Friday, September 7, 2012

Links from the Web

Hello readers!

In an effort to get back to our regularly-scheduled programming, I bring you a collection of links from the news and the Internet spectrum for your rage and entertainment. Enjoy!

First up is the personal account of a blogger who regularly experiences "street" harassment on the Metro, which she frames with the goal of giving cis-man readers insight into how scary it can be to be a cis-woman sometimes. I think the cyclist story (read it and that'll make sense) would be scary no matter who you are, but I agree with her overall point.

Next is a great article from RiotsNotDiets on body ambivalence and making room for personal experience in fat activism. Why do I love this piece and link it here? Because it's really damn hard to change a worldview overnight. I grew up in a weight-conscious household in the United States, and to this day- in spite of working very hard- I have trouble shedding the sense of self-worth that I attach to my size, my shape, and my numbers on the scale. It's validating to know that the journey away from fat-hating and body-shaming isn't one I'm taking alone.

Jezebel brings us a great breakdown of Cosmo's latest stupidity in the realm of sex advice. This time, Cosmo decided to foray into BDSM, which is at both heartening and facepalm-worthy. Heartening? BDSM is given so much flak in popular (vanilla) culture, where people routinely confuse it with domestic abuse (warning: this makes my blood pressure spike uncontrollably). Facepalm? The advice is piss-poor and could lead to a lot of people getting hurt. If you're actually interested in learning more about BDSM, check around for classes or "coaches" (read: friendly teachers) in your community. Don't rely on the vacuous hypotheses of Cosmo.

For more blood pressure action, check out another Idiot Moment from the GOP, where Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield claimed that you can't contract HIV through heterosexual intercourse. I want to know who these people are and what edition of "Medical Jargon for Dummies" they're reading, because they keep spouting the most incredibly stupid- and easily disproven- statements I've ever heard.

HuffPo, managing to overcome its previous problems with publishing bigoted crap, brings us an interesting take on the whole Kristen Stewart/Robert Pattinson relationship drama. I'm not a fan of either of them- I'm reasonably certain that they could be replaced by sock puppets and the acting would improve- but the author makes an excellent point about our slut-shaming culture and the unhealthy obsession we have with cis-women practicing infidelity. As the author notes,
"Almost no one will blame the much-older guy you cheated with, and it might actually make him more famous andhelp his career. Few will care that he was your boss and in a position of authority or that he may have have taken advantage of your youth and relative inexperience. Everything is your fault, and your life will be threatened over it."
Like I said. Worth a read.

In actual news-news, the FBI released its updated definition of rape in January. I'm disappointed that no one's really talked about this on the news, given that the previous definition meant that "rape" could only refer to forcible penetration of the vagina by a penis (seriously), but better late than never! Spread the word and begin celebration!

And finally, if you haven't had a good laugh at this yet, enjoy the awesome side of the Internet as Amazon reviewers flock to Bic's "For Her" line of pens and mock the hell out of it. As disappointing as it is that some marketing team somewhere came up with this idea and then produced it, public backlash is entirely worth it. Suck it, Bic.

Have a wonderful week, readers, and we'll catch you next time!

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