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I'd like to take this moment to point out that all forms of binarism are bad. (Including the binarist notion that all things are either "good" or "bad".) I feel like this has to be pointed out because we, every one of us, has a nasty habit: in our overzealousness to tear down one binary, we do so by reinforcing other binaries. So let me say again. All forms of binarism are bad.

It's well-known that I've had a long, fraught history with certain "feminist" communities, due to which I have heretofore disavowed that label. Because of these persistent conflicts, around ten years ago I retreated from feminist circles and communities. However, over the past year I have rejoined a number of feminist circles— or rather, I have joined womanist, black feminist, transfeminist, and queer feminist circles. And thanks to this reinvolvement with feminist activism I have come, once again, to feel a certain attachment to that word: "feminist". The attachment feels strange to me now, having disavowed it for so long in favor of "womanism", "black feminism", "transfeminism", and "queer feminism". But because of this attachment I feel, once more, the need to reclaim feminism away from those "feminist" communities whose philosophy and political methods I continue to disavow.

So, to piss everyone off once more: a manifesto. )

Edit 2014.07.13: Added footnotes [2] and [3].


20 Nov 2013 02:06 am
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On this day we remember our dead.

When right-wing bigots lie and fabricate stories about trans* people, you look at our dead and tell me with a straight face who should fear whom. While you worry about your kids feeling nervous about nothing happening, I'm too worried for the children who will one day soon be shot, strangled, suffocated, stabbed, tortured, beheaded, lit on fire, and thrown off bridges simply for existing.

And you on the left: I love all you queers, and I'm glad for your victories; but the next time you celebrate an "LGBT" victory you take a long hard look at your history of throwing that "T" under the bus and you look at our dead and tell me with a straight face how it's not yet time to fight for trans* rights.

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So, a friend of mine wrote a scathing review of the ACM's recent refusal to open access. As he mentions, the ACM claims to be a non-profit organization with the purported mission of fostering the open interchange of information, and yet it refuses to open access because that would cut into the bottom line be "too hard". This is absurd when USENIX, ACL, NIPS, JMLR, etc are all open; to say nothing of the arxiv. If the ACM publicly admitted to being a for-profit organization that would be one thing. I'd still be upset with them, but at least they'd be honest. Until the ACM updates its out-of-date practices, I will not support them because they are not a professional organization that represents the ethical standards of the computer science community I am a part of. If you're also part of this community, then you can help tear down this paywall.

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Stop ACTA & TPP: Tell your country's officials: NEVER use secretive trade agreements to meddle with the Internet. Our freedoms depend on it! For more information see La Quadrature du Net.

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For those readers of an academic nature who haven't heard yet, there's a general boycott of Elsevier going on, which I encourage you all to join. For anyone unacquainted with the evil practices of Elsevier check out Cosma Shalizi's links or the links on n-Category Cafe. While this is a general boycott, you can specify separately whether you (1) won't publish with them, (2) won't referee for them, and/or (3) won't do editorial work for them. For the young academics, there's also some discussion on [personal profile] silmaril's LJ crosspost about the potential costs of joining such a boycott. While it is a non-trivial commitment, I do encourage you to join us.

For those who believe in the public sharing of knowledge, there's also a more general pledge, Research Without Walls, to only do business with journals who provide their articles online and without paywalls. I wholeheartedly support this cause, for many of the same reasons that I support F/OSS. If you notice my name isn't on the pledge yet, it's because I need to do a little more research on which conferences and publications this would bar me from before making a public commitment to prohibit myself from (rather than merely disprefer) venues which do not support the freedom of knowledge.

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An excerpt from pdx42:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

It has become clear to me that far too few members of this nation have read, or contemplated, the significance of this document. The racial profiling law in Arizona is just one of a number of grievances that could be raised against the conservative movement that has been dominating the government for many years now. Where did we go wrong, and why is there not enough revolutionary spirit to combat our modern list of grievances?

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