torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
This is pretty cis-centric and assumes a lot about biology and cultural background, but it has some really interesting observations nonetheless. The bit about the different sets of reactions to trauma really struck me as important.

Content Note: sexual and physical assault, descriptions of victim-blaming.

Women Do What They Need To Do To Survive
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
The Flood: St. Francis Dam Disaster, William Mulholland, and the Casualties of L.A. Imperialism.

On the hubris of William Mulholland, who built a dam in L.A. which turned into a fatal disaster. It's a horrific read, but fascinating history.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
Panel Says Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is A Disease, And Renames It ...to systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). I'm not sure how much value there is in a name, especially at this point, but at least it's descriptive, and more accessible than Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

A screening test for chronic fatigue syndrome is ready for the public, and targets common genetic variants known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). "According to the researchers, in up to 80 percent of cases, an infectious disease such as glandular fever has triggered the expression of these SNPs to bring on the development of chronic fatigue syndrome."
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
This is a long and complicated read, but I think it's an important concept that we need to understand -- both for men, and for those of us who interact with men. I recognize a lot of people I know, and myself, in this piece. It describes what could be a powerful force for transformation of both individuals and the culture... if we have the guts.

The opposite of masculine rape culture is masculine nurturance culture
torquill: Doctor Wilson, thoughtful (wilson)
Three articles worth noting:

Why exercise magnifies exhaustion for chronic fatigue syndrome patients - "The mechanism that causes high-performance athletes to 'feel the burn' turns out to be the culprit in what makes people with chronic fatigue syndrome feel exhausted by the most common daily activities, new research shows."

How doctors are failing to spot the brain injury that could be behind 30,000 cases of ‘chronic fatigue’ (spoiler: it's post-traumatic hypopituitarism (PTHP))

Antibody wipeout found to relieve chronic fatigue syndrome - "Rituximab wipes out most of the body’s B-cells, which are the white blood cells that make antibodies. Øystein Fluge and Olav Mella of the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen noticed its effect on CFS symptoms in 2004, when they used the drug to treat lymphoma in a person who happened to also have CFS. Several months later, the person’s CFS symptoms had disappeared. A small, one-year trial in 2011 found that two-thirds of those who received rituximab experienced relief, compared with none of the control group. The latest study, involving 29 people with CFS, shows that repeated rituximab infusions can keep symptoms at bay for years."
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It's not just a difference in health care... Being overweight won’t necessarily make you unhealthy, but feeling bad about it will

Like transgender suicide rates, it's not the physical state of being which is the risk factor, it's the shame and stigma surrounding it. And that means that shaming fat people "out of concern for their health" is completely counterproductive. It is, in fact, a large part of the problem.
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I'm reading this collation of comments about emotional labor and thinking. One of the segments is titled "Bonsai human"; it brought to mind the moment when the bloom finally came off the rose in my relationship with Greg. We were biking together in Black Rock City at night, going out to a party before finding out what was happening in the rest of the city. He had paused on an empty street to fiddle with his phone -- he was trying to get a wifi signal. I looked around, a little bored, and my eye lit on a camp off to the right.

"Ah, that's where Animal Control is this year," I said, cheerfully.

"What?" He looked up irritably and removed his headphones, which I hadn't realized he was wearing.

"I said that I found the Animal Control camp," I repeated patiently, and pointed.

He looked like I had just said that Martians have three heads. After a moment, he said, "Can I just... not listen to you unless you say something important?"

I couldn't think of a reply, and he went back to his phone. Still speechless, I left him to it and took off to find my own entertainment. I doubt he missed me.

Every time I think about it, I'm just flabbergasted that any caring human could say something like that to someone close to them. But he was so wrapped up in himself, he saw no reason to accommodate me. I would listen to him rattle on about whatever amused or entertained him, even if it was stale or uninteresting to me, because I wanted to show that I cared about what he had to say. Even if it was unimportant in my eyes.

Emotional labor is always extending yourself to listen and empathize. It's a slap in the face when it's not just overlooked, but they make it very clear that they will not do the same for you.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
Actually good for a bunch of identity labels, not just sexual orientation.

Sexual Identity Labels Are Maps, Not Territory
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
Everything Doesn't Happen For a Reason

"Are there ways to find "healing" amidst devastation? Yes. Can one be "transformed" by the hell life thrusts upon them? Absolutely. But it does not happen if one is not permitted to grieve. Because grief itself is not an obstacle.

"The obstacles come later. The choices as to how to live; how to carry what we have lost; how to weave a new mosaic for ourselves? Those come in the wake of grief. It cannot be any other way.

"Grief is woven into the fabric of the human experience. If it is not permitted to occur, its absence pillages everything that remains: the fragile, vulnerable shell you might become in the face of catastrophe.

"Yet our culture has treated grief as a problem to be solved, an illness to be healed, or both. In the process, we've done everything we can to avoid, ignore, or transform grief. As a result, when you're faced with tragedy you usually find that you're no longer surrounded by people, you're surrounded by platitudes."
torquill: Doctor Wilson, thoughtful (wilson)
Traits of an Empath

I'd say about 90-95% of this sounds very familiar. I've learned to diminish the disadvantages, but it's an apt description of what I went through earlier in life, if not now.
torquill: A molecular model of Vitamin C (science)
A fundamentally new way of thinking about consciousness that is spreading like wildfire through the theoretical physics community

This might extend beyond humans and computers into a means of describing nontangible phenomena. It's completely consistent, for example, with my experience of sentience arising from certain arrangements of life energy, and it might fit very well into the worldview of practicing pagans. So long as there is the ability to store information -- and as we know from quantum computing and fiber-optics, energy can store a great deal of information using different states -- and integration as a coherent whole, consciousness can result. That would include life-energy nodes, group consciousness, the theory of Schumann resonance and racial consciousness, the coherent cosmos, and a bunch of other very "woo" concepts.

The theory isn't sufficiently complete yet (as the article notes), but the fact that it's not being laughed completely out of academia is something. Even string theory finally came into the halls as a kind of alternate way of looking at things, and in some cases it's found to describe the universe better than classical theories. Maybe this will be similar.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
From the (very experienced) horse's mouth. Why is it always about women's safety, and not about the safety of transgender people? There's a pretty simple answer.

Fear and Loathing in Public Bathrooms, or How I Learned to Hold My Pee
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
This has an interesting segment which runs the numbers, illustrating how many lives are (probably) saved by mammograms. It's not an uncomplicated good, and the current uses of it raise some troubling and difficult questions.

What if everything your doctor told you about breast cancer was wrong?
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
Survival and Sex -- why not all survivors of sexual assault shun sex during recovery. In fact, there is no right way to heal.

Sex with a loving, supportive partner has been a large part of my own journey toward healing, self-acceptance, and owning my body. It wasn't always a smooth process, but I was able to shed a lot of my trauma triggers by engaging in sex which made me feel valued, respected, empowered, and secure. Sex for fun was something I had to learn how to be part of, and it counteracted the fear and sense of dirtiness/wrongness that I had carried for years. It's not something I would urge on any survivor, but loving sex does deserve a place in the recovery toolbox -- and no one should feel wrong about using whatever tools they find that will help them heal.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
Everything Is Broken

The snarky style is full of quotes which are pure gold, even as the content makes you want to hide under the bed.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
This is a great article, about a great agender role model. I love their pragmatic approach and confident bearing.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/07/my-life-without-gender-strangers-are-desperate-to-know-what-genitalia-i-have
torquill: The magician Howl (happy things)
This is good enough to save: Same-Sex Marriage Does Threaten "Traditional" Marriage

Why? It challenges gender roles. It decouples gender from biological sex, and women's sexuality from heterosexual procreation (a process started by The Pill). It challenges the patriarchy and its rigid adherence to biology-as-destiny, and upsets what a lot of conservatives see as the natural order of things. It promotes equality, not just of gays and lesbians to the rest of us, but between men and women in heterosexual marriages. And dismantling the patriarchal, autocratic model of the nuclear family is exactly what "traditional marriage" advocates are scared of.

To quote the article, "The lawyer arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court last week admitted that 'the main concern [for opponents of same-sex marriage] is redefining marriage as a genderless institution.'"

Maybe I have a dog in this fight after all.

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