Links: Thursday, January 2nd

January 2, 2014 Links 4

An illustrated postcard from the USSR with the calendar showing January 1st.Soviet Postcards – If you like mid-century illustration, this site has some great stuff.

  • All the Pretty Women – Foz Meadows takes on our obsession with beautiful women who don’t know they’re beautiful and how incredibly limiting it is for portrayals of women.

    And so, in turn, we impose these anxieties on our female characters, writing endless romance heroines – and, increasingly, YA heroines – who think they’re plain or ugly despite the legions of suitors telling them otherwise, because god forbid young women love themselves first. Our female villains, by contrast, are sexual, sensual, overtly fashion-obsessed (unlike the virtuous plain janes and tomboys who just so happen to look stunning when, conveniently, they’re repeatedly forced against their will to wear evening gowns) and, because they’re aware of their beauty, either out to use it for their own gain or else determined to rub it in the faces of uglier women. Over and over and over again, we teach girls that beauty matters most of everything in the world, but that they’re never allowed to be proud of it, or to think of themselves as beautiful until or unless they’re told by other people, usually men, that they are – and even then, they should just smile shyly and get on with killing themselves to fit into the same clothes at age twenty-eight that they wore at eighteen, because ageing is toxic to beauty. And if they happen to fall outside the narrow, established model of “beauty” – if they’re something other than thin, white, blonde and busty? Then they don’t get made into maquettes, dolls OR action figures, because who wants to buy a statuette of an ugly woman? I mean, a gelatinous tentacle-brain living in the hollowed-out chest cavity of a musclebound android gimp is one thing, but a plump brown woman? No dice, bucko.

  • Not A Beautiful Protagonist – Meadows linked to this in her post, but I wanted everyone to see it, because it’s perfect. The quotes were all taken from published books.

    “She was not a beautiful woman but something about her was. There were no straight lines about her. The features of her face were crooked. Her eyes were large, one slightly larger than the other, and she would fix them on the man’s, quietly, whenever they happened to meet.”

    “She was not a beautiful woman, but there was an indescribable something about her entire face and figure that was strangely attractive.”

    She was not beautiful, but her hair and eyes and smile and face were beautiful. Also her body. That was beautiful, too. Just not her, somehow.

  • Ask Culture and Guess Culture – I’ve seen something like this before, but this post explains the concept perfectly. It’s come up for me in discussions about the limitations of “No Means No,” since many of us are strongly conditioned to see saying no as the height of rudeness.

    In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it’s OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an answer. This is Ask Culture.

    In Guess Culture, you avoid putting a request into words unless you’re pretty sure the answer will be yes. Guess Culture depends on a tight net of shared expectations. A key skill is putting out delicate feelers. If you do this with enough subtlety, you won’t even have to make the request directly; you’ll get an offer. Even then, the offer may be genuine or pro forma; it takes yet more skill and delicacy to discern whether you should accept.

  • Announcing the 2014 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event – Author and blogger KatieBabs is running her annual lesbian fiction event starting this Sunday. Looks like lots of authors – some I’ve heard of, some I haven’t – will be participating.

    For the past 2 years, I’ve hosted the Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event on my blog. The reason I started this was because of the belief that no one is reading lesbian literature or that lesbian literature isn’t profitable. As an author who writes lesbian fiction, mainly romance, I can say that’s a big fallacy, and one that annoys me. I’m an author who writes for many genres, both straight and LGBT. The reason I write mainly lesbian romance is because it’s as profitable as my straight titles, if not more. This year I published one novella and four full length titles. Three of these were lesbian romance. Two of which I published this summer have made me money, and not just pennies, so there is an interest for lesbian fiction.

    I’ve been published since 2010 and have seen a major upswing in the amount of lesbian fiction being published. More epublishers are publishing lesbian fiction, and mainly romance. But I do find that the “L” of LGBT is still getting shafted in some ways whenever LGBT is mentioned. That’s why I wanted to have an event for the sole purpose to recognize lesbian fiction and those who support it from authors, publishers and bloggers.

  • We kissed at midnight then you ran away! – w4m – 25 (Downtown) – If a romance author turned this into a meet cute, I would read the fuck out of that book.

    You – 5’8 scruffy, glasses, wearing a blue hoodie outside the Vid and I asked you for a lighter. You lit my cigarette and we talked about our wishes for the new year. We heard the countdown starting and decided to stay outside. I started to cry and you kissed me, and then we started to make out. After a minute I felt something warm and realised that you pissed yourself. I pushed you away and that’s when you ran but I wish you had stayed. You peed on me but it’s OK! I just want to know who you are! Please reply and when you do tell me why I started crying so I know it’s you – if you remember.

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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: Thursday, January 2nd”

  1. NTE

    I can’t imagine writing that kind of ad, even if it were true. It’s like the story you never tell anyone, except your very best friend, who you KNOW won’t spill.

  2. Isobel Carr

    I can’t stop laughing. “You pissed yourself” is a new one. “You puked on my shoes” however, been there/done that.

  3. Ridley

    @Isobel Carr: Oh yes. I once kissed a guy in a parking lot then immediately puked on both of our shoes. Classy as fuck.