- Dear School Boards of America: Have a Backbone. Also, Read Books. – I’m sure you’re all going to be quite shocked to hear that school boards rarely read a challenged book before voting to ban it. I know I could hardly believe it.
None of the school board members of Cape Henlopen read Cameron Post, although president Spencer Brittingham boasted that after browsing it, he knew in “less than three minutes” that it wasn’t appropriate. Such a stellar example for children of thinking deeply about important issues! Considering that Pasco dropped Paper Towns the Monday after they received the complaint on a Friday, it seems doubtful that any of them read that one, either.
In Grants Pass, though, a month after the board had banned Part-Time Indian from the 10th grade curriculum, every single board member read the whole thing. And wouldn’t you know, all but one “found the subject matter not nearly as objectionable as they had been led to believe.” They overturned their decision.
- Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With – Confirmation bias and correlation is not causation are the major themes behind this post. Some of the biggest assholes I know were big readers and some of my favorite people haven’t read anything since they were in school.
It’s no surprise that readers are better people. Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference.
They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them. They have seen things you’ll never understand and have experienced deaths of people you’ll never know.
They’ve learned what it’s like to be a woman, and a man. They know what it’s like to watch someone suffer. They are wise beyond their years.
- Peddling Visions of Beauty – I missed this AAR post last week about the narrow definitions of beauty and fashion and how it seems to limit who gets to star in a romance and get an HEA.
That’s a curious thing to realize, because until that day I hadn’t realized exactly how limited my choices were. But unfortunately ready-to-wear fashion (whose trickle-down effect was succinctly detailed in “The Devil Wears Prada”) generally only ever caters to a very specific minority that skews small and skinny, and that offers very limited selections based on completely arbitrary trend-setters. Do retailers and designers actually realize how diverse the population is, and how different our tastes and needs are? “Nude” may be nude-like for a portion of the population, but for another group (like me) nude is, like, you know, just another colour. So I love designers that are normalizing difference and diversity, like the IZ Adaptive line designed solely for seated customers (first in the world, designed by a Canadian), or Louboutin’s nude pumps ranging in colour from “fair blush to rich chestnut”.
- Prince Fielder’s Naked ESPN Cover Is Sexy As Hell – I saw a bunch of guys snarking Fielder the other day and I really wasn’t having it. Prince Fielder is a treasure.
So what’s behind this mock-revulsion? Is it that we have all so deeply internalized the old message about thinness and worth that when we see something close to what our own mirrors show us—something with dimension and heft—we reject it out of habit, recognizing it as flawed and wanting? This isn’t the tight, sparse body of the romantic leading man, perfectly calibrated to be just lean enough to reveal the twin crevices leading from his hips to inside his perfectly tailored pants. And yet, Fielder has the audacity to suffer no apparent distress due to his size, and even goes so far as to seem smugly pleased with himself.
- Teefury Thinks Adult Women Should Have Children’s Bodies – According to Teefury’s size chart, their M size would be too small for me, and I wear an XS pretty much everywhere. I wear an XS, mind, because I am literally down to skin and bones thanks to muscle atrophy, so their sizes are a problem. (The CEO responds with a great comment below the post.)
Notice a pattern? Maybe that they’re all only a quarter of an inch off in most places, and a whopping three quarters of an inch off in the XL category? Apparently Teefury thinks fully grown adult women should only be one fourth of an inch wider than children. This is actually a pretty prevalent issue when it comes to women and body image; there are all kinds of signs that we’re sent telling us we are supposed to eternally look like pre-teens. We’re supposed to shave off all our body hair, we’re definitely not supposed to talk about anything related to sex or puberty, and aside from an increase in boob size we’re expected to keep our bodies looking exactly the same as they were when we crawled out of the cesspool that is middle school.
- I need some white privilege! – This may be the best crowdfunding campaign ever. The rewards are top notch.
I am writing you today to ask that you assist me in acquiring some white privilege. Although I have layered oppressions that have affected my ability to access my slice of the American Pie™, no issue has affected me more readily than my lack of white privilege. From being assumed to have “cheated” my way into programs for gifted children AND college (via affirmative action), to having my natural hair viewed as unprofessional amongst professional peers, to having people make negative assumptions about my competency level, interests, and job knowledge, to being viewed as naturally dangerous or threatening, my lack of white privilege has created numerous obstacles as I’ve struggled to successfully compete in a white dominated workforce. I am hoping that, through this campaign, I will begin to make some headway towards closing the gap that white privilege has created in my life.
In return for paying for my white privilege, I would love to give you some “black privilege” in return! Yes, it is difficult being a black person but there are some neat perks, as you will discover if you donate!
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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.