Links: Wednesday, August 28th

August 28, 2013 Links 4

A white man with long, light brown hair and a full beard has his hair in a feminine, braided updo and white flowers in his beard. The text says
  • Guys With Fancy Lady Hair – Does what it says on the tin.
  • The Role of Feminist Criticism – This post is from months ago, but it’s new to me and does a wonderful job of distilling what the goal of criticism is, or should be.

    In my view, the role of feminist criticism is not to prescribe what you should and should not read, watch, listen to, wear, or otherwise consume. It is not to say which things are “bad” and which are “good,” since, as some detractors have pointed out, everything seems to have flaws. It is not to create some list of 100%-feminist-approved media and boycott everything else.

    Rather, it is to use cultural artifacts as a way to analyze our prevailing norms and values and see how they might be harmful. For instance, in my earlier post, I used the romance genre to show how people are encouraged to maintain abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationships because that’s the “romantic” thing to do.

  • I’m Not Your Pretty Little Lotus Flower #NOTYOURFETISH – While these stories are the women’s own real-life experiences, they reflect attitudes I’ve seen many times in romance novels. The genre really needs to work harder at stemming the urge to refer to people as “exotic” and the like.

    It is patronising and dehumanising, and inextricably bound up with the social power of race and gender. To them, ‘Asian’ is our defining characteristic, in a way that ‘white’ would never be used to define themselves. When the “Yellow Fever’ed men speak to me, they aren’t speaking to me, they’re speaking to their idea of an Asian woman, their fantasy made flesh. They’re speaking to every Asian woman they’ve ever seen in the media, every Asian porn actress they’ve ever leered at on their computer screens. My personality is rendered invisible, obscured by the lenses of racial stereotype.

  • Vulva Rant – This is a Storify of a series of tweets from @DrJaneChi compiling the body conscious comments and attitudes she sees from her patients when she performs gynecological exams. I looked at the archetypal Presents ingenue differently after reading these. (BTW, if you’re not following her, you’re not getting the full value of the internet.)

    I run across this vulva self hatred in little old ladies & 17 year old girls. I run across it when I deliver women’s babies. They believe their vulvas are smelly & dirty & they’re ashamed for me to see – because they like me & don’t want to subject me to that. It’s white ladies, Asians, black women, Latinas. The shame breaks my heart. I want to hug them. But I have 15 min & I’m between their feet.

  • Solidarity Is For Miley Cyrus: The Racial Implications of Her VMA Performance – If you read only one article about Miley Cyrus, make it this one.

    It’s not that we can’t share. It’s that until such time as black people are not ridiculed and debased for the styles and music and lifestyle that they create, live and breathe, hands off. Until such time as black fashion, art and music can become mainstream without having to be passed through a white filter, hands off.

    Until such time as being black is no longer seen as something less than, hands off. That’s it. 

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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.

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4 Responses to “Links: Wednesday, August 28th”

  1. Meoskop

    It’s interesting how much my brain rejected the first link, because it’s hair, big deal. Apparently I hit some gender role line I didn’t know I had when you add the facial hair in. Because Russell Brand in the Drunken
    Bardot never tripped that wire.

  2. willaful

    I sent that link to hub, hoping it will convince him to grow his hair long again. :-)