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Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

I hope that all of you have some great New Years Eve celebrations and ring in 2010 doing just want you want to do!

I’ll begin posting again on Jan. 4th. Have a safe and happy New Years!

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Categories: general

I am a woman, and I am a damn good parker

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

I am not surprised that the Daily Mail has an article about how men are better parkers than women. Sure, there was a study done (by “feminist” scientists – the Mail really wanted to point that one out), but of course the Daily Mail would just eat this up, since it’s pretty much a misogynistic publication.

Here’s the rundown of the study:

Psychologists asked 65 volunteers to park a £23,000 Audi repeatedly in a sealed-off university car park.

Ok, all is good and well with that, I suppose. Of course, I don’t think 65 people really represent the 6,692,030,277 people in the world (fine, some aren’t legal to drive yet…but eventually!), but I’ll let that slide. However, this is the Mail’s first statement in the article:

Male drivers have long boasted they are superior to women, particularly when it comes to parking.

That is correct. Congratulations to the Daily Mail for getting something right. Men have always thought they are better drivers and we often here a disgruntled person (usually a man) saying “those women drivers”, or something along those lines. Growing up, we see more men driving than women. In my own family, my dad always drove if we were all going somewhere, and my mom only drove when she was going to work or if my dad couldn’t drive me somewhere. This kind of things gets normalized as we are socialized into it. If we see men driving more often, is it ridiculous to start thinking that men are the better drivers? It’s not that it’s necessarily true, but I think it’s easy to think that as you grow up and even wherever you are in your present age, because most likely, you’re still seeing more men than women driving.

So, you’ve turned 16 (or whatever the age is in your region) and it’s time to get your license. For me, it was never something that I was concerned about; however, I was a “natural” driver and learned to have confidence in my driving. But really, it was hard for me to not think in the back of my head that I’m just a “second rate driver”, just because I have a vagina. Because the socialization of “men are better drivers”, my driving and my driving confidence has not always been the greatest.

Ultimately, if women are constantly told that they are bad drivers, they will begin to believe it and not want to drive as much. They will want to pass it off to men if they can. This is something that is so normalized in our society that I’m honestly not surprised that the study came up with this. Of course, the study says that men are better parkers because of their “spatial awareness”, and that may be a valid thing. However, I do think that if there wasn’t a stereotype of women being “bad drivers”, than there probably wouldn’t be too much difference. It’s amazing how socialization can effect these things.

Finally, I would just like to say, that I for one, am one damn good parker. I mean it.

Categories: gender, stereotypes

Big Think’s interview with Feministing’s Jessica Valenti

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

As I hopped over to Feministing last night, Jessica Valenti had put up a post about her interview with Big Think, and I’m just wanting to share that here. You can either watch the whole interview, or several little clips. It’s great! She talks about everything from Lady Gaga to her marriage and gives some great insights (as always) about feminism, what’s going on right now in terms of feminism and defends feminism as well.

Click here to see her interview.

Categories: general Tags:

Music Hit: thecocknbullkid

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

I stumbled across thecocknbullkid (real name Anita Blay) the other day, and she has impressed me! She is a 23-year-old artist and musician from London, and focuses on an electronic sound. This sets people off, because of the colour of her skin. Her heritage is from Ghana, so people expect her to be “more urban”, but “she doesn’t want to be seen as a performer of grime or R&B.” This is simply because she “hates being prejudged”, even though she clearly doesn’t have a grime or R&B sound. She puts it nicely herself:

“I’m into the new and futuristic. People put me in the MIA category, but I’m not grime and I’m not some ‘ghetto princess’. I want to make pop music. The media put black people in boxes. It really irks me.

She’s also had some trouble in the music industry as far as her look goes. She’s a real woman’s size right now (as in, not size 0-2), and those women generally have a harder time making it in the music business.

She has also been told that she’s not thin enough to make it in pop. In fact, she used to look more conventionally pretty, but she shaved her head at the side and put on weight in a deliberate ploy to make the struggle to be successful even harder and to make similarly “unattractive” fans feel less alone.

She says that when she was more “conventionally” pretty, she was miserable. She now feels better and she wants people to just be able to accept her and her music at the weight that she is.

Ultimately, her music is some great electro-pop. But it’s not just the beat that makes this music. Her lyrics are very honest and very real. She’s not about to hide anything in her music. Watch her video for “I’m Not Sorry” below. Also, check out her MySpace here!


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Categories: fun, music Tags:

Search engine query suggestions: Looking at what’s allowed, and what’s not

December 29, 2009 2 comments

Warning: This is long and picture heavy!

Yesterday, I decided to do a little experiment, because I found Google to be very limited in searching apparent “mature” words and especially noticed that “abortion” was considered one of those “mature” words. So, I decided to look at several search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL) that offer query suggestions in the search box. Before I go further, I need to say that I made sure that all the filters were off. The whole point of this was really to see if “abortion” was limited in other search engines as well, but I discovered some other things along the way!

The main words that I looked up were abortion, vagina, penis, sex, sexi (it’s not a work, but I just put that in and lots came up!), fuck and maybe a few others. I’m going to go through this word by word, so that you can see the comparison immediately.

First, since I was most interested in the lack of “abortion” on Google, I’ll go over that first. Here are the findings:

So, before I actually got into the word “abortion”, I decided to just type in “abor”, and you can see that there are many results for that. Even in the non-Google search engines, abortion comes up when you just type in “abor”, but in Google, it’s all about Aboriginals. And then, all of a sudden…when I type in “abort” or “abortion”, Google doesn’t like that and doesn’t give any suggestions that have to do with abortions!

As it can be seen, Google is the only search engine that is crazy and thinks that “abortion” is a dirty word. Now, I moved onto other “mature” words, and I for one felt as though I lost a little bit of my dignity while doing so…all in the name of science! Next up, is “sex”, “sexi” and “sexy”.

What I thought was interesting about the MSN search for “sex” was that the word sex wasn’t allowed to be searched at all, even in the case where I put in “sexism”. Weird. Next up, AOL.

So, I’ve kind of determined that AOL will almost let you search anything. And finally, Google and Yahoo!

What I found interesting here was that in Google, you can’t search “sexy”, but you can search “sexi” or “sexiest”…which really makes no sense. Yahoo! of course lets you search what you want. Next up, the words “vagina” and “penis”.

So with Google and MSN, you can type “vag” and get some suggestions. However, type in “vagina” and that’s a big no-no! Remember, vagina’s are bad and scary, kids! However, Yahoo! and AOL aren’t as scared of vagina’s as Google and MSN.

Now, we move onto “penis”. I didn’t really know what to expect, after the results that “vagina” had.

Turns out, even more people are scared of penises. You can see in the first Google search box that I just put in “peni” to see what would come up, and then BAM! I put in “penis” and everything goes away! MSN and AOL gave some different suggestions when “penis” is in the search box, but they fully stay away from an actual penis.

This next one, well…I really lost all my dignity doing this search. However, I will say it again, it’s all in the name of science! I typed in “boobs” in AOL, because I had found that AOL had been the most unlimited search engine. Guess what I found? A lot of suggestions for “boobs”.

It kind of makes me sad and a little pissed, to be honest, because you can’t even type in “penis” and get valid penis suggestions for that, but you can type in “boobs” and get that sick shit? Not fair. Not cool.

Finally, I wanted to find a word that would virtually be off-limits for every search engine. In the end, this word was “fuck”.

So, what can we get from all of this? Ultimately, I want to focus on the “abortion” not being something that is “valid” in Google’s search box. What the hell? Why is “abortion” a dirty word? Google will let “sex”, “sexi” (which turns into sexiest, etc). And considering that Google is the biggest and most well-known search engine, I personally don’t believe that “abortion” should be off-limits and ignored in terms of query suggestions. It really, honestly, doesn’t make sense. Every other search engine offers query suggestions for the word “abortion”. No one crying about it. I just wish people would understand that abortion is not a dirty word and that it’s not a bad thing.

Some may disagree with me, and that’s fine. However, I respectfully disagree with you as well. Ultimately, I can see some reasoning for every other word that doesn’t have query suggestions (however, since the filters were completely off, I still find it kind of weird). However, I don’t really see the problem with the word “vagina” or “penis”, because those words are generally not used for pornography. In the case that they were, I would understand more.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with search engines and what they offer in their query suggestions?


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Jon Gosselin feels like he was “raped”?

December 28, 2009 1 comment

I really don’t want to give the Gosselin’s anymore publicity than they already have, but I can’t help but comment on this fucking ridiculous statement that Jon Gosselin’s lawyer, Mark Heller, said.

So, the story goes that Jon Gosselin’s apartment was ransacked and vandalized while he was gone for the holidays. There’s tons of rumours going around that it’s his ex-girlfriends doing, but I don’t really care about that shit. What I care about is the fact that Jon’s lawyer is going around saying that this incident is fucking comparable to rape. He states, “Jon feels like he was raped.

Really? Fuck you. Also, FUCK OFF. Jon Gosselin was not raped and the fact that someone broke into his apartment does not mean that it’s even fucking comparable to rape. Yes, it’s a crime, but it’s not rape. In fact, both of them most likely doesn’t know what the fuck their talking about because they have most likely never been raped. This kind of stuff pisses the fuck out of me. (Can you tell, by all the “fuck’s”?)

I’m giving a big FUCK YOU to both Mark Heller and Jon Gosselin.

Categories: rant, rape

A positive personal testimony of having an abortion

December 28, 2009 6 comments

It’s always nice to come across these, not just because I’m pro-choice or think it’s just fine for women to have abortions, but because we’re constantly bombarded with horror stories of abortions and how it ruins women’s lives. Maria Elizabeth Rubio, of InTheFray, shares her story of having an abortion and how she knew it was the right decision.

I found out I was pregnant and knew immediately that I wasn’t yet ready to become a mom. I didn’t have to think very long or hard about it; I knew that, given who I was at the time, I simply did not want to give birth to a child.

Look at that, a women who knows herself and knows what decision she needs to make, despite our society not being trustful of the capabilities that women have in decision-making when it comes to their bodies and their lives.

I thought a lot about my decision, about the morality behind taking the potential life of a human being…I wanted so much out of life, and I didn’t want the complications of pregnancy or motherhood to deter any of my aspirations from becoming realities…I thought about becoming a mom, and the more I thought about it, the more I knew that it just wasn’t for me.

She then talks of her experience going through with the abortion and how everyone at the clinic was great. She was completely put under for her abortion, and she tells of her feelings after:

The moment I opened my eyes, a wave of serenity washed over me. I felt giddy, euphoric, completely at ease. I knew I was no longer pregnant, and I was certain in that moment of tranquility that I had made the right decision.

Now, she doesn’t make it all sunshine and roses, even though her personal experience was good. She talks about another woman who had an abortion the same day and was weeping after her procedure. Obviously, abortion is something that can affect everyone differently. She doesn’t shy away from that aspect. But as for her, she didn’t feel upset.

Later on in life, she did decide to become a mother. Throughout having a child, she tells of “dreams permeated by thoughts of my aborted would-be child.” However, she states that her “What if’s” about her unborn baby are short-lived and superficial.

Thanks, Maria. It’s so refreshing to hear a positive abortion experience!


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