I’ll irritate most of my friends for saying this, but I’ve always found feminist writer Laurie Penny immensely enjoyable, in person and in writing.
What a thoroughly odd way to start a book review.
I say that as someone who is – or at least was – appalled by practically everything she says. Why “was”? Because I’ve just finished her pamphlet Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet, and it’s… well, it’s terrific.
Oh I see, it was necessary to qualify that you don’t hate Laurie Penny personally while pandering to your friends who are ready to kneejerk at the very mention of her name, but also make it clear that you are normally “appalled” by her work. Glad we got that cleared up. Carry on.
Yes, all of the old problems are there. There’s a bit too much sodding hysteria, too much is taken for granted and too often
“Hysteria”. Gendered word choice #1. Keep your eyes out, there are a lot of these! Hysteria is a state of uncontrollable or excessive emotion and also an outdated psychological term for a disorder that exclusively afflicted women, because it was caused by disturbances in the uterus (similar to disturbances in the Force, I suppose.) So just to be clear, Penny is not angry, she’s not impassioned and she’s not vehement. She’s hysterical. And not just hysterical, but “sodding” hysterical, because Milo has had to endure this emotional lady nonsense in the past. Moving on.
I have not been blogging much recently because I have been living in the small but comfortable hell that is trying to finish up my MA before I move to Geneva IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS HOLY SHIT DON’T THINK ABOUT IT THE PANIC. Life is comfortable because I have moved back to my lovely clean warm family home in the west of Ireland, where my mother does my laundry and keeps me well supplied with tea and hearty dinners and all I have to do is stay hunched in front of my double screen set up, flicking between spreadsheets with manic intensity. Like Gollum, only fatter and better at making graphs (we can assume).
Anyway, because life is a bit erratic and I am feeling erratic, have an erratic series of links of things I have been enjoying on the Internet recently!
Stop Telling Women To Smile(video, image, text) This is one of my favourite anti-street harassment campaigns, because it addresses the micro-aggressions (as opposed to the outright aggressive aggressions, which tend to get more airtime.) Micro-aggressions are small incidents of sexism that do not seem significant when viewed in isolation. However, when they begin to accumulate and become constant feature of your daily life, it starts to wear on your mood, your energy and your sense of worth as a person. If you have a few spare cash monies, consider using them to help Tatyana Fazlalizadeh make her public art project go nationwide in the US.
Are you afraid of tampons?(video) Because these guys…like, they’re definitely not… but they’re still not going to like… help a lady out by purchasing them for her or anything. I mean, c’mon. That’s gross.
Cliteracy 101(image, text) New York artist Sophia Wallace wants to dispel all the ignorance surrounding that most mysterious of sex organs… and she’s doing it with street art, clitoris-themed swag and a GIANT GOLDEN CLITORIS THAT YOU CAN RIDE LIKE A FREAKING RODEO BULL.
Lady, You Really Aren’t “Crazy”(text) This article is an oldie, but I stumbled across the other day and remember how much it resonated with me. “Dudes of the world – if you do not return your girlfriend’s calls for a week, and she shows up at your door yelling, she is not crazy. She is angry at you. There’s a difference. “Crazy” would be if you did not return her calls for a week and she decided she was a lighthouse.” Which in turns reminds me of…
Two Sides To Every Story(comic) A great little strip from Kate Or Die about how the “crazy” narrative often plays out in relationships.
Scenes From Majora’s Mask That Brought Me To Tears (article) If, like me, you are part of the subset of Zelda fans who maintain that Majora’s Mask is best game and kind of like… really deep and important art even though you can’t articulate quite why… well, this article is for you!
Ladies’ Brunch(article) Also, more from The Toast, because The Toast is fast becoming my favourite feminist humour site. Fact: Party Brunch is a real thing that happens in New York. Other fact: My browser will not accept that bachelorette is a real word. MISOGYNY.
What About Teh Boyz?(text) The ever excellent Jem Bloomfield on why society is so keen to separate the men from the boys when it comes to sexist behaviour.
What Not To Wear(text) Do you guys remember Trinny and Susannah and What Not To Wear? Well, The Vagenda does and holy shit, were those ladies ever peddling some toxic gender norms under the (admittedly thin) veil of helping ladies improve their self-esteem.
A Guide to Cat Colours and Patterns(image) A friend sent me this insanely detailed and TOTALLY DELIGHTFUL guide to figuring out the precise colour of your darling kitty, created by artist Joumana. The Kitten (pictured above) is a lilac cap-and-saddle torbie and white. OR SOMETHING. Also, your cat could be a “theoretical fawn-based caramel” in which case, you should probably put it on the Internet so everyone can make theoretical cat memes. HOURS OF FUN.