddle and make it clear that everyone will be bored of the rumour by next week. These things come and go and as sucky as they are, they don’t last long.
    Because the reality of the matter is so unimportant in these rumours, the idea of “and if I was, so what?” doesn’t really help. The rumour could just as easily be that she eats frogs and it wouldn’t make a difference. Sad that sexual difference is still worth starting rumours over, but it’s not even about that, just as much as it isn’t about your daughter – she’s just the unlucky victim this week. Unfortunately, she’s also your daughter, so you have to feel sad and worried and give a million extra cuddles. *hugs*

  21. Haha.. I love your silver lining, but hate that this happened at all.
    I second what Mindy said – your daughter is obviously just too awesome.

  22. Yeah, the “so what?” thing is about helping her process it, not about trying to stop or refute the rumor, don’t give the weapon being used any power over you sort of thing.

  23. Good thinking! You are a clever mum!

  24. Well, I think she’s awesome, but it’s possible I’m a little bit biased 😉

  25. Hellsbells, Mim! At her age I kinda did that same thing to myself, making a point of asking people whether they’d think differently of me if they found that I was a lesbian – for me at the time it was a simple thought-experiment and in retrospect I feel that I was indulging in some appropriation of other people’s real experiences, but back then I just wanted to provoke some thoughts in what was a fairly complacent middle-class heteronormative (oh if I’d known that word) peer group.
    I only had those ideas to explore because my folks were somewhat alternative – folkie nudist bushwalkers (who had some crossover with hippie granola more hardcore alt-lifestylists) – they subscribed to Forum magazine back in the days when Bettina Arndt was cool, and my dad was a volunteer community sex educator for the Family Planning Association – reading Forum let me discover that a range of sexual expressions existed. This meant that I was genuinely curious and also rather less reliant on whitebread Anglo social norms for my self-validation, which mattered.
    Point is: there is a rather huge difference between setting oneself up for being marginalised as the result of a thought-experimentas I did versus suddenly discovering that one’s peer group has concocted marginalising gossip about one. I like that her response has been to take it on as if she’d set it up for herself, and I hope that works out for her. The most important thing, in my book, is that sometimes it’s incredibly important to conceptualise high school as something that must simply be endured rather than as some game that must be won.

  26. *busily taking notes*

  27. I’m not up with the teenagers, but given my impression of the cultural mainstream, I suspect “bisexual” as a label for a girl is code for “slut” (which the kids possibly don’t really know what means either).
    I continue to believe that socialising teenagers by putting lots of them together with few people from other age groups is about the worst possible way to raise them. I’m not blaming you, Mimbles, or any other parent – you have to do what is socially expected – but what is socially expected sucks.

  28. There might be light at the end of the HECS (HELP) debt tunnel, it might even be paid off just a couple of years after I turn 40. Not bad for a course I finished when I was 24.

  29. “sometimes it’s incredibly important to conceptualise high school as something that must simply be endured rather than as some game that must be won.” OOOOH! I love that.

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