Links: Tuesday, April 15th

April 15, 2014 Links 1

A German shepherd dog lies on its side on a black leather sofa. A fluffy gray cat stands on the plastic cone on the dog's head.Definition of adding insult to injury…

  • Can we talk about black women in stock photos? – Courtney Milan searches stock photo sites for women in wedding dresses that she can run through Photoshop for her book covers. When she went looking for a picture of a black woman, the results were disturbing.

    Of course, there is some overlap between these categories. Some photos show up in both the “African American” and the “Black” ethnicity tag. And as you might imagine, some photos are tagged as all possible asian ethnicities. But you can see what I’m driving at. 107,151 photos of brides on shutterstock, and less than 723 of them are of black women. That’s 0.6% of all the available photos, and that percentage looks even worse when you remember that shutterstock is a global site, and many of the contributors are not from the US.

    That disproportion is troubling.

  • on content warnings & courtesy – Alexis Hall weighs in on the content warning discussion. I think the XKCD comic he used in his post hits the nail on the head.

    This is approximately equivalent to assuming that including lists of ingredients on food involves treating consumers as whiny, fussy, picky eaters. There are many good reasons you might want to know what’s inside something you’re purchasing, especially if you’re vegan or allergic to peanuts. Surely, the basis of a free market, the basis of adult life and, indeed, the basis of all professional relationships is clear communication and informed choices. Ms Gormley seems to believe that readers somehow have to be tricked into reading challenging literature, that if you make the mistake of telling people in advance that your books contains controversial content they will be too pathetic to try and read them, no matter how horizon-broadening they might be. I can’t quite see how this is more respectful than the alternative.

  • Supreme Court recognizes transgenders as ‘third gender’ – India is a fascinating place. Homosexuality is illegal but they just established an official third gender for non-binary trans people. Hijras sound a bit like the indigenous North Americans’ “two-spirit” concept. So much for the West being some sort of enlightened visionary, eh?

    NEW DELHI: In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Tuesday created the “third gender” status for hijras or transgenders. Earlier, they were forced to write male or female against their gender.

    The SC asked the Centre to treat transgender as socially and economically backward.

    The apex court said that transgenders will be allowed admission in educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category.

    The SC said absence of law recognizing hijras as third gender could not be continued as a ground to discriminate them in availing equal opportunities in education and employment.

  • What I Learned From Tweeting With A Black Woman’s Avatar For #RaceSwapExp – White, male freelance writer Christopher Carbone spent a week tweeting with Feminista Jones’ picture as his avatar and talks about the drastic uptick in hateful abuse sent his way.

    For me, #RaceSwapExp was eye-opening because it allowed me, for one week, to experience a little bit of what black women and women of color deal with 24/7/365 in all online spaces: endless trolling, racist and misogynistic hate, tactics that silence and derail, demeaning assaults on their humanity. Even so, no matter what happened to me, it was just an experiment. I was (and am) privileged—I knew that in a few days I could go back to the safety of my regular avi. For the brilliant women of color that I follow, that’s not an option. If nothing else, this experience has given a new urgency to my personal resolve: I will work to dismantle white supremacy, decenter whiteness and center the voices of black people in my work and my life.

  • Progressive? Pay your interns. – Oh, this should be embarrassing for the listed organizations. It’s bad enough to have unpaid interns at all, to have them at a for-profit working for labor rights or equality makes for terrible optics.

    When unpaid internships were a labor innovation, more than two decades ago, ignorance of their unhealthy defects might have been permissible. In 2014, it’s common knowledge that unpaid internships violate the commitments that many—specifically liberals and progressives—espouse on a daily basis. They exclude low-income youth, entrench existing systems of wealth, disproportionately affect women, lack protections against discrimination and sexual harassment, are prone to nepotism (and again), and of course, fail to pay a living wage. The contradiction between liberal values and unpaid internships, if not clear on face value, has already been spelled out extensively by the left and, recently, the right. At Vice, Charles Davis excoriated liberal media outlets for the practice; at Salon Michael Lind tore down the White House’s hypocrisy; at The Atlantic I denounced the exploitation common in the Senate. As the minimum-wage debate returns, conservative outlets like Fox, the Washington Free Beacon and old Fred Thompson have found the irony of pro-minimum-wage-Dems and their unpaid interns to be useful political fodder. ProPublica, the non-partisan investigative journalism outfit, is running a whole project on the intern economy. At this point, it’s certainly no secret that (1) unpaid internships contradict liberal values, and (2) if you’re an employer, you’re at risk of getting called out.

  • 50 Shades of Grey or Contemporary Christian Music Lyrics? A Quiz – I absolutely couldn’t pick any of the answers. This quiz is hilarious.

    Fact is, my peers and I often thought it was funny that many Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) songs appeared to be sexy romance songs where the “you” was just capitalized so it suddenly was about Jesus rather than a hot piece of man-flesh. And some CCM bands — Skillet, most of all — have lyrics that are so spiritually kinky, even actual kinksters might blush.

    So to honor this humorous memory of CCM’s steamy lyricism, I decided to create a quiz where you must identify whether certain phrases are lines from the bestselling erotic BDSM novel 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James or lyrics from Contemporary Christian Music songs. So pull out a pen and paper and keep track of your answers; an answer key is provided after the quiz.

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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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One Response to “Links: Tuesday, April 15th”

  1. Roslyn Holcomb

    Welcome to my world Courtney Milan. Finding a stock photo of a black woman doing ANYTHING remotely romantic is damned near impossible. And interracial? Never. I am so grateful for taria Reid for (FINALLY!) giving us some beautiful pictures of black women.