Welcome to our weekly links round-up. 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 to the round-up, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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 source's 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: The strongest women in the US struggles with poverty; Brazilian prisoners can reduce their sentences through reading; media literacy, "feminine hygiene products," and female scientists; overgeneralizing stats about trans women of color to trans people; beyond femme invisibility.
- The Strongest Woman In America Lives In Poverty at BuzzFeed (Keywords: US, Olympics, body image, strong women, media, poverty)
Weightlifter Sarah Robles is an incredible athlete, but outside the world of squats and snatches, barely anyone knows her name. And even though she's the U.S.’s best chance at an Olympic medal, she'll never get the fame or fortune that come so easily to her fellow athletes — in part because, at 5 feet, 10.5 inches and 275 pounds, she doesn't fit the ideal of thin, toned athletic beauty.
- Reducen pena a presos brasileños si leen 12 libros al año at Telefe Noticas via Univision (Keywords: Brasil, Argentina)
Los presos en Brasil podrán rebajar 48 días por cada año de condena si leen al año 12 obras literarias, científicas o filósoficas, según una norma que ya entró en vigor.
Brazilian Prisoners receive reduced sentence if they read 12 books per year (translated) at Telefe Noticas
The regulation was approved as a stimulus to reading, and is the first of its kind that discounts a specific number of days for books read, although there is already a program for reducing time served through study. With this law, every prisoner has a period of 30 days to read a literary work [and submit a written review] and can be tested on up to 12 titles per year, which ultimately will reduce 48 days for each year of conviction.
- You can stick your feminine hygiene product ads up your hoo haa, Femfresh at the Guardian (Keywords: UK, media literacy, ciscentric language)
Femfresh offers a range of "feminine hygiene" products – liquid soaps, wipes and deodorant – "for down there". But while they have developed and produced products specifically for female genitalia, they cannot bring themselves to utter the words vagina or vulva. ....Bonus link: "Science, it's a girl thing!" says EU Commission, holding lipstick and bunsen burner
Women don't need specific cleaning products for their front bottom, in fact cleaning up the fun tunnel can be bad for you. And we certainly don't need to be patronised by an advertising campaign that tries to call my quim "lala". Vaginas are not just being airbrushed out of the abortion debate; they are being changed beyond all recognition whether surgically, cosmetically or synonymously.
- Trans “People”: Intersectionality And The Distribution Of Risk at Natalie Reed (Keywords: racism, transmisogyny, trans*, violence, this is might to be a hard read )
All of these deaths, despite the articles being framed as about how it’s “dangerous to be transgender in America”, or the constant fear that trans “people” live with on account of how many trans “people”, how many of our trans “siblings”, get murdered, were all trans women of colour. ....
When you use the term “trans people”, the least you can do is think about why, what it is you’re referring to, and what it is you may be excluding. Are trans people really what you’re describing? Or is it just the most convenient term for your agenda?
On whose behalf are you writing?
- Deprivileging In/visibility at femmetech (Keywords: femme, gender, race, class, activism)
So, what do we talk about instead and how do we frame it? This week, while participating in some community queer/trans/all-bodies yoga, Bikini Kill’s White Boys came on. “I’m so sorry if I alienated some of you / your whole fucking culture alienates me”** and in my encalmed state it occurred to me that alienated from is a more precise frame to use than invisibilized or invisibility. Number one, it puts the power and agency back in the speaker for their personal experience: I feel alienated. That sucks, and that’s yours to do things with. Invisibility is something we believe someone has done TO us, and therefore we feel disempowered [and…alienated, among other things].
And for what to talk about: oh, I don’t know — environmental racism, feminist ally work, racial justice, fracking, immigration, the prison-industrial complex, neoliberalism: each of these things relates to Femme because there are femmes who it affects.
As the super wise Andrea Smith suggested at the recent This Is How We Do It conference, I want to take part in making a revolution so amazing that people can’t HELP but join; a new world that has space for each of to be seen — and to be more than seen: to be engaged, present, healing, and curious.
What have you been reading (or writing!) this week?