Links: Thursday, March 20th

March 20, 2014 Links 3

An elderly Native American couple sits outside in rural scrubland, holding hands. She wears a long black and white patterned skirt with a black shirt. He wears jeans, a button-down brown shirt, a beaded turquoise necklace and a white cowboy hat.These Photos Are Challenging Notions of What an American Indian Really Looks Like

  • You Don’t Complete Me – I don’t know what to make of this post, honestly. While I agree that it’s strange to tell a couple that they combine to make one awesome person, I don’t agree that saying your partner completes you erases your individuality. I also don’t think that considering your spouse your other half means that single people must be incomplete. It’s an odd post.

    We are separate people with individual identities. And, most importantly, with individual boundaries.

    The idea that a couple (or any number of partners in a romantic entanglement) complete each other, in some way forming one whole entity, is fundamentally incompatible with the recognition of individual boundaries. It subverts consent. It elides that one’s own preferences might be different, and even contrary to, another person’s preferences.

  • 10 Warning Signs for POC in Interracial Relationships – I thought this list was a good reminder for reviewers and writers of interracial romance to take a good look at what stereotypes or other dynamics might be at work in the relationship.

    1. If your significant other claims to, or is known to “have a thing” for men/women of your race.
    This is called fetishism, which generally consists of sexual/physical attraction based on stereotypes. For example: the “exotic” Asian/African women stereotype, the sexually potent Black male stereotype… If you’re with someone who just is “into” people of your culture, try asking them why.

  • Young, Black and Feminist – The Root published a list of young black feminists and a quick summary of the work they do. For all the crappy thinkpieces on “lazy, entitled” Millenials, young activists and writers are out there on social media getting stuff done.

    A growing collective of young black feminists is helping to give voice to communities that have long gone unheard and underrepresented. Social media platforms such as Twitter have given this new generation of activists a place to build community, to debate gender and sexual politics, and to use as a springboard for a career. Here’s a list of young black feminists who are making a difference.

  • The Gentrification of Online Safe Spaces. – This reaction piece is mostly a response to the @steenfox/Buzzfeed debacle last week, but the points it makes about creating online communities in spaces you don’t control is broadly applicable. (Also: Gina Torres gif. <3)

    It’s easy for those who do not use the Internet (or those who use it with more strategic and sterile intent) to mock this. Always, the immediate aftermath in the face of an online community’s outcry is: Why didn’t you read the fine print? Your safe space was merely leased, never owned. Why did you entrust so much of yourself to it?

    These questions are as central to defining ourselves as they are to nailing down why we use the Internet, despite how susceptible it leaves us to ill-treatment.

  • Media Isn’t Baseball: Diversity Problems in the Clubhouse – Writer Julia Carrie Wong tackles Nate Silver’s new media project Five Thirty Eight and the larger trend of over-representing the voices of white men in the media.

    Over the next two weeks, I plan to look more deeply into the question of representation in the media. I hope to bring you interviews with some of these new media moguls, an appraisal of diversity initiatives being undertaken by some media outlets, a discussion about how money plays into all of this, and looks at how the media are messing up the stories of the 68 percent. We need to figure out how to bring about a true revolution in our media, because when a white man with his own media venture can get away with describing his clubhouse by saying, “We’re outsiders, basically,” the guy we trust to explain the data is just not reading the numbers right.

  • To the shitstain who made a woman cry on the T – w4m – 30 (Stony Brook T Station) – Apparently some guy on the Orange Line in Boston told a complete stranger to have some self-respect and lose some weight, causing the woman to start sobbing. An onlooker thought that was unnecessary and took to Craigslist to say exactly what she thought of him.

    You: blond, slicked hair, hipsterish. You manage to be both tasteless and sanctimonious, and something tells me you brag about loving Bukowski even though you only made it 80 pages deep into Women. You definitely think you’re smarter than everyone, and you love reflective surfaces. You work in design/tech/oh wait, who cares, you don’t fucking matter. You treat women like garbage, but don’t worry—we hate you. You have a stank on you, and a lot of us can smell it…truly a dookiestain made flesh. You don’t have an original thought under that stupid haircut. You are a straight up fucking bully, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Bullies are the absolute worst.

    Any of my fellow feminist vigilantes who might be reading this: keep an eye out for a white dude, around age 30, who looks like a wacker version of Macklemore, if that’s possible. Make sure you remind him of his insignificance.

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Ridley

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.

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3 Responses to “Links: Thursday, March 20th”

  1. Liz Mc2

    Interesting links as usual! You often find great images.

    Like you I have mixed feelings about the “you complete me” post. It’s not a phrase I use or especially care for (I associate it with Dr. Evil and Mini Me from Austin Powers, so, you know, not romantic). I don’t think it’s good for one person’s identity to be subsumed in a relationship, and of course that one is traditionally, even legally, the woman in heterosexual marriage.

    But on the other hand, I don’t hear phrases like “two becoming one” as indicating a loss of boundaries or identity. I wonder how much of this has to do with someone’s religious beliefs or religious background, because that is a Biblical phrase and for me it is linked to the Trinity and the paradox of distinct beings who are also one. I don’t try to believe in this literally, but it is meaningful to me as symbol/metaphor. So I don’t hear these terms as indicating erasure of boundaries or identity or as me not being a whole person outside of my romantic relationship. They might be problematic to some people and/or some contexts, but mean something different to others.

    This reminds me of the tweets we were discussing yesterday saying “love is X and I feel sorry for people who don’t see/experience it as X.” Sometimes people universalize from their own experience, feelings, or desires in ways that I find judgmental and making a lot of assumptions about other people. I have, of course, been guilty of this myself, but I’m trying to be more aware of it.

    I’m fine with her not liking or using those expressions because to her they mean subsumption/lack of boundaries, but they don’t necessarily mean that to others who do like them.

  2. Ridley

    @Liz Mc2: Right. My BFF is single and is happy that way. Another friend is married and wants nothing to do with the “married to my best friend” line, as she’s closest with her friends. And I consider my husband my other half and my closest friend.

    I think we’re all in the kinds of situations/relationships that suit us. McEwan’s piece seemed to argue that a “you complete me” or “he’s my other half” sort of partnership was inferior and unhealthy. Maybe I’m taking it personally, but it didn’t sit well with me.

  3. Ros

    @Liz Mc2: Yes! I had exactly the same thoughts about how you can be one entity but still two distinct persons but, duh, did not make the trinitarian connection. Also, I’ve never really associated ‘You complete me’ (which for me is Jerry Maguire, not Austin Powers) with the idea of two becoming one. It seems to me to be expressing something a bit different – more about how we can become more ourselves when we are in relationship than we are on our own. We become ‘complete’ because we are loving someone else, not because we are merged with someone else. And on a practical level, relationships often do work when each person brings different, complementary strengths to it.