Posts tagged ‘women’

December 18, 2010

TSA’s Outrageous Insensitivity

by V

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you know that there’s even more backlash against the TSA’s tactics in keeping our airports safe. “Keeping us safe” sounds like a great thing to be doing. So, how could it be bad? Well, unfortunately, the TSA is taking things too far.

As of yet, many people haven’t had to contend with what many others have already had to endure. That is its outrageous insensitivity to people as human beings. The TSA is forcing people to decide between allowing an anonymous agent to see them naked on camera via their new scanners, or being molested by an “enhanced” pat-down. Many times in full view of the rest of the passengers waiting in line. And, even if you do opt to have the scanner take your naked picture, you are not necessarily exempt from the enhanced pat-downs. Many have gone through these things, then have been pulled aside anyway. Usually, because the scanner picked up something “odd.”

You might think that’s a good thing. After all, that’s what the scanners are for! Well, yes and no. They are used to find anything strange. And the pat-downs are used for the same purpose. However, the way that the TSA does this is increasingly insensitive to people with special needs and circumstances, and agents pretend to be oblivious to the problems they cause.

Such as the example of the man who was a bladder cancer survivor and had to wear a urostomy bag.

Something that the TSA likes to tout is that everyone has the option to take the pat-downs rather than the scanner, and everyone who opts for the pat-downs has the right to ask for a private room to have it done in. However, this man had to ask for that more than once. In fact, when he asked the first time the agents were rude enough to roll their eyes at each other and then had the gall to lie and tell him that they had nowhere to do a private pat-down.

Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer.

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December 12, 2010

Rub a dub dub.

by f

courtesy of : Adolphe Marie Timothée Beaufrère

Femmes au Tub (Women Bathing)

November 14, 2010

Paganism — Not What You Heard

by V

Comic by Roxy!


Paganism is often depicted as evil and Satanic, despite the prevalence of peace and equality throughout the majority of Pagan religions.

(A giant programming note: pagan religions are generally very peaceful. That’s not to say that there aren’t people who engage in “Devil worship” but these are usually not people who honestly believe in what they’re doing. They think they’re being rebels, they’re doing it to go against the grain, to shock people, and to rebel against their parents, society, their church, their school, whatever it is that they feel needs to be taken down a peg. They get their information from Hollywood and myths perpetrated by Christians. And the only way you can consider them to really be pagans is to use the broadest sense of the word “pagan” which is anything other than Christianity. Which also includes Hindus, Jews, and Buddhists among other non-Christian faiths.)

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August 20, 2010

On Cathy

by f

The Quintessential Cathy Freakout

I posted Feministe’s commentary about the end of Cathy on the board because it resonated with me — I’ve been an on and off reader of the comic myself. I find Cathy frustrating and endearing at turns. Endearing, because she always seems to habitual sufferer of her own failures, a sad counterpart to the model of feminist success. Frustrating because her character was never allowed to develop into anything multi-dimensional. Her failures were never allowed to step out of their own limits, and these limits were defined by characters and cliches.

Ultimately, Cathy was an icon unto herself. She was the most honest female character in comics. One of the best things about her was that other female writers saw the challenge of making the Cathy stereotype richer and more honest about women.

Always the idea of a woman, but never a real woman. That’s what I feel about Cathy.

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July 26, 2010

The Best of the Interwebs

by f

Sadly, I’ve been doing a lot more reading than writing. Writing good, well-researched pieces takes time, and there has been excellent reading material out there these days.

As I comb through the internet, trying to find good ideas for issues to highlight, I find a lot of good material that stands on its own. So I’ll list a few. Hopefully, in the comments, we can start a lively discussion on some of the following.

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July 15, 2010

Attack on Taslima

by f

Taslima Nasrin

note: I posted this on Subrosa on April 10, 2008.

I visited the library today and found Taslima Nasrin’s Shodh sitting on the used book sale shelf. I bought it immediately. When I began to read it, the memories flooded back.

On August 10, 2007, I woke up to the news that Taslima Nasrin was assaulted at the launch of the Telugu translation of her novel Shodh. (It was published in the original Bengali in 1992,) I was staying not a mile from where the assault occurred and I read it fresh off the press that came along in with the milk.

I mention this because during Contemporary Europe today the class discussed Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the radlcal secularist Somali-Dutch politician. She’s also a perpetual refugee, bouncing around from one party to another, shrill but nevertheless dogged. Like any other politician, her motives are pretty tainted and stained, but her life and the threats on her person hurt to read. Recently, she came/left the US via the American Enterprise Institute, wrote a few pretty vitriolic books and papers and went back to Denmark.

Taslima Nasrin is different from Hirsi Ali in the sense that she’s never had political aspirations — it is worth noting activists are not necessarily good politicians. Unlike Hirsi Ali, who left when she was younger, Taslima was already employed as a government doctor. She became a gynecologist. Her initial experiences in feminism or straying away from what she saw as the “demons of her faith” was from constantly having to treat rapes of young girls.

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July 12, 2010

All in a day’s work: in the shoes of a Bob.

by madamsbob

via Flickr user yourdon

Please welcome our newest contributor, MadamsBob, to Subterfuge!

When F asked me to submit a confession, I thought, “My life is f-ed up as it is. Who would be patient enough to read my confessions?” That was, of course, before the feminist in me kicked into high gear. All my life, I have been regarded as a woman and nothing more. Yes, I am a woman. I am a woman and an engineer. Lately, many (men) have found it very hard to wrap their minds around the fact.

A man, with whom I had recently been in contact with (for professional reasons) had the audacity to make an offhand remark about women and programming. Being a programmer and a woman, I gave him an angry retort. He then decided to play to my vanity. When he realized that was to no avail, he decided to leave me cutesy emails, which prompted me to alert the HR department. HR, however, would take at least a month to take action. I needed immediate gratification.

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July 3, 2010

Women and the Workforce

by f

From the US National Archives

Women now make up more than half of the country’s workforce.

It’s a quiet piece of news. The major outlets aren’t running away with it, no lip-service on cable TV, nothing. There’s no way to add spice to the news. We’ve certainly heard a great deal about media sexpot Debralee Lorenzana, the employee from Citibank who alleges wrongful firing from that company — but the country’s been strangely mum about the triumph of its silent female majority.

But now there we are, representing half the workforce. It’s a start, but there’s so much more to do. We can ask our young girls to consider specializing in science and math fields. We can urge them to read widely and well. We can encourage them to keep a healthy body image so that they have the peace of mind to go and do whatever they’d like with their lives.

We’ve got a ways to go; for instance,  women are still not well represented at all in upper management and they’re underrepresented in academia, but I feel that that is a generational issue; give the world a couple of decades — and we’ll see the landscape of the world radically altered by the scope of female achievement.

In twenty years, girls will look up into the sky and wonder what that stupid glass ceiling thing was all about.

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