slemslempike: (feminsm: Girl Power)
I've been reading Dale Carlson's Girls are Equal Too, an American feminism-for-teenagers book from 1973. While it talks a lot about structural and material discriminations, its focus is mostly on highlighting how gender is constructed, and that the innate rubbishness of girls is not actually a fact.

While it's perfectly true that you have excellent legs for standing or running on and an able mind to think with, avoid using them at all costs. Use only the hands, to clap with. And when you get tired of clapping for your boyfriend or eventually your husband, don't worry. You can always have sons and clap for them. (Not your daughters, however. Remember, they, too, have to learn to be stupid, inferior, and passive.)

Some vague half-thoughts. )

Girls are Equal Too is the earliest feminism-for-teenagers book I've looked at so far. My favourite, probably, is Feminism for Girls: An Adventure Story, a British collection from 1981.

Feminism for Girls: An Adventure Story. )

I'm not aware of any particular youth texts from pre-second wave eras at all. They really form a key part of later feminisms, proliferating in the 1990s, and starting to be written much more by actual girls/young women instead of by older women.

I didn't ever read a book like this when I was growing up, and I don't think I know of anyone who became interested in feminism in this way. Conversations with people on lj mostly seem to have people reading things like The Female Eunuch or The Second Sex, rather than anything particularly for young people. I don't really know how useful/effective I think they are - if there is actually a need for what are essentially recruitment/evangelical texts. I certainly have problems with how they try to sell feminism to people, and what is considered acceptable to jettison in order to have a smooth, glossy mass-market appeal.
slemslempike: (x: Miss Tic)

Yesterday I did a bit of work (but not enough) then was summoned back home by the promise to play Trivial Pursuit, which happened, and I won. Then I left the others alone for FIVE MINUTES and returned to find an evening of TNG ahead of me, with occasional interludes of despair at the impending doom of the entire world. I tried to read and found myself counting how many words on each line of text instead. This is not a pleasing development.

Today started promisingly by finding my phone under a cushion, discovering my house keys had been found at the sports centre, and then enjoying a near-empty pool entirely devoid of fuckwits. I am hoping to fulfill this promise by not only meeting my deadline today, but doing so with a piece of work that is not utterly shit. I intend to get on that right away, but first - the wisdom of Dr Alexander Gunn. )the wisdom of Dr Alexander Gunn. )
slemslempike: (Default)
Maybe I won't do a phd after all. Because it turns out that I don't actually like doing revisions all that much, and in fact I simply just don't do them when I have to anyway. I've written rubbish, and I don't want to make it better, I just want it to be over. This is mostly just lazy whining. It could probably be fixed quite easily. I've had two weeks to do it, but I have written LITERALLY nothing in those two weeks. Bad idea, apparently.

I never post anonymous things, not least because whenever it occurs to me to do so someone else has already done it and I figure there wouldn't be any. But I haven't seen one for a bit. And I'm very bored. And I keep refreshing until there is something to see, and perhaps if there were occasionally comments I would do more work. So yes. Anonymous comments would be nice. Scandalous. Rude. Bitchy, oh, especially bitchy, or rambling, or just post whatever comes out with ctrl+v. I know this level of neediness is deeply unattractive, but I am past caring. I just want comments, so I have something to read that isn't the drivel I've written.


Oct. 16th, 2008 08:50 pm
slemslempike: (x: solarbabies)
At my supervision today I was told that my chapter (well, 1/4 of a chapter) was "a pleasure to read".
slemslempike: (Default)
"Of course, you'll have been doing lots of reading".

slemslempike: (Default)
Builder to his partner as they exited my bedroom: "We'd have that many books if you didn't keep giving mine away."

There's a company called "social researchers", who may be very good for all I know. Unfortunately, whenever they're referred to in writing, it's as "social researchers", which just look like scare quotes casting suspicion on their credentials. I think they could have thought that through better. Though maybe they did it to get the credit for all the studies where people can't remember who did it and they're just attributed to social researchers in general.

My security pass has "XD" on it.

Yesterday I was so cold in the office I thought that I might die, and I went to bed the moment I got home. I dozed from 6pm until 8pm, then read until 10pm (The Players and the Rebels) and then slept again until 7am. Today I feel GREAT, and will probably even manage food.

Reading the Betjeman biography I came across a line of his I didn't know before: "doubtless some pedant for his PhD has ascertained the facts", and today I was reading Playing the Harlot by Patricia Avis, which has the following: "When you're doing research you just go on doing it until you discover something. Then you write a paper about it. There aren't any exams." That does seem to cover the most important things.
slemslempike: (x: Raised Eyebrow)
From the pen of Dr Alexander Gunn, author of The Privileged Adolescent: An outline of the physical and mental problems of the student society, published by the Medical and Technical Publishing Co, in 1970.

I have so far only read the chapter on "Sex on the campus", because that is naturally what interested me in the first place. Here, we learn that, on university campuses:
"promiscuity (OED = 'indiscriminate mixture') as by definition girls who cohabit with more than one partner in, say, any one year, is agin less than 1 per cent. Indeed, promiscuity in the sense of the girl who 'sleeps around' is seen by university physicians as a sign and symptom of psychological disturbance - the girl is invariably, quite severely emotionally disturbed and her sexual behaviour is but one aspect of her illness." (35)

Then there is "a detailed survey carried out by the author" in which "an attempt was made to definte the social and psychological attitudes of those female students who were...regular users of the 'pill'." (35-36) I bet he carried that survey out. I bet it was very detailed indeed. Perhaps a phone survey, with most of the questions replaced by heavy breathing.

"With regard to domicile, it does not seem to make any significant difference as to whether the girl lives in lodgings, hostel or flat as to whether she uses an oral contraceptive or not." (37)

My god! They'll do it anywhere!

And, finally, I regret to inform you that "[there] is no satisfaction to be had from promiscuity beyond the spinal reflexes" (41) NONE WHATSOEVER. (Yes, I know what he means by spinal reflexes. But it amuses me to suppose that he doesn't. Also he says that these spinal reflexes are "rare" in young women.)

I wish this counted as work.
slemslempike: (academic: SPSS)
I technically really like GraphJam, but in practice what happens is that I get quietly infuriated by the graphs which are clearly using an inappropriate format, or haven't labelled their axes, or are just WRONGLY DIVIDED, and have to go somewhere else for a while.

I won my boots. Yay?

More on the poll from yesterday. )

I was, onestercreep, doing work this afternoon, but I was working from an e-book and now the library portal is down for maintainance, so I am thwarted. Clearly I can't instead read one of the many physical tomes right in front of me, or write up my notes, or play around with EndNote instead. That would be madness.


Jun. 27th, 2007 10:19 am
slemslempike: (games: escape yay)
I got a returned ticket for King Lear with Ian McKellen on Saturday! It is my reward for ringing them up, I feel. It would be my reward for giving a paper, but as I have not yet finished writing it, that might be a bit previous.

Lear! McKellen! I have seen one production before. It was at Tolethorpe Hall, and the highlight was when an audience member sneezed during the most moving speech. This was also before I had read the play, and my sister was annoyed because I told her there was a specific line in it that she was waiting for the whole way through, but it turned out I'd got that wrong. Tolethorpe is a bit wobbly a lot of the time. I've seen a really good Midsummer Night's Dream there, but King Lear was dismal. And not in the way it's kind of meant to be, either.

Must finish paper and do slides for it. Huh. I have been very good (though not if you judge goodness by actually doing any work) and not started the slides until it's finished, because I know I would just spend all my time messing around with background colour and turn up hoping desperately that the audience would be mesmerised by all the special effects and not notice that I hadn't said anything.

I watched Arabella Weir's Tough Gig last night, and was rather annoyed by it. She said that she hadn't done stand-up before, and it seems a very odd decision to have the only woman in the series not be an established comedian (as distinct from comedy actor). She wasn't terribly good either. Her crowd were paranormal people, and throughout the "before" bit where she spent time with them to get material she seemed really sneery, and making jokes at their expense completely, rather than finding out why they were interested in the subject, and what their experiences were. Her gig was more of the same, with the addition of a really stupid comment about the men in the group only being there because the women had big tits. Nice.

I didn't watch Three Fat Brides, One Dress or whatever that dreadful sounding thing is that Gillian McKeith was doing last night. I almost did, because it seems so, so awful. We in this house have been watching a lot of television recently designed to make us better women. Anthea Turner's Perfect Housewife, Trinny and Susannah Undress, and a weird thing about home decoration where they found a couple wanting to redecorate a perfectly serviceable living room, made two mock-ups and got them to design their perfect living room. Which they both duly did, without any thought about what the other might like. The man had a huge flatscreen TV mounted to the wall (and very little else), while the woman had a tiny TV housed in a cupboard, which you couldn't see from the sofa. And then she had her piano in there, and it hadn't seemingly occured to him that she might want that. Oh, bad. Mostly what we learned is that we are not good women.

But! The other day I was watching Trisha (while waiting for Orlando to be on Ellen), and they were doing a make-over of a woman whose daughter complained that she was too frumpy. The mother came out looking uber-swish, and the daughter cried in happiness that she was no longer to be subjected to a less-than-beautiful relative. The mother was a little nervous still, and said "I don't look like Lynn Scully?" and the daughter said "No mum, you look like Susan Kennedy!" Which is, I think you'll have to admit, the nicest thing anyone could ever say to another human being.
slemslempike: (x: crying hobby)
I was looking at the website for the British Humanist Association (trying to work out what humanism is, after thinking about a post that[ profile] lsugaralmond made), and found this part of their quiz hilarious:

5 When I look at a beautiful view I think that …
A) it must have been designed by God.
B) it would be a nice place for a motorway.
C) this is what life is all about - I feel good.
D) we ought to do everything possible to protect this for future generations.

My general reaction to beautiful views is "oh, that's nice", so I'm probably up there with the unsustainable-transport-planners in many people's eyes. I don't tend to be moved by scenery, although hedgerows do bring out an occasional patriotic murmur. I'm thinking that the BHA is not the place for me, based on that.

Today I finshed The Archaeology of Knowledge. The main outcome of this is that I can now say that I've read The Archaeology of Knowledge, as long as it's in a situation where there will be absolutely NO follow-up questions. Tomorrow will be spent going through the spark notes guide to work out what it actually means. I made an icon from the phdcomic feed, because it seems that it's going to become useful very soon , and I thought that if I needed to make a post and illustrate it with an icon of despair, it would only be exacerbated if I had to make the icon as well. It was mostly in Photoshop, but I couldn't work out how to do a border, so I saved it and then did the border in Paint.

This time next month I'll be in Africa.
slemslempike: (nemi: omg)
I am reading about humour at the moment. This is problematic because every now and then the authors will make jokes to illustrate a point, and they're never funny, and I waste time wondering if it's me or them. But the hilarity of the commentary more than makes up for this. My favourite to date:

"nonsense jokes were preferred by females, especially those with low intelligence".

There was an article that consisted, in its entirety, of a summarised paragraph of the time the author regaled a conference with funny things her au pairs had said. These were funny apparently both at the time, and then later once the girls had learnt English, and the family could throw their mistakes in their faces. There was also an article about Welsh jokes, that concluded that there was no staple stereotype used by the English when joking about the Welsh. I can think of one, and I bet most of you can too. Is it so recent? The article's from 1977.

Deserving of an extra special mention though, is an article called "Female Responses to Chauvinism". What I expected was a study on how women resisted sexist jokes. What I got was an article about how sexually attractive women were mattered for how funny they found jokes. The initial studies were criticised for how they decided the scale of attractiveness (they'd got some lecturers to compare notes on female students), which wasn't objective. There were also some whiners saying that perhaps judging women on their attractiveness wasn't quite on, and shouldn't it be how attractive they felt? So the authors did a new study, combining these! They used vital statistics as an objective measure of attractiveness (they went with the bust/waist ratio), and asked women to rate themselves.

It wasn't just seuxal attractiveness that was measured. "The girls were also assessed for their views on Women's Liberation." Interesting. "Those in sympathy expressed little amusement at cartoons involving rape", the humourless bitches. Furthermore, "they took special delight in the opposite, that is, jokes denigrating men". That was probably the start of when feminism started going Too Far.

Apparently plain girls are usually disapproving of sex because they don't get any and they're trying not to be jealous. They also laugh more at male chauvinist jokes becuase they are imagining themselves in the position of getting all that lovely sexual attention from men. Attractive girls are obviously very approving of sex, the dirty sluts, but they don't laugh so much at the jokes because they already have a surfeit of male attention. To be fair to the authors, they do momentarily wonder if using Freud as a basis for female sexuality is wise, but eventually conclude that:

Nevertheless, we are left with the finding that girls who are 'built; in the sense of having a desirable female shape expressed a relative liking for cartoons concered with intercourse and treating the female as a sex toy. Perhaps girls who are shapely but otherwise unattractive come into their own during sex play, that is, their shapely form will be most appreciated at this time.


Sep. 12th, 2006 10:54 pm
slemslempike: (games: escape oh no!)
If you were to say to me "Clare, do you want to do a phd?", I would be rather affronted at the question, and reply "of course! Have I not self-funded a year of study, do I not need this qualification for my chosen career path, do I not get slightly high in a Bookerish way from finding things out and putting things together in my mind, do I not love the accoutrements of doctoral study like inter-library loans and making wanky notes in the margins of articles, have I not been beavering away at my panel work?"

And then you might say "right, so why, in the last week, have you installed Commander Keen 1, Commander Keen 2, Duke Nukem 1, Duke Nukem 2, the shareware version of Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom onto your laptop when you should be writing busily, and by the way only losers cheat when they suck too much to complete the level on their own?"

And I would say "did that man just say Margaret Thatcher had died?" and while you were looking eagerly at said man, I would turn and run away as fast as I could, so that when the disappointment descended and you looked back at me to find out what kind of a monster would raise your hopes only to dash them so cruelly, all you would see would be a wheezing girl bent double about three metres away.
slemslempike: (games: escape gay cop)
Today was the first time I realised that when Lou Reed sings "when I watch you come", he might not mean "arrive".

I have only just remembered that I am on a course next week! A one week mornings-only course on Critical Discourse Analysis. I'm not taking it as assessed (...probably), so it should be just a nice introduction for me. Also, I will have to miss Friday as we're off to Manchester to see Paul Merton.

The jobcentre people rang me at 8.30am. This is earlier than I used to get up to go to work. I was not at my brightest, and answered at least one question incredibly stupidly. I have an appointment on Monday where I should find out whether or not I'm entitled to any benefit whatsoever.

I cleaned things and swept the floor and then I got over-enthusiastic and scraped all the debris off the bottom of the cooker. It was incredibly satisfying. It's best to let things build up and get really disgusting before attacking them, otherwishe you don't get the same euphoria. I also went to the laundrette, and while I was buying ant poison and a pepper from the shop to get the right change for the machine the lady asked if I was planning to poison someone. Just conversationally, she didn't seem at all perturbed by the thought. (I am not intending to poison anyone.) I have located a likely hole for an ants' nest and squirted foam down it and around the edges.

hignfy soon hurrah!


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