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Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.

text that says Jodie's Section

➝ When a piece of writing starts out like Laurie Penny's article in 'The New Statesmen' by saying 'I'm having a major political rethink this week, because it turns out that all along, feminism was a CIA plot to undermine the left' I get a wry little grin on my face. Clearly what we have here is a writer who has found a target so ridiculous, that they can't help poking easy fun at it just for giggles. I mean, come on, Mark Crispin Miller's idea that the organisations with CIA links funded 'identity politics' as a deliberate attempt to split keep liberal politics from pursuing class, or economic analysis is so laughably based on bad logic and an obvious conspiracy theory.

And...then some people started agreeing with Crispin in the comments. Oh not that the CIA were involved, of course, that was clearly just ramblings, but wouldn't the labour movement have got on much faster and better if we all just stuck together? Solidarity is the way forward, difference is separating, the most important issue is class not gender etc,etc And once we achieve the one goal of bringing capitalism into line by presenting united strength, of course everything will be better for everyone.

It's stuff I feel I've seen trotted out by activists a million times before, when I've seen commentors argue against the importance of intersectionality and I'm pretty sick of it. If uniting under the banner of a labour movement will get everyone what they need then how does anyone explain why it took longer for the ordinary women to get the vote than it took the ordinary man? What explanation do these people have for any gendered pay split, or any racial pay split? I just want to point everyone who thinks like this to 'My Feminism Will be Intersectional, or it will be Bullshit' until they GET IT.

➝ Someone at work sent me this link to the work of an amazing glass artist called Dale Chihuly.The area I'm from used to be really well known for producing glass and there are a lot of individual glass artists who learnt their craft round here. I love glass art, go to this big glass festival whenever it's in our area and have been to the glass museum (yes, that's a thing, what?).

➝ A quick article about the male equivalent of the Rest Cure which was prescribed to women who were believed to have nervous disorders. The male version sounds way more fun unsurprisingly.

➝ Another article reminding us that Andrew Motion is writing a sequel to 'Treasure Island' (yes. we get it already, I refuse to have an opinion until it is published and I can read it)', but at least The Telegraph fleshes this out with interesting extra content. This article looks at
medical content in Robert Louis Stevenson's fiction and his biographical link to the medical world.

➝ I'm sorry Kim, but I just hate the term chick-non-fiction so much :( I hate all gendered book marketing and I would please like it to stop. How does everyone else feel about it?

➝ An interesting peek behind the scenes at Google is provided by an employee who has left in Why I Left Google. I love a good nose into how the big companies work.

➝ As Renay is creating her own Hugo ballot, I figure she's probably feeling curious about other people's nominations. Abigail Nussbaum Asking the Wrong Question talks through her thoughts on creating a draft ballot.

➝ From The Rejectionist:

'When I make jokes about guillotines people get uncomfortable but you know, I'm not really joking anymore, is the thing. I know how that one ended but look around you. Look around you and tell me you don't want guillotines a little, too. Tell me you don't want language that is a shear, cutting through; tell me you don't want words that leave the streets running with blood.'

Just read the whole thing.

➝ To follow, a post from her fashion blogger friend, Meg Clark, who I just started following. 'In Defence of the Hot Mess/ A Call for Female AntiHeroes'. Various people around the blogosphere have recently started calling for less of the strong women archetype and stating their interest in more regular, or flawed, or less assertive, or not primarily physically strong female characters (Ana's linked to some of those discussions and has talked about it herself). I think Clark's post takes that discussion in a new direction, calling for more female characters who are believably fucked up.

As you might have gathered when I said I was lusting after 'The Green Girl', this is a character type I want way more of, but which is surrounded by issues that may make this type of fictional woman feel uncomfortable to some. Interested to see what comes out of all these discussions (I suspect it's going to be a variation of the ever popular "ALL THE STORIES").

➝ And I'll end with an essay about Terry Pratchett's women for Ana. [livejournal.com profile] cassiphone talks about Agnes from 'Masquerade' and 'Carpe Juggulum', with bonus fan art.

text that says Renay's Section

➝ This is hilarious review of The Hunger Games that shouldn't be missed. Via [personal profile] owlmoose

➝ The MLA would like you to correctly cite all Tweets in your papers, please. #technologywins

➝ A wonderful video answering the question "What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?" by Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

➝ I have feelings about Henry Jenkins, mostly centering around the fact that we're letting a white dude write about our community and I want more sources like this where it's our voices writing about our community, participants writing about events they witnesses and were a part of, but this review of Textual Poachers is still a nice summary of the book's content. On a related note, Transformative Works and Cultures Vol 9 is out, and the topic is Fan/Remix Video. Someone on my reading list posted a super neat trailer.

➝ Things I don't need but would love to have regardless: Dinosaur Chocolate Molds.

➝ Native Appropriations: Johnny Depp as Cultural Appropriation Jack Sparrow...I mean Tonto. and Why Tonto Matters. Thoughtful articles with good questions.

Fiona Apple is releasing a new album titled The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do. I am super excited about this. \o/

The Further Adventures of Lady Business

Once again, Ana has written many, many interesting things! She reviewed Geek Girls Unite by Leslie Simon, A Bride's Story vols 1 and 2 by Kaoru Mori, The Next Day by Jason Gilmore, Paul Peterson and John Porcellino and discusses Chavs by Owen Jones, which explores "the demonization of working-class people".

For International Women's Day (next year our trio will have to do something special for this!), Ana created a fabulous recommendation list of nonfiction titles.

Finally, Ana created Reading and Gender: A Brief Guided Tour of my MA Dissertation.
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Queer lady geek Clare was raised by French wolves in the American South. more? » twitter icon webpage icon

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