Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Feminist Media for Toddlers

My family actually groaned when I told them that I wanted to find feminist movies and TV shows for my two year-old daughter.

Woman's touch.
Makes the public feel more comfortable.

Lucia’s favorite movie at the time was Chicken Run. Chicken Run is commonly cited as a good example of a strong female lead in children’s media. While it is true that the protagonist is an intelligent and resourceful hen, her ultimate success is the happy relationship with the rooster. Finding a guy isn’t bad in itself, and if the rooster were actually a worthwhile partner, I wouldn’t object. However, this particular rooster, Rocky, is not at all desirable. He lies constantly. He is selfish, egotistical, and demeaning to the hens. Ginger apparently falls for him because he’s the only man she hasn’t met who didn’t fight in World War II.

The other pitfall of this movie is the villain. Mrs. Tweedy is evil. She abuses her spouse and loves eating roasted chicken. Plus she is both ugly and vain, archetypical villainess characteristics. What makes her the bad guy? She figures out a way to make the farm more profitable and bring her family out of poverty.

At this point you might assume that I have a battle-axe tattoo. I don't. Moving on.

The movie I consider most woman positive that is also appropriate for young children is Porco Rosso. The main character is male, which isn’t usually a good start for feminist media. However, in this case, Marco would be lost without his two female cohorts—as well as a horde of industrious women who build his plane.
The party's over.
The Italian Air Force will be here soon.
Everybody get away quickly, please.
Come to my restaurant. It's on the house.

Let’s start with Gina. Gina owns a hotel and nightclub, and her calm but firm warning will hush gangs of pirates. Gina is bad.ass. Men fall at her feet even though she is middle aged. She doesn’t brush them off out of spite or disgust, but because she is too busy running her business well. She’s also politically savvy, which is neat. Gina doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but the time she does get is golden.

O.K.  But if Porco wins, you pay these bills.

Fio is arguably the protagonist in her own right. She is a college student, an aviary engineer, and very good with money. The first plane she designs professionally impresses universally. She is confident and well spoken. Unsurprisingly, she and Gina become good friends.

My daughter now points to airplanes and says, “Fio! Airplane!”

All of Hayao Miyazaki’s movies are woman positive, but Porco Rosso is near the top of the list.

What if a miracle like the Virgin Mary getting pregnant... was to happen to a homo? 
While researching, I also found the question of a good portrayal of a transgendered person in media accessible to young people. An undeniable answer is Tokyo Godfathers. Miss Hana is simply a beautifully developed character. The only concern that I have with this movie is the violence—two characters are nearly beaten to death. However, unlike many kids’ media that glorify violence, Tokyo Godfathers shows it as the ugly and cruel thing violence truly is.

The next time you find your toddler watching the father dinosaur find a diamond for the mother dinosaur (who, of course, has dramatic eyelashes), remember that there is good media out there. And if you know of something wonderful, please let me know.

Friday, August 31, 2012


I feel like I've been screaming at the top of my lungs, but no one is hearing me.

Why haven't we acknowledged that Republicans stopped talking about abortion a long time ago, escaping the tricky question of the relationship of rights between a *zygote* and the woman in whose body it resides. That's what people actually disagree on.

We aren't even talking about when the "baby" has full personhood. The sanctity of life act makes it very clear that a zygote has as many rights as a child, so there is no need to discuss blastocysts or embryos or fetuses.

Abortion is what happens, either spontaneously or medically, to terminate a pregnancy. The term's definition hasn't changed.

Why are we now talking about criminal law? Why are we getting distracted with how much at fault a person has to be in order to have a crime perpetrated against her?

Why are we talking about how, as is quite strongly insinuated, that most women lie about enduring this particular crime?

Why are we arguing points of medicine and biology? When someone uses a clause like "shuts that whole thing down," why don't we just let it stand in its own stupidity.

Instead, we are talking about when a person has the right to *withdraw* consent. We presume that she has given consent by having two X chromosomes.

(Let's not get caught up in whether she has breasts. Or ovaries. Or a uterus. Or a vagina. Or even just a vulva. We're not going to get in to a woman's medical history here. And anyway-- can't boys or men be raped?)

Hypothetically, we have to start this dissection presuming that the person in question is not lying. Let's all take a moment to let that sink in.The first step in defining rape is determining whether the survivor is capable of telling the truth.

The term made popular recently is "legitimate," which is described more precisely as "forcibly." Now we have to define force, which means we have to decide on questions of law regarding violence, intimidation, intoxication (college girls better not take any roofies!), age, mental capacity-- all in light of how much the victim did to bring this crime upon herself.

Let's break this down.
The zygote indelibly has full rights of personhood that should never be compromised.

Some politicians are willing to sacrifice those rights ONLY IF the woman in question:
1. is not lying;
2  did nothing to invite the assault (e.g.:was wearing appropriate clothing, sober, walking in a well-lighted area or during the day, sound of mind and body, adult, etc.);
3. refused allowing a man to have sex with her for good reason;
4. and could not physically prevent the act from happening.

The only reason I can think of that people are getting distracted by how much we are giving the zygote without question is because we are so insanely incredulous that anyone could believe these things.

Ten years ago we were talking about heartbeats and brainwaves and first breath. The question used to be at what point is that collection of cells turns into an individual capable of living on its own. Now the question is whether the hunk of meat holding it should breastfeed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Time and Temperature

I unloaded a glaze fire this morning.

yarn holder bobbin bowls

mason stain and new glazes

credit card acceptance signs that I never actually intended to sell

tiles and a plate

mugs and another yarn holder bobbin bowl

In talking with other ceramists both locally and on-line (the people at Election Cone 6 & Other Ways with Clay are great), I've heard that my process is anywhere between unusual and wrong. Looking at the glazes in this firing, I can see quite clearly that my glazes sit on top of the clay and are not absorbed.  In the coming weeks, I plan to run a low-fire bisque for my stoneware to see how I feel about the difference. My kiln is small enough that I've had to extend to two bisque and two glaze firings each month, and it is easy enough to make those separate stoneware and porcelain batches.

Always learning and growing!

my shop: The Delicion

Saturday, February 11, 2012

adventures in making wood out of mud

It was an accident. I wanted to make pinwheel buttons. I make pinwheel cookies-- my favorite ever.

I made some changes for reasons that were quite stupid-- largely because I apparently have to make things more complicated than previously considered possible. ANYWAY

Cutting vertically like you would for pinwheels made a gross mess. The lines were not even and pinwheely. The lines looked more like the inside of a tree. Hm.... so how about cutting horizontally?

an experiment_2012 01 24_0055_edited-1.jpg

an experiment_2012 01 24_0056_edited-1.jpg

How would it look fired?

glaze_2012 02 08_0050_edited-1.png


so the next project is a bit of a tower

glaze_2012 02 08_0051.ARW


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

now I just want to stay home and take pictures of buttons

tomorrow my family is going to Sterling, Colorado to celebrate with my in-laws. we will have limited internet access, and so these buttons won't be added to the website at least until the 21st. Also, all shipping will be delayed until the 22nd.

Monday, December 5, 2011



see it LIVE at

I was surprised, when I had the shop critique, how many people didn't like my logo. I didn't think people cared that much. but here-- I now have the company name spelled out in three mugs. and then I painted it. woo.

the wiggly from my tremor makes me happy in this context. it's the wings on my heart.

there are a couple other really big deal kind of things going on right now.

the happy one is that I am in the process of taking out our basement shower and the wall between the bathroom and my studio. in this newly annexed studio space, I will move my kiln. I will be able to vent the kiln directly out ductwork we already have in our house.

my oh-so-romantic birthday, anniversary, and giftmas present from my husband is the retrofit vent. heck yes.

the one that is mostly happy except also kind of sad is that my garden is no longer my own. the abandoned house where it was is being gutted and rebuilt as a demo for a construction company. apparently they work for an entity that manages abandoned properties.

I'm not exactly sure how that works.

anyway, my garden is gone. poor thing. it got mowed, two trees fell on it, and now I lost custody.

it's good for the neighborhood. the garage is a nest for feral cats, and in general people can take more pride in their neighborhood when there is not a house whose outsides are crumbling next door.

on the plus side, I did get to see the inside of the house. there is standing water in the basement, the staircase to the ¼ story loft is rotting out, there is a hole in the ceiling beneath it (although I did not see a hole in the floor through the curling carpet), the beautiful oak hardwood floors through the entire place are swollen and grey, and something fell in the bathroom and broke the mirror and toilet. it is in surprisingly good shape given that it has sat empty for over four years. The workers cleared away organic debris around the garage, showing that the bottom 18" (aboutz) are swollen and discolored.


work is being done.

my wheel is disassembled so I can clean my studio well and then put it back up somewhere else. the paneling, dry wall, and shower liner that was glued to the drywall (is that standard practice?) are down. an entire six foot-long wall of studs that didn't actually reach the ceiling or joists is down. now I have to solder off plumbing. I've never done that before.

I like doing things I've never done before.

in summary, we conclude:
1. new logo woo!
2  bathroom space annexed for studio woo!
3. new kiln vent woo!
4. green house no longer rotting away woo!
5. aw but that means I lose my garden. maybe.

smile a lot!