Monthly Archives: October 2009

Dreaming About Tee Corinne

Laurie says:

I was planning to blog about something completely different, but last night I dreamed about Tee. She died three years ago in August and she’s been on my mind.

I dreamed that she was still alive but quite ill and I was going to visit her.  I did visit her in Oregon several times when she was ill and very much alive.  Usually when I dream about people I love who are dead, they are alive and present in my dream and I usually awake feeling good.  Tee wasn’t present in this dream (I was going to visit her) and I woke up missing her terribly.

Tee Corinne
Tee Corinne

As many of the people who read this blog know she is best remembered as a lesbian erotic photographer who did marvelous work.

But she did other work that is less familiar.  These portraits come from a series called Lesbian Muse: The Women Behind the Words (1990).

Taylor

Valerie Taylor, author

Davenport

Doris Davenport, poet

Grahn

Judy Grahn, poet

And she was a writer and a poet.  The making of books was one of her many passions. She self-published a remarkable number of books of writings, poetry and images.

This poem of hers speaks to me, particularly today.

THE RESTAURANT
OR
ALL YOU CAN EAT

My old college roommate,
great love of my early years,
sent the menu of a restaurant near our school:

Catfish, all you can eat.
Fried shrimp dinner.
Fried shrimp dinner all you can eat.
Fresh Froglegs. Froglegs, all you can eat.
Fresh Gatortail.
Fresh boiled shrimp.
Fresh turtle.

These times will never come again.

Fresh combination: Turtle, Froglegs & catfish.
Combination (Catfish & Shrimp).
Half Southern fried chicken.
(Please allow 30 minutes).
Chopped steak (with or without onions).

Plain food. Screens on the windows,
a deck outside where
you can watch the river pass.
Mosquitos. Gnats.

Sirloin strip. Large choice T-bone.
All dinners include:
French Fries or Hash Browns,
Tossed Salad or Cole Slaw,
Hush Puppies or Rolls.

Hot days and warm nights.
The sweat always under your arms,
between your legs.

Swamp Cabbage,
$1.95 a bowl,
95¢ a dish.

It’s true
we can’t go back again,
but vividly, I remember
in my body and my dreams.

Yahoo Hires Lap Dancers?

Debbie says:

I was just cruising the Internet, looking for something interesting to blog today, but I didn’t expect this

Yahoo has apologized for its use of scantily clad lap dancers to entertain mainly male software developers and engineers in Taiwan last weekend. The Internet search company Monday acknowledged its politically incorrect step.

“I wanted to acknowledge the public reaction generated by the images of female dancers at our Taiwan Open Hack Day this past weekend. Our hack events are designed to give developers an opportunity to learn about our APIs and technologies. As many folks have rightly pointed out, the “Hack Girls” aspect of our Taiwan Hack Day is not reflective of that spirit or purpose. And it’s certainly not the message we want to send about our values here at Yahoo!. Hack Days are about making everyone feel welcome, including women coders and technologists.”

“This incident is regrettable and we apologize to anyone that we have offended. Rest assured, it won’t happen again.”

The apology is on an apparently obscure developer blog, though by now it has made national news.

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing is appropriately, if simplistically, scathing on the topic:

What a blot on technology culture this is. As a father of a young daughter whom I hope will be excited about technology, hacking, and making stuff, Yahoo’s vile behavior makes me want to puke purple exclamation points.

Regrettable? I can think of some choice words to describe this, and regrettable is so far down the list that you’d need to scroll for a week to reach it.

Of course, I agree with Cory that this is completely inappropriate, and wrong. And I also notice what isn’t addressed in the BoingBoing piece (or the Yahoo apology).

I certainly don’t know what the cultural standard is in Taiwan. I wouldn’t like this even if it was absolutely common to have lap dancers at Taiwan corporate events; nonetheless, I’d still like to know if it is. I’d like to know the national make-up of the attendees: how many are Taiwanese, how many are American, how many are “Westerners,” how many are from other parts of Asia? What are the cultural expectations of the various attendees? Apparently, Hack Day is an international event–either it travels from country to country or it happens in different countries at different times. I’d also like to know more about the gender balance than “mainly male,” which could be anything from 60% to 95% male. I’d like to know the ethnic backgrounds of attendees and of dancers.

And I’d like to know more about the lap dancers. According to the MSNBC article, they danced “wearing bras and miniskirts,” and then “pretty much threw themselves upon the men.” Apparently, the video and photo evidence of this on Flickr has been made private. The blurry but unmistakable photos at the BoingBoing link above do seem to show Asian dancers and white men. I’d like to know what they were actually paid to do, whether or not they were well paid, and why they “threw themselves upon the men.” Were they instructed to do that? Were they looking for individual payment from attendees? Again, what’s the cultural standard in Taiwan?

It’s so easy to see stories like this through one lens: in this case, almost all the news and blog reporting seems to be about how women technologists and engineers were mistreated by this choice. An extremely valid lens, but not the only one.

Thanks to maevele for the pointer.