- Dear James Delingpole: You Are The Problem – Meadows takes on some disgusting columnist who wrote a blindingly sexist article for a UK newspaper about gendered toy marketing. His ignorance is especially troubling in light of this BBC article reporting that the toys children play with correlates with career choices later in life.
What you’re failing to grasp here, Mr Delingpole, is that nobody wants to deny little girls their princesses, any more than we want to deny little boys their chemistry sets. What we want is to give children the option of choosing what suits them without being told it’s only meant for children of a different gender: to say that fairies and knights and Lego and trucks and dolls can be for ANYONE. You, however, quite categorically are denying children”the kind of toys they most want” – by refusing to allow the possibility of girls who like dinosaurs, as I did growing up, or boys who like Strawberry Shortcake, as some of my male friends did. By concerning yourself with only a majority of children whose interests are defined as constituting such by toy companies with a vested financial interest in not changing anything, you are making it harder, if not impossible, for all children to enjoy the toys they want to play with. For God’s sake, get it into your head: the only people “forcing” children to do anything are the ones who come along yelling about how it’s wrong for boys to have dolls while simultaneously kicking the Lego away from their daughters’ outstretched fingers.
- On Gay Male Privilege – It’s an imperfect article, as the author doesn’t seem aware of intersectionality and seems to think awareness makes male privilege go away, but it’s a great counterpoint to any argument that misogyny and objectification of women is the sole province of straight men.
I used to have a best friend of over 20 years who had taken to calling his closest girlfriends the b-word and that c-word regularly. He had taken to screaming at them and insulting their bodies. When prodded about his disrespect, he’d dismiss it as humor. “God, can’t you take a joke?” would be one of his favorite refrains. I say, “I used to,” because sometimes you have to draw a line about who you keep in your life and who you don’t. I couldn’t stand to be around this kind of language any longer. Because as gay men, we actually have to find ways to empathize with our female friends, not use them as props to boost our own self-worth. It turns out even gay men objectify women–but dismiss such thoughts on the basis of their sexual orientation. Guys, no. “But, I’m gay!” can’t be your excuse for anything, not in a world where entire industries now make concerted efforts to court our demographics.
- The Same Loves: White people win again at the Grammys. – The article about Macklemore’s self-congratulatory performance of allyship and self-aggrandizing “apology” to Kendrick Lamar that I wanted to post was behind a paywall. This one pulls its punches, but it will have to do.
The foremost complaint about “Same Love” is that it’s more concerned about affirming how terrific straight people are to be tolerant than about understanding gay experience. Usually I find that an unfairly harsh reading of a song of solidarity that can provide an entry to the issue for young Macklemore fans. But in the self-congratulatory atmosphere of the Grammys, with the weddings of 68 people reduced to liberal-kitsch window-dressing and Ryan Lewis at one moment physically pushing Latifah out of the way of Madonna’s entrance (I guess it’s white ladies first?)—well, it was hard not to see the critics’ point.
- March of the Food Snobs – I think we all know someone who’s been bit by the Paleo/Raw Food/Macrobiotic/Locavore bug who could benefit from reading this article.
People get very passionate about food. This is understandable, because when it’s good it can provide valuable nutrients to our body as well as cherished pleasure to our palates. But passion can become zeal and, before you know it, people are telling others how to eat. They are often well-meaning, when they evangelise about how easy it is to cut out gluten or become vegan, or how evil supermarkets or plastic packaging are, but they do not take into account the reality of many people’s lives.
- YoNovelJokes: Thrilla in Manilla – Two authors I’ve never heard of had some fun on Twitter exchanging insults “yo mama” style, and the Storify is kind of amusing.
.@adammansbach Your books so white straight and male, the NYTimes declared it The Best Book Of Year in January.
— Mat Johnson (@mat_johnson) January 25, 2014
.@mat_johnson Your novel’s female characters are so laughably bad, Philip Roth called to congratulate you.
— Adam Mansbach (@adammansbach) January 25, 2014