Monday, November 19, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links)

Here's the round-up of what the internet has brought me that made me smile, cry in frustration, and think. What have you been reading?

The Good

As my own writings have demonstrated, I spend a lot of time thinking about zombies and social structures. That's why I really loved this Key and Peele "Suburban Zombies" skit that looks at what happens when zombies retain a little too much of their former selves. 

Did you see Nancy Pelosi respond to ridiculous questions about whether she should step aside to make room for younger women? You should:

Speaking of strong women giving out good advice, you should also look at Sonia Sotomayor helping Sesame Street's Abby pick a career.

This Offbeat Mama post on why one mother has started telling her daughter's that she's beautiful was so inspiring it made me tear up:
I don't want my girls to be children who are perfect and then, when they start to feel like women, they remember how I thought of myself as ugly and so they will be ugly too. They will get older and their breasts will lose their shape and they will hate their bodies, because that's what women do. That's what mommy did. I want them to become women who remember me modeling impossible beauty. Modeling beauty in the face of a mean world, a scary world, a world where we don't know what to make of ourselves.
Aimee Davis' story on xoJane about dropping out of high school and getting married at 17 reminded me that the world hardly ever fits so neatly into the narrow lenses we like to view it through.

Finally, I'm enjoying this picture:

The Bad

Hoyden about Town has a great post about a comedy club that opened up a "debate" over rape jokes that ended with heckling and cries of censorship when they were forced to listen to someone else's opinion. Apparently, "freedom to express ourselves" only goes for people who want to joke about rape, not people who want to talk about the pain that causes. 

Virgina lowers its educational outcomes to match the expectations of its students based on race. As Feministing writes:
Because systematizing racism, particularly when it comes to the learning potential and achievement of America’s youth, is the pragmatic thing to do.

The Curious

This xoJane post about women's disturbing sexual fantasies had some interesting conversation in the comments about whether telling women that their disturbing sexual fantasies are disturbing is productive or not (the consensus seems to be not).

Motherlode has a post on how New Hampshire's congressional delegation is now made up entirely of mothers.

This other xoJane post takes a look at the financial pros and cons of different potential spacing between children, which left me with the primary conclusion that kids are expensive no matter what you do!

The Alpha Parent has a post about a breastfeeding storage container ad campaign that features men breastfeeding. I thought her reflection was interesting:
Consider the target audience – pumping mothers - and the rationale behind the ads starts to fall into place. It would appear that the aim is to equate the act of nursing with the act of giving expressed breastmilk (i.e. giving breastmilk via the bottle is on par with giving it via the breast). So by expressing your milk and storing it in these freezer bags, your husband/dad/brother can then ‘breastfeed’ for you.
This Salon article about Kindle guilt hit pretty close to home for me, someone who loves books and bookstores but recently broke down and bought a Kindle (that I've already read three books on). Am I ruining the world? Or just giving in once I've been defeated?

That's what I've been reading. How about you?


  1. just LOVED that Sesame Street clip. how many times did i tell my daughter "being a princess isn't a JOB." wish i'd had some pop culture to back me up.

    also, i hadn't seen the pelosi clip either. thanks for sharing. how great that she just laughed at him!

    1. And I love that Pelosi points to the skills that she gained as a mother that she carried over into the workforce. It was subtle moment, but I think that her parallel between those skill sets is something that we need to hear a lot more.

  2. I totally thought of you when I saw that Key and Peele skit.

    However, I totally disagree with Sonia Sotomayor saying being a princess isn't a real job. Granted, it isn't a job you can apply for and get based on your credentials, but it is a real full-time job for the people in those roles (they mainly do charity work). And you should watch Colbert's response to it. Only 3 American women in history have been supreme court justices while 8 have married kings and princes. The odds are far more in favor of Abby's dream than Sonja's.

    1. Well, but she says that a career is "something that you train and prepare for." So, are we saying that little girls should "train and prepare for" becoming princesses by marrying kings and princes? Aren't we then basically saying that they're "training" to attract a man? Because those women have very little agency in becoming a princess. They have to get the right man to marry them, and that means that then men who choose (or choose not to) marry them have all of the power in determining whether their "career" happens or not.

      While there's probably a parallel in that Presidents appoint Supreme Court justices and all of our Presidents have been men, Sotomayor had a career before she was appointed to the Supreme Court, and it was definitely one she trained and prepared for.

      Also, I agree with you that there is a lot of work involved for the people who are in the roles of royalty, but I'm not sure that it's a "job." Just like I have a problem with people calling motherhood a job, just because something involves work doesn't make it a career.