My response to the “I am not a feminist” internet phenomenon….

First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, “I’m not the feminist babysitter.”

But here is what I think you should know.

You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.

You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis center, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.

You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).

You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.

In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.

In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”

Libby Anne (via oatmeal47)

(Source: dumbledoresarmy-againstbigotry)

http://keepingtrackofnothing.tumblr.com/post/91386510758/hcsvntleones-replied-to-your-post-i-really-like

keepingtrackofnothing:

hcsvntleones replied to your post“I really like giving advice about cats and love and home decor, so if…”
my cat is crazy and eats garbage. She specially loves anything thread-like and plastic bags. She has already been in surgery once. Didn’t most cats were picky with food?

I wanted to thank you for your advise, it’s been really helpful.

We observed our cat for a while and are convinced now that it’s a problem of anxiety. Reilly usually plays with her everyday, but he increased the playing time and she almost stopped eating plastic bags. Also, we noticed that when we take her to some place she can play outside the house, she totally stops eating things she shouldn’t.

I guess is hard for a cat to live in a flat, in a city, with two boring humans.

Thanks!

For one thing, it is simply unreasonably hard to learn enough characters to become functionally literate. Again, someone may ask “Hard in comparison to what?” And the answer is easy: Hard in comparison to Spanish, Greek, Russian, Hindi, or any other sane, “normal” language that requires at most a few dozen symbols to write anything in the language. John DeFrancis, in his book The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy, reports that his Chinese colleagues estimate it takes seven to eight years for a Mandarin speaker to learn to read and write three thousand characters, whereas his French and Spanish colleagues estimate that students in their respective countries achieve comparable levels in half that time.2 Naturally, this estimate is rather crude and impressionistic (it’s unclear what “comparable levels” means here), but the overall implications are obvious: the Chinese writing system is harder to learn, in absolute terms, than an alphabetic writing system.3 Even Chinese kids, whose minds are at their peak absorptive power, have more trouble with Chinese characters than their little counterparts in other countries have with their respective scripts. Just imagine the difficulties experienced by relatively sluggish post-pubescent foreign learners such as myself.

http://pinyin.info/readings/texts/moser.html

This is misleading. And here is why:

And, I think you will find that not only will you become literate in Chinese/Japanese, but you will find them easier than phonetic writing systems. Not just because of the visual power of the characters, but also because of the amazing ability to create compound words, making even the most apparently complex of concepts, the most expert of expert vocabulary, fully comprehensible to the layman (the 明治時代/Meiji Era mass translation of Western scientific literature and vocabulary into kanji often receives credit for turning the already highly-literate Japanese population into a highly-well-informed juggernaut[20]).

With kanji, it’s like the veil of jargon is never allowed to fall; there is no iron curtain of terminology; everything is transparent. Assuming that you, like me, have no specialist medical knowledge, do you know what an “idiopathic ischemic infarction” is? Me neither; I had to look it up in kanji: 特發虚血性梗塞[21]…looking at the kanji, I at least know that blood gets blocked from going somewhere suddenly and for an unknown reason. Do you know what it means to “sinter” something? I didn’t; but the kanji are so clear: 焼結 “burn+ join”.

I’m reminded of this anecdote from a Japanese professor, related on page 14 of the book 知の収穫/An Intellectual Harvest by 呉智英/KURE Tomofusa and originally taken from 鈴木孝夫/SUZUKI Takao’s言葉の社會學/The Sociology of Language:

「特に面白いのは、漢字の造語能力に注目した一文である。鈴木孝夫は諸外国の大学でも講演をしているが、エール大学でこんな事が有った。黒板にpithecanthropeと書いて、意味を問うても、居並ぶ米人教授達で意味が解る人が居ない。鈴木が、日本では此れを、猿(pithec)人(anthrope)と書くので、朧(おぼろ)気(げ)な意味は小学生でも解るのだと話すと、米人教授達は皆驚いた、と言う」

Summary: “Pithecanthrope”, a word incomprehensible to the group of Yale professors that Suzuki was meeting at a conference of some kind, would be accessible to an elementary schooler in Japan, thanks to the power of kanji.

I guess you could always rub salt in the old Sokal wound and claim that sociology professors are dumb, but…that would be mean.

The end. Sorry for the long post! It’s goofy that a group of people should have to defend their own written language from illiterate foreigners, but…there you go. I wanted to leave out the history part, but I left it in because it’s relevant in terms of the whining people do. Take-home lesson here: get used to text.

http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/you-dont-have-a-foreign-language-problem-you-have-an-adult-literacy-problem

(via urashimajoe)

I haven’t studied Chinese for long enough as to have a valid opinion on this, but it relates to my feelings since I started learning….I first expected it to be only memorizing characters for 5 years with no logical involved, but pretty fast I realised that there is a logic behind character construction you can try to play with, sometimes, and only if I also memorize certain characters, of course. 

However, this logical may work fine with new, educated or technical  words, as the medical term examples used in this text, but will hardly work with old terms. Even if the teacher tried to explain the reason behind a character construction to me, they were based on Chinese rural ancient mentality, very hard to relate to. For example, 美 ( měi ) etymology would be “a person with a goat”, and its meaning “beautiful”. Not something I would have decipher by myself ;)

Furthermore, in languages like Spanish, one can also try to understand the meaning of an unknown word by looking at its roots, most probably latin or greek. That is why we still learn latin and greek at school, I guess. However, again, this will work fine with new medical or technical terms, and does also work with English language, and following the example given above: idiopathic =  ἴδιος idios “one’s own” and πάθος pathos “suffering”; therefore a disease with no external cause. But, again, regular words are a different story, in which centuries of use had twisted both the spelling and the meaning.

Applying logic helps me a lot with English “educated” or technical words, but sometimes makes me look a little conceited when speaking English because using technical terms is easier to me than slang ;)

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