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This is now a friends-only journal. Partly because it's occasionally indiscreet and mostly because if I want the world to read something I publish it. This is where I try out ideas which I later realise are hideously embarrassing.

If you are interested in reading the opinions of a vain, ambitious, tough, feminine, lesbian professional historian and development economist then please leave me a message. If you are a publisher and would like to see that turned into the jacket blurb of a pornographic novel, then you should definitely leave me a message.
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At around 10pm EST when it became clear which way things were going, I realised that I felt like shit because I had no vote.

There is a solution to that. I do have a vote, it just doesn't happen to be a US one. British policy since Suez has been based on the idea that it's too risky to offend the White House. So I posed a little thought experiment to myself: what would have happened if Europe had said in 2002, no, we'd like to wait for some more inspections, and when we say we'd like to, we mean we actually intend to make sure that we wait for inspections. Obviously nothing would have happened because currently the EU's combined armed forces are only a quarter of those of the US, have no proper ability to fight together, and contain a German contingent which is very worried about upsetting anyone. But none of these are political givens. The EU is chaos and makes bad decisions about bananas. That's not a given either.

The one thing that is given is that the US is split on a knife-edge between people who are confident enough to want moderation in foreign policy and people who are scared shitless. Europeans can't do anything about that - the US will elect a Democrat once they find someone with enough charisma to drown out the fear.

So American Democrats! No despair! You have to believe in your fellow countrywomen and men or they will never vote with hope.

But what can we Europeans do? We can't even donate to the Democrats. But we can do something about our own mess.

I don't much want a United States of Europe. But I want it a damn sight more than I want a unipolar world.

Europeans unite! You have nothing to lose but your disenfranchisement!
highfemme: (Default)
Generally I'm with the anti-quiz Nazis but I thought this was worth posting:

My journal says I'm 60% masculine.
What does your LJ writing style say about your gender?
LJ Gender Tool by [livejournal.com profile] hutta

Because that, of course, is pretty much my point. I may wear a lot of pink and look good in micro-skirts. But don't think that you know shit about my gender identity.

Update: Apologies if more community-minded LJers know this. However I ran that test on my small-but-very-select group of LJ friends, all of whom identify as female I believe, and all but one of them came out as male. The Koppel-Argamon test, which claims 80% accuracy, is less than 10% accurate in identifying the gender of my LJ peer group blogs. Whether this is a problem solely with the test, or particularly with its bookblog implementation I'm not sure. Either way it suggests that the algorithm can't cope with smart, often queer, women with attitude. What a surprise. Gender constructionism, anyone?

But my initial childish pleasure at subverting 'the rules' was diminished when I read the Koppel-Argamon paper properly. The algorithm was trained on some decent literature. There should be no gender bias in the type of material selected (though it is a little hard to tell from their description of their methodology, which doesn't properly examine this point). If we give Koppel and Argamon the benefit of the doubt on that, though, somewhere along the line we, with the honourable exception of [livejournal.com profile] tragicmulatta, all started writing in a way which has more in common with the style generally adopted by men. Is that really something to be proud of? I don't think [livejournal.com profile] shakinghell's Any Fran├žois would think so. Judiths Butler and Halberstam might be proud of us; but Audre Lorde probably wouldn't be.

Update: Yes, there are some men on my friends list now. Fortunately. My LJ was showing a disturbing separatist tendency.
highfemme: (Default)
Preity Zinta has complained about the routine sexual harassment and indecent assault of women on Indian streets.

Preity Zinta

Predictably enough, she justified her argument that women needed to be stronger and 'more independent' with reference to her father, whose encouragement of her meant that 'if my life was a film, then my father would be my ultimate hero'. Er, no. That would be you.
highfemme: (Default)
My baby just sent me a e-card. I won't show you what she wrote in it, but here is the design:

A conversation I have too often for real.

I am very lucky and should stop moaning.

September 2005



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