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: body diversity on Orange Is the New Black, on the phrase "shedding pounds," reproductive justice and LARCs, rape and self-defense, fuck "sexy," and gun violence as a women's issue.
- Why The Body Diversity On "Orange Is The New Black" Is So Important by Lily Karlin at Huffington Post (Keywords: body image, media, television, fat bias, dieting/caloric restriction with specific numbers, ableist language)
"Orange Is the New Black" enters a landscape that labels non-thin bodies, at best, unattractive and, at worst, diseased, and inverts the resulting stereotypes with a slew of counterexamples: Classically attractive male guard Bennett does not, as he would on a lesser show, pursue a relationship with Maritza (Diane Guerrero), who Gloria jokes “looks like Sofia Vergara,”but rather with Daya (Dasha Polanco), who has a look not readily represented on television. Elsewhere, in a reversal of the oft-repeated trope, “fat woman gets rejected in her quest for the love of a thin person,” we see Tastee (Danielle Brooks) eschew the romantic advances of Poussey (Samira Wiley).
- The “War On Obesity”, “Shedding Pounds”, And The Body/Mind Disconnect by Golda Poretsky at Body Love Wellness (Keywords: obesity, fat bias, language, weight loss)
There’s a new euphemism that diet pushers are pushing, and that euphemism is “shedding pounds.”
The real kind of shedding is a totally natural process, right? Dogs shed fur. Snakes shed their skins. Even people shed skin and hair (but on a slow enough basis that it’s not actually evident). But people don’t “shed pounds.” If you were shedding pounds of flesh or hair or skin you’d be really frightened and you would know that something was terribly wrong with you.
So why make a big deal out of a “figure of speech” as it were?
- Reproductive Justice Concerns Surround Long-Acting Contraception Methods by Rachel Walden at Our Bodies, Ourselves (Keywords: birth control, LARCs, reproductive justice, race, socioeconomic status)
However, healthcare providers need to consider concerns about coercion and how LARCs have been promoted to certain demographics. Higgins urges providers to “keep in mind is the ways in which our socially disadvantaged clients, particularly women of color, have endured legacies of social injustice that will affect the way they experience LARC promotion.”
- LC on Rape and Self Defense by Jim C. Hines (Keywords: rape, self defense, victim blaming, ableist language)
Self-defense isn’t and can’t be the only answer. If it is, we’re basically telling everyone who isn’t physically or emotionally capable of fighting off every attacker, no matter how much power that attacker might have over them, that they’re on their own. Sucks to be them, eh?
- Fuck "Sexy" at The Belle Jar (Keywords: gender, language, slut shaming, body policing, domestic abuse, consent)
Sometimes I feel like I want to ban the word sexy. Like, take that shit out of the dictionary and impose a fine whenever someone uses it.
Which is pretty funny because I’m super sex-positive and I definitely want people to feel good about their bodies and secure in their sexuality, however it manifests itself.
But man am I ever fucking tired of how we use that word to shame girls and sell them on a bunch of gross patriarchal ideas about how they should be.
- Gabby Giffords Says Gun Violence Is a Women's Issue by Lucy Wescott at The Wire (Keywords: women, gun violence, domestic abuse, misogyny)
Giffords prepared her own statement and said:
"Dangerous people with guns are a threat to women. Criminals with guns, stalkers with guns, abusers with guns: that makes gun violence a women’s issue. For our mothers, for our families, for me and you. Women can lead the way. We stand for common sense, we stand for possibilities. We can win elections. Please join your voice with mine.”
As always feel free to share your thoughts on any of these articles, along with whatever you've been reading or writing recently!