Monday, February 4, 2013

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

Here's what I've been reading this week that made me smile (The Good), cry (The Bad), and think.

The Good

Soda tabs to organize your closet? Dustpans to fill buckets that don't fit in the sink? These life hacks are pretty helpful. 

I miss Glenn Beck. Well, really, I miss Jon Stewart's commentary on Glenn Beck, but you have to have the original in order to have the criticism, which is why I'm glad to see that Glenn Beck has rolled out the red carpet to surreal-ville with his "Independence, USA," a glorified gated community that Jon Stewart points out is basically a Marxist fantasy world that goes against basically every single principle Beck claims to be standing for. Watch it. 

Two pieces on body acceptance caught my attention this week. Heidi Loscar's "I'm Fat" does an excellent job of talking about why health can't be about a number on the scale:
I am a healthy person. I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I do not consider myself unhealthy -- nor am I ashamed. I do yoga every day, and can twist myself into the lotus position. I have been a vegetarian for over three years. Every day, I eat my protein, fruits, and veggies. I often walk -- every one does in New York. Public transportation can only take you so far. I can't run a marathon, but I have faith in my body to last as long as I do. 
This has not always been the case. My body and I have battled for a long time. No matter what I do, I have always had the same shape. And no one believes that you have an eating disorder when you're overweight. By changing my habits to healthier ones for myself, and not for my weight, I have come to a healthy sense of peace.
Louis Hung has an xoJane piece about hoarding her jeans and reflecting on how their different sizes correlate to different parts of her life. She ends with discussing how she's trying to come to terms with her much smaller frame after associating her curves with womanliness.

This Offbeat Families post is an honest look at the juggles of love and life as one woman takes a vacation in her own city to reconnect with her wife.

Maybe you'll find it odd that I'm putting this NPR piece about the formulas scientists have uncovered that determine when everything will die under "The Good," but it makes me smile to think that there's some underlying pattern that makes it all make sense:
Here's the surprise: There is a mathematical formula which says if you tell me how big something is, I can tell you — with some variation, but not a lot — how long it will live. This doesn't apply to individuals, only to groups, to species. The formula is a simple quarter-power exercise: You take the mass of a plant or an animal, and its metabolic rate is equal to its mass taken to the three-fourths power. I'll explain how this works down below, but the point is, this rule seems to govern all life.
Finally, I can't decide which cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" I like better. What do you think?

The Bad

Reel Girl has an excellent summary of the trope of clothed men and naked women, highlighting how it's recently showed up on the cover of Nick Cave's new album. 

The Texas GOP hates women having control over their own reproductive health that they want to offer tax breaks to people to take it away. 

A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss takes a closer look at the partnership between the NAACP and Coca-Cola

The Curious

Margie Omera asks if gun control will be the next women's issue

Over at blue milk there's an interesting discussion surrounding the way that equal marriages don't always translate into equal parenting once a baby arrives. Be sure to check out the comments. 

Ashley over at Small Strokes Fell Big Oaks has a post about not being ready for a baby and how some of the people around her just don't seem willing to accept that:
Honestly, I’ve had these conversations in person so many times, I wasn’t surprised to read a similar sentiment on Role/Reboot, one of my favorite websites. In fact, I have friends and people I barely even know who take every opportunity in the conversation (and sometimes make their own opportunities) to ask me when I’m going to get pregnant, probably like Janine Kovac does to her friend, “Doris.” When this happens, I just smile and come up with another reason I hope will end that thread of conversation and mentally take note of how many times I’ve been asked this very question. My husband and I joke that, for every time someone asks us when we’re having kids, we add on another month. At this rate, we won’t even start trying until June of 2026.
This post at Slacktivist is chock-full of excellent observations about how we can simultaneously hold fast to ideas that result in discrimination without necessarily discriminating against the people it impacts ourselves . . . and then it points out just how little that matters in practice:
Racial animus may play a role in that tribal anxiety, for some. And I suspect that for many who harbor such feelings of racial animus, “school prayer” is considered a safer, more acceptable-seeming way of expressing their objection to desegregation. But explicit, visceral racial animus is not necessary for such an objection any more than state Sen. Dennis Kruse needed to be a raging anti-Semite to introduce legislation allowing Indiana schools to mandate the recitation of the Christian Lord’s prayer.
Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss has another great post on the (undeserved) bad rep soul food gets when it comes to issues of health and weight.

Lisa Wade's post on Sociological Images about men and women's primary preferences shows us that we'd all rather be equals. But things don't always go as planned, and it's the fallback positions that really differ (and perhaps matter more).

That's what I've been reading this week. What about you? 


  1. I'm jumping back in the blogging pool after a month break.You have given me enough to read to get my blood and brain moving again. ((P.S. I'm closing down the How I Learned to Wear a Dress for the new page is on that FB page)

  2. I've been wondering where you've been! I'm glad to hear you're coming back, and I'll definitely check out the new page.

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