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 email@example.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: uterus transplants, an endometriosis breakthrough, fat girls and rape culture, a beginner's guide on problematic language, and talking about weight and women.
- Everything You Need To Know About Uterus Transplants by Alexandra Ossola at Popular Science (Keywords: NSFW image, uterus, medicine, science, reproduction)
Most women have probably cursed their pain-inflicting uteruses at least once in their menstrual histories. But an increasing number of women who don’t have them—either because they were born without or had them previously removed—are going to great lengths to obtain new ones. In mid-January, the Associated Press reported that nine Swedish women received transplanted uteruses in a series of procedures conducted by a team from the University of Gothenburg. This was the third group of researchers to attempt a uterus transplant with the end result of a successful and full-term pregnancy, and many teams around the world are racing to be the first to succeed, despite skepticism and ethical concerns.
- A Breakthrough in a Disease that No One Likes to Talk About by Amanda Schaffer at The New Yorker (Keywords: endometriosis, chronic pain, infertility, medical research)
She and her team studied pelvic fluid taken from women who were undergoing surgery for endometriosis. They probed the fluid for fifty immune proteins and found a group of thirteen that seemed to increase together, suggesting that they were acting in concert. The researchers then looked at clinical data for women whose pelvic fluid contained elevated levels of these proteins. They found that women with this pattern were more likely to report higher levels of pain and fewer successful pregnancies than women without it. In other words, they’d found proteins that were acting together, and they’d shown that people with more of these proteins were suffering greatly.
- Fat Girls and Rape Culture by hlkolaya at Fierce, Freethinking Fatties (Keywords: fat, rape culture, body policing, sexualization, misogyny)
The logic goes that, of course, no one would want to touch a fat woman. We’re so gross, you know? So if someone was actually willing to have sex with us, then we should be on our knees with gratitude thanking that person for sharing their special snowflake of a dick with us. Some people even deny that it’s possible for fat women to be raped because, ew, who would want to have sex with a fatty?
- Stop Being So Attached!: A Beginner’s Guide on Problematic Language by Kaylee Jakubowski at Everyday Feminism (Keywords: language, privilege, marginalization, activism)
Like I mentioned above, language carries all of the burdens of our culture with it.
The word “tranny,” for instance, has been, and continues to be, used consistently by cisgender people who wish to hurt trans* women with physical or verbal abuse.
And since the word has always been used congruently with hate and violence, it has absorbed a socially-crafted connotation of hate and violence. Therefore, you cannot say the word without tapping into the hate and violence of previous generations.
- Talking -- Or Not Talking -- about Weight and Women by Caitlin Constantine at Fit and Feminist (Keywords: weight, specific weight numbers,women, body policing, fat shaming, disordered eating, athletes)
The disconnect between expectations of what a certain weight should look like versus what it actually looks like has actual ramifications on the way women regard our bodies. Beauty Redefined recently published a piece that looked at media representations of female celebrities and weight, and how it appears as though a lot of female celebrities are really low-balling it when it comes to their weight and clothing sizes...
Finally, as always, feel free to share your thoughts on any of these articles, along with what you've been reading or writing this week!