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Britblog Roundup No 207

Beginning this week by picking out a few highlights:

* On the F-word, Louise (rightfully) tears strips off an old fart who’s “making a stand” by displaying soft porn in his office. The one good thing is that he’s an elected official – I do hope the women of Nottinghamshire are fully informed of his actions before the next vote.

* Sharon on Early Modern Notes makes a critical comparison of Wikipedia and the press – and the latter doesn’t come out too well.

* Simon on LibDem Voice is meanwhile launching another swinging attack, this time on jargon – his “Genesis in PR jargon” is a hoot.

*And I may be being a touch mischievous in putting these two together, since there’s rather a lot of jargon in Stumbling and Mumling’s exploration of organisational failure, but there is an interesting thought in there about private sector failure.

Looking on the lighter side, Genna on gem-ish explains why she’s happy her school years weren’t the best of her life. And Huw indulges in a little hiccup nostalgia.

And Ed Fordham on 474 Votes to Win (what will he do after the election, I wonder?) wants to preserve an important piece of Joe Orton history, of the lavatorial kind.

Getting back into politics, Blood and Treasure analyses the relationship between Gordon Brown’s words and the sudden outbreak of British industrial anger.

And Chicken Yoghurt exposes the murky business of nuclear industry “insurance”, while The Yorkshire Ranter explores the darker depths of NHS computing.

Two Doctors have the word from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, the Green Party view of the Scottish budget wrangling.

And Jim on The Daily (Maybe), who’s doing rather well just now living up to that semi-promise, explores the idea of what Progressive London means. And new blogger Joseph Healy reports back from the Convention of the Left in Manchester last weekend.

The Magistrate looks at the basic fallacy in the theory of deterrence with reference to the >reclassification of marijuana, and Witterings from Whitney suggests David Cameron should live by his own words and hold a referendum on EU membership.

In local politics, Jason Kitcat brings the details of Brighton government, with the aid of YouTube, to the voters. And yes, garbage does matter.

And Antonia has a fine tribute to Maureen Christian, Oxford Labour councillor.

In the “interesting new ideas” category is an exploration on Amused Cynicism of a proposed new broadband tax, the money to go to creative providers. I’m not quite sure how the administration would work out, but it is an interesting idea, possibly particularly for the BBC…

And on Heresy Corner, measures of religiosity and wealth in the US have been plotted against each other, showing interesting correlations – not necessarily causal, but certainly a blow to the “God will make you wealthy” crowd.

But there’s nothing new, really: Roy on Early Modern Whale is exploring an early mass murderer-cum-werewolf. And staying in history I’m going to point to one of my own, my review of the Darwin exhibition at the Natural History Museum – really worth seeing, even if it is preaching to the converted.

In the miscellaneous category:
* Jonathan on Liberal England offer his thoughts on the BBC Gaza appeal controversy, findnig some interesting evidence of differing approaches in recent history.

* On Text and the World, an exploration of the work of the feminist theorist Gayle Rubin, perhaps for the more academically inclined.

* Charles Crawford on forms of anti-Semitism.

*In the Shadow of the Olive Tree is exploring the issue of reparations.

Finally, be afraid, be very afraid. No not the economy, or the environment, but the pigeons are massing at a new HQ, and they don’t even care who knows it…

Last week’s roundup was with Mick; next week the host will be Matt. As usual, email your nominations to britblog AT gmail DOT com – don’t be shy; you can nominate yourself. And (usually) all nominations are included, whatever the politics of that week’s host…

Friday Femmes Fatales

Friday Femmes Fatales No 69

OK, I give up – I’m afraid Friday Femmes Fatales is going to have to become an “occasional” series rather than a weekly one. (I’m going to aim for but not promise fortnightly.) I just can’t spend any more hours at the computer than I do now. (But — small bribe — if you send in lots of nominations it could be more regular!)

Now that my little whinge is over, on to the ten great female bloggers with ten killer posts…

Regular readers will know I aim to promote women bloggers even when I don’t necessarily agree with them, so I’ll start with Jo22 on I Can’t Fly, and her take on Jack Straw and the Muslim veil issue.

But I entirely agree with the sentiments of the blogger on Politics’n'Poetry, who highlights the environmental misdeeds of the Saskatchewan Power Corporation (Canada).

Staying green, Anna on Bitchinspin, who’s obviously a far more serious cyclist than I, reports on a university free bike scheme. Amazingly it seems, they aren’t being stolen!

I’m equally in tune with Kuri on Thought Interrupted, who picked up and reshaped the currently popular meme to make it five things feminism still has to do.

Ronni Bennett (no relation, that I know of) on Time Goes By, subtitled “what it’s really like to get older”, wonders how plastic surgery comes into the ‘women’s health category’, concluding “they’ll force us to become grotesque simulacra of youth to not offend their delicate sensibilities of what is attractive”.

On the superb group blog Our Bodies Ourselves, Christine C. contemplates that old question: can men be feminists?. One powerful obituary certainly supports that possibility.

On another question that keeps being asked – what is university (college) for? the Blue Gal provides some great stats, and interesting thoughts on the changing American experience.

Turning more personal, although still eminently political, Liz Connor reflects on being a teenage bulimic. She reflects how this is merely the other side of overeating: ”
With any addiction self-loathing and self-comfort become bound within a mutually sustaining, closed system.”

After that, some healthy, sensible eating – Jennifershmoo on Vegan Lunch Box offers (with pictures) vegan bento. (I have to admit that after eating almost entirely vegan at the recent Green Party conference I felt remarkably healthy considering the other ways I was abusing my body – e.g. alcohol and lack of sleep. But still not sure I could stick it full time.)

Finally, to finish, the one post you really, really must read here – leave on an inspirational note: The Sappho Manifesto tells the story of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, a 24-year-old schoolteacher, and apparently unlikely revolutionary.

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If you missed the last edition, it is here. (If you’d like to see all of them as a list, click on the category “Friday Femmes Fatales” in the righthand sidebar. That will take you to a collection of 650, and counting, women bloggers.)

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Please: In the next week if you read, or write, a post by a woman blogger and think “that deserves a wider audience” (particularly someone who doesn’t yet get many hits), drop a comment. It really does make my life easier. Or don’t be shy – nominate yourself! (Thanks to Penny and Val who sent in nominations this week.)

Friday Femmes Fatales

Friday Femmes Fatales No 68

Returning after a two-week hiatus – sorry about that: hideous technical problems that are finally, I hope, cross toes, solved. I never wanted to be a techie, but these days it seems almost impossible to avoid.

But to business – ten great posts from ten new (to me) women bloggers. It is here every week: it is going to be really, truly, I promise.

First, a real discovery, and just down the road for me: Stroppyblog. I can’t imagine how I’ve missed (her) sorry – them – for so long. In this post Louisefeminista’s talking about the problems encountered by a lap-dancing club that is solely for women customers.

Staying in the UK, Antiprincess (love the name!) on I Shame the Matriarchy is commenting on recently announced plans to ban violent porn. She says: “I want to say: Hey! British Home Office! Don’t ban me! Don’t erase me! … Don’t make it a crime to look at me!” But it is a much more nuanced post than that sounds – do go to check it out.

Very much on the personal is political side, Pippa on One Salford Feminist reflects on how in 1988 she gave up her name. She says she’s now ready to choose another name, and is looking for suggestions.

Then a little traditional British politics; on thatlittlebluehome, the author reflects as a non-aligned voter what is wrong with the Liberal Democrats. Have a look at the Greens, I say – not just those who stick on a thin green-coloured cloak.

Leaving the relatively civilised shores of Europe – a must-read post on Den of the Biting Beaver. She had a hell of a struggle to get access to emergency contraception, and reflects with compelling honesty and frankness on the experience.

Then into the classroom, where Alternative Solutions Centre, the blog of a deaf-owned and operated psychotherapy and consulting practice, where three women blog, is a post about girls only being allowed to study female scientists. “She is … being told, very subtly, that just being a girl is enough to prevent her from getting something she wants.” (And should you be able to read American Sign Language, there’s a V-log post.)

The Dancing Queen on Wheelchair Dancer is reflecting on the pleasures of a well-designed, well-made building.

On propernoun.net, mindy reviews Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow, a French best-seller that has been compared to Catcher in the Rye. Sticking with books, on Meredith Reads YA, a there’s a reflection on Saint Arthur Ransome. And finally, staying literary, Ruth on Blogcritics is fed up with fantasy. She’s looking for more originality in thought and action.

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If you missed the last edition, it is here. (If you’d like to see all of them as a list, click on the category “Friday Femmes Fatales” in the righthand sidebar. That will take you to a collection of 650, and counting, women bloggers.)

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Please: In the next week if you read, or write, a post by a woman blogger and think “that deserves a wider audience” (particularly someone who doesn’t yet get many hits), drop a comment. It really does make my life easier. Or don’t be shy – nominate yourself! (Thanks to Penny who sent in nominations this week.)

Friday Femmes Fatales

Friday Femmes Fatales No 67

Ten great posts from 10 new (to me) women bloggers.

Starting topical this week, on Women’s E-News, a blog by Nouhad Moawad, who left Lebanon for a New York internship. Now she’s torn about being away from home during a war, as are her friends. That seems to make a good pair with Mistress La Spliffe’s discovery, on Costume Jewelry, of book that would be a good primer specifically for Americans who hadn’t been educated to figure out why essentially everyone kind of hates them.

Sticking with politics, McDonald’s thought it was a good idea to have a Hummer promotion, Elena Centor reports on Blogher. Well why not put two destructive, dangerous corporate elements together? Makes perfect sense…

Then a roundup in a roundup – well why not? On the Nonprofit Blog Exchange a collection of good ideas, including how to get more money from donors from your website.

Turning literary, on Getting Medieval, her blog about ” Trials and Tribulations of Getting my Medieval Mysteries published”, Jeri Westerson interviews Sharan Newman and Margaret Frazer, “two of the divas of Medieval Mystery”. Very honest – a sample: “What keeps you going? My mortgage.”

Sticking with the writers, Janest Koch says she only updates once a month, since she’s a “slow writer” and is working on her latest novel – well when she’s not finding other books to read. And also on the artistic side, on OhMyNews, Bahma Sivasubramaniam explains why My Fair Lady is her favourite movie.

Melbine on Clouds of Blue has a big decision coming up, the old after the baby back to work? one, but in the meantime is just a bit concerned that the local sex shop might know her a little too well. It is all life-stages… Sugarplum on Visions of Sugarplum is meanwhile celebrating the Minou Monster – he’s bad, but oh so cute.

Then on the power of scent – Alphabitch reached for the wrong bottle for a morning bath, and found it flavoured her whole day. Nothing like Patchouli to bring out the old hippie in you…

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If you missed the last edition, it is here. (If you’d like to see all of them as a list, click on the category “Friday Femmes Fatales” in the righthand sidebar. That will take you to a collection of 650, and counting, women bloggers.)

***

Please: In the next week if you read, or write, a post by a woman blogger and think “that deserves a wider audience” (particularly someone who doesn’t yet get many hits), drop a comment. It really does make my life easier. Or don’t be shy – nominate yourself!

Friday Femmes Fatales

Friday Femmes Fatales No 66

Ten great posts from 10 new (to me) women bloggers.

And I’m aiming to be celebratory this week: first up a brilliant idea and a brilliant blog. I’ve often thought of how unhealthy the changing rooms of my all-girl school were – everyone used to engage in astonishing contortions to avoid showing one inch of skin while removing and replacing clothing, which meant no one every really got a sense of the variety of shapes and sizes of their compatriots’ bodies – relying instead on those airbrushed magazine ideals.

And how much worse it is for women after giving birth – but on The Shape of A Mother women are invited to send in their stories and pictures of their post-natal bodies. I’ve pointed to the whole blog; it seemed unfair to single out any particular post.

Then, on Skanky Jane’s Ruses of Pleasure, the artist reports on her first solo exhibition. To explain:

“…In the Big Rock Candy Mountains all the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft boiled eggs…”

Well OK, perhaps that doesn’t explain very much – you’ll just have to go to see for yourself.

Staying with the artistic theme, Lauren on She Sees Red raves about a new multi-artist show in Melbourne. I loved the escalator.

Turning the celebration to the culinary, J in Singapore on Kuidaore explains how to cook the perfect gyoza (Japanese dumpling). I love, love gyoza, although I’d prefer someone to do all those fiddly steps for me…

Then for dessert, Kathy on My Little Kitchen takes us step by step through a ginger peach cake. Hey, it contains fruit; got to be healthy, right?

OK, to leaven the mix a little politics – Jessa on Zombie was at a university tutorial discussing George Bush’s public speaking “skills”. Then the fireworks started.

And a bit of anthropology – on Baraita, Naomi muses on the Jewish communities in the South of the United States.

Jenny on The Shifted Librarian offers a roundup of blog posts on culture change in libraries. Is it possible?

Finally, a celebration of nature. On Just Shelley there are pictures of butterflies, herons, lizards, and more.

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If you missed the last edition, it is here. (If you’d like to see all of them as a list, click on the category “Friday Femmes Fatales” in the righthand sidebar. That will take you to a collection of 650, and counting, women bloggers.)

***

Please: In the next week if you read, or write, a post by a woman blogger and think “that deserves a wider audience” (particularly someone who doesn’t yet get many hits), drop a comment. It really does make my life easier. Or don’t be shy – nominate yourself!

Friday Femmes Fatales

Friday Femmes Fatales No 65

Ten great posts from 10 new (to me) women bloggers.

On the beautifully named So Many Books, Stefanie Hollmichel reflects on the BC (before computer) days. “My writing relationship with my computer is different than someone who came along AD (after DOS) …. I wonder how a computer would have changed Virginia Woolf’s writing?

Staying with the bibliophiles, since it is summer holiday season, Ali on bonbon cosmique selects her five favourite historical novels. For the young adult readers – and those who fancy an expedition to the abbey of Whitby in Northumbria’s glory days – Carla Nayland on Historical Fiction reviews Wolf Girl, by Theresa Tomlinson.

And Jennifer Weiner on Snarkspot has been at what sounds like an amazing reading session in New York, with Stephen King, John Irving, J.K. Rowling.

Turning more critical, can you imagine Rebus speaking “American”? That’s what Sarah Cuthbertson on Sarah’s Books found when she looked at an American edition of Fleshmarket Alley. (That’s Fleshmarket Close to the rest of us.)

Moving on to issues of body politics, Stephanie, The Feel Good Girl, is reflecting on the uselessness of diamonds. “You can’t wear a diamond tennis bracelet with a wetsuit or on the ski slopes, so what good is it?”

Now I’m aware that some of my readers might consider this a controversial topic, but if you do use use wax for hair removal, either at home or at the beautician’s, Spa Diva on Blogher has advice on making waxing as painless as possible

Moving swiftly on, “Heidi the Hick” on Hick Chick isn’t geographically where she’d like to be right now, but she’s still managing an interesting life anyway.

Turning more overtly political to finish, on The Wonderful World of Lola, praise for the BBC and Eastenders (a popular soap opera). “Considering the number of kids who see similar scenes playing out live in their own homes, I think the Beeb should be praised for being brave enough to show the realities of the abuse that so many women and children live with.”

And Skookumchick on Diary of a Feminist Engineer explains how she aims to be, well, a feminist engineer. “I believe that engineering (and engineering education) has historically been constructed to ignore technology associated with women and women’s work.”

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If you missed the last edition, it is here. (If you’d like to see all of them as a list, click on the category “Friday Femmes Fatales” in the righthand sidebar. That will take you to a collection of 650, and counting, women bloggers.)

***

Please: In the next week if you read, or write, a post by a woman blogger and think “that deserves a wider audience” (particularly someone who doesn’t yet get many hits), drop a comment. It really does make my life easier. Or don’t be shy – nominate yourself! (Thanks to Penny for her suggestions this week!)