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: fat bias in romantic relationships, on the phrase "that ho over there," bra shopping while butch, reporting rape, the myth of the chubby chaser, sex and violence against women, and sexual entitlement and nerd culture.
- What Does He See in Her? by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville (Keywords: fat bias, relationships)
Despite this good fortune, my fatness has still been Cause for Concern in my relationships. Or, rather, outside my relationships.
I have been partnered with men who were nervous to introduce me to their friends—not because they were ashamed of me, but because they were ashamed of their friends, who they had heard fat-shame women for years. Because they were afraid their friends would fat-shame me, would embarrass themselves and hurt me.
- That Ho Over There by Dominique at Disrupting Dinner Parties (Keywords: language, misogyny, slut shaming)
“Thot.” Have you seen it? It’s an acronym for “that ho over there” and it seems to be increasing in popularity. It is also pretty ridiculous. I first saw the word “thot” on, you guessed it, Twitter.
- Butch Needs a Bra: Navigating Victoria's Secret by Amanda Fortner at What Weekly (Keywords: bras, gender roles, dysphoria, gender nonconformity)
I was poking around the sportswear section, trying not to touch anything, when I decided that my current undergarment situation – only three bras, and only two of them actually providing enough support for athletics – was untenable. I was going to go through that feminine cultural institution I hadn’t actually experienced since I was eighteen (when I went fully butch): the Victoria’s Secret bra fitting.
- Reporting Rape: More On The “Proper Authorities” by Thomas at the Yes Means Yes blog (Keywords: rape, victim blaming, police)
Sulkowics says to survivors, “If you want to go to the police, this is what to expect: You’ll be verbally abused. But at least no one will yell at you for not going to the police and getting verbally abused. Just take your pick.” But it’s not only survivors like her expressing the view that the system isn’t working for rape survivors. David Lisak,* the psychologist who started the research into undetected rapists and who regularly advises college administrators on rape, said that law enforcement has hundreds of years of history where any survivor without cuts, bruises or broken bones could expect nothing from reporting.
- The Myth of the Chubby Chaser by Joshua David at The Poweder Room at Jezebel (Keywords: fat bias, sexuality, sexual objectification, gender roles, fetishization)
Some people prefer to fuck thin people. Some people prefer to fuck fat people. Many other people place no importance on the size of the people that they fuck. All of these are valid choices, but we only pretend that one is abnormal. Chubby chasing is bullshit.
Of course, as stated above, there are plenty of people that have a preference for larger people. There may be a physical reason, a chemical reason, a societal reason or a psychological reason for that preference. The important thing is that the reasoning behind said preference is entirely immaterial. Chubby chasing as a concept is steeped in the idea of othering fat people, especially fat women.
- Slut-shamed to death for saying yes to sex, murdered for saying no by Dr. Jill McDevitt at A Day in the Life of a Sexologist (Keywords: extreme violence against women, discussion of murder, suicide, online bullying)
As a sexologist, I’ve been writing and educating about sexual double standards for years; the age-old damned if you do, damned if you don’t predicament women face about their sexuality. If you have sex, you won’t be respected, but if you don’t have sex, you still won’t be respected. It’s an impossible paradox. This week, that paradox became deadly. This week women have died for saying yes to sex. And women have died for saying no.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds by Arthur Chu at The Daily Beast (Keywords: misogyny, rape, consent, stalking, mental illness stigma, gendered slurs, nerd culture, television, movies, video games)
But the overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to “earn,” to “win.” That if we try hard enough and persist long enough, we’ll get the girl in the end. Like life is a video game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward we get for doing well.
So what happens to nerdy guys who keep finding out that the princess they were promised is always in another castle? When they “do everything right,” they get good grades, they get a decent job, and that wife they were promised in the package deal doesn’t arrive?
As always feel free to share your thoughts on any of these articles, along with whatever you've been reading or writing recently!