"Men who want to be feminists do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space they have in society & make it feminist."

Kelley Temple, National Union of Students UK Women’s Officer  (via feministkitsch)

I’d never really thought about needing a space in feminism, (because as a straight male, I’ve been trained to think I have space anywhere I please), but I’d also never thought about it in these specific terms before either. So yes, I’ll take my spaces and make them feminist.

(Source: marchingstars, via janeena)

Poems and Beautiful Bulldogs

Today was Drake University’s Beautiful Bulldog Contest, one of the opening events for the Drake Relays, our biggest athletic event. Since I was teaching during this year’s contest, I had my students use their writing exercise time to compose poems in the voice of one of the contestants (we’re studying persona poems this term). I wrote my own, with apologies to William Shakespeare for my echoing first line.

Beautiful Bulldog Sonnet

My mistress’ eyes are promising a bone
if I can keep from tripping on my gown.
It shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll be alone
before the judges. I hope no frowns
cross their faces. I’ve practiced all year—
a little dip and curtsey at the end
of the ramp, a head shake so my ears
flop beside my eyes. The judges tend
to favor bulldogs on the heavy side
and while I’m not petite, I’m not as large
as my competitors. But I’ll still vie
for judges’ hearts and minds by taking charge
like any supermodel on the stage:
by locking eyes. You can’t escape my gaze.

A villanelle with a Star Trek epigram. Pure awesome from Jill McDonough.


Tom Baker (4th Doctor) & Louise Jameson (Leela) Then & Now. I adored all of their episodes together SO much! Leela’s one of my favorite companions & Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor.photos from Louise Jameson’s blog

Leela of the Sevateen is definitely in my top 5 favorite companions.


Tom Baker (4th Doctor) & Louise Jameson (Leela) Then & Now. 
I adored all of their episodes together SO much! Leela’s one of my favorite companions & Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor.
photos from Louise Jameson’s blog

Leela of the Sevateen is definitely in my top 5 favorite companions.

(via doctorwho)


My voice does not belong to you.

My body does not belong to you.

Bitch does not belong you you.

I do not belong to you.

Poetry written and performed by Isabel Elliott and Maddie Cramer
BNV 2013 Finals Round #1-Denver

One of my students!

(via violetcoil)

Easter Peeps

Easter Peeps


I wanted my first-year film students to understand what happens to a story when actual human beings inhabit your characters, and the way they can inspire storytelling. And I wanted to teach them how to look at headshots and what you might be able to tell from a headshot. So for the past few years I’ve done a small experiment with them.

It works like this: I bring in my giant file of head shots, which include actors of all races, sizes, shapes, ages, and experience levels. Each student picks a head shot from the stack and gets a few minutes to sit with the person’s face and then make up a little story about them. 

Namely, for white men, they have no trouble coming up with an entire history, job, role, genre, time, place, and costume. They will often identify him without prompting as “the main character.” The only exception? “He would play the gay guy.” For white women, they mostly do not come up with a job (even though it was specifically asked for), and they will identify her by her relationships. “She would play the mom/wife/love interest/best friend.” I’ve heard “She would play the slut” or “She would play the hot girl.” A lot more than once.

For nonwhite men, it can be equally depressing. “He’s in a buddy cop movie, but he’s not the main guy, he’s the partner.” “He’d play a terrorist.” “He’d play a drug dealer.” “A thug.” “A hustler.” “Homeless guy.” One Asian actor was promoted to “villain.”

For nonwhite women (grab onto something sturdy, like a big glass of strong liquor), sometimes they are “lucky” enough to be classified as the girlfriend/love interest/mom, but I have also heard things like “Well, she’d be in a romantic comedy, but as the friend, you know?” “Maid.” “Prostitute.” “Drug addict.”

I should point out that the responses are similar whether the group is all or mostly-white or extremely racially mixed, and all the groups I’ve tried this with have been about equally balanced between men and women, though individual responses vary. Women do a little better with women, and people of color do a little better with people of color, but female students sometimes forget to come up with a job for female actors and black male students sometimes tell the class that their black male actor wouldn’t be the main guy.

Once the students have made their pitches, we interrogate their opinions. “You seem really sure that he’s not the main character – why? What made you automatically say that?” “You said she was a mom. Was she born a mom, or did she maybe do something else with her life before her magic womb opened up and gave her an identity? Who is she as a person?” In the case of the “thug“, it turns out that the student was just reading off his film resume. This brilliant African American actor who regularly brings houses down doing Shakespeare on the stage and more than once made me weep at the beauty and subtlety of his performances, had a list of film credits that just said “Thug #4.” “Gang member.” “Muscle.” Because that’s the film work he can get. Because it puts food on his table.

So, the first time I did this exercise, I didn’t know that it would turn into a lesson on racism, sexism, and every other kind of -ism. I thought it was just about casting. But now I know that casting is never just about casting, and this day is a real teachable opportunity. Because if we do this right, we get to the really awkward silence, where the (now mortified) students try to sink into their chairs. Because, hey, most of them are proud Obama voters! They have been raised by feminist moms! They don’t want to be or see themselves as being racist or sexist. But their own racism and sexism is running amok in the room, and it’s awkward.

This for every time someone criticizes how characters of color and female characters of color especially are treated in text and by subsequent fandoms.  It’s never “just a television/movie/book”. It’s never been ”just”.

(Source: letthetruthlaugh, via ramblingpoetry)

""Because we need to call the feeling one has after a great loss something, we call it “grief,” but anyone who has experienced it knows that this is just a word assigned to what is, in its shifting, horrible, massive complexity, unnameable. This book is an effort to rename this feeling. It should take at least that number of words and pages to begin to do so. One could say the entire book is a new name, the name of this emotion one can feel after such a loss.

The most difficult thing for a reader of the book might be the intensity of the feelings, and also at times because language is trying to reach for some kind of knowledge or understanding that seems impossible, given the horrible hugeness of the absence of the one who has died. The reader feels the poet’s intense desire to only say true things in the poems, in honor of her friend and her passing. The book is not otherwise difficult to understand, or, it is only difficult in the way all poetry is and should be. The poet does what poets do: reactivates words, makes odd associations, connects things that do not ordinarily belong together in order to create deeper meaning.”

Go read the whole thing.

I never have gotten the hang of Monday.

I never have gotten the hang of Monday.


This book is B.S.

I’m glad my daughters are going to grow up in a world which recognizes just how bullshit that book is.


This book is B.S.

I’m glad my daughters are going to grow up in a world which recognizes just how bullshit that book is.