Links: Tuesday, December 16th

December 16, 2014 Links 2

A two-magazine page sized illustration from the early 1900s showing a pub full of women in Edwardian era plumed hats, full skirts and high-necked blouses neglecting their children and their husbands.

The Posters that Warned against the Horrors of a World with Women’s Rights

Today’s Links:

  • Fixing the Problematic Legacy of Romance/Erotica: Polyamory is NOT Cheating – @fangirlJeanne talks about seeing a book review give a content warning for consensual non-monogamy and term it cheating.

    While I’ve been browsing through what other readers have said about these book I found a review for one that was essentially a huge trigger warning for “cheating.” I understand why this person felt compelled to post this review, but it doesn’t lessen the sting of someone mischaracterization your sexuality as an act of betrayal.

    So let’s just address this right here and right now. Just as heterosexuality isn’t the default for everyone in the world, neither should it be in stories about love and sex. Likewise monogamy is not the default for everyone in the world. Nor should it be presumed to be the ideal in stories about love and sex.

  • It’s time to learn how to write about transgender people – Samantha Allen has a powerful piece reminding us that language shapes consciousness and the stakes are sky-high for transgender people.

    Earlier this month, when a transgender woman was murdered in Compton while pounding on the door of a home for help, one conservative outlet dared to repeat the old “born a man” refrain in their report. And earlier this year, when an Australian chef killed and cooked his transgender wife, one tabloid ran the headline: “Monster Chef and the She Male.” Writers and journalists are continually failing to respect transgender subjects, even in death.

    In this light, learning how to write about transgender issues isn’t just a matter of accuracy or so-called “political correctness”—it’s an ethical imperative. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics states that journalists should strive to “minimize harm” to their subjects. This means treating transgender people as “human beings deserving of respect,” instead of half-human oddities that almost deserve to die. It means avoiding “undue intrusiveness” like commenting on someone’s genitals. It means showing “heightened sensitivity” for “victims of sex crimes,” a category that often includes transgender women. It means not “pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do” and, when it comes to transgender people, they almost certainly will. Writing about transgender issues means constantly reminding yourself that real people are on the other end of your keystrokes and choosing your words accordingly.

  • That Girl Is Poison: A Brief, Incomplete History of Female Poisoners – Is it just me, or is it kind of amazing to have a half-dozen children or husbands predecease you before people got suspicious?

    The idea that “poison is a woman’s weapon” is an old, made-up sawhorse… The myth persists, in part, because it makes so much sense. Poison is uniquely available to and administerable by women. Ladies have long been tasked with cooking, cleaning, and nursing, and poison can be drizzled into coffee, applied to the inside of freshly laundered shirts, or administered as an “accidental” overdose. As a recent Vice article showed, even grandmothers can do it; in Japan, a woman is accused of collecting about $8 million from poisoning six boyfriends and one husband. Poison is a hands-off, elegant means to someone’s end; it’s not showy or vainglorious, like stabbing or shooting. It doesn’t require muscle like, say, beating a human to death. Poison is a weapon for people who just need a job done. It’s very practical that way—practical and cold-blooded. So who were some of the heartless, real life ladies who have helped cement this idea in the popular imagination?

  • MUSICAL MONDAY: CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG – I spent last Thanksgiving watching this with a sleeping baby pinning me to the sofa. It’s basically a fever dream with a musical score. (Image and video heavy post.)

    The childrens’ father is introduced to us and we instantly notice the following:

    1. He is “eccentric” in that late ’60s, Monty Python/Richard Lester/Yellow Submarine kind of way.

    2. He is Dick Van Dyke.

    3. Both his children and his father have English accents but he sounds like he’s from the midwest.

    4. Clearly someone remembered his previous attempt at an English accent and wisely advised him from even bothering to try.

    5. He is an “inventor” named Caractacus Potts and we’re embarrassed to admit that it took us 40 years to realize that it’s a play on “crack pot,” and

    6. He’s a loser.

  • I’m 40. I Don’t Want to Be a Mom. Now What? – This is kinda a bit White Feministy, but I liked how she described the moment where she realized she didn’t want to have kids and didn’t need to want to have them.

    Instead, I found myself considering carefully the life I’d created for myself — one I had always been conditioned to understand I should want to escape or be rescued from — and started weighing it against the possibility of creating a new life, a baby. I realized that so many of those things I valued in my current life would cease to be if I opted for motherhood. Perhaps for the first time I began thinking of my life as something intentional, rather than a for-the-time-being existence. And it dawned on me that I didn’t want to escape from it. Quite the contrary, I loved it.

  • The Elf on the Shelf is the greatest fraud ever pulled on children – Having no children myself, I was made aware of this fad/tradition from reading my Facebook feed and seeing people’s pictures of the clever places they stashed the elf. Frankly, I find the whole thing kinda creepy.

    Christmas caters to small children. The endless mythology around Santa and the endless fights over popular toys all revolve around bringing Christmas cheer to another generation of tiny humans who have yet to realize that everything is a lie.

    One of the most popular lies to tell your children in recent years has been the myth of the Elf on the Shelf. Here’s everything you need to know:

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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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2 Responses to “Links: Tuesday, December 16th”

  1. Meoskop

    Elf on the Shelf is a brilliant marketing turn – it marries conspicuous parenting and faux 50’s traditionalism into a frothy holiday mug. I have no objection to it in other people’s homes, but we are blissfully elf free. The kids have exposed to it at school – teachers seem to love this thing. The kids have an elf that’s from the late 1940’s and about 3″ high that was obviously a partial design inspiration – it came from a California store called Emporium Capwells.

  2. Elinor Aspen

    The WTFery of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang suddenly makes sense if you know that it’s based on a novel by Ian Fleming. It’s baby’s first Bond movie.