Jan 27 2011

Global Blamer Kaffeeklatsch

Phil, my secretary, is against Facebook. I admit I have my reservations, too. It is difficult to regard such a wholesale privacy massacre without suspicion. For example, I just heard on the Marketplace Tech Report that they have just started this dealio where if you mention a brand name in your status update, Facebook can sell your remark to the brand owner, whereupon your remark, along with your picture and name, will appear in an ad for the branded thing on your page and your friends’ pages, too! Congratulations, you are now an unpaid spokesasshole. And you can’t opt out. As the Tech Report dude said, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re Facebook’s customer. You are, in fact, Facebook’s product. The customer is the advertiser.


Even so, I Blame the Patriarchy is going for a test run over there. I know I have already announced this, but I thought some of you might like to know that there is a tab on the IBTP Facebook page called “Discussions,” and there you will find blamers looking to meet up with other blamers in a sort of regional way. It is an awkward and ungainly system, but it might help to scratch the itch, oft expressed by lone blamers eking out their subsistence blames in ideological isolation, to meet actual live radical feminists at the local coffee shop. So far there’s only one blamer in Islamabad. C’mon, Pakistan! Get with the program! But mention Burger King at your peril!

Also, here is a picture of my horse. Getting dentistry.

Modern equine dentistry


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  1. MPMR

    Whoa, that blew my mind a little. I had never before considered that horses needed dentistry, nor that one might perform it with an 18V Dewalt.

  2. Jill

    Yeah, it’s pretty unnerving to watch even when you’ve seen it 100 times. What happens is, when they eat, horses grind their jaws in a sort of side-to-side motion, and it wears their back teeth into sharp points which can cause tongue/cheek lacerations. So the vet has to sand’em down once a year. They drug the horse, put a speculum in the mouth, insert drill with dental attachment, and grind away. Yikes.

  3. nails

    I fucking called that brand-name-tracking shit a long time ago. Now I have proof. Thanks!

  4. shopstewardess

    Thanks for the info, Jill. I wasn’t one for brand names anyway, but now I have another reason to avoid them. I am also grateful to the blamer who mentioned that other sites visited while logged in to Facebook can be tracked. Facebook for me will now be a stand-alone activity.

    Horse dentistry has gone hi-tech since my day, when a gag bridle and an old-fashioned rasp were the answer to unevenly worn teeth, and no drugging was involved. Surprisingly, the horses seemed to mind rather less than I mind my own dentist, even though cracking plaque off the incisors with what looked like an oversize nutcracker sounded like a small gun going off.

  5. Comrade PhysioProf

    Wasn’t there some kind of foofaraw in Texasse about unlicensed horse dentists who had been treating horses expertly for decades being forced out of business by veterinarians who lobbied for a law or some suche shitte?

  6. joy

    Who actually puts BRAND NAMES in their facebook statuses anyway? Other than calling one out (ie, “American Apparel is run by a sexist, rapist asswipe”). Is there that warrants discussion other than, say, one’s devotion to Clorox or love for Lysol?

    Related to: people still CARE about BRAND NAMES?! Knock me over with a feather.

    I apparently forget how bad the capitoconsumerism of this patriarchy is, because I live under a largely separatist rock for the sake of my own mental health.

    Also, the farrier or vet still does Peter’s teeth. Without drugs. The horse is fine with it. We’d know if he wasn’t, because he’s not shy about expressing his opinions.

  7. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Comrade PP — politics in Texas usually involves the other end of the horse.

  8. respectfully so

    I am really bummed because I really am against Facebook and I worry I’ll miss out on those discussions, and I won’t see the potential blamer activities or options to meet to discuss. But I do understand why you would want to be present there. It is a forum where perhaps these topics and discussions can reach a broader group. Hmmph….

  9. joy

    “is there nothing that warrants discussion other than …” is what that should read.

    It feels as though we are living in the 1950s again, and people are wearing starched aprons while they mop the floor in anticipation for the Tupperware and Fuller Brush salesmen to stop by.

    Most people’s day-to-day lives are ads. As the article on IBTP-FB says, we are not the customers. We are the advertisements, and advertisers/brand names are the customers.

  10. tessa

    oh no! is all the good blamin’ going to happen on facebook now?! i’m not on facebook (and never will be!)…are you going to keep all your good ranting for facebook, and leave us with the after thoughts??

  11. Mortisha

    Down under there has been a major ideological war over using power dentistry tools for horses. Some very scary stories of operators going way too far and destroying the pulp in teeth and ultimately horses’ health. I had all my horses done once and hovered around asking a million questions, checked all work with my trusty torch and feeling the teeth after each session. It worked out very well, especially the new ones who had never seen a horse dentist. A real change in behaviour for my stockhorse, no more head tossing, much softer and willing. Now all the major work had been done I’m content with a veterinarian just using a hand rasp to knock off the sharp points once a year. It is bloody hard to find a qualified vet/good equine dentist combo here.

    How many horses are branded naughty or stubborn because their mouth is hurting? Too many people ignore the veterinary causes of a lot of behaviour problems. Shit, don’t get me started. I’d love to stick a wad of barb wire in some people’s underpants and whack them with a whip if they complain about it. Could teach them a lesson about the patriarchy at the same time.

  12. Blind Horse

    It’s called “web-scraping”. Companies hire other companies to do nothing more than trawl the internet for mentions of themselves, good, bad or indifferent. Then the “customer verbatims” aka comments, are run through a text-analytics software program to determine whether the sentiment expressed is good, bad, or indifferent, and to what degree. It’s very sophisticated stuff, and it has gone very mainstream. Don’t ask me how I know. IBTP.

  13. whatabout

    Here an article link on the movie Miss Representation to check out…


    And here’s the link to Miss Representation…


  14. Crucial D

    Oh, hey, my cat had some dentistry done today, too. A good teeth cleaning and a couple of extractions. Poor guy.

  15. minervaK

    just an aside: there is a way to make ‘secret groups’ on bookface, from whence one may invite others without the unwashed masses becoming aware of said group’s existence. i could even probably figure out how to set one up, if anybody wants a place to rant in private blamer company.

  16. Linda

    “Down under there has been a major ideological war over using power dentistry tools for horses”

    Really? And here’s me thinking we had far more pressing social concerns going on down here. I must have allowed myself to be distracted with trivial issues like homelessness, ongoing colonisation of Indigenous peoples, and of course our hideous treatment of refugees and asylym seekers. This has caused me to neglect the plight of the landed gentry and their petty squabbles over their acquisitions.

  17. shopstewardess

    @ Linda, for what seem to be significant numbers of us blamers, as for other not yet entirely enlightened human females, books and horses are among our hard-fought-for refuges from the trials of fighting the patriarchy. I acknowledge that even those refuges are necessarily infected by it, but then I haven’t yet found a way to eschew everything the patriarchy touches and stay both sane and economically viable. I expect that if I do, I will disappear in a puff of smoke into another physical plane entirely.

  18. Val

    ‘Tain’t the power tools**, it’s the DRUGS! (correct, safe & proper use thereof)
    But that reminds me to order a new battery pack for my power float ;-)

    **actually a lot of the maintenance work is done w/hand tools as Mortisha describes; it’s just good old-fashioned carpentry

  19. yttik

    “…the plight of the landed gentry and their petty squabbles over their acquisitions.”

    We have quite a few horse owners here that are not landed gentry, they actually live in camp trailers in their horse pastures and spend most of their meager paychecks buying hay.

    However, the effort, resources, enthusiasm for protecting animals sure never seems to extend to human beings. Were I live we have three animal shelters, 16 animal rescues, two pet food banks, and absolutely zip for people. Animals really are a lot easier to empathize with, but there’s something wrong with our inability to care for each other as a species. We’ll rescue your pet from homelessness when you face foreclosure, but we sure aren’t going to help you find housing. It’s self defeating, because if we don’t take care of people, they’ll be nobody around to take care of animals.

  20. blondie

    Jeez, little shop of horrors or what.

  21. joy

    It is possible to care about both animals AND women (and other beshitten demographics of humanity, though those demographics often overlap with that of ‘women’, ie ‘homeless women’), because our plights are very similar.

    Not ‘exactly alike’, mind, but very similar.

    However, yeah, the horse world is frickin’ bourgey. Those of us who are not bourgey are often subjected to the shit ends of various sticks. The barn is definitely a refuge from P-baloney, though; for me at least, even performing backbreaking labor, such as shoveling literal shit for hours in exchange for board, is preferable to shaving or doing makeup or putting up with a Nigel or even going out in the regular public.
    For all this, IBTP.

  22. AntiLoquax

    No one say anything interesting on the Facebook page so that I don’t have to be left out. Also, no one have any fabulous blamer parties in central Connecticut.

  23. Mortisha

    Wha! Sitting on a horse is a great place to quaff chardonnay while watching equine dentists throw 10 lb horse picks at each other.

  24. tinfoil hattie

    I expect that if I do, I will disappear in a puff of smoke into another physical plane entirely.

    Not without taking me with you.

  25. Comrade PhysioProf

    Is it safe to drinke booze on a horse?

  26. Ayla

    It’s hard for me to see something as privileged as horse ownership as a refuge. It seems more like a fancy club I can’t afford to join. But maybe I’m missing the point.

  27. speedbudget

    CPP, as long as you don’t fall off. But I found out one CAN be arrested for DUI for riding a horse back home from a bar drunk, even if the horse knows exactly where it is going and how to get there.

    Just like I know that motorizing your Barcolounger and driving home from the bar can ALSO get you arrested for DUI.

    Look, my hobby of cutting up little pieces of paper for which to make LARGER pieces of paper which are kind of artistic but mostly useless could be considered some kind of crime against womanity, but as shopstewardess said, we all need some mental relief from the grind that is P. Let’s give each other a break on our respective hobbies.

  28. Ayla

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned here it’s that NOTHING gets a pass. That includes hobbies.

  29. Jill

    To answer the question “are you ditching the blog for Facebook?”: no. I’m only doing the Facebook thing to keep my hat in the ring while I’m on my 6-month sabbatical. Facebook is not required for your blaming pleasure.

    To answer the question “is it legal to ride a horse while drunk?”: hell yeah, it is. But it’s a pretty dumb thing to do. A friend of a friend — a professional trainer — recently got shitfaced and jumped up bareback on the barn’s retired pasture puff, only to hit the dirt moments later, breaking her back. That hurts!

    It’s true that horses are not necessities, but that does not translate to bourgeoisie-only. I know plenty of regular joes (josephines? I hate English sometimes) who work 2 or 3 jobs to feed their jones.

  30. Mortisha

    There have been some interesting studies on the effects of owning horses on women. One example http://gradworks.umi.com/33/08/3308208.html
    Yes my horses keep me borderline broke but I’d be insane, over medicated or dead by now if I didn’t have one.

    Something that crops up quite regularly in horsey acquaintances is the Nigel tantrum. Nigel is outrage wanky wifey duties are being neglected for preferable equine companion, delivers a “it’s me or the horse ultimatum”. Cue lightbulb moment.

    Woman and horse ride off into the sunset deliriously free of the patriarchy for one intoxicating moment. There is no going back.

  31. Jill

    “Something that crops up quite regularly in horsey acquaintances is the Nigel tantrum.”

    It’s not uncommon for horsewomen to try to ameliorate Nigel jealousy by buying him what’s known in the industry as a “husband horse” — typically a dead-broke child’s trail horse, because of course the dude can’t ride and won’t take lessons. It never works, though. A Nigel on a horse is still a Nigel. That is, he’ll never be as interesting as the horse itself. These dudes always look awful in the saddle because they’re all ego and flapping elbows, and no finesse.

  32. joy

    Not to mention the Nigel’s subsequent abuse of his husband-horse, resulting in yet more temper tantruming and cycling into yet more abuse of both wife and horse, ultimately ending in husband-horse coming to a trainer (such as yours truly) as a nervous, emotionally scarred fucking wreck. Thanks, dudes.

    Dudes on horses are reasons that non-bourgey people like me wind up with cheap or free horses. Horses who have also been broken down by the patriarchy. Horses who have PTSD. Horses who blame.

    Who wants to start a horseback gang? “Hooves Of Blame.” The non-horse-privileged are welcome to join, we can rescue a horse for each of us who’s unhorsed and start a separatist nonprofit equine rehabilitation farm.

  33. speedbudget

    I really thought while reading your comment, Jill, that the husband-horse would be a cheap motorcycle or something. Because who wants to bring the Nigel with you to your peaceful pastures?

    I’ve only ridden a horse very rarely in my life, but I loved every second of every time I did so. I would love to be a part of a separatist nonprofit equine rehabilitation farm. I was a volunteer at a non-separatist equine rehabilitation program for humans, which was pretty cool. Lots of people benefit from being on or near horses, in very direct ways. Horses are pretty darn cool, and I’ve always wished I was one of those girls who got to grow up with them. Alas, moving every 18 months for the Army kind of put the kibosh on that.

  34. nails

    From what I recall, DUI laws classify the operation of a vehicle under the influence as the crime. Bicycles count as a vehicle. I very much doubt a horse does.

  35. joy

    It varies from state to state. In Pennsylvania, one can be arrested for operating an equine while under the influence, if one rides off of one’s own private property. Say, takes a jaunt down to the post office or (true story) rides through the drive-thru at a fast food joint.

    If one is RUI (riding under the influence, I just made that acronym up) on someone else’s private property (ie, is drunk-riding at a boarding facility), the discretion falls to the owner of the property whether or not to call the police.

    Is it really sad that I know this? Because as a former barn manager in Pennsylvania, I have had occasion to need this knowledge?

    Also, speedbudget, yes! You know it — therapeutic riding, it’s a real thing, and it’s therapeutic for both horses and people.

    My equine specialty is almost exclusively ground training, and most of my ‘clients’ are either unhandled or ‘problem’ horses, ie, hooved blamers. I’ve long noticed how most respond very well to radical feminist handling as opposed to traditional ya-hooing of any stripe (from cowboy ‘breaking’ to Parelli and in between).

    Several of my alumni have gone on to do therapeutic work. One mare had been a ‘husband horse’ and experienced hell-knows-what; even in a state of ‘recovery’, she (wisely) attacked men on sight and immediately, violently ditched adult-sized riders of any sex. But she loved being around kids who needed horse therapy for various reasons, and much as I shy away from ascribing human traits to animals, she had what I can only call an uncanny empathy for adult women who’d been abused in some form or another. (She and I got on famously.)
    She gave the best horse-hugs.

    Imagine how many women and animals could benefit from a radical feminist equine therapy farm. For the fact that horses are indeed considered exclusively the purview of landed gentry and are not available to the wider populace, I blame.
    In the meantime, if anyone in my general geographic area (NY-PA-OH) wants some amateur horse therapy, get in touch. I’m laid up sick right now (which is why I’ve been blaming almost compulsively to keep my sanity), but something can surely be arranged.

  36. Comrade PhysioProf

    The great gazoogle led me to the blogge of this DUI defense attorney d00d:


    That blogge poste has links to some of his other ones on the topic of drunke horse riding. While this is a matter of state law, it looks like the consensus legal standard is that drunke-riding a horse does not satisfy the requirements of DUI laws.

  37. tinfoil hattie

    Dang, I’ve only ever ridden a horse once in my life. I’d like to try it again, reading all these comments!

  38. Helen

    However, yeah, the horse world is frickin’ bourgey.

    Not really. In Australia, most of the kids and their parents I notice in the horsey world are either working class people who can earn a good wage (like trades families) or farming families who can keep an extra animal on pasture most of the year without breaking the bank. There is a layer of people who are very haut bourgeois but they are just a layer – same as with cars.

  39. phio gistic

    There are a lot of horse owners out in the country in these parts. It’s cheap to live in bumfuck and there’s often room for cows, goats, and the odd horse or two. Horse ownership is not exclusively a pursuit of the well moneyed.

  40. Jezebella

    Linda, that is an outstanding example of the “get off your bum and spend your time on more important causes” square on the anti-feminist bingo card. Brava.

  41. joy

    Sure, of course it’s possible to keep a horse and not be a bourgeoise asswipe. I manage to have a horse in my life, even though I grew up on welfare and make a low-five-figure income.

    But for one thing, keeping a horse at home necessitates having a permanent home to begin with, and having enough land that’s adequate to keep a horse on, and that alone (before the necessary shelters and safe fencing) requires a certain amount of money.

    Keeping a horse well, wherever you keep it, takes a lot of effort and/or finances. Keeping the things happy and healthy is a reasonably huge undertaking. They have incredibly delicate innards, and are prone to a lot of diseases and infections, and need to be handled very consistently and get their hooves seen to every six to eight weeks, and all that. Not to mention keeping them in riding shape if they’re to be ridden.

    So people either a.) do all the work themselves, or b.) pay someone else to do the work for them. Most people in column a.) don’t end up with a lot of free time, and most people in column b.) tend to have a lot of money.

    Thus, I feel pretty confident in saying that, unfortunately, horsekeeping is usually pretty bourgey and tends to be seen as the purview of the landed gentry. Regardless of the type of person who may be doing the actual horsekeeping work, who’s probably not bourgey at all. And may also be a color other than white.

    (This is a topic worthy of its own blog post, probably someplace other than on this blog. Though I seem to recall Jill once mentioning the possibility of a scathing expose of the “equestrienne lifestyle”, and I really really really wanna read that if she ever writes it.)

  42. yttik

    The Facebook brand name in your status is a real thing. I have received messages informing me my friends like coke and huggies.

  43. Val

    Funny you should mention the husband-horse… When my Nigel expressed an interest in riding, half my friends wanted to help me horse-shop, while the other half urged me to discourage this nascent impulse – why would I want to go from HAVING a crew to BEING the crew?
    Champ was the most expensive horse I’d ever bought (paying well for temperament/maturity/training, unlike the rest of my refugees/rejects & DIY projects), but he’s actually turned out to be the best horse in the barn – Hubs only rode him in a couple of limited-distance events, where he found out that it IS hard work! – but he’s a great kid’s horse & will take you down the trail in comfort & style.
    & as phio gistic noted, around here, we have mostly backyard horses whose owners scrimp & save to provide for…

  44. buttercup

    Sign me up for the separatist nonprofit equine rehab farm. Can we get a couple of freesians or other big strong draft horses so us fatties can ride too? It’s been many years but it would be amazing to ride again.

    Facebook can indeed do private groups. The nice thing about that is that when there’s activity in the group, it shows up on your wall, so you don’t miss anything.

  45. TwissB

    I don’t know why Phil dislikes Facebook but I hate it because (1)of its relentless dribble of trivialities (2)it doesn’t come with instructions – and yet those perpetrators of trivialities understand its operations which remain a mystery to me.(3) owing to circumstances not worth detailing, I have a facebook site which not only has messages from real acquaintances to which I am unable to respond, but even those are now, I note, being inundated by a tidal wave of daily “news feeds” from Slate et al. which I certainly never “friended!” Feeling like the Sorcerer’s Apprenmtice, I suppose that I will have to unFriend and deFace the contraption if I can figure out how to do it. Drat!

  46. joy

    buttercup, my comment on equinomics has been moderated, but in the meantime — yes!

    Friesians and other bigger-boned warmbloods often come up for auction, and a lot of Foundation Quarter Horses, old-school Morgans, and even Thoroughbreds are well-suited to larger riders too.
    Again, the whole ‘socially accepted body sizes for horseback riders’ topic* is ripe material for a blog post. I should get off my duff and start a radical feminist equestrian blog.

    We could cover all our bases if we rescued PMU horses. Most of them are drafty crosses, and they’re also routinely, regularly sacrificed to feed the capitopharmaceutical industry’s need to keep women youthful-looking and well-lubricated for men.

  47. joy

    * Though I am a human, I suspect that the average ridden horse would rather carry around a larger person who conducts herself with grace and finesse in the saddle than a smaller person who kicks ribs, flops around atop kidneys, and jerks on soft tongues and palates.

    Thus, the fact that there is a socially accepted body type for equestrians is just more patriarchal hogwash.

  48. Daisy Deadhead

    To the doubters: Consider joining Facebook under a pseudonym, lots of us do. This means you find people, but they don’t find you. I like it that way. FB has lots of positives and the negatives can usually be avoided by not using your real name.

    The bad thing, when you find some of your innocent Midwestern classmates: they are confused about the name-change and assume you must be on the lam for something. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

    I use my real photos and my daughter uses her real name, so there is some proof I actually exist.

  49. buttercup

    Joy, we went to a county fair type deal last summer north of Pittsburgh and when we visited the draft horse barn and I laid eyes on a Friesian for the first time in person, it was like I was that nine year old girl again, with her collection of Marguerite Henry books and a cat named Sham. The clouds parted and I heard a celestial choir. Such a beautiful and gracious animal I have never seen. In a word, I was smitten. Nigel nearly went home alone.

    There are quite a few people in the online discussion about rider weight that are more rational, rider fitness and seat and ability and balance being more important than straight-up weight. It gave me hope.

  50. joy

    buttercup — ooh!
    Was it the Crawford County Fair? If so, I may know those Friesians! Or at least, their person.

    My Dude looks like Secretariat. Which makes sense, because he’s the grandson of Secretariat. We got him because his breeder was “no longer ‘into’ Thoroughbreds” and had only bred him to get money for Warmbloods. But then he came out runty and was a troublemaker, so nobody else really wanted him.

    I’d known him since his birth, so we went out to see what we could do. He came blazing across the pasture to greet us, leading the charge of his companion yearlings and vastly outpacing the two-year-old, gleefully leaping everything in his path as though he were on course at Rolex. Then he bounded leggedly up for a snack and offered his furry ears to be scratched. Lo, the heavens did part for me too.
    My companion preferred the taller, better-built bay filly, but we went home with Dude.

    And notwithstanding the equinomics of how I manage to keep him in my life while I’m living well below the poverty level, it’s been among the best decisions I’ve ever made.

  51. pheenobarbidoll

    Well Linda, some of simply must be better multi-taskers. Not only can we concern ourselves over myriad ongoing oppressions, we can also engage in dialogue on proper animal care.

    Amazing, I know.

  52. buttercup

    Joy, it was the Big Butler Fair. Lots and lots and lots of horses of all kinds. We almost missed the draft horse barn, I’m so glad we stumbled upon it.

    GS of Big Red? Fortunate you to share your life with such a Dude. Well done.

  53. joy

    Thank you! Here he is: http://tinyurl.com/4njk7t2

    He is still a perpetual, widescale troublemaker. But he is no longer runty. And he is quite red.

    I’m still working on my radical feminist, class analyst horse blog, so I can stop flapping my yap on Jill’s.
    It will be called “Equinomics: Hooves Of Blame.”

  54. buttercup

    Joy, he’s beautiful. I look forward to subscribing to your blog when it bursts upon the scene!

  55. Alex

    Good thing there was a picture of a horse. I was pretty skeeved out after visiting the Facebook page. I don’t like the public display aspect of it, or the controlling what is said into a tiny soundbite, and worse yet, arguments held publicly and in soundbite, and all the above owned by a terrifying corporation. My idea of hell, much like being stuck on a cruise ship.

    Anyway, yay, horse dentistry pictures.

    I sure would like some like-minded camaraderie, and friendship, but one look tells me I ain’t gonna find it there.

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