Procrastinating Things


I’m surprised that Ester’s surprised that Fatah burned a Danish flag. Denmark’s foreign policy may be sympathetic, and they sometimes talk a good talk about tolerance, but in practice many Danes who were horrified by the rise of the xenophobe-wing Folkeparti were still crap at cultural and identity politics. I have fond memories of attempting to explain why I was so discomfited by the use of a word that directly translates to “plate negroes” to refer to a particular African tribe…

Or maybe it’s just that I lived in Denmark for fall semester, 2001, when anti-Muslim bigotry was the new black.


My “to blog” folder is slowly becoming a home for everything Bitch Ph.D. writes about the work of maintaining relationships. Part one, which is ancient history now: monitoring the division of labor in a relationship is, itself, laborious, and it’s always the person with the least power who is stuck with the job. Part two: analyzing relationship issues is “women’s work”, which means men tend not to develop the l33test emotional skillz, which leads to odd relationship dynamics.

The reason I’m so drawn to this thread is that I’ve been reading Dana Becker’s The Myth Of Empowerment: Women And The Therapeutic Culture In America, which draws a line straight from the Victorian domestic sphere to the modern concept of personal empowerment. So all of this shit has been rattling around in my brain, and for the past month I’ve had the liminal feeling of my subconscious being ready to come up with something clever. But, nothing yet – and my subconscious is supposed to be working on Science.


Shakespeare’s sister has a practical test for whether or not offensive shit is funny (I know, I know, this is also of ancient vintage. You’re getting what you pay for, here). And ScienceWoman has a story to show why the social expectation that women will take their husbands’ names really blows (see also parts two and three of the series).

Finally, I pause to note, sadly, that the latest Tangled Bank is remarkably lacking in the physical sciences generally, and entirely lacking in earth science entries! Which probably means I should submit something. If I write something good and sciencey in the next couple weeks, remind me to shamelessly flog myself, eh?

Oh, and there’s one I almost forgot: last week’s Nature had a story by Rudy Rucker that all you petrophiles will enjoy.


  1. Rex Ferric wrote:

    men tend not to develop the l33test emotional skillz, which leads to odd relationship dynamics
    I’ve told my wife this often (and I’ve also edified some of my female co-workers after hearing similar complaints): in most sitations, when dealing with us men, first picture us as Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rainman — the rest should be easy thereafter…

  2. ester wrote:

    i think you’re right that i shouldn’t be surprised. after all, even while i was there, amidst lefty protests and everything, the government was beginning to tilt right (well, “right” for denmark). the signs were clearly there, as they are in france, germany, sweden, and netherlands too, that the culture clash made danes uncomfortable.
    it seemed to me they were much more in favor of being in favor of arab muslims from a distance. and the danes are so insular, too; they’re all virtually one family. they did enjoy shopping in arab markets on sunday though. that was for sure.

  3. ester wrote:

    … i just tried to submit a comment and it didn’t work? this is try #2, but if my previous comment shows up, i apologize.
    in short: you’re right, i shouldn’t have been surprised. i’d just never seen it before, a danish flag being burned. i was feeling the dissonance. but i guess, with the government leaning right (for denmark) and as anti-muslim / anti-immigrant feeling in europe has been on the rise for a while, it was only a matter of time.

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