Monday, June 27, 2011

Court decisions

So- the first amendment protects violent video games, but bodily autonomy is free to attack?
This is just my knee-jerk reaction, but it seems like a nice parallel that as the courts are protecting the media that encourage rape and rape culture in the most explicit ways, the services that protect people (mostly women) from such acts of violence are being dismantled by the legislature.
What the heck is going on in this country?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Minor Annoyances

At my office, we always have the radio on, which wouldn't be so bad if t weren't for the commercials. Commercials drive me up the wall in general, especially when you're listening to the same station, and only hear the same 5 or 10 commercials repeated every quarter hour throughout a full 8 hour workday. But one commercial stands out to me, every time. I can't find a video of it online, but here's my transcription:

Announcer: This is the sound of [male's] Chase mortgage: [sound of lawn mower engine]. This is the sound of [male]'s Chase mortgage: [sound of meat sizzling on a grill]. And the is the sound of Nancy's Chase mortgage: [sound of golf club swinging].
[...product information...]
Announcer: [basically, you too can Buy Things with a Chase mortgage]
[sound of glass shattering]
Nancy: oops... FORE!
Announcer: Or maybe, just lessons.

This contains so many blatant and subliminal negative concepts that I'm not even sure where to start. Basically, women suck and can't play sports. Blegh.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Men, Women, Polo

The way I see it, polo is currently at a crossroads. We can buy into the precedent that the mainstream has already set up for us, and begin to segregate based on gender. This will lead to more mainstream, shittier polo, because you're cutting out half the competition. We can reinforce the notion that people with vaginas are delicate little flowers who need protecting from the REAL MANLY MENZ of the world. We can avoid confronting those difficult misogynistic attitudes that are so blatantly obvious whenever coed games occur in tournaments today. And we can then watch the women's league dwindle into obscurity and near-extinction, as most professional sports* have done before us.

On the other hand, we can continue to play as hardcourt has always been played- open to all willing to hold a mallet and possibly suffer bodily injury. We can remain on the fringes, daring to offer up a legitimately level playing field, without grossly insulting the dozens (hundreds?) of women who have been playing with their club since its inception, only to be suddenly turned away because their vagina suddenly makes all their past game play irrelevant. We can open our eyes to the gross transgressions that are made every day, in every form of bigotry, and work to change those attitudes and behaviors from within, rather than punishing a minority group for the hatred directed towards them. We can acknowledge that if a majority of women are easily intimidated by us crazy stick-wielding folk, it's because they have been raised in a threatening environment where women must be timid and fearful to conform and survive, not because all women are inherently like that.

Another thing to keep in mind- segregation based on gender creates a huge problem when we encounter trans people who would like to join us on the court. Do we really want to send the message that we, like almost every other sport out there, do not recognize their bodily autonomy and ability to create their own identity?

*I'm mostly thinking of the WNBA here- I mean, who gets as excited about their Finals as they do about any NBA game? No one I know, certainly.

x-posted to, in response to Kiersten's question about women's place on the court.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I've been making tons of cakes lately. I only wish I had a camera so I could post pictures.
Yesterday, I made a carrot cake from Smitten Kitchen for Alex's birthday. I ended up not having anywhere near enough carrots, so I only made a half recipe, and I used agave nectar in the place of maple syrup. I'm told it was delicious- my hungry polo players devoured it before I had a chance to really taste it.

For my brother's graduation, I made him Willow Bird Baking's Caramel Fudge Brownie cheesecake. It was decadent and totally delicious. The one mistake I made- a nine inch pie pan is not the same as a nine inch cake pan, the sloping walls made that top brownie layer significantly smaller than the rest of the cake. Luckily this problem was easy to fix with all the extra ganache.

Really, everything on Willow Bird Baking's master cheesecake post is excellent. I made the Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake for Ayla's birthday, and attempted the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss Cheesecake for Donnie's birthday. Both cakes were very much enjoyed, but the mousse layer on Donnie's cake did not work out well. Agar agar flakes are much more temperamental than gelatin, and must be used at exactly the right time in the setting process to act in the same way, since they're actual a much more powerful binding agent. I'm hoping I can find an actual vegetarian gelatin to use instead of the flakes next time. I also modified to Coffee Cookie Dough cheesecake for Eli's birthday a few weeks ago- I used half the ganache and didn't add the cookie dough layer for a simpler, less heavy cake, as he requested.

I'm enjoying this cake-making kick- being able to simply pour the entire bowl into a pan is quite satisfying compared to dividing it into individual cupcake tins, or spooning out individual cookies.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Graduation Day

So yesterday I attended my brother's high school graduation, which was very average for that sort of event. The most notable thing about it was that as the graduates marched up to and off of the stage, all the young men were given handshakes by the three administrators lining the stairs, while the young women were grabbed by the elbow and yanked up the stairs, as if they were incapable of walking by themselves. While there were a few girls (3 of about 60) already tottering in too-high heels, most were visibly put off balance by this gesture.

It was mildly infuriating to watch. This was an elite college prep school, which claims to be producing some of the best and the brightest students, ready to face the world and change it. How can over half the class be expected to do that when they're clearly being told that they're incapable of standing on their own two feet? While their male peers were treated with the utmost dignity and respect, these young women forced through a ritual submission to male control.

I wish I had been able to enjoy the graduation more. Instead, I sat there seething in rage on my brother's special day. Maybe by the time my sister goes across that stage, she won't be treated as disparagingly as our brother's female peers.