sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Thanks to Gregg Beratan on Twitter for this idea.

Spoon Theory is useful to many people as a measure of energy and fatigue. It is difficult to wrap your head around what chronic pain, fatigue, and illness are actually like, and I say this as someone who has them. We all tend to normalize our experiences and we think that everyone around us must feel like we do-- and yet other people are somehow accomplishing more. So spoon theory is helpful in validating our fatigue and providing the phrase "out of spoons".

Yet a limitation of this theory is that it's a deficit model: It assumes that something is wrong with us, rather than something being wrong with society.

Instead of saying "I'm out of spoons," try saying "The world needs to give me more time to rest" or "Accommodations for my fatigue will help me accomplish this task."

The deficit model is the dominant narrative of illness. And it can be seductive: it feels like there is something wrong with me. But the social model of disability states that it is society that disables us-- that it is moral and normal to need more time and more support and more rest.
sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
I come by my interest in language honestly. My mom said the other day, when she hears the term "boots on the ground," she thinks they should change a few letters so that it's "Blood on the ground."

Boom.
sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
Lately this song appeals to me as an activist and person:

Am I Wrong (Nico & Vinz -- Official -- You Tube)

The video shows two young black men searching for and eventually finding each other. At the end, they joyfully reunite. Through their journeys, they are each carrying around an old black and white TV that seems to be giving them clues to the other's location. They set these TVs down at the end. They also seek advice from villagers and various people.

Lyrics version:
https://youtu.be/zKX_zR022QY

It can be hard to have different opinions, desires, ways of being than the rest of the culture and especially from your friends. If fandom, and all subcultures, the feeling to go along with the crowd is strong, because you feel like these are "your people". We all seek connection with our friends. But for many of us we can't just go along with the crowd, because we have different beliefs, or we just aren't into what the crowd is doing, even within our own subculture. This can be painful.

We can still connect and love each other even when we disagree. It's hard, it's confusing and there is no script. The signal is fuzzy. But we can do it.
sasha_feather: "subversive" in rainbow colors (subversive)
So sometimes around the internet I run into this Problem statement:
Something terrible happens in (usually the South or SouthWest).
Some people will respond with "Why do people even live there?" or "just let them secede".

I find this so problematic in so many ways.

-- These folks are essentially writing off whole swathes of people and places. There are many activists working hard to make those places better. There are people all over the country who *can't* move away and who don't want to. There's history and culture and resources in those places and why would just let the haters have those things? And even if the good folks were to move away....

--Assuming that where you live is better is so wrong.

In the important essay I, Racist by John Metta, he quotes his sister:

“The only difference between people in the North and people in the South is that down here, at least people are honest about being racist.”

--White people where I live (Wisconsin) are sometimes smug and think that there isn't racism here. But Wisconsin is the worst state for mass incarceration of black men and Native American men (source: NPR 2013). And we're the worst for having a gap in graduation rates between black and white students (source: Madison newspaper 2013). It isn't different in other parts of the country. Racism is everywhere. It's in your hometown.

--This framing falls into "us vs. them" thinking. "Those racists over there" are the problem. I was taught that as a white person growing up in a racist society, I *am* racist; it's what I do about it that matters. I must actively combat racism within myself. That is where I begin.
sasha_feather: furiosa holding a gun, showing her metal arm (furiosa arm)
I seen a few people praising this exchange from Arnold's facebook page. The photo is: He changed his user icon (an image of himself as the Terminator) to the rainbow-overlay, which many folks are doing.

A commenter says: "What's wrong with you Arnie? I have to unlike."

Arnold replies: "Hasta la vista."

I get it, people think this is funny. A lot of people probably don't know that Schwarzenegger blocked same-sex marriage in California when he was governor. He did so using his veto power not once, but twice.

This is no secret and not that obscure; for example, George Takei has spoken of Schwarzenegger's homophobic policies as part of his motivation for coming out publicly.

Links for sources (thanks eruthros)
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_marl10.htm
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_marl8.htm
sasha_feather: Avatar Kyoshi from avatar: the last airbender cartoon (Lady avatar)
Attempting to post more. Thinking about weight / size politics under the cut.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Pursuant to my post about conferences, I've been thinking about how making events affordable is an access issue.

Making your event affordable attracts people of different classes and backgrounds and locations. It also makes your event more welcoming to disabled folks / PWD. People with disabilities are more likely to be poor for structural, societal reasons. Being disabled can affect a person's earning potential due to discrimination and impairment-related reasons; it also is just plain expensive. For me, for example: There are co-pays on prescriptions and doctor appointments; health services that are not covered by insurance; supplements to buy; expensive shoes that don't hurt my feet; the list goes on and on. For people on special diets, food can be more expensive. A 2008 study found gluten-free products to be much more expensive than their gluten-containing counterparts.

Worry about money is a near-constant source of stress for many people, and some studies link this stress to negative health effects.

If we are planning events, what can we do to help make them more affordable?

Here are some ideas:

Registration and Programming
Sliding scale registrations; day memberships
Member Assistance Fund or Scholarships
ConSuite (hospitality suite)
Free Childcare
Kid, Teen, Youth programming tracks at fan conventions so people can bring their kids
Rebates or refunds for volunteering or presenting

Lodging
List area hostels
Have a room share board on social media

Transportation
Provide cab vouchers and/or mass transit fees so people can get back to their lodging late at night
Have a ride share board
Choose a venue that is on bus or mass transit lines

Food
List local restaurants, grocery stores, and markets. Note if the markets accept food stamps. note if the grocery stores deliver.
Note if they hotel has fridges or microwaves in the rooms or lobby.

Miscellaneous
Look for grants and sponsorships to help off set costs.
Ask for donated items for prizes and gifts.
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
Saving my tweets on this as I think it through.

The "Man of his time" argument assumes that everyone in that time period felt the same way. Erases nuance and difference.

It also erases experiences of dissents and marginalized people. Those people existed even if history has forgotten them. (For example: I learned from Rachel Maddow tonight that Vince Lombardi was pro-gay and had a gay brother. He was a famous football coach that lived from 1913-1970).

Me and my friends don't hold the prevailing views of mainstream society. I don't think of us as "products of our time."

This argument also assumes that society progresses forward thru time, that people in the past were worse. Which is not true. (History does not go forward in a upward line. It's more like a sine wave maybe.)

We are all influenced by our time and society, but we can all think critically and listen to our consciences re right and wrong.

Saying that someone was "a product of their time" is usually just apologism for their bad behaviors.

If something is wrong today, it was wrong 100 years ago. (Ethical behaviors, possibly, have some standards across societies and times, even if morals are relative. Have to think on this more.)

Just because people in power endorsed it, doesn't make it OK for everyone else in society to do so.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
In June I had the privilege of attending SDS2014, the Society for Disability Studies conference in Minneapolis. SDS did a lot of things right concerning accessibility for people with disabilities. It did not appear that the organizers had put as much thought into economic accessibility. For instance, the venue was an expensive downtown hotel. The nearby restaurants were mostly sit-down restaurants. The convenience shop in the hotel had some bottled beverages and foods at airport prices. Lunch time meetings at the conference felt inaccessible to me, because I didn't know where to grab a sandwich or take out food at a place that I could afford to eat, and get back in time for the session. So I skipped the lunch time sessions; I need to eat according to a set schedule, as I'm sure many folks do. (Note that SDS' discussion of anti-harassment policies occurred during a lunch time session.)

Many academic conferences are similarly expensive, and do not seem to care about being affordable. The registration prices alone can be close to a thousand dollars. This is before hotel, travel, food, and any incidentals for conference participants. Presenters many want to get new clothes or travel gear, for instance. Many people attending academic conferences have their institutions pay for these expenses, or get grants or scholarships to cover them.

Check out two price listings for conferences, just as examples:
An epidemiology conference in Spain
Grace Hopper Women in Computing

I attended SDS as a community member rather than as an academic-- ie, not affiliated with an institution. A friend paid for the reg fee and hotel, and we carpooled there and brought some of our own snacks. SDS does have a sliding scale for their reg fees. Disability studies, unlike many other academic disciplines, values the role of community members and lay people because your lived experience counts. Your embodiment and activism count. You don't necessarily need classes, degrees, and publications to contribute. (I do have some independent-of-the-academy publications.)

My main convention and social event of the year is WisCon, a fan convention, which prioritizes affordability. Many of our affordability issues intersect with other social justice issues, such as disability access and emotional access.

For instance, WisCon provides late-night cab vouchers to get people home from the convention. I imagine the original intent of this service was safety: prevent drunk driving and the like, since alcohol flows fairly free at convention parties. But it also provides an affordable means for people to get home without having to pay for a cab or rely on bus schedules or friends, and means that some people can stay other places than downtown hotels, such as on the outskirts of town at their own or friends' houses or cheaper hotels. It provides independence-- the means to leave the convention when you want (also a safety feature). The cab service we use is a co-op and a union, allowing us to support a local business with shared values. And cabs can be reserved online, which is another accessibility feature.

All of these things intersect. Feeling like your finances are stretched and you can barely afford to be somewhere is stressful and adds to cognitive and emotional load. It means you can't be as present and contribute as fully as you might like. Worrying about affording a meal when you want to go out with friends or colleagues can be embarrassing.

So why are academic conferences so expensive? Not having organized one, or even gone to many, I really have no idea. Looking around on the internet, people say that the fee covers venue, food, and keynote speakers, etc. Probably professional conference organizers plan these things, and take their cut. But conferences can leverage their power as clients to negotiate better deals with hotels and convention centers. They can use university or public venues which are sometimes cheaper. First and foremost, they can simply think about how to lower costs and reduce the economic burden on their participants, instead of assuming everyone who comes is able to blithely afford it.

I do know that charging so much money functions as a gate-keeping mechanism to keep people out. It creates a space where the conference itself is an in-club for people who can afford to be there: a country club effect. The privileged rub elbows and make connections with each other.

This affects the quality of academics. Science, my field of employ, has a myriad of problems with diversity. These things are connected.
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
I got most of my thinking on this topic from [personal profile] jesse_the_k; also some folks on twitter and at conventions.

A disability exercise is a training for abled folks, where a teacher or leader encourages people to take on the trappings of disability for a short time in order to learn about what it is like to be disabled. This might take the form of tooling around in a wheelchair, wearing a blindfold or ear muffs, or some other form of what is essentially "crip face": taking on part of the identity of a disabled person without experiencing the fullness of that identity.

I highly dislike such exercises and this post is about why. First off, I don't think that they are 100% bad or wrong, and I don't think it is always wrong to play with one's identity. I have written elsewhere about how I approve of abled people helping to make assistive technology cool, as does Ben Mattlin is his Op-Ed piece, When Wheelchairs are Cool. I think there is nuance and shades of experience everywhere.

But the main thrust of disability exercises-- to think that in a short space of time that one can teach a group of people about what it's like to be disabled-- is basically wrong.

* When you first becomes disabled, and/or first start using assistive tech, you are likely to be bad at it. There is a learning curve, just like learning to dance, swim, or ride a bike. It takes a while to become competent at adjusting to your body's differences and the tech you are using. But eventually you do become competent at life. Doing a disability exercise for an hour, day, or even a few days gives you only the experience of incompetence, and likely will lead you to believe that disabled people live very hard lives-- the lives of doggie-paddle swimmers instead of practiced butterfly-swimmers.

* Many disabled folks live in a community. We have the support of friends, family, and a disabled community of our choosing. I have a chosen internet community and political identity that I value very much. I doubt that such disability exercises present or explore these identities and networks. Separated from them, again my life would be much harder than it is.

* The social justice model of disability can be shown in other ways. If disability is created in the environment, this can easily be created in an exercise to make abled people disabled. Have them, in order to get onto a stage, be required to climb up a knotted rope, for instance. As one friend said on Twitter: in order to simulate my disability, wait endlessly in a doctor's office and then be scolded for taking pain meds. This is a way of expanding our ideas about disability and accessibility: requiring to fill out complex and endless paperwork for Medicare is way of disabling people. It's a more political thought than putting a blindfold on someone and having them stumble around a room.

* Some of the supposedly abled people in any group may be disabled and not know it, or may not identify as such. Learning about the social model of disability will likely help them. The social model helps me frequently identify barriers in the environment and think about ways to lower or deconstruct such barriers (not "overcome" them, a term that focuses on personal triumph rather than community or political will).

* I do think that exploring stigma is valuable. For instance, even using a cane, for me, will get me questions from strangers and acquaintances as my disability moves from invisible to visible. People will open doors for me and treat me differently. Walking with a friend in a wheelchair (when I'm not using a cane) means that people think I am a personal carer. Observations like these are valuable.

* However, simply listening and believing disabled folks when they speak and write about their experiences is sufficient. One does not have to do a "disability exercise" which is essentially disability tourism, and can be exotifying. The same is true for listening to stories and experiences that are different than your own in any way.
sasha_feather: kid from movie pitch black (pitch black)
I slightly unwisely got into a discussion around this article on Jezebel: Will Everyone Please Eat Gluten Because You are Literally Killing Me Kind Of.

I disagree with the article. Full disclosure: I'm not celiac; I have done dietary restrictions but felt no better when I was on them so gave them up.

Point 1:

You see, when something that is medically necessary for some of us becomes something cool and trendy for the rest of the world, shit gets messed up. Waiters, thinking I am just another ankle-boot wearing Gwyneth wannabe, no longer take me seriously. It is actually harder for me to eat out now than it was a few years ago because a little dusting of flour on a piece of flounder equals a few days in bed for me.

The problem is people who prepare food wrongly. They are the ones responsible for the error and should be blamed. The article writer is placing blame on "fad dieters" and people who are doing it "just because". People can eat what they want and shouldn't have to defend their choices. Food preparers who make mistakes don't get to blame their mistakes on these people or these resulting cultural beliefs that "it's no big deal".

As an aside, this is also the reason I had a rare disagreement with a column by s.e. smith, this one about allergies: Food Allergies, Food Politics, and Taste. S.E. instructs us not to lie about food allergies, for similar reasons that Ms. Strauss does. I say, don't lie about what is in the food you make!! You can lie about your food allergies all you want, in my book.

Reasons people might dissemble about food allergies:
--It's easier than explaining your complex Syndrome
--It's more polite than explaining that said food gives you the runs
--Because someone actually is slightly allergic but wants to eat that chocolate anyway (my old boss)
--Because *!$#* why should people have to defend their food choices!


Point 2:
As I mentioned already, gluten-free is not the answer to your dieting needs.

This assumes that people do GF for dieting (weight loss) reasons, which may be true, I don't know. Most people I know do it for general health-related reasons: they want to feel better. They, like me, have Syndrome (TM) and are trying different things to see if anything works. They might be cutting down on gluten rather than eliminating it, because it's hard to change your whole diet at once. But I honestly don't care if people do this for weight loss reasons, as long as they don't talk about weight loss in front of me at length.

Point 3:
For those of you who swear off gluten not because you want to lose weight, but just because you think it will make you healthier: please stick with the whole wheat. Fiber is one of the most important things you can eat for health's sake and it is extremely difficult (and pricey, see below) to get your hands on when you are strictly gluten-free.

Fruits and vegetables have plenty of fiber!

Point 4:

Also, this life is expensive!

I imagine most people doing it "just because" have the funds for it. And actually, their demand might drive down prices for the celiacs!

Here are some reasons ("just because") people might decide to go GF:
--In solidarity with someone who is ill (I know someone doing this)
--To see if it helps them feel better
--Because they have an autoimmune disease, diabetes, or other illness
--Because sometimes fashions are actually on to some kind of good idea (see blue jeans)
--Because *$*%&^*! why should people have to defend their eating choices!


There is my rant for the evening.
sasha_feather: cake that says WTF on it (WTF cake)
The Madison Times:
School board "race" highlights the disconnect between the two Madisons by A. David Dahmer.

I was pretty baffled when the winner of the primary dropped out of the race the day after winning because she suddenly found out that her husband had been accepted to grad school in California (and not in town). That seemed shady to me-- perhaps just flaky, but as this article points out, it's also very privileged behavior and served to shut out the one woman of color running for the school board in a district where there is a huge achievement gap.

That, and telling lies about her, of course. WTF.

:D

Sep. 16th, 2012 11:27 am
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
It seems like YouTube is finally taking off as platform of quality amateur content!

This is a parody making fun of Mitt Romney, based on a One Direction song (I've never actually hear the original song). It's pretty gay, for real-- not just slashy.

sasha_feather: "subversive" in rainbow colors (subversive)
There's a famous clip where Barney Frank lays out the "radical gay agenda" (wink wink that it is not radical at all), and says it consists of:
1. Marriage equality (I've already griped about this here, but to recap: it leaves asexual, poly, and single people in the cold, and privileges monogamous relationships)
2. Protection from Employment discrimination
3. Serving openly in the military
and
4. Hate crimes legislation

I actually support 2 and 3, so let's talk about 4. The reason this plank of the platform troubles me is because is about punitive justice rather than transformative or healing justice. It is about punishing bad behaviors, but not about addressing root causes of those behaviors, such as the widespread acceptability of violence and homophobia in US society, and maybe some things about masculinity, and gender policing.

Also, it feeds people into the prison-industrial complex. The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. In particular, black men, gender queer people, and other oppressed groups are disproportionately imprisoned. Prisons themselves are places where rehabilitation is rare. Sexual assault is a known prison problem.

Black and Pink outlines a bunch more reasons for being suspicious of hate crimes laws: They do nothing for the victims or their families, they are easy ways for states to score points with oppressed groups without actually providing any services for us, and more.

You can read more of my rants at my ideas tag!
sasha_feather: "subversive" in rainbow colors (subversive)
Lately the media, and people in general, are talking about queerness again because of Chick-Fil-A and whatnot. I posted something earlier, filtered, that I am going to repost publicly because I believe it strongly and I seem to be in the minority in my belief.

---

I keep thinking about something I call the "choice dialog" (a term I may have heard somewhere, or may have made up). Watching Coming Out stories on Bravo, I see people say to homophobic relatives, "It's not a choice." My heinous former co-worker P. asked it of me at lunch one day, "Do you think that being gay is a choice?", to which I had to say, "Of course not, but wouldn't it be nice if it were?" (I was cornered.)

In reality I think things are more complex. They are always more complex. There seems to be some debate here that is controlled by homophobic ultra-Christian right-wingers that say we are choosing a sinful path, and that we need only to alter our choices to come back to the right path. Saying that we are born this way is a way to respond to these folks, and I respect that as one activist tactic. But I am no longer interested in engaging with such people, because to say these things is to start with an assumption that being queer is bad. If you change that assumption, then you change the dialog.

If queer is something good, to be celebrated, or if it is neutral, than you can choose to be queer.

And some people do. Some people's partners transition, and they choose to stay with their partners, or not. Some people are bisexual and they choose to act on it, or not. Some people choose celibacy, or not. Some queer people certainly stay in straight marriages. Some people simply choose to have experiences that don't fit inside labels.

That's the other thing about embracing a choice dialog: it opens up possibilities for people who identify as straight. You can choose to date someone of your same gender, and see how it goes! It doesn't have to mean you are one thing or another.

What I like about classifying things as choices is that it emphasizes autonomy and free will. Sure, neuroscience and biology probably do govern us. But I'd rather think that I have some choice in the matter.

Other excellent posts on this topic:

Fauxgress Watch: Born this way

[personal profile] thingswithwings: Who would choose this?

Frank Bruni: Gay Won't Go Away, Genetic or Not
sasha_feather: "subversive" in rainbow colors (subversive)
Same-Sex Marriage

Obviously, people who want to get married should be able to get married, and it's nice that President Obama said so (he gets a cookie for acknowledging that gay people have basic rights, yay). I am just not thrilled about how this is the #1 priority right now for the queer rights movement in the U.S.

I'm a "quirky alone" queer person-- meaning I'm pretty comfortable as a single person and not actively looking for a long-term relationship. Many of my friends are poly and some are asexual. Some of my friends just aren't interested in marriage. I think that we should have the same rights as everyone who is married.

I'm not the only one who feels this way: A letter to the Washington Post newspaper:

By Lauren Taylor
Thursday, May 10, 2012

I’m a progressive, out lesbian, but I’m not doing a happy dance about President Obama’s support for gay marriage.

Here’s the thing: I don’t think we (the country, the society) should be giving rights, privileges and protections to anyone — gay, straight, bisexual or other — based on their sexual or romantic relationships. I think most of the rights and privileges gay men and lesbians are seeking by pursuing marriage rights should be granted to human beings because they are human beings, whether or not they find one person they want to spend the rest of their lives with.

A few examples:

● Everyone should be able to designate who they want to be able to visit them in the hospital. Everyone should be able to take leave to care for a sick loved one.

● Everyone should have access to health insurance. If you’re self-employed, unemployed or work for a place that doesn’t provide health insurance, you shouldn’t need to have a romantic partner who has a job that provides health benefits to get coverage.

● If a couple with a child splits, married or not, all parents should be eligible for visitation and responsible for child support.


Marriage generally earns people tax breaks, respectability, and gifts.

Naamen Tilahoun also wrote a manifesto on this subject: Not the Marrying Kind. He talks about marriage as a problematic power structure.

When talking with [personal profile] futuransky one day, she used the phrase, "the hegemony of the couple". To me, it's a whole lot easier for me to come out to someone when I can say "my girlfriend"; ie, even being in a couple earns me respectability and places me into a safe category in people's minds. But I am usually not in a couple: I'm usually single. I think that idea of safety is somehow playing a part in this movement... placing people into known categories. When really the category should simply be "human".
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I had a rather involved, mostly non-heated argument (as much as I can be non-heated in an argument) with a friend the other day about language and I'm still thinking about it so I want to write it out.

My premise is that if you are a gay man, don't say "ew" or other such words in describing your reactions to women's genitalia. At the very least, be more tactful, because it's just rude to refer to someone's body that way. (I got him to agree on this point). Furthermore, you might think it's just about your own personal reaction, but we live in a misogynistic world, and your reaction is colored by structural misogyny. My friend didn't agree with me on this point, but I still think I'm right.

I didn't say it quite so clearly in the actual argument, of course! This is one of the reasons I stopped reading Dan Savage's column: I got tired of him saying things like this, of him not getting it, not understanding the power of language. Writers in particular, you think they'd understand. But a lot of people don't make that connection between "my personal opinion" and "systemic oppression".

Then I got to thinking today about how I don't ever hear lesbians refer to men this way. I can only think of once-- in the pilot of "The L Word," when a woman says, "Ew, I can't believe I used to swallow this stuff," when referring to the semen she's using to try and get pregnant. And that's the one and only instance I can think of. In fact most of the lesbians I know read and write m/m slash fanfic, which celebrates male anatomy, and celebrates queer men. This may be due in part to our own internalized misogyny, or it may not be, but it's interesting to notice.
UPDATE I am wrong about this last part apparently!
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
The other night I was hanging out with my roommate and our neighbor Miles, who works in local Democratic politics. We were chatting about politics and Miles brought up Republican presidential contender Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan. I pointed out, as you do when you have played a lot of Sim City, that Cain's plan is the same as the default tax setting for Sim City 4 (9% across the board for Industrial, Commercial, and Residential, at all income levels).

Miles thought this was hilarious and posted it to his Facebook, where he has over 1000 friends. He got a lot of "likes" and comments.

The next morning, someone Miles works with (let's call this guy Mr. Z) called him and said "Is this Sim City thing for real?" Miles said he thought so, and forgot about it.

Mr. Z susequently calls up the makers of Sim City and verifies the facts, then decides to pitch the story to the Huffington Post. Amanda Terkel at HuffPo writes up the story of Herman Cain's 999 plan and Sim City 4, and it is placed on the front page of the website.

Now, it is all over the web! The story is at ABC and Forbes!

Miles says this is because the story fits into the narrative that is being established by certain members of the media: that the 999 plan is silly.

I feel pretty special for having had a part in this mockery and perhaps helping take Herman Cain down a notch.

P.S.
I watched The Eagle today because fandom told me to. OMG. I recommend you do the same if you are a slasher at all. WOW. Wow.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I went to the protest for an hour in cold and snowy weather; I stood with [personal profile] cabell and [personal profile] laceblade to hear Bradley Whitford and Gabrielle Carteris speak. They talked about being a part of actor's unions and Brad spoke about being from Madison and gave a shout-out to East High School students who walked out of school. Gabrielle said she was paralyzed doing a movie and it was her union who helped her. A physics prof from UW-La Crosse spoke to say that they just voted to unionize in support of this effort.

There were many good signs, I am uploading some photos to Flickr as I write this. There were also some signs in very bad taste, including several calling Walker a "Koch whore". I said to laceblade, "I see no reason to disparage whores! The working girls could benefit from unions."

I also overreacted and yelled at a man telling us to cross the street while we waited for a cop to direct us. Perhaps I'm wound a little tight. "I think it's OK to over-react to mansplainers," laceblade reassured me. I've been fighting on Facebook again too! I need to chillax.

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