This post is my* contribution to Blogging Against Disablism Day 2009.

I’m getting good at tuning out background noise in the Board of Education office, a task made easier by the fact that all the conversation is in Japanese and I’m not fluent enough to follow it all anyway. But occasionally words and phrases come up so often in overheard conversations that they seep through. And so earlier this month I found myself wondering why my supervisor seemed to be spending all his time talking on the phone about special dogs.

Continue reading ‘“Mainstream” schooling and disablism’


Actual Cookies


For actual rewards for those people who commit one actual act of not being a sexist.

Those people do get a reward after all.

The cookies were made by 52 Acts and you can see the whole set here.

via Feministe.

It turns out the BNP has a manual – a book of Hate for Dummies, if you will. And someone leaked it to the BBC.

BNP activists and writers should never refer to ‘black Britons’ or ‘Asian Britons’ etc, for the simple reason that such persons do not exist”.

Now defining British nationality is tricky, but it seems to boil down, essentially to this: one can either acquire nationality by birth, by adoption, or by naturalisation. However much the BNP wishes it was otherwise, none of these require white skin.
Continue reading ‘Nick Griffin’s England’

The Guardian has put together some word clouds for the Budget speeches for the years 1998-2009 (i.e. the speeches given by Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling as Chancellors). The more frequently a word is used in the speech, the bigger it appears in the cloud.

It makes for interesting glancing for those of us who haven’t had time to go through the whole Budget yet. But looking at trends for the past 12 years throws up some interesting patterns.
Continue reading ‘The incredible shrinking tax’

So apparently there’s a Miss USA beauty pageant. I hadn’t been following it, for any one of a million reasons, but then Renee at Womanist Musings drew my attention to one of the contestants, Miss California, and her views on gay marriage.

Continue reading ‘“That’s how I was raised”’

Sarah Haskins works her magic again. Featuring some of the ads from this post!
(via Feministe.)

And in the same vein, The Onion. Do not read with coffee.



I’m not much of an art connoisseur, but sometimes I come across pieces that are clever, or entertaining, or thought-provoking.

These pictures are all three. They’re taken by Peter Funch, a Dutch artist who spends two weeks taking photos of passers-by on specific street corners in New York, and then composites the photos in a series called Babeltales.

You can see the whole gallery here.

via Alas, a blog

Dear Amazon


I am writing to express my displeasure that your website has dropped a large number of books related to LBGT issues from your sales rankings. I understand that this is purportedly to remove “adult” content from easy view. However, I find it profoundly disturbing that Amazon feels that books like “Daddy’s Roommate” by Michael Willhaite and “How it Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent” by Judith E. Snow should be excluded from bestseller lists and some search results, while “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality” by Joseph Nicolosi, not to mention “Playboy: The Complete Centrefolds”, are deemed appropriate to keep their rankings.

Continue reading ‘Dear Amazon’

It’s sobering to realise that I will never again be as fit as I was at the age of 15.

Back then, I was training 12-14 hours a week (for a school sports team, no less – we worked hard), as well as walking a mile a day as part of my journey to school. Now I have to drive to and from work, and aside from the occasional game of tag or dodgeball with the kids I teach, I do no formal exercise at all.

At least, that used to be the case. But in a moment of boundless optimism, I signed up for a local football tournament. That weekend, after becoming short of breath walking around a temple, I realised I had to get slightly fitter if I was going to be in any kind of shape to run around a pitch for ninety minutes.

Continue reading ‘Now, where did I put my running shoes?’

First, there was this advert from the US for a combination razor/bikini trimmer, the Schick Quattro Trimstyle for Women:

Continue reading ‘Body hair: untidy, unpleasant and downright dangerous’