May 08 2008

Spinster takes a holiday

prickly pear

Dang it. My obstreperatrician has diagnosed me with LLD (Lounging and Loafing Deficit). It looks like I’m going to be forced to retire deep into the Texas Hill Country for a couple of days. The prickly pears are in bloom. You haven’t loafed until you’ve spent an afternoon sitting under a post oak tree in a field of cactuses covered with pyschedelic yellow flowers.

I think there’s internet out there, but it’s dial-up, which won’t do me any good since there’s no phone. My gist is that I’ll most likely be incommunicado over the weekend, which I mention because I don’t want anyone thinking I’m dead.

Not that I couldn’t die over the weekend anyway, eaten alive by fire ants, chomped by a rattler, prickly pear impalement. But this contingency would be unexpected.

Anyway, while I’m out looking at scenery, for the sake of our mutual amusement, let’s do one of those open threads. I suggest, if you link to something, that you give a brief critical analysis along with it, so people will have something to argue about.

Happy blaming.


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  1. josquin

    Forget blaming – I just want tag along with you, the oak tree and the flowering cacti.

  2. rootlesscosmo

    We can end the heartbreak of LLD in our lifetime!

  3. goblinbee

    I only have off-topic things to say when I’m not supposed to.

    Have fun!

  4. estampa

    “We can end the heartbreak of LLD in our lifetime!”

    But only if we all walk in circles for hours all dressed in our brightest turquoise shirts adorned with turquoise ribbon lapel pins, because turquoise is the designated color of LLD. I’ll volunteer to lead the organization, you can all send your money to me and I’ll *ahem* find a “cure”.

    Have a good weekend Twisty, bring back pictures please.

  5. Krinn DNZ

    I think we’ve got to make a serious effort to treat the root causes of LLD and not just the symptoms. Blue-ribbon panel, anyone?

  6. Orange

    Visit Corsets for the Cure to order your turquoise merry widow for just $39.95. Fifty cents of each purchase price goes to the Organization for the Promotion of Awareness of Lounging and Loafing Deficit.

    (Corsets promote loafing as they render movement difficult.)

  7. rootlesscosmo

    walk in circles for hours

    I was thinking along the lines of “Slouch for the Cure,” but circle-walking is good too.

    Twisty actually invited linkage, so I’ll offer this:


    is a site where the host digs up old (and I mean old) 78 rpm records, mostly of traditional or locally-flavored music from Africa and Asia, and turns them into downloadable mp3 files. Definitely worth a visit; all the material I’ve heard has been at least interesting, and some of it is really terrific.

  8. No Blood for Hubris

    Loaf well, Twisty!

  9. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    I’m glad you’re getting some r&r; when you return, would you please write another entry for this sojourn like the one with “Deep in the Heart of Texas” for its soundtrack? It was a peach.

    Happy trails and hurry back.

  10. Lara

    Have fun looking at psychedelic flowers. Oh, and nice photo for this post :)
    I’ll see if perhaps I can find an interesting link somewhere and do an overview and start a discussion….but now I am off to eat Chinese food.

  11. Jackie

    Hey- Twisty said we could link-if you are up for it- me and a fellow PB “Feminist” have been defending our body integrity to a bunch of Catholic pro-life men over at KAtha Pollitt’s article Men in Cloth. Please jump in if you are so inclined:

  12. Kathy G.

    I have a post up at Crooked Timber which argues that Phyllis Schlafly is a misogynist and a lying crackpot hack who is in no way deserving of the honorary doctorate Washington University is about to bestow on her:

    It was not an especially difficult argument to make.

  13. Alex

    OK, I’ve got one. Salon’s Broadsheet has a thing about Britain’s new ad campaign aimed at letting men who use prostitutes know that patronizing a prostitute who is a victim of sex trafficking makes them a rapist, whether they know she’s been trafficked or not. (It’s unclear whether this is an actual law, whether a new one or a clarification of an existing one, that is, if any of these rapists have actually been charged, or could be–or if it’s just a publicity stunt. ) Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to link directly to the item, but right now it’s about halfway down the page, here: http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/. The dateline is May 8, if you’re looking for it later.

    Unsurprisingly, Tracy Clark-Flory says, “Not all johns are rapists, of course;” (her semicolon). Even if you don’t take issue with *that*–which I’m sure many readers here will–she goes on to say, “and, I’m uncomfortable calling anyone who sleeps with a trafficked girl a rapist, even though she is being forced to have sex against her will.” Since being forced to have sex against one’s will is the definition of rape, it’s clear that Clark-Flory believes that the trafficked women are being raped–but she’s somehow positing that they’re being raped *without the existence of a rapist*.

    Loads to discuss there, right? I’m stuck at the *boggle boggle boggle* stage.

    The ad campaign itself, while definitely too little, too late, does (I feel) do something positive in that it encourages the men who use prostitutes to think about the factors that led the woman to become prostitutes, and thinking is always good. But Clark-Flory’s analysis of it–particularly her suggestion that men who “unwittingly sleep with trafficked girls” are innocent–is as clear a demonstration I’ve seen of what Twisty calls “rape culture”–the assumption that consent exists as the default state and the absence of consent is the exceptional state.

  14. ate

    Even though it might not necessarily be in the guide Twisty set out I’m going to do a bit of Aussie – Melbourne specific – blaming.

    Recently there was a National Press Club panel discussing the issues of inequal pay. This article is entitled “Women Don’t Work Enough” and quotes a (male) ‘expert’ linking the 16% difference between men and womens salaries in Australia to the fact that women just aren’t trying. A quote:

    “The only way we can achieve this is if we have lots of role reversals, lots of men behaving like women and lots of women behaving like men.I don’t think women in Australia want that, I don’t think that women anywhere in the world want that.”

    True, why would any woman want to be paid or treated in the same way men are. Mad talk! He was the only male on the panel and the best he could come with to excuse his privilege was to blame women for inequality. But then again, that is all they can ever really come up with: “It’s not the men, it’s the women.” Except of course when we are talking about women and then it’s “what about the men”.

    But this is truly my favourite. Sam Newman’s fame comes from his previous life as a footballer and now as a host on ‘The Footy Show’, a television show where a bunch of men come together and talk about sport. He is renowned here for being one of the more disgusting people wandering the streets. Examples? There are many, all live on air. A few years ago an Aboriginal player was invited to appear on his show and failed to. Newman then took it upon himself to paint his face black and enter left of stage saying that he was replacing the player. He filmed a segment where he tried to simulate sex in a fake airplane toilet saying how hard it would be to join the ‘mile-high’ club. He then continued to try to have sex a mannequin and then a male midget dressed as an air hostess. He said live on air that “not even Moses could part her legs”, referriing to his new wife. When a woman came up to him on the street whilst he was filming and told him how attractive he was he replied: “well at least one of us is”. Most recently though he mocked a professional female sports writer, Caroline Wilson, regarding how she was dressed on another show a few days previously. To illustrate his point he brought out a mannequin, stapled a picture of Wilson’s face onto it and then dressed it in different outfits, including ‘sexy’ underwear. He then carried the mannequin around by the crotch. When there was outcry over this by female directors of various football clubs Newman replied that ‘what had women ever done for footy anyway?’. This is reported on the front page of a Melbourne newspaper and what occurs? Letters to the paper telling women to get the joke, the head of the television refusing to apologise, ,more advertisers buying time slots for the show, no penalties being placed on Newman. This is a person who has shown himself consistently to be racist, sexist, obnoxious and stupid. What occurs? He is rewarded for his behaviour. In the film and television industry women are constantly fighting to make a place or space for themselves, fighting against the sexism and the distrust of whether or not you have any ability. You have to prove your creative worth to be accepted and if you step towards anything that might be sympathetic towards women’s oppression you get named as ‘one of those feminist filmmakers’.

    But that is the problem with it all isn’t it. Women aren’t accepted as human. To gain any respect at all we have to prove our worth, fight to be viewed as worthy of even the tiniest bit of acceptance as anything other than a reproductive organ. Sometimes I feel so angry I can barely think straight.

    In terms of the law Australia can occasionally be a little bit progressive (more so than the U.S. with things like abortion), though it is rare. When it comes to socially and in the media there is no such luck. The myth of the ‘Aussie Larrikan’ lives on and women are consistently treated as second class citizens, butts of jokes and, even more often, stupid and lazy. We even have our very own special word for someone of the female gender: ‘sheila’. Men who are obnoxious are seen as proving their masculinity, any woman who shows an opinion, on anything, is told to shut up or her motives questioned. Our deputy prime minister is a female and was roundly criticised in the lead up to an election last year for her haircuts and for not being married and for being ‘purposefully barren’ because she didn’t have any children. It became a serious topic of debate whether or not she was fit to have such a high position as she wouldn’t be able to understand the experiences of Australian families.

    And if anyone says ‘wait a minute… these conversations and actions are wrong’ you’re told you just don’t get the joke, relaz.

  15. The Lazy Ethicist

    That goddamn Broadsheet blog is so wishy-washy. I feel like they never take a stand on anything. They’ll posit something and then hedge immediately. IBTP! (Also, avoid the Broadsheet comments like the plague. It’s like being in Idiocracy.)

  16. tinfoil hattie

    Dang, ate. Get yourself a blog. I’d read it! Good blaming.

    As for me, whom shall I blame today? Oh, how about everybody?

  17. PhysioProf

    Broadsheet sucks shit. The only stuff worth reading at Salon is Story Minute and Glenn Greenwald. The rest of it is just fucking Parade magazine for liberals.

  18. lenor

    I’m in a hurry, but I just wanted to mention that Michelle Duggar, of the Duggar family that Twisty’s written about (remember the hilarious but frightening “Vagina. It’s not a clown car” pic?) is pregnant again, with their 18th child. Scary shit. Deeply scary.

  19. Kathy G.

    Broadsheet is pretty hit or miss — sometimes pretty damn good, other times extremely sucky. But no way is it the worst thing in Salon.

    The worst thing in Salon, by far, is Camille freaking Paglia. Ugh! I rant about her here:

    In that post, I link to Molly Ivins’ classic takedown of Paglia. You should click on to that link if for no other reason than to be able to click onto and read the Ivins piece. It’s awesome.

  20. Sylvanite

    Ugh. I don’t understand how anyone could manage 18 kids in this (or any) culture. I have one baby, and I have to say the pregnancy, childbirth and raising of an infant lays bare the patriarchy. The nuclear family is a crock of shit, as far as I can tell. It leads to the alienation of new mothers from their usual support networks, especially if you have a c-section. I was under draconian restrictions for 6 weeks, stuck in the house with a baby I was consequently less able to care for properly, unable to go out to any of the activities that would hook me up with other new moms. I could go on (and on) but it looks like dinner’s just about ready!

  21. Joanna

    I say, ate, well blamed!

  22. Susan

    You’ve actually gone to the Jenna Bush wedding, haven’t you?

    Have fun!

    As for links, did you hear that yesterday marked a major milestone in classical music? The Wiener Staatsoper appointed a woman as its concertmaster. Albena Danailova is the first woman to have the post, which oversees a group of musicians: “the Vienna Philharmonic — that has long deemed women musicians to be inferior to men. The Philharmonic has only recently invited women to audition, and only one, a harpist, has made the cut permanently.”

    That Danailova will be the boss of this arrogant gang, when it is in its Staatsoper mode, is a delicious irony.

  23. mearl

    Oh, so many blames, I can’t even stop my pointed head from spinning with delight to decide where to begin! I am going to sleep on it and start tomorrow.

  24. Susan

    It’s here! Pangea Day: The Day the World Comes Together! I’ll be watching four hours of movies made by the rest of the world, along with the rest of the world, starting at 11am CA time. There are parties and viewing events just about everywhere, but it’s also being broadcast over the internet and cable TV. This Day was envisioned by an amazing woman (and filmmaker), Jehane Noujaim.

  25. Susan

    I should have mentioned that one of my favorite parts of this has been the movies made of the national anthems sung by different nations. Australia sings Lebanon. Japan sings Turkey. Kenya sings India. France sings USA (my favorite). There are a bunch of them up on the site.

    Ever try singing another country’s national anthem?

    I love this!

  26. Juliet


    Happy Mothers day to the Fuller residence!
    This newest edition makes 18 children.

    That’s 13.5 years of this woman’s life, so far, that she’s been pregnant.

  27. invisible

    I’m suddenly thinking that I am no longer a proper “blamer”.

    I must be a deviant.

  28. Karley

    The anti-choicers have dogpiled upon me. Let’s dogpile them back.


    Give ’em hell, folks.

  29. Karley

    D’oh! Wrong letter!


    My lady brain’s DOING IT AGAIN!

  30. Nine Deuce

    I’ve devised an alternative to the Fourth of July for those of us who aren’t that excited about what the US is up to these days but still want to party some time in early July. Could this be considered a form of protest?

  31. TwissB

    I am so unsurprised at NARAL’s endorsement of Barack Obama. That organization has always been all about electoral politics, not women.

  32. lucy stone

    TwissB, you seem to charge that NARAL practices forcible deception, masquerading as a women’s organization. You may be thinking of EMILY’s List, or NOW, the National Women’s Political Caucus or any number of other entities, but according to its website, NARAL is a non-partisan political advocacy organization with three wings, one of which is trained upon “electing pro-choice candidates” as a step towards realizing its mission.

    Which is: “to develop and sustain a constituency that uses the political process to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.”

    Considering that dudes make laws, NARAL endorses lots of dudes. This latest move may have been a strategic disaster for them, but it’s certainly not a betrayal of their ideals.

  33. ate

    Someone at work just told me, out of the blue, that women have it easier and better than men.
    “Why?”, i innocently asked.
    “Because they can control men.” I was informed.


  34. thebewilderness

    “Considering that dudes make laws, NARAL endorses lots of dudes. This latest move may have been a strategic disaster for them, but it’s certainly not a betrayal of their ideals.”

    Except for the part where he thinks Roberts is a swell CJOSC and abortion should be left up to the states, sure his position is right in line with their ideals.

  35. Gayle



    I don’t remember Obama fighting like hell for EC, either. That other Dem candidate, the one NARAL chose not to endorse, did.

    Sounds like the local chapters are distancing themselves as much as possible from this endorsement. That’s positive news, anyway.

  36. lucy stone

    thebewilderness: Can you please give a citation for Obama’s belief that abortion should be left up to the states?

    Is there any plausible reason to believe that Obama will not overturn the global gag rule/restore funding to the UNFPA/sign a budget stripped of the barbaric Hyde Amendment (if the legislature could actually produce one)/name a rational Secretary of Health/allow John Paul Stevens to finally retire?

    NARAL’s decision is both premature and correct. They’re bleeding donor bucks. But considering the Democrats no longer have the option of nominating Clinton (and I wish she’d had the guts to remain Rodham way back when), NARAL has no time to waste in promoting the pro-choice candidate who’s still in this race.

  37. Gayle


    I agree with you on the “premature” part.

    If they are bleeding donors this is one hell of a way to try and get them back.

  38. ate

    I’ve been having fun with the edit tool over here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy

    You should have seen the rubbish that was up before I come along with my surgical bag.

    However it is late and I am tired and could use some assistance. Remember: wikipedia demands you preserve a visage of neutrality!

  39. ate

    Twisty! Hurry back! The archives aren’t doing it for me, i need fresh blood.

  40. Marisa

    Well this is my blog right here:

    Not really a patriarchy-blaming blog though, just an LLD-generated one. Please visit it and comment?

  41. al

    I’m a recent lurker come forth to bemoan the continued absence of Twisty Faster, as well. You’re coming back, right? I’ve made it almost all the way through the archives.

    In the interests of further patriarchy-blaming, I have some questions about the movie, “Teeth.” Over at http://www.feministing.com, it was (mostly) hailed as a campy and hilarious feminist response to rape culture and abstinence-only education. After watching it, I was left with the sense that a woman being raped on-screen is still a woman being raped on-screen, even if she has the magical power of severing the rapists’ offending appendages. Still thinking on it, but I’d be very interested in hearing what you seasoned and experienced Blamers have to say, if anything.

  42. crowlie

    Hey ate, thanks for blaming the Australian Patriarchy. I’d like to add a little detail about us not only being the haven of misogyny but now also a world leader in paedophilia.



  43. Sev


    Now if only there was some way we could get them on in the womb.

  44. Lara

    Here’s something to discuss.



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