Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s open thread is hosted by the most whiskery otter I’ve ever seen. It was captured by tomosuke214 in Tokyo, and shared on flickr.

an extremely whiskery otter looks at the camera, appearing for all the world like a contemplative, bearded old man.

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: , , ,

21 replies

  1. Interactive Google Doodle for Star Trek’s 46th anniversary!
    They haven’t added it to the Doodles database yet, but it will probably be there in 24 hours, for those who miss it today.

  2. Did anyone else catch this appalling story the other night? There seem to be some extreme religious management adding restrictions to donations that are preventing the money getting to these poor women. No doubt it is some churchy bullshit about restricting access to birth control.
    Plus it is bloody disgraceful that an elderly Catherine Hamlin has to start from scratch again to find funds to help women in Africa

  3. missing link to story

  4. i dunno, comments not accepting the hyperlink

    go to ABCs 7:30 Report webpage to find the story on Catherine Hamlin

  5. So what does ninemsn have to teach women today?
    An app can keep you from being raped:
    Judge claims it’s the victim’s fault for being at a bar that the cop groped her genitals without permission:
    How to get a guy’s attention:
    Do’s and don’ts of race fashion:
    Yup. Feminism. It’s gone too far, alright. (sarcasm)
    Oh, and those first two links are in need of good comments, for those who are prepared to comment publicly on those platforms (twitter, msn, facebook etc), and one dudebro in serious need of what “freedom of speech” really means, ie, it’s not freedom to be an arsehole whenever he feels like it.

  6. Daughter has been campaigning all week for the position of Womens Officer at Melbourne Uni next year. Last night the news came through she’d won! Her compatriots from the Stand up! group won two other positions including President of the Students union. I’m so proud! A win for the feminist mums this week!

  7. That’s great news for your daughter Helen, good to see that Melbourne Uni has fair elections, at least, and some feminist representation! Our women’s officer at UQ has only kicked us off her stall on Market Day (sign up day for all the clubs etc) and refused to attend any Women’s Collective meetings. I was going to run for Women’s Officer next year, but at the rate UQ’s going, we’ll never be able to have an actual, non-rigged election.
    /end rant (Sorry, this really frustrates me.
    Those links also frustrate me, Arcadia. They are just so not cool that I can’t even handle thinking about them too long. Especially comments – I always tell myself not to look, but end up doing so anyway, and having to resist the urge to hurl my laptop at the wall.
    I’ve been really busy lately and my blogging’s dropped off – anyone got tipes for picking up momentum again?

  8. Hurrah for Daughter, Helen!
    Jo, I find getting obsteperated tends to motivate me, and then the need to balance it with brain bleach works too.
    Great post from Annalee Niewitz on io9 about recent pushback against anti-harassment policies and fallout from certain geekcons where harassment was reported: The Great Geek Sexism Debate

  9. Sad news for Otterday: The Japanese river otter has just been declared extinct.
    Jo, you have my sympathy. I have friends at UQ in the queer collective and I’ve heard all the horror stories.

  10. The sea otters will avenge the Japanese river otters after they save the world from global warming.

  11. Hi all!
    Congrats Helen! Our outgoing women’s officer at Adelaide was wonderful. New Vice-Chancellor, not so much. Will find link.
    I had a wonderful day seeing otter cuteness (and meerkat cuteness, and boa constricter cuteness, and wombat cuteness, and tamarin cuteness) Especially as said cuteness also involved buttons-magee (as offspring shall hereforth be known) getting equally excited as I was. Zie was most excited by the goat that jumped on hir Dad’s lap!
    Glad I had the teaspoons today to look at your links Arcadia and Morticia. Taken ages to write this, still feeling angry/sad/frustrated. Might go look at pictures of baby boas! And a meerkat!

  12. @tigtog, the only quibble I have with Newitz’s piece is her summary of the two camps in the skeptic quarrel as “between people who believe feminism is integral to skepticism (Watson) and those who think it’s irrelevant (Dawkins).” It would be more accurate to depict it as something along the lines of those who think people have a right not to be harassed, intimidated or abused, and those who are opposed to placing regulations on behaviour.

  13. Congratulations Helen’s daughter!
    In other university election news, the conservative party won by a landslide at RMIT. My good friend was running as womyn’s officer for the left coalition, but they didn’t really stand a chance. Luckily both parties respected the autonomy of the Queer Department and our candidates were elected unopposed. My run as Queer Officer has been a success on the whole, and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback, though of course there are things I wish I’d done better. Haven’t eradicated queerphobia from the world yet, but we’ve still got until swotvac.

  14. orlando, I take your point, although I think she’s correct on where the disconnect between the two camps started. The anti-harassment policy backlash has just been where the split has manifested itself with a hard bright line.

    • Bother, I really should post these things to Otterday when I first read them, because otherwise I lose the links: there’s apparently been a followup long demographic study on political attitude differences between age groups. The original studies found that young people were more progressive than older people, and concluded that people tend to get more politically conservative as they age. The new study apparently shows that actually, each generation is more politically progressive than the ones before, and that they pretty much stay more progressive as they age.
      Did anybody else see anything about that?

  15. I love the penalty cards. Wish I’d had them on me back when I used to enter public houses.

  16. As early as 1977, the sociologist Dalton suggested political beliefs are generational and often shaped in youth and young adulthood and then remain relatively static (in broad statisical terms – there are always exceptions) across the life-cyle. He showed, for example that young people who grew up in the Depression were more conservative than their parents, but the next generation were more likely to be political left-leaning (he thought you could tie that into their experiences during a sort of formative period in their political development). A similar thing has been shown for a recent historical study of Russia.
    Certainly, as a historian, I think the idea of some constant onwards movement towards political progressiveness is just nonsense in any long-term sense. One of the major interpretations of the immediate post French Revolutionary era has been that there was a highly conservative backlash to the progressiveness of the Revolution that particularly restricted women’s public participation. And of course, it depends on what we are measuring as progressive? Attitudes to sexual behaviour? Attitudes towards social welfare? Attitudes towards immigration? Towards women? Economic policy positions? There has been a lot of movement in both directions across time, and indeed, I would say in some ways we are currently living in a very ‘conservative’ historical moment in the Anglo-Western world, even compared to a couple of decades ago (but that’s just my opinion), with perhaps the exception of attitudes to sex, particularly homosexual sex.
    Russell J. Dalton (1977) Was There a Revolution? A note on generational versus life cycle explanations of value differences, Comparative Political Studies, 9(4), pp. 459-473.
    Olena Nikolayenko (2008) Life Cycle, Generational and Period Effects on Protest Potential in Yeltsin’s Russia, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 41(2), pp. 437-460.

  17. I love it when someone weighs in with Actual Knowledge!
    Thanks, Feminist Avatar – as an armchair historian myself it makes much more sense to me that generational attitudinal changes go in cycles/waves. The study cited in that comment I read (where oh where?) may well accurately describe a swing in the cycle for a particular population right now, but that doesn’t make it a universal everywhere else right now.

  18. Interesting point FA. I wonder how much of that attitude is because we have become accustomed to so much that is normal now, but wasn’t always – as many 2nd wavers who lived through those changes will tell you – that we look at what we have now and see conservatism.

  19. In totally unsurprising news, Naomi Wolf has said something WTF-worthy again. Pop-evopsych and gonadal essentialism even.

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