Mar. 27th, 2017

via Barring Girls for Leggings, United Airlines Defends Decision:





United Airlines barred two women from boarding a flight on Sunday morning and required a child to change into a dress after a gate agent decided the leggings they were wearing were inappropriate. 

[…] In a telephone interview from Mexico on Sunday afternoon, Ms. Watts said she noticed two visibly upset teenage girls leaving the gate next to hers. Both were wearing leggings. Ms. Watts went over to the neighboring gate and saw a “frantic” family with two young girls, one of whom was also wearing leggings, engaged in a tense exchange with a gate agent who told them, “I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them.”

Ms. Watts said the girl’s mother told her the two teenagers had just been turned away because the gate agent said their pants were not appropriate travel attire. The woman had a dress in her carry-on bag that the child was able to pull on over her pants, and the family boarded the flight. 

[…] Ms. Watts judged that the two women who were barred from boarding were in their “young teens” and the girl who changed into a dress was 10 or 11.

[…] Jonathan Guerin, a spokesman for United, confirmed that two teenage girls were told they could not board a flight from Denver to Minneapolis because their leggings violated the company’s dress code policy for “pass travelers,” a company benefit that allows United employees and their dependents to travel for free on a standby basis.

@alfa-limalimon So to travel on standby as a pass traveler you have to dress up? Do United employees commuting or otherwise flying but not working have to comply with this dress code? I hate workplace dress codes for the record, precisely because of this. One place I worked banned jeans except for Friday, but leggings were ok. Also t-shirts with anything other than jeans were ok (didn’t need to be a blouse). A woman can look very put together in jeans, knit top, and blazer, or an oversized blouse and leggings - but be violating a dress code. Another woman in a T-shirt and maxi skirt would look much more casual, but be complying. Dress codes are written by men and they’re stupid is my point, I think.

I’m fucking coming unhinged about this. I will be wearing leggings to work tomorrow as a One woman protest. And I know for a FACT I’ve worn leggings on a United flight, probably under a long shirt but still. I am so done with this nonsense when you know they probably let dudebros wear all manner of offensive shitty tshirts.

Wh-what? I can’t even wrap my brain around a reason for this. Even if you don’t think that leggings count as pants, they aren’t an undergarment. And why hassle a little girl?

Used to be, women had to wear skirts in First Class. I never encountered this, because I did not fly on an airplane until I was much older, but I remember a speaker mentioning it– in context that she traveled a lot, and had once been offered a free upgrade to First Class that was then rescinded when she did not have a skirt to put on. 

I actually used to work in an airline’s private club, so I’m aware of the Friends and Family rules, and the idea that people on those passes are non-revenue-generating, so they may seek excuses to put them off crowded flights. Still, though.

Given the nature of women’s clothing, and how incredibly subjective any evaluation of it is, women’s dress code enforcement is ridiculous, and United also basically shoved their feet straight into their mouth replying to this on Twitter (I watched it unfolding over there, pretty much in realtime, holy shit you assholes).

I went to a series of high-class boarding schools and ran headfirst into the bullshit that is dress codes. My US high school was great; the students came up with the dress code, and it was perfect– things that encompassed both a letter and a spirit, but necessarily pretty open-minded. My UK school was fucking awful– it was literally just at-whim enforcement, and depended on how put-together you looked. I recall one girl getting sent back to change, but another girl borrowing the exact same garments and being allowed to attend class, simply because their bodies were shaped differently and they had different reputations with the instructors. I freaked out at them because I had such a limited space to pack garments, and a limited budget– I could not afford to buy my one pair of new trousers, wear it twice, and then be told it did not pass muster. This was not regarded with sympathy, since I was generally nonconforming…

Later, I worked at a job where we had a literal uniform, and was once censured for showing too much cleavage. Only the intervention of a senior employee, who showed the manager that she had precisely the same number of buttons fastened as I did, saved me from any more severe reprimand. We were wearing the same clothes, we just didn’t have the same body. 

Anyway. Ten year old girls in leggings. Christ. 
y’all farmbaby video-called me from her dad’s phone today and her hair is so long and she is so tall and i haven’t seen her in a month now and she is not a baby anymore, she is a goddamn huge adult-ass child, and i’ve had a fair bit to drink and it’s blowing my mind. 

on the upside, i turned my phone and Chita was right there and meowed like, right on cue, and it made farmbaby’s day and also made the farm dog freak out. 




A big theme in news articles and commentary lately is manufacturing jobs, crisis of labor, crisis of automation, etc, heavily focused on white working-class men. Often with the obligatory mentions of Luddites, carriage-makers and the automobile, etc etc pick prior examples as you please. But here’s a dot I’m not seeing connected:

Modern feminism arose out of a crisis of automation.

Feminism isn’t just the incorporation of women into longstanding ideals of citizenship and equality, although that’s important. Feminism is what happens when the huge amounts of domestic labor that need to get done for society to function–and that women as a class-like entity have been responsible for in most agricultural societies–can be done with machines in a fraction of the time. In the time it takes to get from the invention of the sewing machine to the mass adoption of the microwave, half the labor force goes from a back-breaking full-time job to chronic underemployment. 

(The other big structural pillar that people underestimate is safe, controlled reproduction. Its importance as a personal right is feminist dogma now, but IMO that misses just how much the insoluble problems of constant pregnancy and death in childbirth shackled the entire structure of society. Like, the reason there’s still so much conflict over this is that we’ve basically solved one of the eternal problems of the human condition and are still figuring out what the fuck to do with our success. But that’s a topic for another time.)

Mind you, I’m not saying “stop thinking of the white working-class men when you could be talking about women!” Just that it’s a potentially interesting point of comparison that’s being overlooked. And I’m definitely not saying it’s a one-to-one comparison, for probably some of the same reasons it’s being overlooked: underemployment plays out differently with unpaid labor that’s generally organized through household units instead of a more liquid job market. Or rather, supplemented by a job market for domestic labor, which is also heavily female and goes through its own series of upheavals.

Anyway. I don’t have enough knowledge of the relevant fields to develop this much further. But I thought I’d toss it out there in case somebody does, or just wants to cc it to the thinkpiece writers at the Atlantic.

This is actually a pretty big subset of feminist economic history.

The classic is Jeanne Boydston’s Home and Work: Housework, Wages and the Ideology of Labor in the Early Republic, which argues that a shift of women’s work as mostly paid and outside the home in the colonial period to unpaid and in the home in the early 19th century made the rise of the male hourly wage worker possible because it subsidized the workers’ living costs.  Boydston is also responsible for the academic grouping of laundry, sick care, child care, food production, cleaning, and other housework under the rubric of reproductive labor, and argues that the shift of all these reproductive labors wholly into the sphere of women’s unpaid work is one of the reasons there is culturally so much resistance to the idea of women having more control over these labors (through eg birth control and government subsidized child care, as well as the undervaluing of women’s work like child care which has been classified as reproductive labor).

Alice Kessler Harris’ Out To Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States argued that reproductive control has always been a cornerstone of women’s ability to work, and that the economic ability to hire or control reproductive labor widens economic disparities between white women, women of color, and middle class vs. working class women.  She also argues in Out To Work and Gendering Labor History that reproductive labor and lack of reproductive control have been barriers to women’s inclusion in labor organizing, leading to perceptions of women and women’s organizing and gender issues first and labor issues second (if at all) and class stratification in women’s organizing.

Linda Kerber’s No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship, esp chapter 2 “I am Just as Free and Just as Good as You Are: The Obligation Not to be a Vagrant” argues that women’s citizenship in the US has been more often defined as what women are not rather than what women are.  Ch2 argues that black women specifically have been constructed as not-women and not-citizens, because while white women were classed as not-citizens because their labor was categorized as reproductive and not productive, black women were from slavery through Jim/Jane Crow and on obliged to work, but were nonetheless still not-citizens because of their blackness.  The other chapters deal with women’s conflicting obligations as citizens who were obliged to pay taxes without being able to vote for representation, serve on juries, serve in the armed forces, or retain citizenship on marriage to a non-citizen.

Ruth Schwartz Cohen argued in More Work For Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology From the Open Hearth to the Microwave that industrialization, mechanization and automation actually substantially increased the labor burden of many women by raising homekeeping standards even as it offered the possibility of working outside the home, leading to what we now talk about the “Second Shift” of women doing more home work after wage work hours are done compared to men.

In Never Done: A History of American Housework, Susan Strasser argues that women began to turn to work outside the home precisely in order to keep up with increasing housework standards, with white middle class women pushing to enter higher paid professions in order to pay black and brown women wages kept low by the devaluation of reproductive labor in order to keep up white middle class home keeping standards.

Likewise Lizabeth Cohen’s A Consumer’s Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America argues that the post-WW2 push towards a consumer economy further drove devaluation of women’s domestic labor while placing emphasis on wage work that could be used to pay for undervalued domestic work at ever cheaper prices, further widening the gulf between white women who could work outside the home in waged professions and women of color who were pushed by segregation and other factors into undervalued domestic work.

And, not modern or US, but Judith Bennett argues in History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism that the ¾ women’s wage gap vis a vis men’s work has been more or less constant from at least the medieval period on because the patriarchal equilibrium of devaluing women’s work because women do it (see: the current devaluing of “soft science” degrees as women enter those fields in larger numbers) is part of the broader maintenance of the patriarchal power balance.  

Anyway, in case that writer at the Atlantic wants a reading list.

When I was reading in American Immigrant Labor History, a number of books (sorry, no bibliography) talked about women preferring piecework to line jobs because they could multitask, whether that was maintaining social bonds with other women or listening to a reader. As I recall, the reader was paid from the kitty.

For a less academic example, British TV did a show where a family “traveled the decades” in a house that was renovated every 10 days, and had smaller changes each day, as they lived a new year each day and a new decade each 10 days. They started in the 1900s I think, and worked their way up through the 70s or later? Anyway, the mom and older sister, who were really overworked the first two months, each went through a crisis when they hit the 60s and suddenly they had all this free time and they weren’t constantly in pain anymore. The mom specifically said she suddenly had the energy to go out and find a consciousness-raising group or feminists, and after the months she’d had, she really wanted to. (The day they got mass-produced sliced bread back, was huge!)

Art Deco architectural style, one of the first truly international movements, popular between the 1910′s to the 1930′s.

El estilo arquitectónico Art Déco, uno de los primeros movimientos realmente internacionales, el cual fue popular entre los años 10 y 30. 

Fun fact: the last building picture is City Hall in my town.

It makes a great supervillain lair, indeed: there are so many vacant offices in it that one of my dude’s coworkers, back when he worked at the local alt-newsweekly newspaper, theorized that if you snuck in and looked official enough, you could probably set up shop in one and no one would be the wiser.

Funner fact: if you zoom out, the whole building looks like a penis. Like, more so than usual. The photos don’t do it justice, these are all from flattering angles; try driving by on the Skyway and looking at that angle, and you’re like “who thought that was okay”. 

But it is textbook Art Deco and those colors are really that bright. 

More thoughts:
I think the reason Jyn in the book is better is because she absolutely knows she’s an asshole, something which zero of her stans will admit. She 100% knows she is being petty and purposefully trying to hurt Cassian during their fight after Galen’s death. She fantasizes about blowing up the whole Rebel base for revenge but also is just overall emotionally empty and bitter that the rebellion didn’t leave her out of things. She goes to destroy the death star for selfish reasons even if it is a noble cause. Like, for all everyone talks about how the movie is about “not good people doing something good/imperfect characters” and point straight at Cassian for shooting that guy, really they should consider Jyn that way too.

Yes, this! 

But we’re not used to having women as protagonists be allowed to be complex, so either they’re Perfect Angels, or they’re Irredeemable Awful, and you see a ton of the expected Jyn hate in many circles (poor @spacelatinxs has been getting hate for rebloggling Cassian content that has Jyn in it, but like, that was canon, those were canon interactions, why would you exclude a lot of Cassian’s great moments because Jyn was in them?) and then a lot of uncritical Jyn hearteyes stuff elsewhere.

But the whole point was that she was morally ambiguous. She had adopted terrible coping mechanisms to survive, she’s a petulant brat to Cassian, who doesn’t deserve that– but she’s defending her father that she’s so fucked up over, and in the end she’s the hero and saves the damn mission. Yeah, they should absolutely have given her at least a beat to apologize to Cassian instead of him just falling all over her, sure; yeah, they could have set up a tiny bit more of a moment where everyone else decides to follow her so it’s not just weirdly spontaneous, sure– but some of that’s just the limits of film as a medium, you don’t really get her inner monologue or any hint of self-awareness from her, how fucking rich it is that out of all the people who’ve dedicated their lives to this cause she gets to be the Catalyst For Salvation after all. 

No, she was a good character. It’s not how I’d’ve written the story, but I do feel like it was great to have a complicated, morally-ambiguous woman get to Save The Day. There are all sorts of other problems, but her characterization was really interesting. 

Mandatory jawline appreciation post.

#you can tell when the good digital prints hit #suddenly there’s all these amazingly crisp gifs
(via @wyomingnot)

Science Fiction pioneer, writer, editor, and founder of Amazing Stories, Hugo Gernsback wearing his Isolator, which eliminates external noises for concentration
Ana Tijoux, Somos Sur (“We Are The South”), from the album Vengo, 2014 

Lyric translation (of both Spanish and Arabic portions) below cut, from here

You tell us we should sit down,
but ideas can only rise us,
walk, march, don’t surrender or retreat,
see, learn like a sponge absorbs
no one is surplus, all fall short, all add up
all for all, all for us.
We dream big that the empire may fall
we shout out loud, there is no other remedy left.
This is not utopia, this is a joyful dancing rebellion
of those who are overrun, this dance is yours and mine
let’s rise to say “enough is enough”
Neither Africa or Latin America are for auction,
With mud, with a helmet, with a pencil, drum the fiasco
to provoke a social earthquake in this puddle. 

All the silenced (all)
All the neglected (all)
All the invisible (all)
All, All
All, All x2 

Nigeria, Bolivia, Chile, Angola, Puerto Rico and Tunisia,
Algeria, Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mozambique,
Costa Rica, Cameroon, Congo, Cuba, Somalia, Mexico,
Dominican Republic, Tanzania,
Get out Yankees from Latin America,
French, English and Dutch,
I love you Free Palestine. 

Arabic Verse Rapped by Shadia Mansour:
Give me, give me, give me the mic and sing
Singing is the mother of world languages
It holds our existence and it holds our root to greater
Syria, Africa, and Latin America
I’m with ANITA Tijoux
I stand with those who suffer not with those who pretend
I’m with culture, resistance
I forgive and forgive and forgive and my bank declared bankruptcy
At knowledge of the day, the situation had to be cured,
 but then the situation needed to be deterred
If you can free settlements, a lot of hands want to handshake yours,
thousand “K”, thousand “R”
The home of weapons needs to be destroyed
Let’s go back to reality 

All the silenced (all)
All the neglected (all)
All the invisible (all)
All, All
All, All x2 

Looting, trampling, colonization, Matias Catrileo, Gualmapu,
A thousand times we will overcome,
from the sky to the ground, and from the ground to the sky
Let’s go, jumping.
White Knight, go back to your city, we are not afraid.
We have life and fire, fire in our hands, fire in our eyes.
We have so much life, and strength up to the color red.
The child Mary doesn’t want your punishment, she is going to free the Palestinian soil.
We are Africans, Latin Americans, we are the south and we join our hands together. 

All the silenced (all)
All the neglected (all)
All the invisible (all)
All, All
All, Allx2



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