Friday, December 17, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Adorabug



Its been one of those weeks, where this is exactly what I need. Now, if only someone would set it to the dippy, tinkly, synthesizer awesomeness that is the theme from the Main Street Electrical Parade, I'd be a happy girl.

I settled for watching it while the theme played. For maximum cuteness start the video when the tinkly part starts. At about 00:41 to be exact. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

Monday, December 13, 2010

#musicmonday: Monday Monday



Since I spent my Monday morning spraining the crap out of my ankle (again) through the very strenuous activity of walking (again), here's my little pity party.

But! You get a bonus song in the video. Yay, Monday...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: The Force Is With Her


First grader, Katie, loves Star Wars. But, she was bullied for carrying a Star Wars water bottle to school, because "it's only for boys." Her mom became aware of the taunting when Katie decided to take a pink water bottle to school instead, because she didn't want to be thought of as any more different than she already was:
"Katie, it is okay to be different. Not all girls need to drink out of pink water bottles," I told her.

"I don't want to be too different," Katie lamented. "I'm already different. Nobody else in my class wears glasses or a patch, and nobody else was adopted. Now I'm even more different, because of my Star Wars water bottle."

Needless to say, the interwebs would certainly not let this stand. Thanks to an initial push from Cake Wrecks, all the geek-girl celebrities took to Twitter to make sure Katie's story made the rounds. Over 3,000 people have left comments on two of her mom's posts letting Katie know that girls can like Star Wars as much as they please - including the actress who voiced Padme in The Clone Wars:

"I am [the] actress who has the great honor of being Padme Amidala on 'Star Wars: the Clone Wars!' I just wanted to tell Katie that she is in VERY good company being a female Star Wars fans," Taber wrote. "I know that Padme would tell you to be proud of who YOU are and know that you are not ALONE!

"THE FORCE is with you Katie!"

She, and other members of the LucasFilm universe, sent Katie Star Wars toys and clothes, including her own lightsaber. Of course, because Katie is awesome, she is donating much of it to other children.

Today has also been declared the day to support Katie, geeky girls and anti-bullying by wearing Star Wars paraphernalia and donating geeky toys. Proving not only that girls can like whatever they want to, but that they can also be members of awesome communities.

PS: As further proof that Katie is not alone, this little girl also knows what's up.



I'm glad to know her rendition does not include the blasphemy that is the new CGI revamp.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Fellow Nerds


After I posted last week's Friday Awesome one of the editors came over super excited about this amazing geekery. So now the awesomeness continues at MotherJones.com - I love working with nerds.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: History for Music (and Costume) Lovers

What do you get when you combine dedicated teachers who were probably theater and choir nerds, a kick ass costume wardrobe, friends willing to learn the violin to cover Dexy's Midnight Runners, and someone with a copy of After Effects? Awesomeness, that's what.

Two history teachers in Hawaii have created a slew of videos to teach history lessons set to everything from Justin Timberlake to Depeche Mode. There are 48 - FORTY EIGHT - of these suckers. According to them, they might be inspired by 80s songs but, "do desperation and exhaustion count as influences?"

Here are just some of my favorites. It is so hard to choose...

Say it with me: This plague is bubonic, B-U-B-O-N-I-C!



Joan of Arc is so awesome, just so, so awesome.



The Canterbury Tales to California Dreamin'? Yes, please. With a little Middle English thrown in for good measure.



Oh, and if that isn't nerdy enough for you, Beowolf (set to 99 Luftballoons) has some Old English. I'm guessing one of these history teachers also has an English degree.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Superhero Grandma


Photographer Sacha Goldberger's 91 year-old grandma, Frederika, really is a superhero:
Frederika was born in Budapest 20 years before World War II. During the war, at the peril of her own life, she courageously saved the lives of ten people. When asked how, Goldberger told us "she hid the Jewish people she knew, moving them around to different places everyday." As a survivor of Nazism and Communism, she then immigrated away from Hungary to France, forced by the Communist regime to leave her homeland illegally or face death.
But she was feeling a bit lonely and depressed so her grandson decided to create a series of portraits to remind her of how awesome she is. He ended up creating a MySpace page for her and now she has over 2,000 people who also think she is awesome. Here are a couple more of my favorites:



Oh, and they didn't stop with just the superhero. There are some more amazing photos on the MySpace page, including this one:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

#musicmonday: Diamond Rings



Really, this should have been posted closer to halloween, but how could I pass it up? Spandex, and make-up and choreography (and basketball!), oh my!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Porpoises to the Rescue


Dick Van Dyke is 84-years-old and still surfs. Recently he decided to take a little nap on his surfboard (as you would) and when he woke up he couldn't see land:
"I started paddling with the swells and I started seeing fins swimming around me and I thought 'I'm dead!'"

Van Dyke was wrong. "They turned out to be porpoises," he said. "And they pushed me all the way to shore."

I'm guessing they were fans because he is already friends with these other aquatic mammals:



I really hope they sang Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious while they pushed him to shore.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Awesome Mom, Awesome Kid

This burned through the internet yesterday, but I think it bears sharing because it is simply an example of an awesome kid, his awesome mom, and her awesome parenting.

That adorable kid is Boo, he is five, he loves Scooby Doo, and for Halloween he wanted to go as Daphne. So his mom, Cop's Wife who blogs at Nerdy Apple Bottom, bought him a Daphne costume and let him wear it to preschool.

It is a once a heartbreaking tale of homophobic parents and a five year old who already seems to understand that wearing a skirt and wig as a costume will cause him to be judged. But more importantly it is an example of awesome parenting. Boo's mom supports her kid and stands up to the bullies for him, even if they are three feet taller and three decades older than him, and wrap their bullying in the guise of "concern."

And, as she so smartly argues:
If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.
 Now, go read the whole thing.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Take Back Halloween!


It is no surprise that I am not a fan of the "what totally random person/place/thing can we make slutty/racist and manufacture cheaply to sell to shit-loads of people" trend that has become the theme of Halloween. Luckily, there is a group that supports our attempts to take Halloween back from the brink:
Take Back Halloween! is sponsored by the Real History Project, which doesn’t have a snappy motto but is considering “No, Men Did Not Invent Everything.”
Like I said: awesome.

The site gives you lots of examples of historical women rather than tired ethnic and gendered stereotypes.

Want to wear a beautiful kimono, but not be a geisha? How about the first person to write a novel, ever: Murasaki Shikib.


Want to be gorey? How about Lizzie Borden?


Want to be gorgeous and sexy without being infantilized? How about Rita Hayworth? Or Josephine Baker?



Oh, and eff this princess crap. Go straight to queen.



Though, due to my undergrad obsession with medieval women's writing, I am very tempted to go as Christine de Pizan, the first medieval woman to support herself through her writing. Oh, and she wrote The City of Ladies in the 14th century. That, my dears, takes some gusto.



Who is missing from their list?

Monday, October 11, 2010

#musicmonday: Manic Monday



This was totally my favorite song during third through 6th grade - during which time I was oblivious to this verse:

All of my nights why did my lover have to pick last night to get down (last night, last night)
Doesn't it matter that I have to feed the both of us, employment's down
He tells me in his bedroom voice:
"C'mon feal the noise" (ba ba ba baaaa)
Time, it goes so fast (when you're having fun).

Sexual liberation and the female breadwinner during a recession in a Top 40 hit. Awesomesauce

Also, 80's power-suits.

(ba ba ba baaaa)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Johnny Depp Helps 9 Year-old Stage a Mutiny

Beatrice Delap is officially the coolest girl in her school.



She wrote this letter to Johnny Depp Captain Jack Sparrow, and he showed up:

Captain Jack Sparrow, At Meridian Primary School, we are a bunch of budding young pirates and we were having a bit of trouble mutiny-ing against the teachers, and we'd love if you could come and help.

'Beatrice Delap, aged nine, a budding pirate.'

If only I had written to Edward Scissorhands...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: It Gets Better



I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

But gay adults aren't allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don't bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.

Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don't have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.

The It Gets Better Project was started by Dan Savage in response to the news that one more gay teen saw suicide as the only way to stop having to endure harassment in school. The project asks adults to submit videos talking about how "it got better" for them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

#musicmonday: Katie Perry Ruins Seasame Street



I had a hard enough time when they introduced baby-talking, capitalism-frenzy-inducing Elmo to Sesame Street. Then they finally introduced the only non-male default character and she was an effing fairy. Now Katy Perry appears wearing cleavage ago-go duds and AN EFFING VEIL(!!!!!!!!!!!!!) for a "dress up" skit with Elmo.

Nothing from my childhood - including the belief that little girls can grow up to be something other than a Mrs. - is safe.

Monday, September 13, 2010

#musicmonday: Compton SF



Compton SF is my new favorite band.

I'll admit it, after going to a ton of shows where I don't necessarily know anything about the band my hopes are never that high. But my husband knows the bassist Jodi (he was somewhat of a fanboy for her former band, 187 Calm) and he said, "I think you are really gonna like this band."

When he says that it means one of two things:

1. It is going to be a band with non-rocky instruments like violins with an alto female singer so I can sing along to my iPod.

2. A band made up mostly of ladies who rock out hard.

Compton SF is definitely the later. I was at the bar with a friend catching up when they took the stage. Our conversation was cut off and attention directed to the stage thanks to the best rock scream/growl I've ever heard. It was impressive. The lead singer (who that night bore a striking resemblance to Joan Jett) had previously been friendly and chatting with folks around the club, but silenced the notoriously nonchalant to the point of rude San Francisco masses.

From there, they proceeded to rock my socks off. Compton SF is one of the few bands that sounds better live. My only complaint is they sound so good live I got distracted at the show thinking about all the crappy bands that have major label backing but need an entourage of sound engineers to make them sound any good during a show - if they sing and play their instruments at all.

And by good I don't mean amps turned up to 11 and lyrics that are an enigma. These women are musicians. Musicians that can start a circle pit.

The best part about the show was an interaction with the lead guitarist Squeaky and some dudes in the audience that when a little something like this:
"Hey! I know you guys!

I was in at your house in Tallahassee in like 1999 when I went to bone your lead singer. My band was outside and you were all, 'girl bands suck.'

Oh, yeah? Well whose on stage now, motherfucker?

And, I look good doin' it."

You can buy the EP "Hurry Up and Die" (which coincidentally was designed by my husband) on iTunes or Etsy. Then go see them live.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Peek-a-boo

Its the eve of a long weekend - or the beginning of one for some of you - so here's something to get you started:



Just like the weekend, you have to wait for it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

#MusicMonday: Ode to the Mixtape (and the friends who make them)

Remember when you used to call radio stations to request a song and then sit and wait with twitchy fingers over the record and play buttons on your boombox so that you could make a totally awesome mix tape for your best friend, but you hesitated for a just a second too long so you missed the first two beats of the song, or the dumb DJ decided to talk over the intro to the song, rambling about how they knew some esoteric bit of information about someone who used to be in the band whose song you had been waiting for, but wasn't in the band anymore, instead of talking about how you had requested the song for your friend which would have been totally cool to include in your super-awesome mix tape?

Oh, you don't? Were you born in the 90s? Then shuddup and let those of us who are totally not old, but you are making feel totally old, you damn young whippersnappers who've always had the internet and a cellphone since you were twelve, reminisce. Thanks.

I am one of the few people that still has the ability to play a cassette tape, and not because I bought a tape player ironically from Urban Outfitters. I've driven the same car since I was sixteen and it still has a tape deck. However, most of the tapes I play were produced back when Paula Abdul was still a chart topping recording artist. Yet, I still have That Friend who makes awesome mixes, even if now they are on CD's instead of cassettes and she can just pop on the internet instead of having to talk to douchey DJs.

Renee is the friend that you turn to when you are having a party and want to make sure butts are shaking the whole night. A lot of the time, you don't even have to ask, she'll just show up with a couple of CD's full of a few hours of party-jams of the new, classic and where-the-hell-did-you-find-this-amazingness variety.

Most recently she made a super-awesome mix for our friend's birthday party. And since I'm not one to be proactive about my music collection, I asked her for copy, mostly because of this song which I cannot help but shake (and pop) my butt to. It turns out the video is just as awesome and homemade as Renee's mix-CD's. These video vixens come in all shapes, sizes and genders, are fully clothed and are probably all best-friends who probably make mix-CD's for each other. I want one made by the guy in the hat:



Now, didn't that make your Monday better?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Teh Gays Are After Your Husbands (and are hilarious)



This is kind of pure genius. An Australian sketch comedy show tackled marriage equality by co-opting the epitome of masculinity in current pop culture. The last three lines made me snort.

Transcript available at Feministing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Haughty Hedgehogs and Pitter-Patting Penguins

Some days you just need a dose of cute. This is one of those days:


Via the ultimate finder of cute, Amber &.



Thanks to librarian extraordinaire Nnekay for the alliteration help. Like I said, one of those days.

Monday, August 16, 2010

#MusicMonday: Flashback - The Breeders



Confession: I am a feminist with an MA in Women's and Gender Studies and I didn't listen to Bikini Kill until I was a junior in college. I was technically old enough to participate in Riot Grrl while it was happening (I made the last official birth year of Generation X by three months), but I grew up in a small town with no MTV until 1993, no internet until 1996, no college radio station with a frequency strong enough to reach my bedroom, and friends whose edgy anti-establishment soundtrack was heavily influenced by The Cure.

However, when we did get MTV in 1993 I thought this video was AMAAAAAAAAAAAAZING. Three women on guitars and bass who didn't have product in their hair, and a song that started with the super deep, un-feminine, "Ah-ooo-ooo." Yes, please.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't know who the Pixes were until about 2001.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: How To Be Alone



I was a Congressional intern during the summer of 2000. I was the only underage student without a fake ID at AU so it was the first time in my life I had to learn to be alone once in a while. It helped that I was also a member of the District's teeming masses of summer interns studying for the LSAT which necessitates being alone sometimes. But besides learning that I did not want to go to law school, the best lesson I learned was how to enjoy being alone. A town full of amazing free museums and cozy coffee shops helped, but it is pretty awesome to be okay with just being awesome on your own once in a while.

via Feministing.

Housekeeping: Commenting

A friend and reader let me know that she can't comment on this blog - ever. Logged in or not. If you are having the same problem, do me a favor and let me know so I can try and sort it out with Blogger: thenotsolittlethings at gmail dot com

...her theory is that blogger knows she opted for Wordpress :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

#MusicMonday: Rae Spoon



An indie folk-singer with a haunting voice and quiet ode to Kraftwerk. I love contradiction.

Speaking of...he also does an annual cover of Beyonce.



References to Morrissey and Kraftwork, folk sensibilities and Beyonce covers? I think Adam and I need to see him in concert ASAP.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Don't Be A Spock



My husband and one of our friends may have just started the newest internet meme. Only good can come from super smart, super tall, ballerinas who research space radiation. In this case, bathroom signage that has now been featured on BoingBoing, Gizmodo, SuperPunch, and even the Wall Street Journal to name a few. Trekkies love ergonomics evidently. That or sassy HR people.

Its also nice for Uhura to finally get her due.

Monday, August 2, 2010

#MusicMonday: Erasure!



I'm working on a post about feminism and relationships for the fantastic Small Strokes which has me thinking a lot about my wedding. And what do I think of when I think about our wedding? Erasure, of course.

Right, if I haven't mentioned it before, we got married when everyone in the state of California could, but certain people were fighting to change that. Our musical selection became a small protest of that effort by including a whole lot of music that would not be out of place in a Castro dance club - or ironically, the Mormon dances of my husband's youth.

No pants, waist-cinchers and red patent heels. Take that, Gaga.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Food Blogs (Nom Nom)

Joy the Baker: clean plates = happy friends
I have a handful of cookbooks, but I very rarely use them. Because here's the thing: I like cooking - particularly baking - but its not the the process that is always the awesome part. The awesome part is feeding people the food I make. I really like feeding people. But, I don't want to spend forever in the kitchen (though I take pride in my increasing knife skills), so I very rarely use a recipe that wasn't given to me by my my mom or sister, or something I threw together with what was in the fridge (note, that last option does not end well with baking).

Unfortunately, most cook books think seventeen ingredients that you can only get from fancy, pricey specialty stores is totally appropriate for a mid week dinner. Strangely, the exception to this is my old-school Betty Crocker binder. Most of the recipes can be thrown together in twenty minutes with easily found ingredients. And people love everything that has come out of it because, despite what the New York Times tells you, when people want a chocolate chip cookie that is what they want - a simple chocolate chip cookie.

However, while Betty's got the cookies down, I'm not a big roast kind of gal so I've turned to the interwebs for inspiration, and let me tell you, these folks know how it is done. Here are the awesome food blogs I've found:

Cheap Healthy Good is fantastic because (as their name implies) they provide simple, tasty, inexpensive recipies, but very detailed break downs of nutritional information. However, my favorite part is Links of the Week which give you an update from the social conscious food world with a smidge of feminism.

Our Best Bites also has an extensive list of quick, simple and delicious recipes. But they also have an awesome treasure trove of tips on the basics of cooking and food preparation, like how to pick the best cooking oil for the job and how to cut a mango, which came in handy for this next one.

Poor Girl Eats Well: And so easy

Poor Girl Eats Well totally wins the Super Easy Recipe contest hands down. With a limited budget she makes really awesome and super duper easy recipes. So easy that I read her post on Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa on Monday and made it on Wednesday (with cod) and didn't have to reference the recipe. Oh, and it was delicious.

Joy the Baker: mmmm....butter...

Sometimes you just need butter. Butter makes people happy, especially when mixed with lots of sugar and baked into something that makes the house smell awesome. I have a bit of a crush on Joy the Baker. Not only will she tell you when she drops a cake or she over-whipped her egg whites, or how to substitute buttermilk if you don't have any in the refrigerator (which is handy for someone that bakes on a whim), she also titles posts with things like Bikinis Are Stupid. I'm working up the courage to make this. It's weird, but tempting.

Bittersweet's Chocolate Mountain

And while were on a baking theme, I've yet to try anything from Bittersweet, but it might just be the funniest baking blog yet, mixing jaded sassiness and pop culture trainwreck references in with (sometimes) boxed cake mix. My favorites? Red Velvet Break Up Mug Cake and Heart of Darkness Truffles.

There is only one problem with using your laptop as a cookbook: it tends to get really dirty.

PS: I've also got two friends with food(y) blogs. You can check them out here and here if you want to see how they make more complicated things looks easy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Update: In the Epic Battle of YouTube vs. Teh Gays...

GAYS WIN!


There is an update to my post about boys with beach balls, Katy Perry's ejaculating bra, and YouTube's adult content double standard up at Mother Jones.

Unfortunately, Yezak never got a clear answer from YouTube about why the warning went up. But the good news is it has been taken down and people love watching boys in shorty shorts.

Monday, July 26, 2010

#MusicMonday: God Help the Girl



I might get kicked out of the Bay Area for this, but I probably couldn't name a Belle & Sebastian song if I tried. In fact, its pretty hilarious that I've got a Music Monday trend considering I haven't actually plugged my iPod into a computer in three years.

But, you know we all have to have goals. And like me, Mighty Girl is working on expanding her musical horizons which is where I was introduced to God Help the Girl, which is evidently a project of Stuart Murdoch's that may eventually become a movie. Anywho, I think this song is hilarious and catchy:
I sit for hours just waiting for his phone call
I'll leave the chocolate hidden in the fridge
I'll play his messages
Analyze his intonation
Please stop me there, I'm even boring myself
PS: Is it just me or do we think the plain dress with the brown belt thing will be chalked up with the skinny jeans and leggingsaspants trends as fashion missteps of the teens? I'm guessing yes, even if I'm guilty of it myself.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: ComicCon vs. Westboro Baptist Church


Science fiction takes on science fiction. The happy and inclusive one wins.


Buddy Christ sides with the geeks.


Happy Comic Con.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Monday: Music To Wake Up To



I am not sure how this song came into my life, but it was used to cue us to cut the cake at our wedding and we now wake up to every morning thanks to the wonders of the iHome.

Why share this potentially embarrassing secret? (sorry, honey) Well, because neither my husband or I are morning people. I repeat. We are NOT morning people. But I dare anyone to wake up to that song and not be in a good mood.

However, in posting this, I discovered that in the grand expanse of the internets something has been forgotten. No one has uploaded video of said baby elephants walking to this music! Sure there are still pictures, but that simply will not do. Someone in the internets needs to rectify this situation immediately. The fate of humanity rests in your hands.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Smashing the Patriarchy in 140 Characters


I can't believe this Friday Awesome has anything to do with Twitter. When it launched I thought it was the dumbest thing ever invented, now I have two accounts that I update daily. No, I won't tell you what I had for lunch (unless it is @KungFuTacos and I saw awesome graffiti on the way), but it has certainly helped cut down on barraging my Facebook friends with links about things that I think are awesome or horrific and 140 characters is much quicker than a blog post.

While Twitter has revolutionized ad campaigns that capitalize on parodying anxious masculinity, and  launched the careers of people who may or may not be capitalizing on family members, one account manages to prove that feminists not only have a sense of humor, but are incredibly witty and media savvy.

@feministhulk uses the most stereotypically masculine of superheros (in tiny purple shorts) to create tweets that make anyone that has ever taken an introduction to Womens' and Gender Studies giggle:


Some have wondered if a male, violence prone superhero is the best person to use for project like this (hellllllloooo, allies...) but Feminist Hulk has an answer for them:


The identity of the person behind @feministhulk is still unknown, but whoever it is lives in San Francisco so I would love to smash the patriarchy and eat cake and ice cream in tiny purple shorts with them.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: How to Thank Your Bus Driver



Okay, sure. I've taken public transportation in a number of cities and not everyone loves their job. In fact, some bus drivers hate their job and by association you, but can you really blame them when they get to deal with not so nice, or fresh smelling people all day long?

My new bus line is like the Cadillac/penthouse/business class of bus lines. A handful of stops on a limited rush hour route, frequented by regulars who can (almost) always get a seat. The two drivers who do the morning route are super friendly, timely and one guy makes sure that we know what time it is, what the weather is like and that he wants us to have a good and productive day when we get downtown.

Remember when you learned about bus drivers on Sesame Street? Its kind of like that:



It would be awesome to do something like this for them, but I don't think the guy that takes great pride in letting us know just how early he gets us to our stop would be too excited about it. Maybe I'll just give him cookies.

Friday, July 2, 2010

YouTube Loves Boobies, Hates the Gays

Today I was made aware of this awesomeness:



It gets pretty epic in the second half - camp and choreography and bears, oh my!

The first time I watched it at Jezebel it played just fine, but when I clicked through to YouTube I got an "18+" warning. Hmmmm...

So, being surrounded by investigative journalists and with two degrees in spotting the kyriarchy at work, I hopped on over to see if the original Katy Perry video had the same warning.

Yeah, nope. I emailed the director of the parody, Ryan James Yezak, just to make sure that YouTube was to blame for this censoring of superfun gaydom and this was his response:
YouTube put it up & I don't know how to get it off. There's nothing inappropriate & so I don't know why someone would flag it. You should TOTALLY blog about it. What about the video is inappropriate? I'm going to look into it.
Well, you bet I will, Ryan! For reference, here is the original:



So, YouTube deems boys in short shorts dancing with beach balls and maybe a very, very, very, very veiled reference to boy on boy beach action as "adult content," but a bare-naked Katy Perry dancing with a whipped cream ejaculating bikini top and a not at all veiled message that she and the women (and all "California Gurls" to which I as a woman from California take offense) in the video only exist for your consumption, is not?

Sounds like a homophobic double standard to me, YouTube.

Your Friday Awesome: Kids Say the Darnedest Things (about Gender)



These kids are amazing. I hope they continue to feel supported and strong and happy so they can remain committed to F-ing with the kyriarchy.

The best part are the conversations with adults. Unless you are a total asshole (and they are most definitely out there) you're not going to tell a 3rd grader he can't wear a pink scarf, hat and pants on camera. I'd like to think there is some serious thinking going on in those adult pauses.

A place where kids are free to be themselves and push adults to question social norms? That's what I'll be celebrating this 4th of July.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Music Monday: The Family Band

Who said Music Monday posts had to be only about deconstructing popular music or pissed off bad ass ladies? Not me.

I met my husband way back in high school, but then I went off to college and he toured the world, living on $5 a day, sleeping in squats or The Van, and generally living the punk rock lifestyle with this band. Then we reconnected about the time they became this band. And now he is in this band.*

And of course once your significant other is in a band, well then, you know lots of bands...so, many, many bands. But not very many of those bands are made up of ladies. Though we know these ladies, and some of the women in this band, and this band has a bad ass lady drummer, among others.

My husband has always agreed with me that there should be more ladies in the Bay Area music scene, and that we like hanging out together (duh, married), so he's been pushing me to do less critiquing of popular music and more making of probably not-so-popular music. So, on Thursday I picked up his guitar (rule #1: carry your own equipment) and we went to the practice space so we could make some punk rock (rule #2: pee before you leave 'cause ew, gross).

This was pretty much our first lesson:
Me: I don't know how to play anything.

(Not true, I can play "Come as You Are" as any self-respecting 14 year-old in 1994 could.)

Husband: All you need are these three cords.

(Shows them to me, I try not to get frustrated that I am not automatically awesome, reminds me that punk rock is sloppy, I remember that punk rock does not have valedictorians.)

Me: But, I'm not going to be able to transition quickly.

Husband: That's what distortion is for. Put in your earplugs and turn it up.

And so I did. And it was pretty awesome. By the end of it, my index finger was developing a blister and I had graduated to a thicker pick, 'cause you know its more bad ass, and I had a really good time.

So, I'll let you know how the progress goes. But until then, here is my inspiration, for becoming a bad ass lady musician:



And who knows, maybe a future Music Monday will be about this bad ass lady singing about something that pisses her off, though I doubt it will be considered popular.

*That band is super fun to watch, you should go see them, IMHO.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Music Monday: Fuck You, So Much



Satah Cameron got pissed enough about one of the side effects of warm weather that she wrote a pretty kick ass song about street harassment in 20 minutes.  You can read the full lyrics on her Tumblr.

via The Sexist.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Precocious High Schoolers

Jaime Keilis does her hair a la Seventeen magazine.
Jamie Keiles' blog has been buzzing around the blogs for the last few weeks. Jamie is an incredibly smart almost-graduated high school senior living by Seventeen magazine for 30 days.

Not only is she incredibly self-aware with self-esteem my high school self would have envied, one of her hobbies is sociology. Yeah.

Her posts on prom and analysis of race, gender and sexuality in the magazine are pretty amazing.

But what is really awesome about Jamie's blog is that she is not alone. Smart young women who pay attention to the world and want to change it for the better have always existed, but now thanks to technology some of them (ask Jamie to deconstruct privilege) can get their message to much larger audiences.

Which brings me to another (not so) awesome side effect of smart, young people...This week at work our high school intern started, which means I get to spend the summer with one of these amazing women. She is super smart and just turned seventeen, and makes me feel really old - "You mean blogs didn't exist when you were in high school?" Yeah...they barely existed when I graduated from college.

Oh, by the way, that was nine years ago.
Technology comics: One figure plays "Internet" arcade game while the other yells "Quick press 'blog'! Press 'Blog'!"
Comic by Joey Allison Sayers, which I totally stole from my husbands blog. Between us we've got four blogs and four Twitter accounts so at least we aren't totally behind the times and that is pretty awesome.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quote of the Day: Why We Are Tired of PETA - PETA Never Gets Tired of Boobies

A plane carrying a sign that reads: "MEAT ON YOUR GRILL - OIL SPILL  PETA"
Every time I learn about one of PETA's "confrontational" new campaigns, I want to cram foie gras in my mouth, wear veal earrings and slip into a bikini made entirely of tuna.

Helen Razer has a great take down of PETA's advertising and "work."
You’d think an organization like PETA might want to roll its sleeves up and help manage this habitat calamity. No. But they did release this intriguing press statement. PETA says that if we want to help injured Gulf animals, what we really should do is stop eating meat.

According to PETA, the devastation of marine animal populations is the result of the pot-roast you ate last Thursday. It has nothing to do with BP.

No. I don’t understand it either.

As oiled seabirds die a slow, painful death, PETA turns its attention back to core business: titties.
I was at a conference yesterday where one of the keynote speakers was discussing the branding of organizations who claim to be working toward a similar goal. She note that when people think of the ASPCA they think "cute kittens and puppies" and when they think of PETA they think "controversial."

She was a pretty amazing speaker, defiantly a pro in her field and at public speaking, and her only stumble was on the word "controversial." I'm pretty sure she would have agreed that some more appropriate words might have been:

Sexist

Exploitative

Hypocritical

But you know, it was a room full of 800 people that work in the nonprofit sector, which is a diverse group of organizations, some of whose employees have probably donated to PETA or work for them. So you know, "controversial" was a safe bet.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Music Monday: Hey Kids, Look! Lady Gaga is Boring

Yep, Madonna Lady Gaga put out another video...



A bunch of people wrote about it and said pretty much everything I thought. But, this week ushered in a new era of pop culture:

2010 SHALL BE THE SUMMER OF BRAS THAT SHOOT STUFF
(AKA: Bras that give the wearer the power of the phallus, or exert the power of it over the wearer as is probably true in Katy Perry's case...)

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:



Oh and just in case we were wondering if Gaga is the ultimate producer of pop culture through catchy songs and headline grabbing attire and actions? There is this:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Advanced Aged and Kicking Ass

I like that this blog is becoming a repository for women I will aspire to be like when I am older. Next on the list? This woman:


Ilona Royce Smithkin is 90 years old, has lived above a nightclub in New York for the last 50 years, and at 80 started performing the Eyelash Cabaret in Provincetown. She doesn't wear makeup except for lipstick, green eyeshadow and eyelashes she makes from snippets of her own hair. Her thoughts on fashion?
“When I was younger I was insecure and tried anything unusual to be noticed. Now, with perspective, I can even wear something neutral and be comfortable in my skin.”
She also notes, "I feel beautiful inside and that’s beautiful enough for me.”

This week I also learned about Japan Pom Pom. A cheerleading group in Japan with an average age of 66.


The group was founded by Fumie Takino fifteen years ago when she was 63. Her theory on growing older?
“You can’t avoid getting old. Aging means people deteriorate physically and mentally. But…” she added with a smile, “everyone gets old, so why not just have fun?”
Dear husband, please take note: When I am old I will totally take up previously age inappropriate hobbies and wear crazy shit. Prepare yourself.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Music Monday: Xtina, Peaches and Le Tigre?

Music Mondays on this blog are quickly becoming posts in which I profess my dirty little Pandora secrets. Perhaps that is why they named it thus.

The feminist interwebs have been a buzz lately about Christina Aguilera's forthcoming album that may or may not include collaborations with Le Tigre and Peaches, among bad-ass lady others. Unfortunately, since I'm on PST, every time a leaked song was posted it had been taken down by the time I got through my RSS feed so I never got to hear the song that is in fact the product of Xtina, Peaches and Le Tigre - otherwise known as Stephanie's workout mix makes a feminist/pop culture baby.

Luckily today it is actually available:



90s Woman called this the most 90's song of 2010, and I think that is a pretty apt description. You can definitely hear the Le Tigre influence in both the beat and harmony.

Unfortunately, its a little bit more Spice Girls/Clueless version of the 90s when it comes to the lyrics:
My girls headed to the city, y'all
We got Cosmo on the dash and tickets on the floor
But on the upside, its a pretty solid, girl-centric summer jam and as the song says:
Now shout, my girls we're stronger than one
Now shout, and sometimes we gotta have fun (come on!)
Le Tigre style call and response will always have my heart, and after all, I'd rather we spend our summer listening to a party song with feminist roots, than other things that have giant production budgets.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: The Golden Girls

RIP Rue McClanahan.





Thanks for talking about friendship, finances, healthcare, age discrimination, homosexuality, marriage equality, and safe sex on a show I watched with my grandma.

And keep on rockin' Betty White.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Sometimes You Just Need a Cute Thing Hugging Another Cute Thing


Yes, yes. This made the internetz rounds last week and is sooooooooooo, well, last week. But it is still fricking adorable and is good press for a neat organization - and makes me smile. So does the video, particularly the bit with this little guy, which if I had more time I would put on loop:

.
And besides, I used up my really awesome post yesterday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gender and Sexuality at Prom: The Good, the Bad and the Awesome

This year students across the country made it pretty damn clear that prom is not just about finding a date and the perfect dress - its has become a political statement about who you can date and what you can wear openly.

Constance McMillian wanted to bring her gilfriend to prom. When she couldn't, she got the ACLU on her side, and thousands of others, and even that was not enough to get the school district to treat her with respect (though it did get a bill proposed in the Senate - woo!).

Omar Bonilla ran for prom queen and came very close to winning, but was suddenly suspended two days before prom for a questionable parking violation

Derrek Lutz not only won his right to wear a dress, he was crowned Prom King:


Prom wasn't the first time Derrek expressed his identity in front of classmates and school administrators. Last month he did it with an entire posse:



Extra points for the awesome and crass intro. But, is it just me, or does it look a little bit like the writers of Glee found some inspiration there for this week's episode?

Speaking of Glee, I cannot express how happy I am that this clip was aired in primetime, particularly now when students like Derrek, Constance and Omar are in the press.



Yeah, grab a tissue. And then do what you can to make sure the kids you know are safe and supported.

What students like Derrek are doing is incredibly brave, because even if you have a posse of backup dancers (or in Constance's case, lawyers) doesn't mean everyone in the school supports you, obviously the administration had to be convinced. Furthermore, not going to prom isn't the only threat students face.

I am in awe of these students that are using what has been one of the most heteronormative high school rites of passage and turning it on its head, making it inclusive and representative of who they and their fellow students are.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Music Monday: Le Tigre Chaser

Reader Alison is right. That last post needed a chaser:

Music Monday: Ke$ha is pulling one over on us



Okay, seriously. My first response to Ke$ha was an epic eye-roll. I mean really. You have a dollar sign in your name. Come on now.

Then I listened to Tik Tok and rolled my eyes again - every time I found myself singing the damn catchy, poorly written, auto-tuned to death, song.

Then she decided that co-opting the general, ambiguous, "native" was awesome and I rolled my eyes again.

But, then I saw this:



And I kind of had to give the lady a little credit. I mean, (in a so-cal party girl, I went to college for three semesters squeal) that is like so meta!

Okay, obviously all pop superstars put on an act in someway, but I don't think this is just an act in the Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, way. It's a outright jab at the pop music industry starting with a leggy, thin, white, young blonde with a dollar sign in her stage name. And if you can bring yourself to listen to "Your Love is My Drug" there is a little carrot for all of us who "get it" at the end.

Go, ahead. Skip to the end of the video.

This might just be too many years of training in close-reading, but I'm pretty sure, "I like your beard," is not only making fun of the entire song that preceded it, it is also making fun of the commodified hipster (lets all appropriate other cultures and the worst of the decades before we were born) aesthetic that her performances are helping to commodify.

Or, you know, it could just be shitty music she is making to make a buck...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: I Can Do Anything Good



If you did not start your day like this, I suggest you do it now. Go ahead, do it. 'Cause I bet you can do it (and anything else you put your heart into) good. Especially if you do it in your pajamas.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Music Monday: Beyonce is Kinda Badass

Music Monday is quickly becoming "posts inspired by Stephanie and Nnekay's IM discussions about pop culture." It is also of the Sady Doyle school of blogging: even if its old in internet years does not mean we cannot further discuss it.

This week I confess that I am becoming quite enamored with Beyonce. Exhibit A:



There's been much discussion on the interwebs about what this video means and what it may accomplish. But, frankly I think dusting off an entire shelf of grammies speaks volumes.

Furthermore, my like of Beyonce is in equal and opposite reaction to my like of Lady Gaga. Both are a fan of the no-pants trend, however, while the Lady continues her attempts to be avante garde within the pop culture canon that she has (strategically) made herself a part of, Sasha Fierce B.B. Homemaker Ms. Knowles seems to be leveraging her creation within the pop culture canon during her youth to create a new witty personality based on campy critique. Exhibit B:


Granted, as catchy as the song is and as well choreographed the video, "Single Ladies" is a bit problematic. However, I think it was also laying the groundwork for the new awesome (albeit pants-less) Beyonce. And let's face it, the woman's got an amazing set of pipes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Your Friday Awesome: Fun with Feminism!


It's funny because it's true.
1. Thou shalt not see a sexist, misogynistic ad, say “that sucks” and leave it at that.
2. Thou shalt view all media through a critical lens.
3. Thou shalt watch every movie while wondering if it will pass the Bechdel Test.
4. Thou shalt critique media when it portrays women as one-dimensional, second-class citizens.
5. Thou shalt vote with thy wallet (also known as the “I will not pay $12 to see ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell’ commandment.”)
6. Thou shalt consume shitty forms of media (i.e. tabloids, reality TV) to be aware of what the “mainstream media” is saying about (and to) women and girls.
7. Thou shalt write letters, make phone calls, and send emails to let Dodge know you won’t buy their cars or to tell GoDaddy.com that you’ll look elsewhere for a domain (or ? or ?).
8. Thou shalt utilize social media to get the message out.
9. Thou shalt not feel bad for still being influenced by the barrage of unattainable images.
10. Thou shalt criticize the culture, not the women (employ the pro-woman line).
And, also: #6 is my excuse for reading crap like Twilight. No, seriously.*

 *That, and I'm totally Team Jacob.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Music Monday: Janelle Monae



I've been meaning to put this video up for ages. Nnekay showed it to me weeks and weeks ago and it makes me happy every time I watch it. The music, the clothes, the hair, the dancing - it is all amazing. Sociological Images has some background on the potential inspiration for the video and some thoughts on how it is welcome change from gendered (read: sexualized) videos and dancing.

Now I really want a tuxedo and saddle shoes, but instead I'll have to do with a new weekly series, because really you need something fun to start your week, rather than just ending it with awesomeness. I was tempted to call it "Toe-tappin Tuesday" but Twitter has taken over the world.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sometimes a T-Shirt Isn't Just a T-shirt



This is the headline that is all over the local news and airwaves right now:

Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees

But that is only part of the story. This week, five students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California decided to wear every bit of clothing they had with the American flag on it - shirts, shorts, shoes and bandannas. The day they chose to wear these outfits was also Cinco de Mayo.

The students were told by school officials that they had to turn their shirts inside out. If they refused they would be suspended. They refused.

The incident is being touted as an attempt by the administration (one of whom newscasters have made sure to emphasize has a Latino sounding name) to punish the students for their "patriotism." The suspension is considered unfair because they "had no choice" since they determined that turning a t-shirt inside out that had an artistic interpretation of the American flag on it or one branded with a low-price clothing company was "disrespectful."

Here's the thing, I grew up in the town next to Morgan Hill. I also went to the public high school. This issue is about more than just who wears what shirt with which flag on which day.

One person wearing an American flag t-shirt is patriotic. Five people wearing American flag shirts, shorts, shoes and bandannas on a day set aside to celebrate the cultural heritage of another group is intentionally inflammatory. And the administration knows that. And I'm guessing the newscasters do to.

Clothing is not simply a way to cover yourself, it is a complex system of signs. In this area of California and many others, that system is heightened and members of the community are particularly aware of it because many of those signs are intended to reflect which which gang you belong to - or would like to belong.


That is why the California Education Code provides for schools to establish a dress code in an attempt to limit gang activity in particular:
The governing board of any school district may adopt or rescind a reasonable dress code policy that requires pupils to wear a schoolwide uniform or prohibits pupils from wearing "gang-related apparel" if the governing board of the school district approves a plan that may be initiated by an individual school's principal, staff, and parents and determines that the policy is necessary for the health and safety of the school environment. Individual schools may include the reasonable dress code policy as part of its schoolsafety plan, pursuant to Section 32281.
Here's the relevant part of section 32281:
The provisions of any schoolwide dress code, pursuant to Section 35183, that prohibits pupils from wearing "gang-related apparel," if the school has adopted that type of a dress code. For those purposes, the comprehensive school safety plan shall define "gang-related apparel." The definition shall be limited to apparel that, if worn or displayed on a school campus, reasonably could be determined to threaten the health and safety of the school environment. Any schoolwide dress code established pursuant to this section and Section 35183 shall be enforced on the school campus and at any school-sponsored activity by the principal of the school or the person designated by the principal. For the purposes of this paragraph, "gang-related apparel" shall not be considered a protected form of speech pursuant to Section 48950.

Now, I was never one to blindly support my school district's decisions when it came to dress codes and disciplinary action.* The code of conduct and dress code - Live Oak's is not publicly available on the district's site - often seemed arbitrary and targeted Latino students more than others.

However, I do believe these types of restrictions are necessary for the "health and safety" of students. They certainly won't solve the problem of gang violence on campus (we had a very strict anti-gang dress code and multiple other measures, but we still had violence and a gang-related death at my high school), but they are a step towards lessening it. The problem with the current code is that it is limited to a certain demographic of students - students who in this area are Latino. And here is where the problem with this incident lies. The school has to outline what qualifies as "gang-related apparel" or clothing that will affect the "health and safety" of students before it can enforce the code. I'm going to guess that while Live Oak's dress code includes specific types of red and blue clothing, it does not include clothing that combines the two.

By attaching the administration's ability to intervene based on what students are wearing to gang activity, they are limited in their ability to address the other ways clothing can be used to negatively affect the "health and safety" of students. In this instance, the students were not part of a gang (though they fulfilled two of the three parameters for the California definition of one), but their actions were intentionally meant to (in the best case) intimidate their fellow students and (in the worst case) incite hostility within the student body. And guess what? They succeeded.

We are at a point in our history where "patriotism" is being defined by whoever is doing the speaking, and it is more and more being hijacked to mean xenophobia and nationalism. That was no more evident this last week as Arizona enacted prejudiced and dangerous laws to a background of birthers and teapartiers and their definition of "patriotism." So attempting to enforce your limited definition of patriotism and what it means to be an American on a day set aside to celebrate the cultural background of members of your community, isn't an innocent display of love for one's country.

The argument that the students' decision to wear clothing dripping in American flags could not have been intended to be intimidating or prejudiced because one of the students is part Mexican is also shakey. Yes, it certainly muddies the situation, but in this community, like many others, self-identification isn't based on a simple binary standard. Individual members chose to identify themselves through any number of descriptors: Mexican, Mexican-American, Latino/a, Chicano/a, Hispanic, White, Caucasian, and yes simply American. But these are not necessarily based on their lineage. The decision to identify oneself includes many personal decisions about how you want to identify not only your ethnicity, but your citizenship, class and membership within or outside of a particular community.

In this case, the students insistence to define themselves as members of a specific community based on their clothing was also an attempt to define who is not a part of their chosen community.


*And those of us who called the ACLU when we thought the dress code was discriminatory against tall girls...that would be me...

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