11:13 am - 03/23/2014

Links Round Up: Week Ending 21 March 2014

Hi and welcome to the latest installment of our Links Round Up. Apologies for last week's lack of links; I was ill (and now a little disappointed that I couldn't find an L-starting word to mean "ill"). :P

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: explaining genitals and gender to children; employers, birth control, and the Affordable Care Act; gender-exclusive children's books; and deciding whether to parent.

  1. Thanks for the tip! by M. A. Melby at The Transadvocate (Keywords: sex, anatomy, children, parenting, LGBTQIA issues)
    What tying “penis” to boys and “vagina” to girls does is make genitalia part of what defines a “boy” and a “girl” for the child. Children are in the cognitive stage where they trust authority to define what things are, what is right and wrong, and what the fundamental models of the universe are. Those early models and definitions, if reinforced, become robust and are very difficult to reassess even into adulthood.


  2. My Employer Shamed Me for Using Birth Control by Jessica R. at the ACLU Blog (Keywords: Birth control, Affordable Care Act, health care, employers)
    The Affordable Care Act makes effective birth control more affordable for millions of women by requiring employer-based health plans to include no-cost coverage for contraceptives. On March 25, the Supreme Court will hear arguments from companies that want to violate this law. Here is a story from one of the many women whose boss has tried to deny her birth control.


  3. Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex by Katy Guest at the Independent (Keywords: Gender, sex, children, books)
    There are also those who argue that children are set upon their boyish and girly courses from conception, and that no amount of book-reading is going to change them. In fact, there is no credible evidence that boys and girls are born with innately different enthusiasms, and plenty of evidence that their tastes are acquired through socialisation.


  4. Birthing Sofia: On Whether to Mother by Diahann Reyes at Stories from the Belly (Keywords: pregnancy, parenting, desires, pressures, aging)
    Back then, I wasn’t interested in motherhood anyways, so I was happy to take her advice. But by my thirties, the time period for when I thought my biological alarm clock was set to go off, nothing happened: no urges to start a family, no daydreaming about what it would be like to have a child—absolutely nada—although I did go through the motions.



As always feel free to share your thoughts on any of these articles, along with whatever you've been reading or writing this week!
claire_chan *slightly more social tonight* 24th-Mar-2014 02:00 am (UTC)
Lacking salubrity, for an l-themed way to say ill?
I hope your health has greatly improved since!

1. *snk* "special hug"
A bit typo-ey.

2. That's dreadful, Jessica being forced to choose between her job and her dignity!
But according to the insurance company, family planning isn’t “medically necessary,” and the insurance company denied coverage again.
WTF.

3. I really liked seeing the pink toy drill a few months ago! /enforcing stereotype pink = feminine
Now, Dahl’s Matilda is published with a pink cover, and I have heard one bookseller report seeing a mother snatching a copy from her small son’s hands saying “That’s for girls” as she replaced it on the shelf.
That is really, really bizarre.
Some books fail and others are huge successes.
Perhaps the market would indicate whether this gender-specific literature succeeds, except I very rarely buy books - I only bought One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich since my Library had only Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward, The Gulag Archipelago, August 1914, The First Circle, Warning to the West, November 1916, Apricot Jam, and The Oak and the Calf, none of which I think Solzhy is as well known for as One Day, which is a miserable story that makes you thankful for heat and comfort. Except as I was reading it the first time, my house lost power and I had to take cold showers.

4. The # made this article not link properly on its own.
When the mother is in her later years, birth defects are somewhat more common...

(Should I put a trigger warning for foot-binding? I talk about the tortuous practice.)
As far as vaginally-related things in my life go...
Last week I was telling an acquaintance of the male gender about how arousing I found Histoire d'O. He seemed somewhat interested, but not very much so. "Just another weird book Claire's read." He was eager to recommend me a Russian linguist's story which isn't sexual unless you consider how linguistics comes from the Latin word for tongue, then imagining varied tongue antics.
Tomorrow I mean to bring China Inc. back before seeing the male acquaintance, CI which is a fascinating modern-China book, but it did not mention the famous female-in-China topic of foot-binding. Two years ago, my Chinese History professor offered a book about foot-binding for the book review project, but I avoided that, since what I'd heard about it was more than enough: wrapping feet from a young age on and breaking every toe besides the big toe in name of beauty. I can only imagine the smell of the pus of injured feet...
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