From the Mailbag

Shaker InfamousQBert sends this story about how schools are seeking to cut costs to deal with the struggling economy. I'll give you one guess… If you said, "Pass expenses onto parents," give yourself 1,000 points. Get ready for higher lunch prices and four-day school weeks, requiring working parents to pony up for daycare.

Shaker KathleenB forwards this heartbreaking item about the parents of murdered gay/trans student Lawrence King suing the school because they failed to protect Larry—not from the bigot who shot him, but from himself: "The family of a gay teenager who was fatally shot in class blames the school district for allowing their son to wear makeup and feminine clothing to school—factors the family claims led to the death." Death by tolerance. It's tough to see a victim's family, as KathleenB put it, "hopping on the queer/victim bashing bandwagon."

Meanwhile, Shaker Lena sends this article with the note: "Damn, yet another trans murder... Complete with yet another trans panic defense from a guy who got a blow job, as well as yet more 'deceptive tranny' news coverage. And once again the murderer wasn't so overcome with panic that he couldn't steal from the victim afterwards." We'll be rinsing and repeating this one until we can significantly counter pervasive trans prejudice, I fear.

Shaker NervesInPatterns passes on this piece about non-traditional models, accompanied by a slideshow headlined (of course) "Ugly is the new beautiful." Naturally, the "ugly" models include people who are fat, dwarves, tattooed, older than 25, unusual looking, perfectly average looking, and other horrible specimens of humanity.

(Relatedly, check out this snippet about a new documentary, America the Beautiful, about our obsession with beauty, also forwarded by Shaker InfamousQBert.)

Shaker Darla forwards this article detailing the problems for advocates against domestic violence and the progress being made in one community.

And Shaker Audrey sends this WaPo disaster about the "Twilight" series, about which Shaker Joe guest-blogged here. Summarizes Audrey: "So, I just wanted to share the news with you : feminism is SO over, you have failed : books about werewolves and vampires say so! Also, Dora the explorer? Big feminist propaganda but that's not enough to prevent youngsters from thinking that 'human nature is gendered to the core'. Well, I hope you won't be too unnerved by this revelation!" That's it, Shakers—if feminism's over, I'm hanging it up!

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