Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links for the Week-ish)

Summer's been a little crazy, so I missed this last week. That means that there are more links that usual this week. Also, please feel free to self-promote with any links of your own!

The Good (Things that Made Me Smile)

Colorlines has some pictures of Olympic athlete Duane Solomon, Jr. who missed a trip to Beijing in 2008 by half a second. Check out these pics of his reaction when he finds out he made it this year.

Birthing Beautiful Ideas had two great posts of very different styles that both made me smile. One's about a storm that caused a power outage and a freezer full of pumped breast milk and the other's about cursing toddlers

This story from Foodess about how a stranger named Happy saved her dog's life almost made me cry, but then it made me smile. 

As someone who has been known to sing a few non-traditional lullabies herself, I really liked this video (h/t Offbeat Mama) of a dad getting his baby to sleep with some Metallica:

Though I hate that it has a reason to exist in the first place, Hate Tweets to Frank Ocean provides a random hate tweet sent to Frank Ocean after he announced he was gay. In response, you can automatically tweet back to this person the phrase "It's not who you love, it's *that* you love that matters." Now these hateful people's Twitter feeds are getting flooded with love. 

The Bad (Things that Made Me Frustrated)

Basically everything uncovered by the Freeh Report

Romney's NAACP reaction, and the fact that he might have been trying to get booed the whole time

The Curious (Things that Made Me Think)

Nursing Clio has a look at how "positive eugenics" has played a role in the American parenting culture. . . all the way up to Toddlers in Tiaras

Sociological Images ran an excellent three part series on sexual objectification. (One, two, and three.) I found part three's tips on the rituals we need to stop in order to break ourselves out of objectifying mindsets most interesting. 

Civil Eats takes a look at a new study that suggests our tried-and-true belief that a calorie is a calorie might not be so true after all:
The most compelling part of this study is that it calls into question the long-held belief in the scientific and medical communities that all calories are created equal. This is a message the food industry has also seized on since it means they can continue to pump out ultra processed nutritionally void foods and tell Americans to “eat them in moderation.” If all calories are created equal, the food industry says, then there are no bad foods.
Sarah Robles is an Olympic weightlifter who beats everyone in her class--women and men. She hardly has any endorsements, however. Does this point to a sexist culture that believes only women with bikini-ready physiques should count as "athletes."

The Alpha Parent looks at the pros and cons of different child spacing decisions.

Magic Mike has been causing a stir. Sociological Images has a post on how this new objectification of men is really about the same as the old objectification of women. Meanwhile, Feministing has an article on how the movie is fun, even if it has some problematic elements.


  1. I'm curious about Sarah Robles and sponsorships! I don't know much about how those work, but I would be curious to see whether she has an agent working on her behalf, or who/how she has approached potential sponsorships. I would think that some smart companies would jump on this opportunity, but it has to be pitched right. (That's my PR voice speaking.)

    That being said, it is sad that they aren't coming out of the woodwork the way they are for other athletes with different body types. She shouldn't have to go seeking them if she has achieved that level of success. (That's my feminist voice speaking.)

    1. Also the Daniel Tosh thing is really interesting to me in that there are multiple stories of what happened, and most comics (including him, by me prior to this) are celebrated for crossing the line for the sake of good social commentary. It's interesting that rape is what crosses the line in a bad way. Sometimes I think that's right (I personally am not comfortable with anyone making jokes about it, ever), but then sometimes I realize that I applaud professional comics for making jokes about tough topics for social commentary's sake and freedom of speech, and I wonder if letting rape remain the last frontier is adding more power to that word and stigma.

      Just as I have never enjoyed dead baby jokes, I will never enjoy rape jokes. But it makes me wonder why an offhand comment about the idea of joking about rape causes this kind of PR blitz and people joking about dead babies lasted for years. (YEARS!) I haven't really formed an opinion on this one, but it's an interesting day for comedy.

    2. I agree that drawing lines saying we can NEVER tell a rape joke could actually add power to rape as a concept and the stigma surrounding it (including further alienating victims through shame and making it less likely that they'll report). I don't think that it should be off-limits as a topic for jokes (though, like you, I doubt I'll ever find them funny).

      I do think that Tosh's "joke" was particularly awful, though, because it wasn't really doing much to push a larger agenda, as is needed for social commentary. Also, when he called for his audience heckler to be raped by five guys . . . well, I just don't see much humor in that at all. I thought this article did a pretty good job of talking about some of these nuances: "3 Points About Rape Jokes that People Seem to be Ignoring".

  2. Definitely a smart, succinct post that helped me wrap my brain around this. Good find, thanks for sharing!