Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

2 Articles from May 2021

  1. Ratings are not recommendations

    A caveat lector for those who enjoy my reviews: sometimes new information comes to light that changes my opinion of books or authors I’ve regarded highly in the past.

    This morning I woke up and checked Twitter and then kind of (but not really) regretted it. See, the hive mind often keeps you helpfully informed of things you ought to know, especially when prominent people are being problematic—yet once in a while, it fails to do this. Such was the case with the revelation to me that Caroline Criado Perez is a TERF and indeed has been for a while, and cue my headdesking because last November I gave her book Invisible Women 5 stars and a glowing review.

    GIF of Picard facepalming

    This threw me into somewhat of a quandary. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the book. I think it makes salient points about the problems that women (both cis and trans) face in a society largely designed by and for men. But I don’t want to be supporting the livelihood of people who do not include me in their feminism.

    Options ran through my head:

    • Remove the review. This feels ahistorical though. I said what I said; my opinion is changing in light of new information.
    • Revise the review to be more critical. Without re-reading the book, though, this feels disingenuous. Also, as far as I recall, the

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  2. Pride isn’t up for debate

    When we allow elected representatives to debate recognizing Pride Month and symbols, we send a message that 2SLGBTQ+ people’s rights are up for debate.

    Last night, the Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees voted to officially declare June as Pride Month henceforth, and to fly the Pride flag at all TCDSB schools, as well as its board office. This is a sharp contrast to what happened at Halton Catholic District School Board last month. This is a victory and should be celebrated as such. The TCDSB is one of the largest school boards in the province, certainly the largest Catholic board in Ontario. Hopefully, other Catholic boards that haven’t yet followed suit will take this as a sign to do so—this could lead to significant, meaningful change in the way 2SLGBTQ+ students feel represented and welcome within these schools. Kudos to teachers like Paolo De Buono who have been campaigning for better 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion despite facing significant personal reprisal, as well as to the students and student trustees who lead the way on showing us that these issues are indeed important to them.

    Yet amid that feeling of triumph, I also feel compelled to ask the question so many were asking on Twitter last night and during the HCDSB board meeting: why did this come down to a vote at all? Why…

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