Kyra Sarakosti and Clean Monday

cookieFor Western Christianity, Lent is already underway, but in the Orthodox tradition, it starts today, with Clean Monday, or Shrove Monday. While both Lenten traditions last 40 days, in the Eastern tradition Sundays are not counted, so the total time of Lent is 50 days.

Lent is a season for spiritual cleansing. Clean Monday is a day for fasting from midnight to noon. Meat is not eaten at all; instead there is traditional food like octopus and shrimp, and outdoor activities like kite flying.  In some places this is regarded as the beginning of spring.

To keep track of the weeks, children make a Kyra Sarakosti or Lady Lent calendar or cookie, with 7 feet or 7 shoes.  Kyra Sarakosti does not have a mouth, since she is fasting.  Her arms are crossed. Each Saturday, another foot is cut off, until the last Saturday, when the last foot is hidden in some other food and the person who gets it is considered lucky.

Here is Kyra Sarakosti, images for coloring are below the fold.


Continue reading “Kyra Sarakosti and Clean Monday”


Guns? What about white masculinity?

“Imagine if 61 out of 62 mass killings were done by women? Would that be seen as merely incidental and relegated to the margins of discourse? No. It would be the first thing people talked about.” -Jackson Katz
Advertising poster for the automatic rifle used at Sandy Hook

So, this conversation has been going on for a long time.  This article in French is from 2012: “Why do not we talk about violence and masculinity?” or in French, “Pourquoi ne parlerions nous pas de violence et de masculinité?” [open in Google translate here].

The first thing cited is Megan Murphy’s article, “But what about the men? On masculinity and mass shootings“, available in French as «Et les hommes, eux ? » Propos sur la masculinité et les tueries de masse.  This is worth quoting extensively:

When men commit violence, they’re fulfilling expectations of their gender.

“Caring, compassion, and empathy aren’t innately feminine characteristics. Those are human characteristics,” Katz says. Yet men learn the opposite. They learn to shut up and take it like a man. They also learn that they are entitled to certain things in this world: financial success, access to women, power – when they can’t acquire these things, what happens? Well, sometimes, apparently, they seethe. And without any other tools to deal with their anger and resentment, some men resort to violence.

“As a white man, the assumption is that you are the center of the world. Your needs should be met. You should be successful,” Katz says. When that doesn’t pan out men will often end up seeing themselves as victims. “This explains the cultural energy on the right in this past generation – so many of these men see themselves as victims of multiculturalism and of feminism,” he adds. “It’s undermining the cultural centrality of male authority.” Katz points out that we can see this worldview manifesting itself in the Men’s Rights Movement. “They are at the front line making the argument that men are the true victims.”


More sources from the article:

“Votes for Women” and fashion

The status of women has always gone hand in hand with the multi-billion dollar fashion industry.  Today, Vogue Magazine publicizes the Mery Streep movie about Katherine Graham, while Laura Duca carves out new political territory at Teen Vogue.

In the days of the suffragists and suffragettes, it was “Votes for Women”, a magazine which does not even make Wikipedia’s list of suffrage publications, much less have its own article.

“Votes for Women” was started in 1907 by Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence of the Women Social & Political Union. By 1910 it had a circulation of 30,000 a week.

The 1911 Women’s Coronation Procession, which again is missing any mention on Wikipedia, was heavily promoted by the magazine.  Women were asked to wear white during the June 17 procession for the Coronation of George V, and urged to buy their clothing from the magazine’s advertisers. The eventual procession was seven miles long, with 60,000 women participating. That’s a lot of corsets.

In 1912, “Votes for Women” editors Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and Frederick Pethick Lawrence were arrested, and on their release from prison started to speak out in opposition to the window smashing campaign.

Christabel Pankhurst, who had escaped to France during the arrests, was now in control of the WSPU, and started talking about a secret arson campaign.  Anyone who opposed it was expelled, and the Pethick-Lawrences now published their own newspaper, Suffragette, although you will not find out about this from Wikipedia.

“Votes for Women”.

“Fashion fit for a suffragette procession”,

British Library’s Votes for Women online resource,

“Arson Campaign”,

“Suffrage Stories: Marjorie Hamilton: An Unknown Suffrage Artist”,

Marjorie Hamilton poster

The shooter was stalking a woman

“Broward school shooter was stalking a girl who went there. Of course he was. Most U.S. mass shooters have abused women. We can’t take mass shootings seriously without taking men’s violent entitlement to women’s bodies seriously. ” [Source]

You see this over and over and over, and it’s always buried on page 5, column 6.  These mass shooters always have some issue going on with women.

WikiTribune courts women

‘Kopel emphasises the importance of creating an environment where women feel comfortable as contributors. “We have strong women leading WikiTribune and are going to make sure we have equal numbers of women employees all over”’
the shard1
High atop ‘the shard’…

A sure way to get into the news cycle these days is to have something that mentions women.  The Drum has a new opinion piece about WikiTribune with extensive quotations from Orit Kopel, one of the founding members of WikiTribune.

According to the piece, Wikitribune now has 13 journalists and tech specialists, but it is not clear how many of them are women. The readership is characterized as 25% women “on some days”.  In spite of the lack of solid numbers, that is actually kind of nice, although it seems that a new and unknown startup would be an easier, not to mention lower-paying place for women to get a foot in the door.

Kopel herself seems to be doing well.  If her Twitter account is any indication, she is sought after as a keynote speaker and on panels for judging awards.  She continues to work with the Jimmy Wales Foundation, and although this does not seem as active as before, there is a new announcement about a joint grant program with Creative Commons, the Bassel Khartabil Memorial Fund, to promote open communities in the Arab world. Who wouldn’t want to be young, in London, at the beginning of their career, and working with Jimmy Wales.

The piece has a few other tidbits about WikiTribune.

  • The office is in the controversial building known as The Shard.
  • They do not have a podcast (for what??!?) but they do livestream the morning staff meeting on Facebook.  This would seem to weed out a few women, especially in the developing world, who prefer Twitter’s anonymity, as opposed to Facebook, which has adamantly opposed any change to the FB real name policies that leave women open to harassment.
  • WikiTribune is not so much about “news” as about “stories”, they prefer to promote one “story” at a time, like a blog, and have run one story for several months at a time.
  • Although WikiTribune is largely an aggregator of sources, much like Wikipedia, WikiTribune insiders would like WikiTribune to qualify as a source for Wikipedia, and be routinely linked to from Wikipedia, in order to help their business model.
  • The last time I checked WikiTribune’s content, it seemed like a lot of old news that was not worth my time to explore, but this article has showcased several pieces that I may go back and look for one day: 1) a 5,000-word background piece by New Zealand journalist Michael Field on China’s influence in the South Pacific, 2) a series of essays from former French diplomat Jean-Jacques Subrenat 3) coverage of stories on cryptocurrencies.

From Timbo with love

I see my old buddy Carrite has been leaving love letters for me over on Wikipediocrazy, the least I can do on Valentine’s Day is go and retrieve them.

love from timbo3
I have added some cupid framing because Valentine’s Day, plus as they say, better red than dead.

I see the “fuck and shit and stuff” and while it’s pretty feeble, as friendly space infractions go, he seems to be trying, so I will add a “personal attack” to the “dox” he has already accumulated.
I won’t say too much about the Carrite Kumbaya Challenge just yet, since I see he’s been doing a little gnoming on a few Black History Month titles; there’ll be time enough for counting when the month is done.  Plus Rosashills has already pledged to donate to the animal shelter no matter what Carrite does.

I suppose I ought to send Carrite a Valentine in return, so here it is, a Soviet poster from 1925 via on Twitter. The caption is “I’m not yours anymore, now I’m Senya’s: he took me to the local Soviet to listen to Lenin’s speeches”. Happy Valentines, comrade.