2016 Reading Bingo

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

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So I didn’t participate in many book challenges this year – no time or patience! – but Novel Heartbeat’s 2016 Reading Bingo Challenge was one of ’em. I did better than I expected; I hit 23/24 squares, with the only miss being one I saw coming a mile away: “A book with a steamy romance.” Romance, not really my bag.

It was pretty fun; not super-challenging to the point that I forced myself to read books I’d rather not, but challenging enough that I really had to reflect on the books I did read. It was kind of like a treasure hunt: “Okay, where’s the cat? The shifter? Does anyone have an antihero?!?”

Anyway, after the jump is my completed card (I stamped it with snowflakes! ‘Tis the season!) and a rundown of the books that met the criteria. I had multiples for most of the squares, but just picked one each for simplicity’s sake.

 

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2016 Reading Challenges & Goals

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Kelly has
read 1 book toward her goal of 105 books.
hide

A new year, a whole new stack o’ books to devour! I decided to set my Goodreads goal the same as last year – 105 books – since the ~100 mark seems to be my sweet spot. January was front-loaded with some longish books for review, so I’m off to a rather slow start…but things should pick up once I dive into my ever-multiplying stack of comic books!

 

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As for reading challenges, I decided to keep it simple. I had a blast with the Dive Into Diversity challenge last year, but it looks like it was a one-time thing for the hosts, Reading Wishes and Rather Be Reading. Thankfully, Mishma of Chasing Faerytales and Shelly at Read.Sleep.Repeat. are taking up the mantle for 2016 with the Diverse Reads Book Challenge.

Last year I was naive enough to come up with a reading list. I think I read three of the titles, maybe four. Out of 36! It’s not that I didn’t read diversely, I just got sidetracked and didn’t get to anything on my list. (Once again, I blame NetGalley and Edelweiss.) So this year I’m winging it.

 

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This is my very first reading bingo challenge (yay!), and it’s courtesy of Jessi at Novel Heartbeat. There are a bunch of these cards going around, but I chose this one because it looks so clean and simple and do-able. I’d like to say I’m aiming for a coverall, but I suspect the animal sidekick might come back to bite me in the ass.

"PETA is about as feminist as it gets."

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Over the weekend, PETA’s Bruce Friedrich was the featured guest on ARZone’s weekly live guest chat. (You can find a full chat transcript here.) While the primary focus was on veganism and welfare reforms, a few participants dared question PETA’s feminist cred – specifically vis à vis its sexual objectification of women – with, ahem, interesting results. Case in point: Friedrich’s assertion that “PETA is about as feminist as it gets.”

My initial instinct, of course, was to pen a 10,000 word, line-by-line rebuttal of Friedrich’s statements, but just the thought damn near gave me an aneurysm. So not worth the stress! Instead, I decided to pop the vegan maraschino cherry on my Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo card.

The game? It’s on like Donkey Kong, bitches!*

Bingo Card (Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo 1) - Bruce Friedrich's AR Zone chat

Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo: Bruce Friedrich/ARZone Live Chat ed.
FYI: A plain-text version of this card, complete with links to refutations and debunkings, is available here.
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SO CLOSE! We were SO CLOSE to scoring a big fat sexist bingo! Next time, maybe. Probably. Most definitely.

Anyway, let’s take a look at of some of the “feminist” nuggets Friedrich dropped during the chat. The “hits” are labeled with the appropriate square; the non-hits, to be incorporated into v.2!

Square B-1: “Sex sells.”

Regarding our use of sex in our campaigns:

[…]

2) Sex sells and isn’t offensive to most people. That’s the super-brief reply to that question.

Oh, the old “sex sells” cliché! Such a classic, that one.

99.9% of the time, when people say that “sex sells,” what they really mean is that women’s sexualized, dehumanized, objectified, dismembered, and all-around pornified bodies sell. Or, put more succinctly: “sexism sells.”

Speaking of GQ magazine’s recent Glee spread, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency breaks down the difference between “erotic or sexual images, stories, and video of people engaging in healthy sexual lives and experiences” and “the patriarchal objectification and sexualization of womens’ bodies.” (Transcript here.)

The images in which PETA trades don’t commonly involve healthy depictions of female agency and sexuality, but rather women posed and performing for the male gaze; usually invisible or implied, but sometimes – as with PETA’s 2011 soft-core porno/Super Bowl ad, which is discussed in more detail later on in the chat – fully present, leering, sneering and degrading. Almost all of PETA’s naked women ads are suggestive of mainstream pornography, what with their emphasis on thin, white, conventionally attractive models, bent and contorted into submissive postures, vulnerable, vacant, and ready for a good fuckin’. Bonus points for faux lesbianism for het male enjoyment!

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Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo: Loud, Clueless & Proud

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Some of you may recall the animal rights bingo cards I made last year, namely: Defensive Omnivore Bingo II (inspired by Brian VanderVeen’s Defensive Omnivore Bingo, of course!), as well as the vegan-feminist Speciesist Feminist Bingo and Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo cards. (No? Well, here they are!) Around the same time, I started working on a card dealing with racism and classism in the animal advocacy movement: Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo. A year later, give or take, and I finally filled in the few remaining squares!

Unlike the other cards, I feel as though PWV Bingo requires more of an introduction – but every time I sit down and put fingers to keys, the words that appear on my computer screen seem trite, inadequate and lacking in eloquence. So rather than keep struggling along, instead I invite you to read this FAQ by Tim Wise, as well as “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack,” by Peggy McIntosh – the first few paragraphs of which I’ve excerpted below:

Through the work to bring materials from Women’s Studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men’s unwillingness to grant that they are over-privileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to improve women’s status, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can’t or won’t support the idea of lessening men’s. Denials which amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages which men gain from women’s disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened or ended.

Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of white privilege which was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something which puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.

I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless backpack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.

For me, filling in the 24 squares of the PWV Bingo card was an exercise similar to that performed by McIntosh – that is, recognizing the many ways in which my racial and ethnic makeup help me navigate the world of veganism and animal advocacy, unhindered and unmolested. Whereas – as a woman lacking in gender privilege – I was able to complete the two feminist-themed cards with relative ease, it took me – as a vegan benefiting from race and class privilege – months to finish the PWV Bingo card. In short, it’s much easier for me to identify sexism, misogyny and anti-feminism, since I’m marginalized by them; harder still to identify racism and classism (particularly less overt examples of each), since I’ve been taught to take white privilege for granted – to see right through it, as though it doesn’t even exist. An eye-opening task, and one I highly recommend – no matter the privilege in question: race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, gender identity, nationality, dis/ability…species, even. No, not even – especially.

Additionally, I should note that while I use the terms “racism” and “classism” in conjunction, this isn’t to suggest that they’re interchangeable. Related, yes – inasmuch as people of color are disproportionately represented among the poor and working-class, and a number of variables, structural and otherwise, work to perpetuate the status quo – but not the same. However, rather than make a card each for racism and classism, I decided to combine the two in one for simplicity’s sake. All forms of oppression are intertwined, and sometimes it can be next-to-impossible to separate all the tangled threads.

Also, I almost named this card “Cluelessly Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo” – since recognizing one’s privilege doesn’t automagically dispense with it – but decided against it, seeing as “Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo” is already quite the mouthful. I specifically chose not to call it “Racist Vegetarian Bingo,” as labeling one a “racist” tends to shut down civil, productive discourse in a way that “speciesist” (and even, to some extent, “sexist”) does not. Plus, racism isn’t an either/or proposition; as Wise explains, we’re all socialized and/or programmed to be racist – to think in terms of in group/out group membership – to some degree. The challenge, whether you choose to accept it, lies in using our oversized primate brains to overcome these outdated, retrogressive, lazy ways of thinking.

As with the previous cards, I’ve included a plain-text version of PWV Bingo after the jump. At the time of this writing, most of the squares contain links to refutations and debunkings; for those that don’t, I plan on either finding an appropriate response or writing my own in the (hopefully near) future – so check back often!*

In addition to the articles by Wise and McIntosh, I also highly recommend that you check out the resources linked to in the plain-text version of the card. Vegans of Color, The Vegan Ideal, The Food Empowerment Project, The Sistah Vegan Project, L.O.V.E. – all have been instrumental in challenging and shaping my views on race and class privilege (etc.), particularly in relation to the animal advocacy movement. Many of the squares were directly inspired by things read and seen on the pages of these blogs and websites.

Of course, PWV Bingo is equally applicable to vegans as well as vegetarians. Sad but true, people. Sad but true.

Privileged White Vegetarian Bingo

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Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo: We treat women like pieces of meat.

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Update, 12/27/10: The bingo cards now have their own page, y’all! View all four cards (and counting) on one page, complete with plain-text versions and links to debunkings and refutations.

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Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo

 

Naturally, I couldn’t single out speciesist feminists without also going after their sexist counterparts, i.e., anti-feminist vegetarians; that just wouldn’t be fair!

(And vegans! I used “vegetarian” throughout the card only because this is the larger of the two groups, numerically speaking. Vegans can be and oftentimes are just as sexist as vegetarians, so feel free to generalize this card for use on vegans, too.)

Besides, these groups are two sides of the same coin – the main difference being whom they dehumanize, objectify and exploit.

Of course, as with Speciesist Feminist Bingo, you can also use any one of the many Anti-Feminist Bingo cards on your sexist vegetarian friends/acquaintances/trolls. But if it’s an animal rights-themed challenge you want, Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo it is.

To those who cannot view the image: make the jump for a plain-text version of the card. Links to debunkings and refutations forthcoming.* (As are additional cards and series. Racist Vegetarian Bingo, anyone?)

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian – or, heck, even an omnivore – and find yourself perpetuating any of the injustices on these here cards, for the love of dog, stop!

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Speciesist Feminist Bingo: We treat animals like pieces of meat.

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Update, 12/27/10: The bingo cards now have their own page, y’all! View all four cards (and counting) on one page, complete with plain-text versions and links to debunkings and refutations.

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Speciesist Feminist Bingo

 

Hey, now. You didn’t think I could skewer defensive omnivores without specifically targeting the speciesist feminist set, did you? You did!? Hmph. Guess that just goes to show how little you know me.

Of course, you can certainly whip out your Defensive Omnivore Bingo cards when playing with omnivore feminists; most likely, they’re just as apt to try those silly excuses on you as are anti-feminist or feminist-ignorant omnivores. But if you’re hankering for a challenge, Speciesist Feminist Bingo is a nice change of pace, I think.

As with Defensive Omnivore Bingo, I’m already halfway through a second card, so if you’ve got any suggestions, drop ’em in the comments. Nor have I linked to any resources in the plain-text version of the card – though I do think it would be fun to make a running series of posts out of debunking the statements, one square at a time.* We shall see.

Again, click on the photo to embiggen in Flickr.

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Defensive Omnivore Bingo 2: Speciesism, Redux

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Update, 12/27/10: The bingo cards now have their own page, y’all! View all four cards (and counting) on one page, complete with plain-text versions and links to debunkings and refutations.

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Defensive Omnivore Bingo 2

 

After transcribing Brian VanderVeen’s Defensive Omnivore Bingo last week, I decided to try my hand at creating my own version. Since there’s no limit to the inanities thrown at vegans by omnivores, it didn’t take me long to fill up one card and get started on a second. Behold, Defensive Omnivore Bingo II! (Click through to Flickr for a larger version.) Keep an eye out for additional cards in the future; this shit is addictive!

Below the fold, I’ve included a plain-text version of the card for those who can’t view images. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to find and link to debukings and refutations of each defensive statement and mythconception; if you have a good resource, feel free to link to it in the comments! *

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Defensive Omnivore Bingo: Game on!

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Update, 12/27/10: The bingo cards now have their own page, y’all! View all four cards (and counting) on one page, complete with plain-text versions and links to debunkings and refutations.

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Update, 7/23/10: The original Defensive Omnivore Bingo card is receiving a ton of link love from around the internets, which is great. But. The rest of my collection is getting jealous! (Sad panda face.)

Please also check out those cards I created myself, including: Defensive Omnivore Bingo 2; Speciesist Feminist Bingo; and Anti-Feminist Vegetarian Bingo.

You can also view them all in a big group, via either the “Bingo!” category on easyVegan.info or my Bingo! set on Flickr.

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Defensive Omnivore Bingo

 

The Defensive Omnivore Bingo card has been making the ’rounds for a few weeks now, but naturally I’m just getting around to posting it. As far as I can tell, it originated with History’s Greatest Monster, who seems to be hosting the largest version of the card.

[Updated, 12/10/09: As per Shannon (thanks, Shannon!), Brian VanderVeen (aka Hoveringdog) is indeed the “evil genius” behind Defensive Omnivore Bingo.]

In case you’re not familiar with the geeky awesomeness of “[Fill in the blank] Bingo,” it works much like traditional bingo: players must fill in five spots across (up/down, left/right or diagonally) for a win, but instead of numbers, the cheeky faux bingo games utilize common stupid layperson commentary on a given subject (usually an anti-oppression movement, e.g., feminism, LGBT rights, anti-racism, etc.). I rarely ever see bloggers and their readers play, say, “Anti-Feminist Bingo” per se; rather, the fun’s in making and sharing the delightfully snarky cards. Who says vegans/feminists/progressives/etc. don’t have a sense of humor, hmmm?

The Defensive Omnivore Bingo card is specific to diet and ethics; if you’re so inclined, you can just as easily create a version for other vegan issues, such as speciesism, “pet” ownership, fur, and the like. (I’ve seen some remarkably focused bingo games, such as Fantasy and Science Fiction Bingo, No Racism in Fiction Edition.)

After the jump, I’ve included a text version of the card, for those who can’t view the image. Inspired by similar anti-oppression cards I found online, I’ve also included links to retorts for and debunkings of each insult and/or mythconception.

Feel free to share your favorite defensive omnivore clichés in the comments!

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