- Reading fiction and identification with the other – Lohmann is a romance author and a librarian and I liked this post on “presentism” and empathizing with the other.
One of the benefits of reading fiction is that it develops empathy in the reader. As we read and identify with the protagonist, we learn better how to understand another’s point of view. If it’s a person markedly different from us, we learn even more. This development of empathy and understanding of “the other” is one of the reasons we bemoan (and rightly so) that schoolchildren only read books with boy protagonists.
- The disbelieving of women – I don’t think this comes as a surprise to anyone, but I thought it was a good reminder to listen to people and believe what they say.
Earlier this year, two male television hosts from The Netherlands decided to go through simulated labour contractions to have a small inkling of what childbirth might be like. The video, which shows them writhing and screaming in agony, went viral on social media, attracting many comments from men who, it appeared, had just had the realisation that childbirth was indeed rather painful after all. The two Dutch TV hosts are not the only men to have done this. The narrative seems to pan out in a similar manner each time — the men begin their journey happy and intrepid, sometimes even cocky, and end up wracked with pain, expressing a newfound respect for mothers. The audience is delighted, and the videos make their rounds.
- The Sexcalator. – Doesn’t this “sexcalator” perfectly describe the usual sequence of events in a romance novel?
One of the many, many unspoken assumptions out there about sex is that it’s an escalating process. Think about how kids talk about it when they’re starting to experiment–how far did you go? Did you get to second base? Third? Did you go all the way? It implies a system where oral sex is more sex than a handjob, and should be an experience you have later.
The assumption doesn’t really go away when you grow up. It just adds on the idea that you have to stop at an appropriate point on the escalator, or you’ll end up on a slippery slope. …Which sounds like an awesome waterslide to me. But the point is supposed to be that if you go “past” penis-in-vagina intercourse by too much, you’ll have gone “too far” and you might never return.
- My Selfie, Myself – This was making the rounds on Twitter the other day and I liked how it contextualized something I had dismissed as completely unimportant.
But it’s far too simplistic to write off the selfie phenomenon. We are swiftly becoming accustomed to — and perhaps even starting to prefer — online conversations and interactions that revolve around images and photos. They are often more effective at conveying a feeling or reaction than text. Plus, we’ve become more comfortable seeing our faces on-screen, thanks to services like Snapchat, Skype, Google Hangout and FaceTime, and the exhilarating feeling of connectedness that comes from even the briefest video conversation. Receiving a photo of the face of the person you’re talking to brings back the human element of the interaction, which is easily misplaced if the interaction is primarily text-based.
- Do You Care About My Health, or Just Think I’m Gross? Be Honest. – I’m not fat myself, but I loved the bit about not having an obligation to be healthy. It’s amazing how often near strangers will scold me for not doing whatever therapy or diet they think would fix me. Clearly the assumption is that if you’re not trying your hardest to be “normal” like them then you’re some sort of failure.
I don’t have an obligation to be healthy, actually, and I don’t have an obligation to rush to assure you that I’m a ‘good fatty’ with great cholesterol and good scores on other health indicators allegedly related to weight. I don’t have an obligation to tell you that fat isn’t correlated with health because I shouldn’t have to justify the existence of fat people by informing you that you don’t understand how fat bodies work, and you’re not familiar with the latest studies on fatness, morbidity and mortality, health indicators, and social trends
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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.