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 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: misogyny at the movies, filming surgical abortion, race and US maternal mortality, conflating sexual assault and bad manners, sexual assault under the guise of "trying something new," and being turned into a fat meme.
- When It Seems Like the Movie You’re Watching Might Hate You by Katherine Murray at Bitch Flicks (Keywords: movies, misogyny, heterosexism, slut shaming, consent, sexual assault)
Quick – you’re all settled down in front of the TV with Cheetos and soda when you start to have an uncomfortable feeling. The characters are being really hateful, and you can’t quite tell if the writer supports them. Do you: a) keep watching the movie to see how this ends; b) stop watching the movie and do something else; or c) read spoilers for the ending, to find out if you’re wasting your time?
- This Woman Filmed Her Abortion To Show Other People It Doesn’t Have To Be Scary by Tara Culp-Ressler at ThinkProgress (Keywords: abortion, videos, education)
In an essay published on Cosmopolitan.com, Letts explains that she decided to film her procedure after trying and failing to find a video of a surgical abortion online. There’s at least one YouTube clip of a woman taking the abortion pill, which is the non-surgical option for ending an early pregnancy, but that’s it. So Letts decided that she wanted to have a surgical procedure — the option that seems scarier to many women — to help educate people about what it’s actually like.
- The U.S. Is One Of The Only Countries In The World Where Maternal Deaths Are Rising by Tara Culp-Ressler at ThinkProgress (Keywords: health care, United States, pregnancy, maternal mortality, death, race)
The Lancet study is just the latest data point in a mounting pile of research about this country’s maternal mortality problem. Despite the fact that giving birth in the U.S. costs more than anywhere else in the world, that’s not guaranteeing a better quality of care for women in this country — particularly for women of color. African American mothers are more than three times as likely to die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth than their white counterparts.
- Men Aren’t From Mars, And Sexual Assault Isn’t Bad Manners at Quite Irregular (Keywords: sexual assault, consent, rape culture, gender roles)
There is a dangerous category confusion going on here. To point out the surely totally obvious, wearing unattractive underwear is not the same as forcing a partner into sex acts which they have not agreed to. As Louise Pennington has pointed out, this is not “rough sex” if it is non-consensual, it is rape. This is a list of sexual assaults, mixed up somehow with the contents of a rather shoddy dating article.
- She Can Always Tell Me To Stop: Sexual Assault and “Just Trying Something New” at Quite Irregular (Keywords: sexual assault, rape culture, ciscentrism, gender roles, consent)
Firstly, there’s an issue with deciding unilaterally that you would like to do something when it involves someone else’s body. I really don’t understand having seen something in a film, or read about it, thinking “I’d like to do that” and not also realizing that it makes more sense if the other person involves is keen as well. Either you think it doesn’t matter whether they do or not – which betrays a really dangerous attitude towards sex – or you’re going to guess about it, which seems chancy. Admittedly this is part of a much bigger narrative around sex in our culture: the idea that men just doing things to women is the height of romance and sexual excitement.
- I Was Unwillingly Turned into a Fat Person Meme by Rachele at Near Sighted Owl (Keywords: fat hate, cyberbullying, harassment, misogynist slurs)
Over the past year, an unauthorized image of me (story of my life, y'all!) has been popping up that was created from a post I did last year called Letting Go of the Thin Fantasty. The original featured artwork of me, nude but covered with the words "There is not a thin person trapped inside of me". A drawing over the photo of me made it look like I was pulling my chest open and showing my ribs and organs, demonstrating that there was not a skinny girl fighting to get out. I talked about how it felt to not be dissociated with my own body and in the photo my fat and belly is prominently visible.
As always feel free to share your thoughts on any of these articles, along with whatever you've been reading or writing recently!