6:27 pm - 03/08/2014

Links Round Up: Week Ending 7 March 2014

Hi and welcome to the latest installment of our Links Round Up. :)

For folks who don't know, the LRU is a compilation of items from the past week that may be of interest to VPers and is intended to broaden the kinds of conversations we have here.

To submit articles for next week's round-up, e-mail vpteam@vaginapagina.com. If you have additional articles you'd like folks to know about this week, feel free to comment directly to this post.

As a reminder, in lieu of trigger warnings, I use keywords describing the themes of the piece. Please skim these before deciding to read the excerpt or click through for the full article. Outside sources are not safe spaces, and mainstream sources' comments should almost always be avoided. The links I highlight don't necessarily reflect VP's views, or even my own, for that matter.

This week's round-up includes: 100 LGBTQ black women you should know, a couple of posts on trigger warnings, a contraceptive that protects against HIV, and neuroscience and strap-ons.

  1. 100 LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know: The Epic Black History Month Megapost by Riese at Autostraddle (Keywords: race, gender, history, LGBTQ, activism)
    Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender women represent a vibrant and visible portion of the LGBTQ community. In addition to the legends of the Harlem Renaissance and the decades of groundbreaking activism spearheaded by women like Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith and Angela Davis, many of the most prominent coming out stories of the past two years have been black women like Brittney Griner, Raven-Symonè, Diana King and Robin Roberts. Meanwhile, Laverne Cox and Janet Mock have become the most visible transgender women in media.


  2. Trigger Happy: The "trigger warning" has spread from blogs to college classes. Can it be stopped? by Jenny Jarvie at The New Republic (Keywords: trigger warnings, triggers, language, PTSD, universities)
    Last week, student leaders at the University of California, Santa Barbara, passed a resolution urging officials to institute mandatory trigger warnings on class syllabi. Professors who present "content that may trigger the onset of symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" would be required to issue advance alerts and allow students to skip those classes.


  3. Triggered, Continued by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville (Keywords: trigger warnings, triggers, language)
    All I know is that if nothing ever happened to you that was bad enough to leave you traumatized, lucky you. And if something bad happened but you have survived it and/or processed it trigger-free, lucky you. And anyone who didn't isn't weak or damaged or oversensitive or too goddamn fragile for the world. They're unlucky.


  4. Long-lasting contraceptive also defends women from HIVy by Helen Thomson at New Scientist (Keywords: contraceptives, HIV, herpes, medical devices, safer sex)
    A flexible ring inserted into the vagina could offer long-term protection from HIV, herpes and pregnancy. It is the first device to deliver two drugs for different conditions at the same time and may help fight the spread of HIV.

    Crucial to the battle against HIV in low-income countries is giving women a way of protecting themselves should their partner refuse to wear a condom. But trials of daily pills that cut the risk of HIV infection have mostly failed, as have vaginal gels that are used before and after sex. The problem isn't that the drugs are ineffective, it is that the gels and pills aren't used correctly, says Patrick Kiser at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.


  5. Guest Post: The Eva Project by Andres at The Toymaker Project (Keywords: sex, strap-ons, perception, neuroscience)
    Ever wondered what it might be like to feel as though your strap-on were actually part of your body? I’m proud to present my friend Andres and his Eva Project, a basic DIY toy which is designed to do just that. Below Andres describes the psychology behind the project, shows how he built it, and gives ideas for other toymakers to build on.



Sorry the list is so short this week: I've spent some extra time writing, which left less time for reading. Feel free to add your own links and recommendations in the comments!
archangelbeth 9th-Mar-2014 01:52 am (UTC)
*eyes the first trigger-warning thing* It narrows what we're exposed to? But, um, the whole point is to warn against things that might cause triggers. As I understand it, triggers aren't squeamishness. Triggers aren't fear of the unknown. Triggers are because someone was already exposed to a horrible thing and reminders of it are really effing painful. If it were just "possibly disturbing," that would be a different (though possibly still pretty important) warning.

Trigger-warnings are good things, say I, that may well allow people to be exposed to more things -- because if they're warned, they can do whatever mental preparations and self-care needed to decide if they're going to see something. (Or, in my case, I can try to articulate my issues more carefully; when two people who are used to having others Not Understand a bad situation... have slightly different triggers/trips, well, it can get painful for everyone with mutual stepping-on-feet.)

...it's kind of a pity that I'm going to need to stick a trigger-warning on this book I'm writing, because I'm also of the No Spoilers, Please preference... But the book's got some stuff in it which is certain to be triggery for some, so I'm going to bite the bullet and warn.
frolicnaked 9th-Mar-2014 02:49 am (UTC)
... that may well allow people to be exposed to more things...

This is an excellent point about trigger warnings. There are plenty of times when I see relevant-to-me trigger warnings on a piece of writing and am conscious of readying myself before I read. There are also some occasions where I elect to come back later (e.g., if I see something potentially personally triggering in my before-work Interneting at home) and some where I just scroll past (e.g., if I've already been recently triggered). But the first situation -- taking a few seconds to put my mental guards up -- is undoubtedly the most common for me.
sweetchild92 10th-Mar-2014 11:39 am (UTC)
"because if they're warned, they can do whatever mental preparations and self-care needed to decide if they're going to see something."

yep
lecabinet 9th-Mar-2014 11:06 am (UTC)
Oooh that Heath Robinson strap on in the Eve Project is so cool! Shut up and take my money :-D
sweetchild92 10th-Mar-2014 11:38 am (UTC)
"Bending the world to accommodate our personal frailties does not help us overcome them."

...
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