Femmostroppo Reader – November 24, 2009

Items of interest found recently in my RSS feed. What did I miss? Please share what you've been reading (and writing!) in the comments.

  • On Language, Again
  • – “There are a couple of themes which seem to come up over and over again in the comment threads on posts in the Ableist Word Profile series, and I’d like to break them down a bit, because I would rather not see them come up in the future. And, for those of you who are trying to get people in your own lives to modify their language usage, deconstructions of these arguments may be helpful.

    * “I don’t use this word this way, so it’s not bad.”
    * “You can’t tell me what language I can and can’t use.”
    * “But it’s not used in that sense anymore, so it’s ok.”/”You’re focusing too much on the origins of the word, not the modern usage.”
    * “I’ve never heard this word used this way.”/”In another language, this word doesn’t mean this.”
    * “Are you telling me that I’m lacking in intelligence because I didn’t know about the origins of this word?”
    * “My friend with a disability uses this word, so it’s ok.”
    * “I don’t agree that this word is ableist.”
    * “The feelings of people with disabilities and advocates are not as important as my right to use this word.”
    * “The alternatives you suggest just aren’t as strong.””

  • On living with pain and taking care of one’s self
  • – “Living with an invisible disability can be exhausting – not only because chronic, searing pain is energy-draining (in my case), but because it leaves behind no evidence. Communicating with others about my pain often leaves me feeling misunderstood and isolated. Sometimes I want to wear tops that reveal my scar all the time, in order to silently “prove” there’s a real reason I just want to lie down, can’t carry that ten pound box, or don’t want to stay out all night partying. I cannot shake the feeling that other people doubt me or believe I use chronic pain as an excuse to get out of doing certain things.”

  • Another feminist defense of "Twilight"
  • – “Treating a man just as poorly as women have long been treated in films made for young male audiences is not the kind of gender equality that gives me hope for the future. But thinking critically about why folks become so offended when they see that happening might, in fact, lead to a bit of progress. Why is it so unsettling to see a young male actor dehumanized, but not his female counterpart? Why do we sympathize with a man saying it’s hard to be nothing but a pretty face, but vilify a woman who says it? Whether or not you can answer those questions, if you can at least spot the difference, you are obliged to do one of two things. In Doyle’s words: “Be less weirded out by the fact that ladies are getting all freaky about Robert Pattinson. Or be MORE weirded out by the dudes getting all het up about various lady movie stars.””

  • So Easy, Only A Mom Can Do It!
  • – “…despite a pre-seasoned, pre-bagged chicken being so easy and idiot-proof–as the male Purdue spokesfigure demonstrates–no one else in the family can cook it but the mother”

  • Adam Lambert Brings His Sexuality To The AMA’s
  • – “What did Adam do on that stage that we do not see nightly in prime time? Somehow simulated sex acts between the opposite sex is not problematic but a little crotch grinding and a kiss is enough to set people right off, if it involves a gay man.”

  • Insurance Company Revokes Depressed Woman’s Benefits Over Facebook Photos
  • – “Most of the times I have been depressed, I have been able to smile, under certain circumstances. I have been able to enjoy myself, laugh, and have fun, when my mental state and the situation are right. I’ve also learned that I can be really, really good at putting on a happy face and pretending that I’m not depressed for the benefit of other people, even if I’m particularly unwell — indeed, I’ve learned that doing as much is expected of me.”

  • Monday Blogaround
  • – A particular awesome set of links, with special thanks for introducing me to MaryAnn

  • News only earth-shattering to Papa Ratzi: study shows sexual orientation no predictor of abuse
  • – “Karen Terry, a John Jay researcher, said it was important to distinguish between sexual identity and behavior, and to look at who the offender had access to when seeking victims.”

  • How a 10-year-old gets tased because she won’t take a shower
  • – And family values icon James Dobson beats a dog that didn’t want to go to bed when he could have just picked it up and moved it – because he gets off on abuse.

  • Fundamental Conflict Between Rape As Crime Second Only To Murder And Proceeding When Other Person's Willingness Not Certain
  • – “When people truly believe that rape is horrific then guessing that proceeding won’t be rape will be seen in the same way as guessing that a gun is unloaded before aiming it at another person’s heart and pulling the trigger.
    Living with a missed opportunity will be better than living with the reality of becoming a rapist. […]This belief doesn’t lock boys and men into fear anymore than understanding the importance of treating every gun as if it is loaded locks people into fear.”

Disclaimer/SotBO: a link here is not necessarily an endorsement of all opinions of the post author(s) either in the particular post or of their writing in general.

Categories: linkfest

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5 replies

  1. I don’t understand how that article is a “feminist defence of Twilight”. It’s a reasonable discussion of the ways in which people adore movie stars, and about the ways in which that phenomenon is gendered. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Twilight texts themselves, and the feminist critiques of them.
    Kate alludes briefly to this in the opening, but the power of a headline is strong. (Having said that, I’m guessing she doesn’t write her own headlines at Salon?)

    • I agree, the article is more a feminist analysis of Twilight fandom, and I guess some sort of defence against various attacks on the character and intellect of Twilight fans by noting that it’s no different from the “normal” male response to objectified female action movie heroines, rather than a defence of either the text or the film of Twilight qua Twilight.

  2. “Feminist defence” as it pertains to Twilight usually seems to mean “why it’s actually a GOOD thing for feminism that this is so successful, when our first, entirely understandable instincts are that it’s a DISASTER.”

    • I see your point, @orlando, but I can’t entirely resist that touch of schadenfreude as I consider the cognitive dissonance currently afflicting those who are ideologically committed to the idea that market forces can never be wrong yet are simultaneously squicked at teh wrongness that is teh wimminz expressing unapologetic sexual desire.

  3. Oh, I’m with you there, no question.

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