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March 2019

Will Feminist Innovation Never Cease?

Lifted from the comments:

A feminist educator in the United Kingdom is making a point not to step aside when men walk in her direction, playing what she refers to as “patriarchy chicken.” [...] “A few days ago, I was having a bad morning: my train tickets were expensive, my train was delayed, and my coffee was cold,” [Dr Charlotte] Riley wrote. “But I cheered myself up by playing a game on my commute. The game is called Patriarchy Chicken, and the rules are simple: do not move out of the way for men.” If that sounds like something that would be ungentlemanly conduct if perpetrated by a man, you would be correct in your assessment.

Dr Riley, you’ll note, is a grown woman.

Our feminist lecturer’s New Statesman article, in which she elaborates on Patriarchy Chicken and its allegedly empowering effects, can be found here. We’re told, somewhat implausibly, “It’s important to note that Patriarchy Chicken isn’t about anger.” When not applauding herself for repeatedly and deliberately colliding with male commuters, Dr Riley informs us that “war and peace can only be understood through gender.” 

Also, open thread.  

Friday Ephemera

Melodrama. (h/t, Julia) || Maintain focus. || Forbidden love. || Forbidden love 2. || Lighting and focal length. || “Allahu Akbar.” || Can confirm. || Masked hero rescues cat. One of these. (h/t, Tim) || Snail versus baby carrot. || Soviet synthpop, 1989. Big hair, cool shades. || On the origins of sports mascots. || On screenwriting. || A ride through the West End of London, 1959. || Just how wide is the neck of the Enterprise? || A heart-warming tale. || Today’s words are educator – and also poisonous harpy. || At last, director’s viewfingers. || The vanishing anus. You heard me. || Gives good tongue. || The treasures of Google Earth. || Possible lair location #46. || And finally, a premonition of trouble ahead.

Your Standards Are Holding You Back

Via Rafi, a peek into the world of Brooklyn hipsterdom, where the “unsung heroes of the new new left” – who are “culturally potent” and “extremely online” - gather at a loft party in search of love, and to announce how radical and fabulous they are:

The roster tonight is heavy on extremely online political-media types. The podcaster and performer Katie Halper tells me she’s a fourth-generation socialist from the Upper West Side who used to attend a summer camp once affiliated with a communist organisation called the International Workers Order… Nearby, Sarah Leonard, who, at 30, is a veteran of the lefty-journalism orbit, tells me she’s launching a Marxist-feminist glossy called Lux, named for Rosa Luxemburg.

We learn,

At least in Brooklyn, and the spiritual Brooklyns of America, calling yourself a socialist sounds sexier than anything else out there.  

Yes, sexy socialism.

The guests of honour tonight are the creators of Red Yenta, a new DIY dating platform: Marissa Brostoff, 33, a grad student at CUNY, and Mindy Isser, 28, an organiser in Philly. “I was complaining about how socialist men don’t date socialist women and it really bothers me,” Isser says. 

Now there’s a sentence. It seems that the ladies and gents who feel compelled to announce their revolutionary ambitions, and their pronouns, and various mental health issues, aren’t meeting quotas for finding each other attractive. Which is baffling, really, given the bait on offer:

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World Of Woo

Dr Deborah Cohan is a self-described “dancing doctor” and mistress of “embodied medicine,” the aim of which is to “bring compassionate presence to healing encounters” via “a collective experience of dance.” Being, as she is, so in touch with the rhythms of her innards, the doctor’s statements of hard-won profundity are varied and numerous, including:

I am inviting myself to live at the speed of one second per second.


There’s something edible inside incredible.


A tree is never alone in the forest.


Imagine new-born babies teaching medical students how to dance and touch empathetically.

Given the above, these fruits of “shamanic healing,” readers may not be entirely surprised to hear that Dr Cohan is also entranced by the potential of woke theatre. And so we turn to the New England Journal of Medicine – specifically, an article titled Racist Like Me — A Call to Self-Reflection and Action for White Physicians – in which our dancing doctor tells us many things. We begin, as is the custom, with a lengthy, somewhat tedious, confession of pallor, and therefore inherent wrongness:

I am racist. I would love to believe otherwise and can find evidence that I am not — my career dedicated to caring for underserved women of colour, my support of colleagues and trainees who are people of colour, my score on the implicit-association test.

That would be this test. The one in which the random positioning of a chair can be construed as damning evidence of racial antipathy.

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