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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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: reacting to Internet trolls, the Muppets and sexual orientation, and why the abortion pill didn't change everything.
- Do not feed the trolls — but do not dismiss them, either. by Robin Marie at Disrupting Dinner Parties (Keywords: Internet, trolls, harassment, bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia)
Because here’s the thing: even if the internet can magically turn people into assholes, how they choose to become assholes is quite important, for it tells us something about the larger society that the trolls are a part of. Even if the alienated teenager typing away in his basement about sluts and femi-nazis is not “really” misogynistic (and I am pretty damn skeptical that this is possible) the fact that he has gravitated towards misogynistic language as a major form of trolling is very telling, no?
- Miss Piggy Turned Me Gay by Max Mosher at Bitch Flicks (Keywords: Muppets, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, gender, LGBTQ, television)
Like Walt Disney and the creators of the Warner Brothers’ cartoons before them, Henson and his Muppet Workshop forgot to create female characters. (When a girl was needed on Sam and Friends, Henson’s first TV show, he’d throw a blonde wig on Kermit. If only Reverend Chambers had seen that!) There was the odd exception, such as a purple Muppet named Mildred who, with a perm and cat’s eye glasses, resembled a Fraggle librarian. But at the beginning The Muppet Show was an overwhelmingly male affair with male characters performed by male puppeteers. Like a true star Miss Piggy would have to invent herself.
- Why the Abortion Pill Didn’t Change Everything by Anne Friedman at New York Magazine (Keywords: abortion, medication abortion, health care, cis-centric language, pro-choice)
In 1993, Time magazine declared mifepristone — the abortion pill that’s often called RU-486 — “The Pill that Changes Everything.” In 1999, The New York Times Magazine called it a “little white bombshell” with “enormous political consequences.” On a political level, activists hoped that it would allow women to sidestep clinic protests and make abortion less controversial. Advocates hoped — and anti-abortion groups feared — that the abortion pill would be prescribed by regular doctors, family practitioners and OB/GYNs, allowing women to have an abortion in the privacy of their home, far from the picket lines.
As a note on the last article, while we're aware that the last paragraph advances an overt opinion regarding abortion, we included it primarily for the informational and descriptive content in the majority of the piece. When discussing in this space, we'd ask that you keep this, as well as VP's rules regarding abortion debate, in mind.
Thoughts on any of these stories? Also, please don't hesitate to share anything I -- among other VP readers -- may have missed! What have you been reading or writing this week?