Stuff We’ve Been Reading!

Pint-Sized Shame: A single mama rethinks her daughter’s right to self-adornment

“I know some people will read this wondering how I could be so irresponsible for letting my daughter wear something as sexually suggestive as lipstick. The responsibility for rape occurring is on the rapist and the rapist alone. I as a parent and society at large has taught my daughter that she is responsible for keeping rapists at bay. Not anymore. Not on my watch. As a survivor, and as any survivor will tell you, there is nothing that we ever did, there is nothing we ever wore, there is nothing we ever said that “asked for it.”

In fact, I find it even more “sexually suggestive” to teach young girls to be super compliant, be kissed and hugged without consent and to be all sugar and spice and all things nice when they want things.”

Doing antiracism wrong at Jezebel

“But the more vexing problem with Morrissey’s stunt — and this is a thread that runs through a lot of our public conversations about race — is that it bolsters the idea that racism is a terrible personal failing that can be corrected through sufficient public shaming. This notion of racists-as-evil is so pervasive that few people who readily espouse bigoted beliefs would recognize those ideas as racist; unsurprisingly, people don’t like to think themselves monsters. And so our conversations about racist behavior and racism write large get frustratingly bogged down in trivia about how churchgoing Suzie is or Connor’s friendly rapport with his Hispanic teammates. The burden of proof for racism has become so high that even people who hang effigies of the black president don’t think they rate.”

I’ve started telling my daughters I’m beautiful

“The thing is, my children are perfect. I am the grown up, so I’m supposed to show them everything about life. When they wake up in the morning, though, I stare at them and they’re new. They teach me everything. They are babies and they teach me what it means to be a person. It’s easy to see that they’re beautiful.

I am slow and I am tired. I am round and sagging. I am harried. I am sexless. I am getting older.I am beautiful. How can this be? How can any of this be true?”

Her Body Is Not Your Playground: Why the photoshopped Frida nudes are not okay

“We’d have to be in some serious denial to think that these things did not affect the way Frida’s body looked. There were surely scars, surely much evidence of decades of pain and surgery and brokenness. To replace that broken, scarred body with smooth, un-flawed flesh, as in these photoshopped pics, is plainly able-ist. Further, it dishonors the life Frida Kahlo lived and the experiences she survived. Here was a woman, an artist, whose artistic expression had everything to do with her physical pain, everything to do with existing inside a body that was twisted and gnarled, a body that hurt every day. To erase that is to attempt to erase Frida herself.”

Misogyny isn’t caused by male horniness

“I don’t realize if Wong gets this, but he basically just argued that since women are just so asexual, we’re also basically unartistic, unambitious, and even though he decried treating women like decorative objects, I don’t really see how we fit into this. We don’t have any desire to impress men and get sex, so we’re never going to build and invent, right?

I have a counter-theory. I don’t believe that men build civilization to impress lazy women who keep saying no to sex, because we don’t understand what it’s really like to want it. I believe men built most things because women were shut out of political power, job opportunities, and education for most of history, and instead forced into servitude towards men in the home. I believe my theory has a lot of evidence for it, in the form of all of history.”

Gay men’s sexism and women’s bodies

“These questions came after a brief exploration of gay men’s relationship to American fashion and women’s bodies. That dialogue included recognizing that gay men in the United States are often hailed as the experts of women’s fashion and by proxy women’s bodies. In addition to this there is a dominant logic that suggests that because gay men have no conscious desire to be sexually intimate with women, our uninvited touching and groping (physical assault) is benign.”

Lip Service: On sex work, relationships & stigma

“The moments I describe above don’t make my ex-lovers bad people. Don’t demonize them. They were no better but no worse than everyone else around me, including all you reading this. These memories stay with me only because they were the moments when the veil of politeness slipped and the whorephobia we’re surrounded by, was revealed. Nothing more, nothing less. These are the moment where all their surface support for sex workers falls away and what’s left behind is this: you dirty, filthy whore. You deserve what you have coming to you. Sometimes all it’s taken are four words and a look of terror on your face: “Do you get tested?” You wanna know what this feels like?”

Nihil de Nobis, Sine Nobis: Trans women of color and Remembering Your Dead

“i had initially set out to say we should boycott TDoR as trans women of color and our allies. but let’s be honest, we already aren’t there to start with, so a boycott is meaningless; we’re going to be tokens in TDoR at best no matter what until the trans community stops enforcing a standard based on Caucasianness on everyone. however, the reality is that TDoR needs to include more discussion of race, gender, and violence because what it’s talking about is people who are dead because of the confluence of race, gender, and violence. i suspect that the same reason the trans community is so viciously exclusive of trans women of color is the same reason this doesn’t come up: it requires discussing uncomfortable realities, especially given that the trans community is shamefully complicit in considering trans women of color disposable…until one day in November, when y’all care about us if we’re dead.”

The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck

”But I don’t hate men, because I play by different rules. In fact, there are men in this world whom I love quite a lot. There are also individual men in this world I would say I probably hate, or something close, men who I hold in unfathomable contempt, but it is not because they are men. No, I don’t hate men. It would, however, be fair to say that I don’t easily trust them.

My mistrust is not, as one might expect, primarily a result of the violent acts done on my body, nor the vicious humiliations done to my dignity. It is, instead, born of the multitude of mundane betrayals that mark my every relationship with a man—the casual rape joke, the use of a female slur, the careless demonization of the feminine in everyday conversation, the accusations of overreaction, the eyerolling and exasperated sighs in response to polite requests to please not use misogynist epithets in my presence or to please use non-gendered language (“humankind”).”

“Hipster Sexism”: Just as bad as regular old sexism, or worse?

“While actually sexist, of course, hipster sexism is different from what Quart defines as “Classic Sexism.” A hipster sexist calls you a bitch and tells you to shut up but in a funny way, while a classic sexist tells you your rape was God’s will without a hint of irony. Both are douchebags, but the hipster sexist is a douchebag in enlightened clothing (see also: the nice guy™, the hipster racist). Hipster sexism hinges on the assumption that “no one thinks this way anymore” and therefore it’s funny, like making a joke about horses and buggies or something. It allows for sexist comments under the guise of being sooo far above them, and it’s a lot harder to call out than non-ironic, old-fashioned sexism. (Ah, those were the days. JK I am being ironic! See?)”

Reproductive freedom has always been an economic issue

“The truth is, reproductive freedom, rape and capitalism have always been intertwined, especially for Black women. When the GOP (primarily White men in many cases) start trying to redefine rape, act as rape apologists, and try to limit access to birth control and abortion, I recognize the foundation of a narrative that’s already played out in history. […] The control of and disregard for women’s bodies, especially Black women’s, is collective American history. It is fact. Plenty of reprehensible, hateful, sexist and misogynist actions towards women over time has been justified as “god’s will.” And, while some men of colour (especially some Black men I’ve encountered) applaud […] these anti-choice actions by White men, they seem to forget that slavery was also deemed “god’s will” before.”

I will always care too much

“There are few things I want more in life than to like and be liked by people — for the right reasons. I don’t want to feign enjoyment of someone’s company because they are socially important, or have someone placate me because I have enough mutual friends to make it necessary. I want to feel as though the love we express to each other (in all its forms, romantic and otherwise) is entirely without irony or pretense. The conversations we engage in seem to me not worth the effort unless they are based in genuine affection and curiosity — and yet I feel that so many of our interactions are utterly devoid of such fundamental emotions.”


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