link farm #5: street art, cats and crazy

thekitten
Hello. Have a picture of me man-handling one of my cats. Her name is The Kitten.

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.

Unpaid Internships Must Be Destroyed (comic) Fantastic political cartoon by Matt Boors that bluntly explains why unpaid internships are many shades of bullshit.

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.

link farm #4

Hello! Here’s some stuff I’ve been enjoying on the Internet this week. Firstly, watch Friend Zone by Dylan Garity. Slam poetry at its finest and a cutting summation of why the concept of the “Friend Zone” is bullshit and also vaguely misogynistic.

And then!

New videogame “The Novelist” doesn’t involve guns – Despite the somewhat redundant title of this article (a videogame without guns? Unheard of!), this game looks like exactly the kind of slow-paced story-driven offering I love. The concept is intriguing and the plot looks like the sort of thing that might make me cry.

Man creates very first Website for Women ever – AT LAST. A man who understands me and the fact my online media consumption needs are directly dictated by my vagina. Hair tips and worldwide news coverage on the SAME website? Inspired!

Hookup culture is officially not a thing – Good news! A proper study has officially proved that the young folk of today are not fornicating at a particularly alarming rate compared to previous generations! Well, good news if you’re not the sort of person who enjoys wringing their hands over the sex choices of strangers and something something moral degradation blah blah something.

I hate Strong Female Characters “The Strong Female Character has something to prove. She’s on the defensive before she even starts. She’s George from The Famous Five all grown up and still bleating with the same desperate lack of conviction that she’s “Every Bit As Good as a Boy”.”

Mikki Kendall and Flavia Dzodan on the Hairpin – The debate around #solidarityisforwhitewomen continues, and this interview with Mikki Kendall (who started the hashtag) and Flavia Dzodan of Tiger Beatdown expands on a lot of the key issues and what is needed from white feminists going forward.

How To Talk To Your Daughter About Her Body – Short, sweet, beautifully solid advice from skoppelkam on Hope Avenue.

Hilda, America's forgotten and beautifully buxom pin-up girl
Hilda the forgotten and beautifully buxom pin-up girl.

The Problem with Male Feminists –  “The “retirement” of Hugo Schwyzer from his self-appointed position as “Professor Feminism” highlights some of the issues men have with feminism.” And consequently, according to Jem Bloomfield, some of the issues women have with men who have issues with feminism. Come on, get involved.

America’s Forgotten Pin-Up Girl – “Meet Hilda, the creation of illustrator Duane Bryers and pin-up art’s best kept secret. Voluptuous in all the right places, a little clumsy but not at all shy about her figure, Hilda was one of the only atypical plus-sized pin-up queens to grace the pages of American calendars from the 1950s up until the early 1980s…

link farm #3: women and children and gays oh my

I like to imagine he's just screaming "BAAAAAAABY!!!"
I like to imagine he’s just screaming “ROYAAAAAAAAAAAAAL… BAAAAAAABY!!!”

So apparently a royal baby was born. I didn’t know Kate Middleton was pregnant until two weeks ago because I have very little interest in monarchy that does not involve Lannisters and Starks, so unless they call the baby Tyrion-Robb-Jon, I’m probably going to forget it exists within a week. Anyway, Kate Middleton apparently did her royal duty in a timely fashion and everyone seems pleased. Also, David Cameron chose this special day to propose a ban on online pornography to protect the innocence of children because children are innocent and porn corrodes their innocence and DEAR GOD WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

Blocking Porn –  A Survivor’s Perspective – (Content note: Discussion of child sex abuse) A really powerful piece on how Cameron’s professed concerns about childhood “innocence” do not address any of the underlying cultural narratives that are actually deeply harmful to children. I really should have included a point about media literacy in my sex ed post.

Dear Daily Mail – Love her or hate her, Amanda Fucking Palmer can subvert a patriarchal norm like nobody’s business. Here she is on BBC’s Newsnight discussing her reaction to the Daily Mail’s photo of her “escaped boob” in more detail.

Oh Texas – Pro-life congressman sponsors bill that would cut funding to a program that stops many children living in poverty from going hungry. Once again, life is only important when it’s contained inside a woman who has the audacity to think she should have a say about what happens to her uterus!

15 Steps to becoming a Gay Male Feminist – (Content note: Discussion of rape, abortion, sexual harassment) A fantastic article about one man’s discovery of feminism, with pit stops at drag, alternative menstrual products and body acceptance along the way.

Your Right To Butt Sex – Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is pushing to reinstate a Crimes Against Nature law, which would make oral and anal sex felony offenses. Yes, you read that correctly, and no, you did not fall into a time warp and it is in fact 2013. Fortunately, the bawdy ladies of The View are having none of it.

Jesus Isn’t A Dick So Keep Him Out Of My Vagina – Is this 14 year-old girl probably the best 14 year-old girl in the world? Yes. The answer is yes. 

trayvon

Rally for Trayvon Martin at Grand Circus Park on July 14, 2013, in Detroit - source: huffpo
Rally for Trayvon Martin at Grand Circus Park in Detroit – source: huffpo

I’ve been following the story of the murder of Trayvon Martin since it exploded onto my newsfeed last year. Now it has reached its awful, unjust, but sadly not surprising conclusion. Last week, a court in Florida ruled that George Zimmerman was within his rights as a citizen to shoot an unarmed black teenager, and to shoot to kill. They ruled that no one was to blame Trayvon Martin’s death, except possibly himself.

I am a white woman who grew up in a country that had a vanishingly small black population until recent years. I grew up in a country that is only now discovering its own capacity for racism. I lived in Chicago for a year, in a pre-dominantly white neighbourhood. Black people are a third of the city’s population, but I can count the times I visited or passed through black neighbourhoods on one hand. I am not Trayvon Martin. I am worlds away from Trayvon Martin. But like hundreds of other people who are not Trayvon Martin, I feel sick to my stomach over this verdict, and sicker still over the fact that there are people who continue to insist that race was not a factor in his murder.

I don’t feel qualified, eloquent or calm enough to speak to my own rage. Fortunately, the internet is full of people who are.

Read More »

link farm #2: the tennis edition

Wimbledon 2013 Champion, Marion Bartoli

So this weekend saw the end of a historic Wimbledon tournament. Men’s singles champion Andy Murray made British sports history on the court and was showered with praise and glory and even a possible recommendation for knighthood.

Women’s singles champion Marion Bartoli was showered with tweets suggesting that she’s too fat and ugly to be good at tennis.

But the crude and often violent commentary from these few (hundred) tweets are surely just an aberration, I hear you cry! It’s just the Internet, it’s just assholes trolling! No real people would ever actually suggest that Bartoli’s victory is somehow undermined by her looks!

Unless, of course, they’re John Inverdale and they happen to be doing the BBC radio commentary on the women’s singles final.

SEXISM IN SPORTS IS TOTALLY NOT A PROBLEM AT ALL.

Sigh. Here is some stuff that is not tennis!

The Box Trolls – coming in 2014 from Laika, the same studio responsible for Coraline and ParaNorman. It’s stop motion and it shows an awareness of non-traditional non-heteronormative families. I don’t know what more you could want!

So You Want To Compare Something To Slavery? – Well, I’m sure your comparison is completely measured and legitimate and not at all deeply insulting to any historically enslaved group! But maybe you should read this first, just to be sure…

A Woman’s Right To Chores – Over on Feministe, Molly Schoemann writes a light-hearted screed on strangely old-fashioned advertising for cleaning products. Come for the lols, stay for the comments full of “BUT THAT’S NOT SEXISM IT’S MARKETING IT’S NOT SEXIST IF IT SELLS.”

Word War Z, or Something Not Quite Like It – “I’m not sure why Brad Pitt bothered buying the rights to it really, because they essentially took all the things that made World War Z such a compelling and scary and fascinating read in the first place and just fucked it all in the bin.

link farm #1

In my spare time, I farm links. Here’s this week crop from faffing around on the Internet! First, watch I Know Girls, an amazingly beautiful song/poem from Mary Lambert (the same lady who sang the refrain for Macklemore’s “Same Love”) and then tell me it did not give you goosebumps. Required watching for anyone who has ever hated their body.

It’s Time – Watch this video from the Equality Network campaign for same-sex marriage in Scotland, it’s really touching and hits all the right notes and has somehow made me like Scotland even more than I already do. A+ Scotland!

I was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl Laurie Penny on sexism in storytelling. “Irony is, of course, the last vestige of modern crypto-misogyny: all those lazy stereotypes and hurtful put-downs are definitely a joke, right up until they aren’t, and clearly you need a man to tell you when and if you’re supposed to take sexism seriously.”

I Need Feminism in Cambridge 60 photos of Cambridge University students and the reasons they need feminism in their lives. “… because they told her Harry Potter wouldn’t sell if it was by “Joanne” Rowling.

Everyday Sexism A powerful video charting the meteoric rise of the @EverydaySexism Project and highlighting the importance of women coming together to say “Yes, I believe you and yes, it’s happened to me too.”

“Lawrence” Croft So hey guys, imagine if every strong male protagonist available to you in videogames looked a little something like this super sexy Lara Croft genderbend by Ulysses0302.

Six Fairy Tales for the Modern Woman “Once upon a time a woman never got married, but had many fulfilling relationships, a job that kept her comfortable, an apartment that she got to decorate just for her, and hobbies that stimulated her mind.

Hairy Tights and Taylor Swift Andrea Fox on the weirdest “solution” for avoiding unwanted male attention. Ever.

Help Us, Great Warrior! WELL THIS COMIC IS JUST ADORABLE