Members of Congress are living off food stamps for a week to protest Republican cuts. It’s a challenge for them, but GOP cuts would hurt millions of everyday Americans. 

Why does this not have more publicity. This needs it!

I want a reality tv show where politicians have to live in poverty for a month. They have to live in Government housing, shop with food stamps, and get only a limited amount of money for clothes. Because here, they still have all their trappings, lilke nice cars and thousand dollar suits. I want them in Walmart jeans trying to determine if they can afford a carton of milk. 

Give them a full calendar year. I want to see them confident in January, and sometime around June choking back tears at the Safeway because they are tired, so tired, of eating 25 cent cup noodles, eyeing other peoples’ full grocery carts with a dull bewilderment.

Let me see them despair because they have a persistent nagging cough that won’t go away and might be turning into pneumonia but the minute clinic is $60, which might as well be as six million dollars, either way they ain’t got it to spare – and that doesn’t count the cost of prescriptions. Let me hear them tell people about the muscle cramps they get at night due to eating non-nutritious garbage for months, the weakness from persistent hunger. 

Let them know the shame and frustration of only owning one pair of cheap polyester pants for work and one pair of thrift-store jeans, and both persistently have ripped crotches and seams coming undone, no matter how many times they get sewn back up.

Let the women know the particular sort of despair that comes once a month when you can’t afford even the cheapest pads or tampons.

Let them understand the frustration of being charged a $35 fee for a $2 overdraft. Let them watch as the bank holds charges from different days in “pending” till they all come through on the same day, and the bank charges them four times for a single overdraft because “the charges all cleared at the same time”. 

I want them to know the particular pain of having to decide between food for the week, or transportation costs to and from work. You can’t have both. Choose wisely.

You do not truly understand poverty until you’ve lived it and a month isn’t enough to encompass it. Not even close.
















The first Pride was a riot.

Wall sticker in Marlborough lesbian pub, Brighton.

i’m actually realizing this now

but the original poster said “queer power” and someone erased that and replaced it with “gay power”

real classy

#is this real

Well. I’m not exactly an expert at image analysis, but the bottom text in the first one looks much cleaner than the top text while the second one matches better. Also, the creases in the second one on the Q and U seem like the sort of detail that wouldn’t be faked. Finally, this actually matches up significantly better to “queer” politics than “gay” politics; it was always queers who advocated and took the front lines in direct action.

If you put the image in an editor or just view the full size of the first image, it becomes very obvious that the text on the bottom was added later: all of the vertical lines in every letter are pixel perfect straight lines. That is basically impossible with a photo of a poster that is both visibly at an angle, and has paper weathering and other distortion. Look at the verticals of the white text to compare. The only distortion of the text is the jpg artifacts we would expect in that level of contrast. There is no lighting on the pink text either, another highly suspicious trait.

Additionally, if you crop out the pink text in op and run an image search you get the second photo, as well as four or five other photos of the poster, all reading “queer power.”

With the pink text left in, however, the only version of the poster is this exact image, sourcing to op.

I want every single person who ever argued with me on That Queer Post to take a long, hard look at this. I have been told at least dozens of times that “nobody is saying you can’t identify as queer,” that I’m “ignoring history,” that they’re not trying to shift back to gay, etc.

Now, here’s this post, in which queer people are having their art defaced in order to rewrite their identity. Where they’re being forcibly rewritten as gay. Where history is being literally goddamn erased. It’s got three times the notes of That Queer Post, and as far as I can tell, @bifoxstiles is the first one to challenge this narrative. And I’m not gonna hold my breath on y’all to call out OP.

They’re literally stealing our history, rewriting it into a new version that excludes more than half of the community. And nobody’s challenging this. You’re too busy trying to shut down inclusive, egalitarian language.

Shame on every last one of you.

Queer is a slur and not everyone wants to identify as it stop using it as an umbrella term

MOTHERFUCKER don’t you start that here.

The people who made this poster? They wanted to identify as queer. How do I know? Because they fucking did. And now you’re supporting someone coming along after the fact and literally stealing their identity from them.

Here’s a better idea: I will continue using “queer” as an umbrella term for groups of people who happily identify as queer, and if you don’t like it you’re cordially invited to never talk to a queer person again.

Stop stealing our identities.

You are welcome to identify as queer if you reclaim it, and many ppl do, but that doesnt change the fact that there are plenty of lgbt ppl who think of it negatively (personally i am not one of these ppl so i cant speak for them, but i respect their wishes and i hope u will too). A better umbrella term to use is LGBT, imo.

That would be a lot more reassuring if you hadn’t shown up specifically to defend taking the word queer out of someone’s mouth and relabeling them as gay.

LGBT is a shit umbrella term. It prioritizes the historically-centered parts of the community over historically-marginalized groups, it completely leaves off swathes of the community, and these days it’s habitually used by the sort of gatekeepers who want to actually throw out sections of the community.

Again: If you don’t want to identify as queer, you don’t have to. But you don’t get to take that word away from any member of the community. If you don’t like it, just walk away and make your own shit.

I never thought I’d have to say this to members of the community, but: We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.

I’m not trying to take it away from people. If you want to reclaim it then good for you, but I’m just saying that not everyone wants to be called queer and using it as an umbrella term to include those who are potentially triggered by it or just dont like it is shitty.
Also did u practically just say “Im using this slur as an umbrella term and if ur uncomfortable with it then get over it and walk away” or am i reading that wrong

You literally showed up to defend someone who had taken away a queer person’s words to put gay in their place. Stop pretending otherwise. If people don’t like that word, they’re fine not using it – but they can create their own works, rather than stealing and defacing ones made by queer people to erase us from them.

No. I said that if you’re not comfortable with someone using queer as an identifier, the responsible thing to do is disengage from them and make your own art, your own statements, instead of stealing and relabeling theirs.

If you’re not comfortable with someone else labeling you “queer,” you have zero right to label them “gay” without their consent.

I feel the nuance that people keep missing here is that queer is not only acceptable to reclaim on a personal level, because queer groups exist. Groups that gather under that label exist. It is absolutely an umbrella term for those groups. Honestly people hear “umbrella term” and they lose their shit because they think umbrella terms can only be used to encompass the entire community instead of subsets of it, so that must be what you mean, and how dare you! :/

But, honestly, this isn’t a nuanced discussion – it’s an insistence that if you use queer to refer to more than one person at a time and that person is not your own self, you’re coercively labeling other people who don’t want that label. Except… this is incorrect. It is so incorrect it erases swaths of queer people who have been gathering in groups under the label for the last 100 years. It’s a push to eliminate the label altogether, by reducing it to something you have to keep to yourself.

The only coercive labeling going on in this entire post was the OP who changed the poster (and a little the person insisting on using LGBT). Queer is not a super-private self-identifier only that isn’t allowed to be used for finding community, ffs.

I would add something here, but there’s nothing left. @opalescentlesbian nailed it.

Not Gay as in Happy, But Queer as in Fuck You!
Every time I think about the Queer Community this is the phrase that I think of.

Thank you @wetwareproblem for standing up for the rest of us.

On Math and Cosplay





Drafting and sewing are technical skills. Seamstresses are engineers of fabrics. Seamstresses can turn 2D shapes into 3D objects and vice versa and can visualize this. The other day I watched Christine draft our Sailor Scout skirts on paper and translate it to a draft in fabric in one shot, and while it took her an hour or two, it was all math and angles and technical skills that you just cannot figure out without a good foundation in math (or at least some serious prodigious visualization skills.) Anyone can modify an existing pattern, but when you’re making these weird-crazy anime-video-game-whatever designs, you’re sometimes making things that were not designed with real life production in mind. That’s mind boggling to me!

Most seamstresses are women. Women who were told growing up that boys are naturally better at math than girls. It’s a hugely loaded topic wrapped up in ideas about gender and performance anxieties and self-fulfilling prophesies, but I see that same attitude floating around on tumblr sometimes.

Anyway. I tell you this because this morning, despite having made a zillion pleated skirts before, I had a moment where I fumbled with math for fabric allowance + pleat size + pattern and thought, “Man, I’ve fucked this all up. I’ve totally screwed it up. I better redo this.” Fortunately, I did this before I cut the fabric, so no harm was done, but then I muddled something up again, this time on the fabric itself. Sigh. I had to rip out a line of stitches three times and redo the pleating a number of times before I finally got it right. I went back and double-checked my numbers, and sure enough: I hadn’t been accurate enough, so everything got jumbled.

And I thought, “I’m so fucking terrible at math.”

And then I thought, “I’m working on what I remember from high school when I graduated six years ago, and what little I’ve actually practiced since then.”

It’s not at all that I’m terrible at math: it’s that I’ve never really put my mind to learning it, probably because at some point it stopped being presented as puzzles/challenges and started being presented as tedious number work. I also had a few teachers along the way who made me feel bad when I struggled. I also fell back on that horrible old “girl aren’t as good as boys at math” adage as an excuse. I floundered in math, got lousy marks, and often caught onto concepts two weeks after the test. 

But the problem there isn’t that I’m any less capable of math or somehow wired to be bad at it. I think I have the same potential as most people do. The problem is that I use this “it’s okay to be bad at math because [excuse here]” as a crutch instead of challenging myself to transcend that. I should be challenging myself instead of just “winging it” and ending up with wonky pleats because I’m too lazy to figure out the math to make it perfect.

I know it’s cool to act like you hate math or play up how bad you are at math, but to be a good seamstress you’re gonna have to face your fears and learn to work with it. Some people I have told this in the past have freaked out in a “but I’m baaaad at that” sort of way, and hey, I’ve said that so many times in my own lifetime, but you have to look at is as a life skill and a way to improve your cosplay.

Math is a great skill for a seamstress to have. If nothing else, it’ll prevent you from staring in confusion at your skirt trying to figure out how to turn 94" of fabric into an evenly pleated skirt with zipper.

– Jenn

Skills my dad taught in his math class. He had students work with fabric on one unit. Other units he had them cook or build a birdhouse.

That’s a fantastic way to teach math!

I hear and read lots of people saying some variation on “I haven’t used algebra since I graduated, it’s so useless”, and it makes me think they were never taught how to apply it properly. If you’re comfortable with it, you can take tthe guess work out of lots of daily things that would otherwise have to be solved using trial and error or brute force. In fact, trial-and-error is how one of my design coworkers figures out the things that I figure out using algebra. 

My dad had a math block. For whatever reason, he decided he was Bad at Math in high school. As an adult, he uses a hell of a lot of math, and understands geometry really intuitively – he does major construction as a hobby, you have to be able to do some math. But it took ages for him to realize that what he was doing was math, and he wasn’t innately bad at it. And I think that kind of block is really common in math, for some reason.

There’s also a big difference between being bad at math and bad at arithmetic. I’m bad at arithmetic. I make all sorts of stupid mistakes, and working problems fast was never my strong suit. I was always really good at math, though – understanding how you can set up a numbers problem using what you have to figure out what you need to know. 

It’s 2016. If you’re bad at arithmetic, don’t kick yourself – use the calculator on your phone. 

Yes! Math, fundamentally, is about recognizing patterns, and then using those patterns to do things. There was actually a bit in one of my textbooks when I was in college about how many people are capable of doing surprisingly complex math when it’s in a context they know. A seamstress working on a pattern, or a construction worker with a concrete form to fill, for example. But if you hand them the same problem as pure numbers, they’ll freeze up, because they’re “bad at math”. They’re not actually bad at math, they were just taught it badly.

God damn

So, our PERC holes had to be dug on a day when we weren’t available to be there. That’s because we were running to meet the ‘if we want to build this autumn’ deadline — which we found out a few days ago is actually unachievable.

It turns out that even had we got all of our ducks in a row (which they are pretty much) then we couldn’t have hit it because the permit approval process for the septic is way longer than we were told by our septic designer. Of course, just before we found this out we had a great chat with the house permitting guy who told us that he ended up reviewing it – his current timeframe would mean we’d be able to make our build-date targets (based on the septic designer’s estimate of times). Of course we were super excited – then we find out that the permit process is at least double what our designer said… and sadness.

So, anyway, to get back (at least vaguely) to the point. We find out it’s not doable and are then out on the plot with our to-be-arbourist planning where our house will be and find that the oldest, largest tree in the entire 5.5 acres is the one they’ve decided to stick the septic right in the middle of the root system for.

This would, unsurprisingly, kill a beautiful tree.

Seriously, we talked about needing to protect the place with our guy-the-excavator – who dug the holes for our septic guy, and I expect that conversation happened with the designer too, although I wasn’t there. But Kathryn and I always rave about this beautiful tree.

So we go out with our arbourist who is first up horrified at the potential damage done already, then we realise that the system is pegged out right in the root system – and the alternate is also in the root system of the same tree.



So now we’re faced with nearly $700 of costs for relocating it because we took our eye off the ball and thought that people might actually give a shit about their environment. When we talked about it before hand the septic guy was all “oh, we’ll look at the site and dig some test holes and pick the best location”. All the holes are within about 40′ of this one poor tree.

Let me remind you again, 5.5 acres.

Oh lord. This is not something we need.

In other news, we’re off to look at some lettings to see if we can find a short term, uncarpeted 6 month lease so that we can do our building planning through the winter and put it up in the spring.

Also: The cake I’m baking erupted in the oven. Cue hideous burning smell. Also, in the 35 minute cooking time it’s come out like jelly. I’ve no idea why – it’s staying in there longer, but seriously? And also yesterday’s trip to the dentist turned out to be the first of 2 (on top of the original 2) – as my tooth had rotted out enough that removing the filling left me with a crown, instead of a filling, and he still is wondering whether I need a root canal. Yay.


It looks like we really are just going to sleepwalk out of the fucking EU with everyone in power blaming everyone else, with public services already cut to the bone by the Tories suffering further cuts, while immigrants, muslims, and people of colour have to somehow survive through a historic uptick in violence and prejudice with no idea as to how this will affect even their ability legally to stay in this country because no-one in power can make a fucking decision.

At the last election we voted in a bunch of Eton debate club fuckwits who are discovering what real consequences feel like for the first time in their lives and are running scared.