Hi, all! Welcome to the latest edition of our Links Round Up!
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: loving your body isn't a diet, fatness and dating preferences, on race and listening, privilege in young adult literature, and LEGO making female characters with science jobs.
- Loving Your Body Isn't A Diet! by Virgie Tovar (Keywords: fat, self care, dieting, weight loss)
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.And yet it seems there are some who are done with the idea of "traditional" dieting and believe that "self love" is the true path to the Land of Skinny. The idea is that if you love yourself that your mind and body will perfectly synch and "automatically" do all the things that make you "healthy." And because we culturally have almost no framework or understanding of health outside the idea that thin = healthy, there's a belief that when body zen is achieved that thinness will come "naturally."
The truth is: you can't "love" your body into thinness.
But then it really hit me. Thinness is not only seen as a guarantee of access to romance, success, and happiness. It is also culturally seen as the ultimate way to show that you CARE about and LOVE your body.
- The Most Important Match Question on OkCupid: Fat Girls, Desire, Online Dating, and “Preferences" by Lisa C. Knisely at Medium (Keywords: fat bias, relationships, attraction, intersectionality, oppression, ableist language)
And that is part of why discussions about dating are so convoluted; desire and attraction cut to the heart of deeper, subterranean social meanings, ones we’re not fully aware of or able to negotiate freely and rationally. Who we desire to be, and to love, isn’t just a matter of individualist private choice in the way that the ideology of American free-market political liberalism leads us to believe. As much as online dating can feel like online shopping, neither activity is devoid of political meaning. Both activities are about creating human relationships situated within larger sociopolitical and economic systems that are beyond our control as mere individuals.
- Evidence by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville (Keywords: privilege; auditing; fat hatred; racism; rape culture; violence)
Jess, fresh off deconstructing this very flavor of bullshit, challenged him to explain, exactly, what sort of "evidence" he required, quickly revealing, as always, that there is an impossibly unattainable threshold for "proof" to convince any person who needs "science" to confirm widely reported lived experiences of a marginalized population.
Because demanding "evidence" is not about ascertaining whether people are being harmed; it's about denying that they are.
- Dear White Ladies by Shannon Barber at Luna Luna (Keywords: race, white privilege, silencing)
Hear in your head every mansplaining nice guy or even every well intentioned usually great dude you know starting a statement with these words-
“but not all men…”
Okay White ladies let me explain you a thing. I’m gonna blow your mind.
That anger and frustration giving you bubble guts right now is how I feel when White women won’t listen to me.
Sit with that for a minute. Understand that how you feel when the response to your pain, your words, your experiences in regard to sexism and misogyny is not all men, but I’m a nice guy etc is the same feeling I have when White women run to interrupt, or otherwise stomp over my experiences, pain and words.
Think about it very hard for a minute, I’ll wait.
- On ‘The John Green Effect,’ Contemporary Realism, and Form as a Political Act by Anne Ursu at Terrible Trivium (Keywords: young adult literature, sexism, racism, privilege, dominant narratives)
So the peculiar canonization of John Green and this string of bizarre articles that anoint him as the vanguard of a post-sparkly-vampire seriousness in YA isn’t simply about taking a white male more seriously than everyone else. It’s also about privileging a certain narrative structure—the dominant narrative’s dominant narrative. It’s not only that Green is a straight white man, it’s that he writes in the way that generations of straight white men have deemed important and Literary. And in art, the remaking of form has historically made the establishment very uncomfortable.
- LEGO will make new female characters with science jobs by Abby Phillip at The Washington Post (Keywords: LEGO, toys, gender roles, science, careers, children)
“We’re very excited to release Ellen Kooijman’s Female Minifigure set, featuring 3 scientists, now entitled “Research Institute” as our next LEGO Ideas set,” LEGO said in an official statement. “This awesome model is an inspiring set that offers a lot for kids as well as adults.”
As Kooijman put it, LEGO typically features a “stereotypical representation” of women in their figures, and she set out to change that.
“As a female scientist I had noticed two things about the available LEGO sets: a skewed male/female minifigure ratio and a rather stereotypical representation of the available female figures,” Kooijman wrote in a post explaining her project.
As always feel free to share your thoughts on any of these articles, along with whatever you've been reading or writing recently!
Finally, in case you missed them earlier, please check out VP's calls for submissions for both individual and collaborative upcoming MMMMonday posts!