This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
Hawaii has a few friends in sixth grade who have switched their pronouns, mostly to "they". It's such an amazingly different world than when we were all in middle school. Kids are so quick to adopt and normalize progress.
I've been idly wondering - how would I have unfolded if I'd been in middle school, in an environment with such low stakes around gender fluidity? (I'm not saying that Hawaii's friends don't face backlash, of course.) But the idea wasn't even on the horizon in my mental headspace then.
- I would have landed in a similar place as I am now (but I don't know that),
- that I might not have said anything outloud, out of massive self-consciousness, but experimented mentally in my head with different identities. Embarrassment of everything is such a dominant memory from that time.
- in particular, I can imagine shedding female pronouns at that age. I remember feeling very uncomfortable with all trappings of femininity.
- I am not entirely sure where that would have ended up, as I accumulated experience. Would that seem like a final resting place? Would I have drifted more feminine as I did in real life? It's hard to say. My current affection for being mildly feminine feels inherent, but really, who knows.
- I am very sure that I would have ended up attracted to men, not women, regardless of my gender identity. So it's reasonably plausible that I would have drifted more feminine just as a practical matter of wanting to make myself available for a larger pool of prospects.
Lw writes: So I saw this on twitter and then again on MF, will be on NPR next week maybe.
Rolling Stone is doing interviews with less-famous musicians who have had long careers.
One of them, Dolette McDonald, who sang with the Talking Heads and Sting, has had a really interesting career and sounds like a wonderful person.
'That's awful, but I can't imagine they got many people with résumé lines like "Backup singer on Talking Heads Remain in Light tour." Yeah. But then this one beautiful hotel on the water, a boutique hotel, I went to their HR department and the HR director looked at my résumé and she was as fan, which was hilarious. She said, "Oh, my God, the general manager needs to meet with you." What person going in on a basic job making $7.50 an hour is going to talk to the GM?
The GM asked me if I was serious. I said, "Yes" and I explained to them that I needed to reinvent myself. He then became my mentor. He said, "If you're serious, this is what you do." And I worked from the ground up. I was still able to supplement my income because I had saved so much money. I was ready to make the break, if you will. '
Heebie's take: She's so charming and interesting!
Minivet writes: Thread for Harry/Meghan/Oprah?
Heebie's take: I need a primer. Oprah interviewed them and they said that unidentified members of the royal family said racist things about their baby, I gather? I assume this is related to how they gave up the royalty and moved to California? I feel like I'm missing something about why this is generating debate.
Here's a Buzzfeed list of mixed-race people sharing stories of the racism from within their family. I found it equal parts interesting, depressing, and completely unsurprising.
I recently heard an excellent presentation from our campus department for community outreach/volunteering/etc. The director said that when students first come, she connects them with ways to volunteer, but as they get more involved, she wants to train them on a justice framework for thinking about service and activism, rather than a charity framework.
I think this is wise, particularly when you're talking about undergraduates. We have a particularly meek student body that is not naturally inclined towards being a SJW, but instead associates volunteering with mission trips and canned food drives. It's much more healthy to activate their anger-centers and get them to think of themselves as fighting for justice and to look for systemic causes, rather than to think of themselves as little angels with a White Man's Burden* complex who swoop in and turn things to gold and reap gratitude.
Idly wondering: what are the limitations eventually to a "justice" framework for social change? Does it really make much sense to think of healthcare or climate change as being issues of justice? In certain contexts, yes. There is disproportionate environmental disasters being borne by people with the least power, and the power imbalance is part of the problem. But that's not the sum total of what constitutes the climate change crisis. Do some things just need to change in and of themselves, for unique reasons? Or is everything in some way reasonably boiled down to "justice"? (Or is it then devoid of meaning?)
* This whole sentence, as well as the mission trips thing, sounds very white. Our campus is minority-majority, but I think this is still the water most of them swim in as far as volunteering goes.