Aug 18 2010

Hey, hepcats!

Katydid (XL)
Fun fact: katydids are kosher. Come’n git it.

Why do you even have a patriarchy-blaming blog, Twisty, if you’re just gonna go AWOL and post pictures of skinks and katydids every 17.6 days?

Well, here’s the sitch. Brace yourself, because it sucks the bag.

It’s cricket season. Cricket season and blaming season cannot coexist.

Why the flarb not, you ask?

The reason is this: every night at about 2:47 AM some benighted cricket infests the bunkhouse in some cranny 6 inches from my ear and commences its chirpy oratorio. No spinster aunt on earth can sleep through that skin-crawling racket, so out of the TempurPedic I flop. At which point I either eat a tub of Cool Whip or strap on the point-and-shoot and saunter out to see what’s doin’ down at the old Orthoptera Compound. With the result that I get no sleep. My obstreperal lobe shrinks to the size of a frog egg. I am hurled into a moral darkness. Blaming is impossible under these circumstances.

Most people, when they are hurled into a moral darkness by unrelenting cricket-induced insomnia, go out and have a fuckin good time. They join a motorcycle gang, get a new tattoo, and do awesome drugs.

But all I have to show for it are 476 pictures of the huge katydid living on my drainpipe.

And the skink in the carport.

Ground skink

Would you believe that the katydid was bigger than the skink?


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  1. Orange

    Skink! Katydid! Great shots.

    The 30-decibel foam earplugs, they don’t knock down the cricket volume enough for you to sleep through the racket? I can’t recommend highly enough possession of a moderate hearing loss. I sleep like a baby.

  2. Laurie

    The guilt-inducing glare on the katydid’s face suggests that it read your caption. Priceless.

    I come for the blame, but my heart is sure warmed by the fab fotos & nature crap.

  3. Nic

    I’m not a huge fan of spiders, but now you’ve mentioned skinks my eyes have lit up.

    My personal pinnacle of heartwarming nature crap would be a beautiful gecko, but a skink is pretty cool too.

  4. sargassosea

    Aint seen no skink since I was but knee-high to a katydid. It’s very skinky!

  5. Jill

    August 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    […] My personal pinnacle of heartwarming nature crap would be a beautiful gecko […].

    There’s a gecko somewhere in my laundry room at this very moment. It’s one of those teeny translucent Mediterranean geckos. They’re all over the place in Austin, but this is the first and only one I’ve seen out here in Cottonmouth County. Must’ve hitched in on the UPS truck or something.

  6. Liza

    It’s OK. Really it is. Hope you get some sleep soon. If not, I can send you my cat. She’s up all night making a(n) hellacious noise too. Maybe she’d eat the crickets. She likes to eat bugs.

  7. Jodie

    I can sleep through almost anything. Thank Dog, because the crickets are bad here, too.

  8. Liberality

    The photos are fabulous too!

  9. sonia

    That skink is super shiny gold.

  10. FemmeForever

    Unfortunately, I don’t share the enthusiasm for creepy crawlers. I am particularly squicked out by the reptilian variety, so thanks a lot for that second image. The last pic I found sort of heartwarming was the opossum a while back.

  11. BadKitty

    The pic of the katydid is awesome. It is so cute that I want to pinch its little katydid cheeks if it has any.

  12. Jamie B.

    Okay, so I normally read this blog through my feed reader, and therefore rarely comment, so sorry about the drive-by, but I got weirded out by this title. I work in high energy physics, which is abbreviated as “HEP,” and my advisor constantly writes “Hey, HEPcats!” as the salutation in his emails to the group. So I did a double-take when I saw this post.

    Because of course you care about this random anecdote from a stranger. ^_^

  13. Sarah

    List of things to do, in no particular order:

    1. Join a motorcycle gang
    2. Get a new tattoo
    3. Do awesome drugs

  14. Adrienne in CA

    Isn’t it only male crickets that chirp? Figures. IBTP.

  15. speedbudget

    I am dogsitting a chihuahua here with my resident Brussels griffon. My heart is so warmed by all the inherent cuteness that I can’t get excited about this post.

  16. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Last time I suffered a bout of bug-noise induced insomnia was at my Aunt Pat’s house in Arkansas. Them buggers musta been the size a Buicks. They’d take up the chorus after dark at approximately 197 decibels and continue until just before daybreak. Three nights of this can turn the most sanguine person into a zombie.

    The remedy of choice was biffing off to Eureka Springs for some excellent Italian food washed down with red wine. Good times, good times.

  17. Level Best

    Skinks are pretty little creatures. And it’s pretty amazing how they can disappear down something as narrow as a crack in the sidwalk.

  18. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    That skink *is* pretty. Like s/he’s made of molten copper.

  19. pheenobarbidoll

    The unusual amount of rain has caused an explosion of grasshoppers in West Texas. Egyptian plaque numbers. They’re also the size of compact cars.

    Also, mosquitoes.

  20. Summerspeaker

    Neat skink! What species is that? I was lucky enough to see an indigo snake while visiting Texas in May, but that was way down in the Valley.

  21. HT

    First time poster – long time lurker. You may be bothered by the crickets understandably because they are interrupting your sleep, however, I miss them. We used to have tons of them – I had to clean out the basement on a yearly basis, but the last 10 years – nada. Same with the bull frogs – used to visit the nearby nature preserve just to listen to the bullfrog chorus, but they aren’t there anymore. What I got to replace was racoons overturning the patio furniture and eating the fish in the pond. Frankly I envy you. Beautiful pictures by the way.

  22. Notorious Ph.D.

    No crickets here. What I do have are a bunch of neighborhood cats that have decided that the roofs of our closely-spaced bungalow apartments are now the 2 a.m. expressway.

    I never thought that a 14-pound animal could make so much noise landing on your roof at the end of an 8-foot leap. A miracle of nature, I tell ya’.

  23. Tamyranev

    That katydid photo is great!

  24. Andrea

    Antoinette Niebieszczanski:

    Do you mean the cicadas? They’re about the size of Buicks. I personally find them soothing (but I also avoid Eureka Springs like the plague).

    Don’t worry, though. You have an ally in Sphecius speciosus, the cicada killers, which are the size of Oldsmobiles.

    Hm. Suddenly I feel like I’ve been here blathering about cicadas and cicadas killers before. Damn. Apparently, I need a hobby.

  25. Lidon Achava

    Sorry you lost sleep, but what beautiful photos!

  26. Katy

    Yep friends, Katy sure did.

    Well it was real funny back in grade school, I assure you.

  27. Josquin

    Hi Jill,

    I recently read an article demonstrating that Republican women are HOTTER than Democratic women. (With accompanying photos of HOTT Republicans such as Sarah Palin and other highly HOTT-compliant women). I almost composed a letter saying. “Isn’t it obvious why Republican women are HOTTER? They as a group are less likely to be feminist and therefore slightly less likely to wear the HOTNESS-compliant uniform.” But when a bunch of Democrats immediately chimed in indignantly to claim that they, too, could be HOTT, I said, “Ahhhh…ferget it.”
    Why oh why oh why oh why….[trailing off, thus the dots]
    Sorry this post has nothing to do with cool insects or reptiles, except to say it made me miss the translucent geckos we’d have all over our walls in Hawaii.

  28. Jennifer Weild

    “A Spontaneous Hymn of August, in Honor of Cricket Season”

    Well, Katy said to the lady,
    “Hell yeah I did!, and
    Why the flarb not?”
    (Why the flarb not?)

    And the stinkin’ skink is thinkin’
    “Yes, I suppose I’d skid,” and
    Why the flarb not?
    (Why the flarb not?)

    And the cricket orchestrations and the skrids they skrid
    And the gang of blamin’ bikers and the lids they unlid
    “Hell yeah we did!
    (Hell yeah we did!)
    And why the flarb not?!

    [quieter, as in echo]
    Why the flarb not?

    [suddenly a bit louder]
    Why the flarb not?

    [and then quietest]
    Why the flarb not?

    [and then silence, with no elliptical trailing off of any kind.]

  29. speedbudget

    Jennifer, that is win.

  30. Josquin

    The skink said to Katy, “My dear…
    “you are hotter than hott!” (with a leer)
    Katy said with a smirk,
    “You preposterous jerk!
    Why I oughta kick you in the rear!”

    Although I usually blame the Patriarchy, this time I blame Jennifer for inspiring me post a limerick. With an ellipsis, even.

  31. Jodie

    Dang, I wish I were poetically inclined!

  32. AileenWuornos

    The colours on the katydid are AMAZING. That’s such a beautiful shade of red.

  33. speedbudget

    I have a caterpillar eating my basil right now. I know I probably should get hir off of it, but I’m curious what zie will turn into. Also, has anybody seen caterpillar poo? So heartwarming. And it’s basil flavored!

  34. Ron Sullivan

    Speedbudget, I love an adventurous eater.

  35. Comrade Svilova

    A woman came into the bakery where I work who wore no makeup, had hairy legs, unshaved armpits, an unwaxed, unbleached moustache, and was obviously braless. It made my day to see someone so confidently and comfortably non-P2K compliant.

    (And she bought rich and tasty cake, unlike all of the worried-about-fat women customers who insist on tiny, microscopic sugar cookies. Or who eat nothing at all while their male companions indulge.)

    Someday, after the revolution, we can all be hairy and cake-eating.

  36. Vera

    Once upon a time we had crickets and a gecko at our house. The gecko was in our care while our younger daughter was away. My spouse and I had just purchased a large container of live crickets and were attempting to insert a couple of them into the gecko’s terrarium, when one of us knocked over the container and spilled the whole lot of them onto the floor. Dozens of crickets! My, how they scattered into every nook and cranny of our offspring’s room. Herding cats, hell. You should try herding crickets. We ran around trying to scoop them up, heading them off before they disappeared behind the dresser and under the bed, but it was hopeless. Plus, after about 2 seconds, we were laughing so hard we could barely breathe. There was something so perfect, in the payback sense, about infesting our child’s room with crickets. When she returned from her trip and heard what had happened, she exclaimed “You did WHAT?!” and fixed upon us exactly the same glare I had so often used on her.

    Even now, ten years later, I sometimes hear chirping at night.

  37. tinfoil hattie

    Your photos are so damn beautiful. What an eye … what a talent!

  38. Alex

    That katydid is GORGEOUS. Once when I was ten, I rolled over one morning after waking and took a big slug of water from my bedside glass…and almost died when a cricket exploded in my face as I was attempting to swallow.

    Scarred for life. Crickets are insane.

  39. speedbudget

    Ron, I figure if I am going to have to eat shit every day in the P, I might as well have basil-flavored shit nuggets. (Here is where I would put the silly tongue-sticky-out emote, but I know how those are frowned upon here.)

  40. Ron Sullivan

    And to think people look at me funny when I tell them my snake’s tongue tastes salty.

  41. CLD

    Vera — absolutely loved your cricket story!

    Jill — fantastic photos; would love it if you could get a pic of that gecko.

  42. Anna belle

    Dear Twisty:

    Might I recommend a noise machine for cricket season? I’ve used one for years to help my citified ears adjust to the strange country noises I must now be exposed to nightly. There are energy-concious models available if that is a concern.

    Anna Belle

  43. MarilynJean

    Just in case anyone was bored waiting for Twisty’s next post, check this out:


    If you want a raise at work, Summer’s Eve suggests that you wash your vagina or something like that.

  44. Josquin

    What??? They still have that vagina-wash crap on the market?? Unbelievable.
    “Ladies, if you want to ask for a raise, get into your time machine, go back in time, bind your feet from infancy on and arrive back in the present with tiny little flower-like feet so that you don’t offend your boss with your large repulsive feet and thus jeopardize your chances for professional advancement.”

  45. speedbudget

    PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If your vulva and vagina are making so much odor that you and others can smell it, there is something WRONG and you need to see a doctor. It is probably a bacterial infection that needs to be dealt with. You will not solve the problem by spraying lilac-scented water up in there.

  46. Bizzie Lizzie

    Hafuckingha. ‘Focus on the things you’ve done to improve the bottom line’.

    I suppose masking pheromonic scents is a plausible device for confusing the opposition.

  47. Josquin

    True enough, speedbudget. But if a woman has such a medical condition, there will be plenty of other compelling physical symptoms beyond mere odor which will clue her to the fact that medical intervention is needed. Ads and products such as the one noted here are seeking to convince women that women’s genitalia are naturally offensive and need some deodorant crap to make them socially acceptable. I’m really surprised that this line of bullshit is still being used as a marketing tool. It seems so 1970’s, and not in a good way.

  48. Hattie

    I’ll take any of those buggers over coqui frogs!

  49. nails

    “But if a woman has such a medical condition, there will be plenty of other compelling physical symptoms beyond mere odor which will clue her to the fact that medical intervention is needed.”

    There are all kinds of weird presentations for various diseases and conditions. Sometimes UTI symptoms start with back pain and vomiting…typically it is painful urination though. sometimes STI’s only have one symptom, or none at all. Our bodies are amazingly unique.

  50. MCS

    Twisty, are you dead? Please don’t be dead, just post.

  51. lawbitch

    There’s a vintage Lysol “personal feminine hygiene” ad on the net. Most blamers have probably seen it. Here’s a link in case you missed it:


    I don’t want to think about what Lysol would do to vaginal ph.

  52. speedbudget

    I understand what the ads are trying to convince us of. It was the context of the ad that made me giggle a little. It was suggesting that your shit stinks and you should make sure you smell sweet before going to ask for a raise.

    The thing about women and symptoms is many times there are none, beyond something like an odor or a discharge. And given the sorry state of our sexual education, many girls and women (due to the marketing of companies such as this) might think they need a product such as this, which is a shame, because douches actually screw around with the natural pH balance and such in the vagina and cause more problems.

  53. MarilynJean

    I especially appreciated the fact that talking about your accomplishments was listed last on the list.

    Eh, this is isn’t advanced blamer material, but it makes me laugh in that Dear-god-when-will-this-ever-end-or-I-may-start-crying sort of way.

  54. Josquin

    Also, not at all advanced blaming, but this morning I read about a very laudatory article about a doctor who offers injections of a type of filler which can plump up women’s aging heels so that they can continue to wear high heels without so much pain. (All you folks in the medical profession, podiatrists in particular, can now chime in and make slight corrections to this post, if I need edification otherwise unavailable to the layperson.)

  55. MPMR

    Ack! I started work again this week, and am now slapped in the face by the patriarchy everyday.

    This blog is my island of sanity in a world that hates me. Could we all do some blaming in the comments until cricket season ends?

    Here’s my attempt (it’s not deep, and it’s not advanced, it’s just every f’ing day):

    Men believe that we are property. Property that belongs to them, judging by how they comment on us (or ignore us, like the black and white tv in the basement). The difference is that woman property is expected to *welcome* this ownership, whereas sports cars and plasma tvs are not.

    This morning, another driver and I arrived at the same parking space at the same time. I waved him in and took a different space. As I got out of my car, he walked past me and said, “Looking good.”

    He’s an ass-hat for having the presumption to tell me what he thinks about my body. He snapped me right out of my good mood. I’m not even Beauty2K compliant: I don’t straighten my hair, I don’t shave my legs, etc. But that doesn’t make me not his property.

    You know the worst part? I smiled at him. Because I couldn’t NOT smile at him.

  56. FemmeForever

    You know the worst part? I smiled at him. Because I couldn’t NOT smile at him.

    Don’t feel bad. We have all been ingrained with these little subtle nods to the P. It would take a lot of intensive deprogramming to cut these out of our psyche altogether. In an awkward, uncomfortable situation, you couldn’t help it. Don’t beat yourself up. Just next time you see him give him the death ray eyes.

  57. Adrienne in CA

    The only thing worse than that Summer’s Eve ad is being lured over to the DailyMisogynist to read about it. Ick!

  58. speedbudget

    MPMR, I know how you feel. My office entrance is right behind a bus stop, so I always have to navigate a large crowd of people to get into my office, and it’s like men have this diarrhea of the mouth or something. I mean seriously. Can’t you keep your mouth shut? When I’m people watching, I make sure the other people are gone before I comment. It’s not rocket science. Gah. I hate that.

    I cultivated The Bitch Look and it seems to mitigate some of that. It’s really just the same face men wear in public (neutral expression, all business), but it seems to intimidate most men. And I had to practice, but instead of the smile, I give a slightly confused and pissed off look now in response to those awkward moments. Practice makes perfect!

  59. yttik

    Good point, Adrienne. Which is worse, a Summer’s Eve ad or the DailyMisogynist? Hmmm, I’ll have to ponder that.

  60. Shelby

    MPMR you were probably lookin’ good because you let him have the space. He probably inferred that your politeness was more knowing your place in relation to him, and now you’re lookin’ good because of it. Had you nabbed the space first, fucknuckle probably would have called you a fat ugly whore.

  61. Bizzie Lizzie

    So MPMR’s basic human courtesy and non-fighteous nature personified in the yielding of the parking space were interpreted as willing submission, thus rendering her a suitable object for patriarchal validation. Smiling takes it to a whole level by raising the nature of the perceived consent to casual domination from ‘willing’ to ‘joyous’. He’s probably totally in love by now and will pop up round every corner with bunches of flowers and dead mice. You’d better stock up on perfumed pant spray.

  62. nails

    I blogged the summer’s eve ad too, if anyone cares.

  63. Jennifer Weild

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    and hope tonight (though will not weep,)
    between tomorrow and today
    that Jill will soon regain her game.
    For though we wish some wind would sweep
    the web clear of its worldwide creeps,
    til then our lobes can stand the pain,
    Twisty please, proceed to blame!

  64. speedbudget

    Yeah! What Jennifer said!

  65. SelinaK

    While the katydids and crickets sing, more monkey shit gets flung:
    The Science of Sexism: Primate Behavior and the Culture of Sexual Coercion

    A different viewpoint buried in a science journal no one has ever read even though it’s co-written by famous evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne. (I just sent it to the author of the above article and he wrote back saying he never read it, but he thinks Jerry Coyne is wonderful. How someone doing research in this area could have missed this, well you can guess.):
    A Theory That Rape Has Its Origin in Evolutionary Biology is Seriously Flawed
    By Jerry A. Coyne and Andrew Berry

    I know the “science of sexism” article is an improvement in that it actually says that the patriarchy is real(!) and we should increase focus on women’s rights, so I shouldn’t complain, but why is the violent behavior of some animals not looked at in the same way as violent behavior in some humans? People can to shitty things to each other, animals can do shitty things to each other. It’s not universal, it’s not ‘normal’ or natural. Why is animal behavior such as altruism and nonviolence and consent in animals not seen as natural behavior? Why is it ‘anthropomorphizing’ if we notice this behavior but not violence and selfishness?

  66. SelinaK

    Just to clarify that post if it goes through, the author doesn’t support the idea that rape is natural for primates. But the Jerry Coyne article is a very important link for those who support the idea.

  67. SelinaK

    A Theory That Rape Has Its Origin in Evolutionary Biology is Seriously Flawed
    By Jerry A. Coyne and Andrew Berry

    I posted this in response to an article called The Science of Sexism: Primate Behavior and the Culture of Sexual Coercion

    It upset me on first read, it sounded like an evo-psych justification of sexual coercion so I decided to post it here to get feedback. I think the phrase ‘science of sexism’ was unfortunate for the title.

  68. redpeachmoon

    It’s an ‘Eat Pray Love’ bullshite fest without the blaming. Missing you Jill, but loving the posts.

  69. Awhirlinlondon

    At what point is one allowed to start worrying?

  70. Bushfire

    Hey nails, I loved your post on your blog about getting promoted. I can’t post comments on your blog because I don’t have any of the IDs that are required.

  71. eilish

    A vile misogyny-spewing foul mouth has hijacked Jezebel for the second time. He spent the day gleefully posting crudities, enjoying his freedom to spit in women’s faces.

    You know that Dworkin quote about the pig with an apple, that awhirlinlondon loathes? I’m nodding in agreement with it today.

    More heartwarming nature crap required.

  72. nails

    I went to see if jezebel is fixed or not yet…jeeez. Seeing everyone ridicule the dude in the comments is kinda fun though.

  73. nails

    Man, I spoke too soon. There are a few threads where they make fun of hacker dude pretty well, but some other ones give the guy exactly what he wants (stories about buttsex, pictures of boobs, etc). That place is more screwed up than I previously believed.

  74. Awhirlinlondon

    I see no reason to believe that the man wasn’t there by invitation.

    Has anyone looked under the porch at El Rancho Deluxe to make sure that everything’s more or less ok over there?

  75. Satchel

    I am really starting to dislike that katydid’s silly face.

  76. Ayla

    Isn’t Jezebel just a “racier” version of 17 Magazine, essentially? Place has looked pretty damned anti-feminist the handful of times I’ve peaked in the door.

  77. eilish

    By the time I came in, only his cheer squad was there. Soul destroying in the extreme.

    I got a reply to my “what the hell is going on?” email: the misogynist “is a one-hit holiday wonder, and now it’s done.” Methinks Awhirlinlondon is correct.

    A lot of the women who post at Jezebel are fine blamers. Every now and again you get some poor ignorant souls who think mesh implants in your breasts that will keep them perky are a great idea and totes a woman’s choice, but they are greatly outnumbered by women with clear thinking and a zippy turn of phrase.
    Very sad. Link deleted.

    I’m liking the katydid. It’s very zen.

  78. speedbudget

    I’m imagining El Rancho Deluxe run over by the crickets and katydids, Lilliputian-style. Check to make sure Jill hasn’t been tied up and kidnapped by our insect overlords.

  79. Bizzie Lizzie

    Maybe she went with them willingly and has been hailed as their leader.

  80. nails

    I miss you jill!!!

  81. Interrobang

    Quite a while ago while overnighting at a friend’s house, another friend and I were quite plagued with a similar seventy-zillion decibel cricket. Eventually the cricket noise stopped, and I enquired of my friend, “Hey, what happened to the cricket?” She, with her usual actual-spinster-aunt aplomb, replied, “He seems…to have found his way…beneath my shoe…”

    Here’s hoping a similar hellraising old-lady spinster aunt provides a likewise beneficent shoe, Jill.

  82. speedbudget

    I’m about to bust out the Raid, ya’ll.

  83. procrastinatrix

    Oh, please, katydid of despair! Have mercy, skink of silence! Please bring back Jill to us so she can embiggen our minds and the internet with her unique blaming.

    We savage death islanders selfishly implore you!

  84. Melissa Papenfus

    Seriously, Twisty! I think I am in withdrawal!!!

  85. Margaret

    Is it time to send the vipera berus from Wrede Dood Eiland, Netherlands, to take care of Twisty’s katydids? It’s cuter.

  86. anna

    how immeasureably miserable is a world without Jill. The next time I see a katydid, I am going to give it a dirty look.

  87. Le Chat Noir

    In the meantime….


    Does anyone have any more recommendations for feminist websites to read?

  88. B

    If you want somethiing fun to post how about this wonderful video made by queer Swedish people in time for the elections here next Sunday? Click “cc” in the right bottom corner to get English subtitles.


  89. Comrade Svilova

    Jill recommended “Fannie’s Room” a while ago; in the past few weeks, I’ve been really enjoying Fannie’s incisive analysis. Not as funny as Jill, but pretty good nonetheless.

    Hope the bugs start really feeling the cold and leaving you alone, Jill.

  90. sargassosea

    Waiting patiently bites.

  91. shopstewardess

    Katydid again
    Waiting patiently bites
    We all miss you Jill

    (Haiku inpiration from Satchel, sargassosea and nails)

  92. tinfoil hattie

    Visiting my in-laws recently. Kids were trying to sleep in a spare room, and were plagued by a cricket. Nigel went in to investigate, and found and removed a culprit. He was about to nab another one, when Nigel, Jr, piped up, “No need to remove that one, dad. She’s a female. They don’t chirp.”

    HA! I couldn’t help equating male cricket chirping to dudely mansplaining. Don’t need it, don’t want it, are subject to it nonetheless.

  93. Sylvie

    Yup – where is the Jill?

  94. mercurialsunshine

    Dang. I was hoping the torrential rain we got earlier this week would have drowned all the crickets. Those suckers must be tough!

    But at least I got to read about mansplaining crickets. That made my day, tinfoil hattie!

  95. tinfoil hattie

    “Does anyone have any more recommendations for feminist websites to read?”


  96. Katy

    Of all the theories I’ve concocted regarding this lack of posting by our kind host, my favorite is that she’s simply sitting back, observing our commenting and wondering.

    “Wonder what’ll happen if I just let ’em speak amongst themselves.” Sip, sip. Sets down empty margarita glass, lights up fat doob.

  97. Hermionemone

    I’m pretty sure that doobular emanations interfere with the obstreperational process, so I am reluctant to accept your hypothesis, Katy. I expect the spinster aunt is pursuing advanced blamological and tacological research in her secret cricket-free laboratory, deep in the hidden mountains of west central Texas, and when it is perfected, she will UNLEASH it upon the as-yet unsuspecting WORLD!

  98. speedbudget

    I just have to vent about this moment of Male Privilege (TM) I ran into this morning.

    Dude is commenting on the Word A Day words of the week last week, which were words having to do with spinning and weaving, which of course are words that all have to do with women. So of course the first comment about the week is from a dude who you just know has been champing at the bit to TALK ABOUT MEN all week. Dude comments that in Medieval Europe on December 7, they used to have essentially an April Fools Day where everyone was invited to “sport.”

    All of which is fine, until he had to add this dumb comment on the end: “Today inviting the sexes to play pranks on one another would probably result not in merriment but a lawsuit. Have we “progressed”, or have we begun to take ourselves too seriously?”

    I mean, is your privilege showing or what? What a turd. It’s like these men never consider that maybe the lawsuits aren’t frivolous, that maybe a woman was hurt or threatened or scared for her life. When I hear comments like that and then I think what it must actually have been like to be a woman in times like those, I shudder. Men never consider what it would be like to be a woman in a time and situation where she has no rights and no humanity.

    I always think, when I hear comments complaining about the womens and their lawsuits, that these men must be barely containing themselves and only on the fear of jail or a fine, and thank goodness we have some laws in place and some legal recourse now.

    Oh, and did you know that on legal documents an unmarried woman is a “spinster,” but an unmarried man is an “unmarried person”? If you need any more proof that women aren’t people in the eyes of men, there you go.

  99. awhirlinlondon

    Patient Griselda; always spinning.

  100. Le Chat Noir

    More blogs:

    · Abyss2Hope (Marcella Chester)
    · Against Pornography
    · Angry for a Reason (Lost Clown)
    · Anti-Porn Feminists
    · Anti-Social Butterfly (Berryblade)
    · ‘Cause knowledge is power (Cellycel)
    · Beyond Feminism (Mary Tracy)
    · Bin the Bunny
    · Biting Beaver – Archive
    · Bonobobabe
    · Buggle’s Blog
    · Buried Alive (Pisaquari)
    · Carnival of Radical Feminists
    · Demonista
    · Din of Inequity (Feminamist)
    · Explore, Expand, Express (Citywood)
    · Feminist Reprise (Amy)
    · Fire in the Bamboo (Phio Gistic)
    · Free and Fled (Atheist Woman)
    · Genderberg
    · Gorgon Poisons (Allecto)
    · Jenn – XXBlaze
    · Julie Bindel
    · Juxtapositions (Sherry Lee Short)
    · Lara – Rychousmama
    · Laurelin in the Rain
    · Learning Feminism (Joceclaire)
    · MauvaiseHerbe (Feminist blog in French / en Français)
    · Miss Andrea
    · Not For Sale: Survivors in Revolt
    · Off Our Backs
    · Rage Against the Man-chine (Nine Deuce)
    · Rain’s Place
    · Reclusive Leftist
    · Redmegaera
    · Rmott62 (Rebecca)
    · Screaming into the Void (Amananta)
    · Sinister Girl
    · Sparkle*Matrix
    · Spinning Spinsters
    · Stormy
    · Too Much to Say for Myself (Cath Elliott)
    · Undercover Punk
    · Vegantabulous! (ms. jared)
    · We’re gonna need a bigger boat (Sharkbait)
    · Witchy-Woo
    · Women’s Lives Matter & Women’s Life Matters
    · Women’s Space (Heart)

  101. Le Chat Noir

    Ooops, well the document I was copying and pasting from had links.

  102. procrastinatrix

    The ones I read daily in addition to IBTP are:

    shakesville (shakespearessister)
    hoyden about town
    feminists with disabilities (FWD)
    womanist musings

    If i have time i add pamshouseblend and angryblackbitch

    Since Jill recommended it i have found myself going back to fugly horse of the day fairly often–funny woman, disturbing subject.

    These suit me but don’t know if they will the blametariat–a couple have “funfeminist” or “cult of personality” type leanings.

  103. Dr. Sarah Tonin

    My mental image is of Twisty doing the butt-dance and lip-synching to “You Don’t Own Me.”

  104. procrastinatrix

    I listed some feminist blogs i read but the comment is hung up in moderation, even though there are no links, just names of blods. Sad face.

    Unless the katydid is moderatin’, I guess y’all will have to wait for my recommendations for a while. Not that they were earthshaking or anything.

  105. hero

    Yay for the Black Cat–THANK YOU for that list!!

  106. procrastinatrix

    Okay, I figured out why the comment’s in moderation. One of the blogs I listed uses the itch word that starts with a b. How silly of me to not figure that out.

    So here’s the edited list, in case anyone’s still interested:

    shakesville (shakespearessister)
    hoyden about town
    feminists with disabilities (FWD)
    womanist musings

    If i have time i add pamshouseblend and angryblackb!tch

    Since Jill recommended it i have found myself going back to fugly horse of the day fairly often–funny woman, disturbing subject.

    These suit me but don’t know if they will the blametariat–a couple have “funfeminist” or “cult of personality” type leanings.

  107. nails

    I just posted to my blog if anyone wants (its about andrea dworkin). Just click my name.

  108. awhirlinlondon

    Am delighted that this is the way all of you feel & hope very, very much that you’re right. As an urbanite and someone who is terribly afraid of the potential evil of Pissed Off Men, particularly with respect to a woman who is presumably findable and has pissed off so many of them and has been on the receiving end of death-threats, I’m fucking terrified.

  109. K

    Procrastinatrix, if the blog title that triggered moderation ends in “Ph.D.,” I’ll just warn everyone that it’s had about four posts in the last five weeks. Don’t know what’s going on, but I’ve started to stop checking.

  110. Bushfire

    When I saw the archive of Biting Beaver listed up there, it all came flooding back to me. I googled the name and discovered that there’s still all sorts of hateful shit floating around out there. She said nothing illogical that I ever read, so I feel like the hatred for her is hatred for me too. And for most of us. If a man had said any of the things she said, nobody would care.


  111. Le Chat Noir

    Hero, you’re welcome. The more feminist blogs, the better! :D
    Down with crickets.

  112. Satchel

    @ shopstewardess

    Hope springs eternal
    I click and hope for blaming
    Smirking katydid

  113. redpeachmoon

    I’m really getting worried about Jill! Really, should a posse be assembled? Off to a ‘women’s retreat’ on Star Island. Hope some of my tribe will be there. thanks for the links to other sites!

  114. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Shakesville – meh. Too much shame-on-you-ism. Also, clique-ish.

  115. Ames

    I’ve found some very good UK feminist bloggers. Happily, one of them has posted
    a list of a whole bunch of them.

  116. Adrienne in CA

    Violet Socks (Reclusive Leftist) has been disappearing too, off and on. Apparently there’s a Secret Feminist Cabal that’s recruited our best thinkers. Can’t wait to see the product of their work.

  117. Jezebella

    I feel the same way about Shakesville. I broke up with them a while back when I realized exactly how many dudes were blogging there.

  118. goblinbee

    I have a question for the blametariat, and that is WHY things are the way they are–WHY is it men who make the rules? I suggested a while back that the power went to the gender that was physically bigger and stronger (and therefore could insist (might makes right)), but one or more people argued with me about that.

    So…what IS the reason?

  119. Bushfire

    Since my last comment is still in moderation after several days, I don’t know if this will even show up. I just found this gem on the net and I think it’s a fabulous idea. How about you ladies send this to anyone you know who is a radical feminist techie and maybe she can get it going in the US in a revolutionary way.


  120. thebewilderness

    I’m guessing that it developed partly because women die for all the same reasons men do plus some things men never experience.
    If you are wondering how we got to where we are now, reading “Caliban and the Witch” will give you a longer view of the process.

  121. La Chica Lucy

    I think the idea of property is crucial in the development of the Patriarchy (not the only cause, though). When humans went from survivalist gatherers/hunters to permanently settled agriculture/husbandry and the concept of owning land and other animals became accepted, why not own the physically weaker among us as well – i.e. women and children. Although that is sort of a simplistic explanation – there are other factors, too. Gerda Lerner’s “The Creation of Patriarchy” is a pretty scholarly work on the subject.

    I miss Jill, and, being a “worry wart”, I am, true to form, a little worried.

  122. Shelby

    When I’m calling you ou ou ou ou ououuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

  123. nails

    golinbee- they weren’t everywhere. Some native american cultures didn’t have that problem, for example. A friend of mine actually researched a chinese culture where women made the rules recently… The culture specific answers lie in history, as always. Shit happens.

  124. speedbudget

    I read it posited that it was the plow that led to all these Patriarchal changes. In gathering cultures, the group usually works together to provide food. There is no “men hunt/women gather” delineation. Everyone worked to gather the food, whether from fishing, herbing, or hunting. In a gathering culture, women provide 80% of the food and income to the household. 80%. Women hold the pursestrings and are economically viable.

    Not so much in an agrarian, plow-based economy, and I think that’s mainly because with agriculture, the work becomes much, much more labor intensive, and while women can do the work, they can’t do it all the time (I’m mainly thinking of pregnancy and nursing here–which can go on for up to four years in some cultures), and so men start to have the economic upper hand.

    Notice that in gathering cultures, women don’t lord that shit over the men. Dunno why Patriarchy = Douchecanoe, but there it is.

  125. yttik

    I don’t think the origins of patriarchy have so much to do with size differences or even pregnancy and nursing. Women often do an incredible amount of work while pregnant and nursing. As others have said, it probably has more to do with when we started owning land and farming, which then leads to having dominion over animals, and eventually viewing women as property, too. Slavery also became fashionable. We’ve progressed to the point of now believing we own the entire planet and created this hierarchy for everything on it. Back before we became “civilized”, when survival was the main focus, you were probably so thankful for another pair of hands and some companionship, that domination and submission over the environment, over people, didn’t even enter the picture.

  126. goblinbee

    yttik: “…and eventually viewing women as property, too.”

    But my question is WHY this view was able to be enforced. What would make it stick, if not brute force?

  127. shopstewardess

    I date the Patriarchy back to the first circumnavigation of the earth by white European males (Magellan et al.) in 1522. The processes which led to that circumnavigation were driven by the Ottoman Empire’s domination of mediterranean trade routes under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent, so the history can be traced back beyond then, but 1522 is a convenient point.

    It is since 1522 that white European males have been convinced that they own the world and everything that is in it. And it is since 1522 that they have shaped the economics, society and culture of the human world in support of that conviction.

  128. yttik

    “What would make it stick, if not brute force?”

    Possibly a slow trickle, like water on stone that eventually is able to carve out a hole. Kind of like a frog doesn’t jump out of a pot if the water is heated slowly enough. Brute force has certainly come into play, but only later as a way to enforce things once people realized what was happening. Women are often preoccupied with doing 80% of the work, with caring for children, with gathering food, and haven’t always had the time to ponder the impact of what the men were doing and how it’s going to alter society in a few hundred years.

    What I find scary about humans is how so little brute force is necessary to get people to comply and adapt to some pretty atrocious things. We’re people pleasers, you go with the flow, you go along to get along. People are kind of inter-dependent upon each other, which leads us to voluntarily adapt pretty quickly to social expectations.

  129. Le Chat Noir

    goblinbee, I recommend reading Riane Eisler’s The Chalice & The Blade. I came across this book when looking for information about the origins of patriarchy and it blew my mind.

  130. jojodunc

    Another thought — with settled agrarian economy and private property came the idea that one should pass one’s property on to one’s offspring, therefore he needs to know that HER children are also HIS, therefore he needs to control her sexual behavior. And then there’s something in the nature of (at least some) men that is willing to use violence to get what they want. Voila, patriarchy.

    And, Twisty, I apologize for the “mores vs. morays” remark. It was stupid.

  131. speedbudget

    jojodunc, I can’t believe I left that out. Yes, and that is also what started the tradition on arranging marriages of young girls to old men — you could be reasonably certain the girl was still a virgin when you impregnated her if you marry her young enough.

    I wasn’t saying the origins of patriarchy had to do with size differences or pregnancy and nursing. I was saying that those are contributing factors. Yes, women can and do do all kinds of manual labor while pregnant and nursing. However, there is a limit to how much one can bend and wrestle around with while pregnant (thinking of plows and reshoeing horses and things of that nature here) and only so much work one can do in between bouts of nursing or child care. Which makes the woman more dependent on the man in the equation as far as getting farm work done.

    All of the things posited are not the magic bullet. It’s a compilation of all the reasons posited. It stuck, goblin, because men also created guns and other tools that they found were pretty convenient for getting people to acquiesce to demands.

  132. Susan

    May I weigh in on the origins of the P ?
    Three factors came together that convinced men of the absolute necessity to control women: settled agriculture that produced surpluses, the understanding that death comes for all of us, and the male role in procreation.

    It was the change from hunting/gathering/herding to cultivation, walled cities, and grain storage that dramatically altered humans’ view of ourselves in the world. We no longer picked a berry and put it in our mouths as we walked along. Now there were stores of food and fields to protect from raiders, and a workforce of loyal family members to plant and harvest. Humans had possessions before, but the concept of working hard now and storing assets for future use was a huge shift in our relationship to nature. Instead of being part of the world, we became it’s owner. The earth is no longer our Mother; man is now her overlord.

    Add the understanding that we shall die to the idea of property, and offspring become much more than a dependable workforce. Children are a kind of immortality. We can pass down all the goods we’ve worked for to replicas of our selves, who’ve been trained to be just like us; this is the next best thing to taking it with you.

    Just these two factors don’t bode well for women since we are the only ones who can produce the workers and the heirs, but it gets worse. When men realize the connection between intercourse and pregnancy, assurance of paternity demanded complete, total control of as many women as possible. During the period when humanity turned from worshipping the Earth Mother to the Sky Father, the cult of child sacrifice arose. No man trusted another when it came to women, so firstborn sons were killed just in case the bride’s father had slipped up and not kept her adequately confined before marriage. Child sacrifice also dovetails with the religious revolution; how better to demonstrate to women that we may give life, but men can take it than by murdering her first child? The Earth Mother gives life, but Sky Father can kill, kill, kill.

    Status and honour came to be measured largely by a man’s ability to control his women and children. We were reduced to domestic animals, bred for fertility, strength and docility.

    This hasn’t really changed much.

  133. Tehomet

    @goblinbee: “But my question is WHY this view (patriarchy, women as property, etc.) was able to be enforced. What would make it stick, if not brute force?”

    I think that brute force is definitely a factor. But maybe it’s not (arguably) greater physical strength that is decisive in giving men the upper hand over women so far in history, but men’s lack of attachment to children. The fact that women are the ones who have the kids, added to the fact that for many years, paternity was an unknown factor, made women controllable. If you were a man, and you didn’t know that Kid A was your genetic kid, and you had greater physical strength than the mother of Kid A, and the woman has the natural love for and attachment to the kid that tends to happen – well, as a man, you have all the leverage. A women can fight control over herself. She can resist threats to herself, but anything that threatens her kids is a much bigger deal.

    I think that being the ones who bore and loved the children is what made women vulnerable to the patriarchy. Not the differing physical strength levels, as such.

    I hope that makes sense. I’m not explaining my theory too well. :D

  134. goblinbee

    How male domination got its start was not exactly my question, but I’ve been interested in everyone’s theories about it; probably in talking about why you have to talk about how.

    But, again, however it got started, why was it able to stick? If the physical size and strength of human males and females were reversed–with the childbearing, lactating sex being the larger, stronger one–could things have turned out the same way? Some of you are suggesting that they could–that our vulnerability was due to our relationship with our children rather than our size and strength.

  135. yttik

    Physical size and strength differences are actually pretty slight, when they aren’t exaggerated by patriarchy and gender expectations. Women probably are stronger in terms of endurance, flexibility, and general health. I think the child bearing, lactating ones are stronger, that’s why nature has them doing those things, and that’s why cultures all over the world have them doing 80% of the work. Men have moments of strength when they aren’t children, sick, injured, elderly, but the window of time when they have superior strength is pretty short.

    The reason I down play the significance of brute force is from studying domestic violence situations. So many women are psychologically abused, in relationships that involve no physical violence at all. The threat of violence might be there, but it’s a bit misleading to assume that’s what keeps them trapped. Victims could neutralize that threat with a weapon or by getting out when he’s not around, but they don’t. One reason they don’t is because they care about social expectations, about approval, they blame themselves, they want this to work out. Human nature has us dependent on each other, we’re tribal, we’re driven by a need to be with others, to conform with them.

    I don’t think physical size and strength have much to do with it. I think if men had been the ones busy 24/7 caring for children and gathering food, women would have been the ones out to conquer the land and set up a hierarchy of ownership.

  136. Lidon Achava


  137. wiggles

    I hate the testosterone argument because it implies that it’s always been the natural order of things and therefore unchangeable. Besides, it requires so much enforcement and head-fuckery it’s pretty hard to believe it’s the natural state of affairs.

  138. Andrea

    If you haven’t read it, I also recommend Chalice and the Blade. There is also a book called Women’s Work or Woman’s Work which does a good job with 1500’s – 1800’s England (women being ousted from guilds and international trade, and the development of textile and agricultural industries, effect of factory work overtaking cottage industry, etc.), but Eisler/Gimbutas kick its ass for older history. I’ll take the Kurgan hypothesis over the “men didn’t know where babies come from, and when they found out women weren’t getting knocked up on their own, they were PISSED!” any old day.

    Unfortunately there’s a lot of books called Woman’s Work or Women’s Work and none of the search results seem to be the one I’m talking about. Some of them are probably just as good or better, though.

    Personally, I’d like to see sexual dimorphism in humans WITHOUT thousands of years of gender conditioning. “Strength and hormones” explanations are a little shaky without a control group and suspiciously circular.

    Anyway, I’m getting worried about our hostess now.

  139. Hermionemone

    Is the Spinster Aunt on safari / walkabout? The pink Kewt-eye-did of Borneo (Papua New Guinea to be precise). They’re everywhere you want to be.


  140. Hermionemone

    That was. Intended. To be a. Sentence. Please allow me to re-introduce the fabulous Pink-eyed Katydid of Borneo (or rather, of Papua New Guinea), a species recently discovered by science, but having a strong family resemblance to creatures we’ve seen in these very hallowed web pages. (see link displayed above)

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