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Just the links: more stuff I’ve been reading 28/04/10

April 28, 2010

Some not-so-balanced filler for today. And not “just” links, after all.

The Buffalo Post
* Vanishing words, vanishing world – Native culture, Native language inseparable

* White guy from Philly goes from two words to Lakota fluency

“Now he teaches the Lakota language…Still, he persevered, saying that learning the language was especially necessary because of his status as a visitor.

And, he says, there’s another reason: It’s critical that people both learn Lakota, and share it.”

* Shinnecock, Unkechaug Nations seek to revive their languages – ‘the DNA of a culture’ – lost for two centuries

* British paper takes ‘curse’ view of Native American artifacts case – In the “just not funny” file.

* Tetona Dunlap – Well-behaved women seldom make history. Think Wilma Mankiller, Minnie Two Shoes

For a bit of balance, from Thomas McElwain’s The Use of the Mingo Language in the Last Half of the Twentieth Century; I’d expect to find a lot of truths somewhere in between, with an awful lot of factors involved:

There are some peculiarities about language loss and identity among eastern woodland native peoples which may not be evident in other communities. Although the process of language loss may have been similar to language loss in non-indigenous groups, its association to identity seems contrastive. Whether or not retention of a language has been vital in the retention of national identity among non-indigenous people, language does not appear to have the same role among eastern woodland communities. Identity is vitally associated with other factors in the native communities, so that loss of language does not seem to have much effect on it. People retain a strong native identity over several generations without access to a native language. Language loss should not therefore be taken as an indicator of identity loss among Mingos.

The Hathor Legacy:
* The invisible men who raped two girls
‘It’s as if they were just props on hand in the 15 year old’s drama. It’s like they had no free will. Like they had no responsibility to say, “I can’t do something like this and still live with myself” and walk away.’

* How not to raise a rapist
Don’t abuse your kids.

Um, yep, that’s it. See, like love and respect, rape is a learned behavior. People don’t become rapists because someone failed to teach them something; they become rapists because they’ve been taught abuse.”

* Don’t expect much of yourself, sweetie
“Sure, eventually, we can learn to resent unfair (low or high) expectations and set our own self-expectations. But that takes more life experience than most teens have.”

Diary of a Goldfish
* Trans Women & Feminism – International Trans Day of Remembrance
“No person should be defined by their medical history.”

* On Not Being Beautiful #2 – On Beauty & Sexual Attraction

* On Not Being Beautiful #1 – Beauty & Nonsense

Womanist Musings
* A Spark of Wisdom: Intersectionality: We’re all fighting the same fight
“Othering, prejudice, bigotry is wrong. Always. Allowing it in any instance opens the door for it to be allowed anywhere.”

Shapely Prose
* An Airline Rant That Does Not Involve Fat
“But at some point, you have to factor in that your success depends on providing services to actual human beings, and if you cannot prevent those human beings from feeling sheer disgust at the way you provide those services, or from actively resenting you every time they have to fly – forget about whether you can engender loyalty among them — you are going to have a long-term problem, even if some of them will consistently be forced by circumstance into patronizing your business.”

* Zombie Playa Revisited
‘The premise of the “nice guy” defense is they are entitled to whatever women they are attracted to as long as they have devoted sufficient effort and resources in the form of performing “niceness”.

And, honestly, how nice does that sound to you?’

* Hoochie Mama – The Other White Meat and Razor Wire Pubic Hair: Books as Stranger Repellent – My ribs are still hurting from laughing, including at some of the comments.

Astrid’s Journal
* Autistic Teen Charged with Assault, Disorderly Conduct
“[H]e became physically aggressive when there were four fire drills in one morning at his school. We do not know whether an appropriate behavior intervention plan was in place, as should have been the case.”

* Asperger’s Syndrome and Serial Killers
‘The very creation of crime-based disorders, as in Fitzgerald’s “criminal autistic psychopathy”, connects psychiatry and criminal justice on a level they shouldn’t be connected on: if you have been diagnosed with a “criminal” disorder, you must be a criminal, and if you committed a crime, say, serial murder, you must have said disorder. This is troubling on more levels than ableism, because you can be convicted by a psychiatrist and found mentally disordered by a judge. That is not how the system, with all its risk of false convictions even in the case of serial murder and incorrect assessments of mental state, should work.’

Smiling Buddha Cabaret
* The Impossible
‘Their purpose is to react to a situation with what seems like an obvious and final truth but they are more like a wall to end discussion. They are often a way to silence cognitive dissonance. That is where what is going on in our heads is not borne out in reality yet we do not wish to question our own thoughts. By expressing something that on the surface seems definitive and that “feels right” in terms of satisfying any doubt, provided we don’t examine it too closely, we can attach ourselves to this false certainty and carry on.’

New York Times
* 2 Mines Show How Safety Practices Vary Widely
“Coal mining carries inherent risks. But the numerous and very public violations and fatalities at Massey-owned mines over the years may leave the impression that all mines are run this way — that all mines leave coal shafts open and fail to exhaust methane properly. They do not. A comparison between Massey’s safety practices and those of other operators in the coal industry shows sharp differences, helping to explain why Massey mines led the list of those warned by federal regulators that they could face greater scrutiny because of their many violations.”

* Indian Tribe Wins Fight to Limit Research of Its DNA
‘“I’m not against scientific research,” said Carletta Tilousi, 39, a member of the Havasupai tribal council. “I just want it to be done right. They used our blood for all these studies, people got degrees and grants, and they never asked our permission.”’

* Making the connections: Sexual Violence in Native Communities
“First of all – isn’t the fact that Native American women experience violence almost 3 times more than any other group of women in the United States, 86% of the time by non-Native men – an inherently cross-sectional feminist issue?…WHY don’t the women in our Native communities measure up in priority? I would think that the occurrence of violence against this many Native women would have every single feminist group up in arms and refusing to shut up until something is done about it – I certainly see that kind of coverage when abortion rights are threatened. WHAT are YOU going to do with this information now that you know about it?…
Much of the violence that does occur is also sexualized, on some level, whether of course it’s gender or sexually based. So additionally it makes sense for the standard sexual health folks to get involved with this issue and vice-versa for domestic violence”

The Stranger
* The “Pedophile’s Paradise”
‘Father James Poole’s story is not an isolated case in Alaska. On the morning of January 14 in Seattle, Ken Roosa and a small group Alaska Natives stood on the sidewalk outside Seattle University to announce a new lawsuit against the Jesuits, claiming a widespread conspiracy to dump pedophile priests in isolated Native villages where they could abuse children off the radar.

“They did it because there was no money there, no power, no police,” Roosa said to the assembled cameras and microphones. “It was a pedophile’s paradise.” He described a chain of poor Native villages where priests—many of them serial sex offenders—reigned supreme. “We are going to shine some light on a dark and dirty corner of the Jesuit order.”‘

* ‘Normal’ and the Dominant Narrative
“Who gets to decide who is ‘normal’? Who gets to decide which life goals we should aspire to? It’s the people who write the dominant narrative.”

* When Accommodations Conflict – Neglected: discussion of the moralism and enlightened paternalism–as distinct from legitimate health concerns–specifically connected to this example.
“Let’s take an example: smoking. For some PWDs, especially those with mental illness, smoking can help ameliorate their symptoms, calm their anxiety, even help some with restoring neurochemical imbalances. The rates of smoking among people with mental illness tend to be much higher than the general population, in which about 20% of people smoke.”

Unnatural Forces (via FWD/Forward)
* The lady thing I won’t talk about. Even with feminists.
“I will speak about my mental illness, my rape, ANYTHING, with other women, other feminists. But I will never speak about the BDD [Body Dysmorphic Disorder]. Because it makes me feel like an asshole to even bring it up.”

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