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: how "cray cray" can be hurtful, the lack of pre-abortion stories, rape culture in real life, and myths about penises.
- YOLO So Please Stop Hurting People with “Cray Cray” by Sue Kerr at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents (Keywords: language, mental illness stigma, ableist slurs, domestic violence)
These are terms people tend to use when they are playing amateur psychiatrist and stripping the object of their wrath of credibility and value because of perceived mental health issues. They aren’t funny and they are rarely used in a neutral or credible manner. That’s because people who are educated to diagnose other human beings tend not to do so on Facebook. The intent is to put the person on the defensive and strip them of some tools they might use to defend themselves, tools that could play into the accusation of being unhinged, right?
- I’m having an abortion this weekend by Jenny Kutner at Slate (Keywords: abortion, pregnancy, cultural narratives, shared stories)
And, it seems, no amount of background information — no critical mass of other women’s stories or screenings of “Obvious Child” — will give me much insight into how I, Jenny Kutner, will feel about my abortion when it happens. Still, I have been looking for background information, and I briefly tried to defy my stubbornly non-psychic brain by reading what other women have written about their abortion experiences.
There is, of course, a sort of collective narrative that has formed, especially amongst pro-choice women like myself. Here’s what I noticed about that larger collective narrative: It contains very few stories about what women experience just before their abortions. Mostly we only hear about a procedure in its aftermath.
- Rape culture in real life: Poster edition at I Was a High School Feminist (Keywords: rape, rape culture, victim blaming, violence, alcohol, media, public health)
In addition to all of that, one of the things that makes me angry about these ads (besides the blatant victim-blaming) is that they’re incredibly patronizing. Do they think that women don’t know that they have to be constantly vigilant when we go out at night? Do they think that we haven’t been told time and time again that what we wear, how much we drink, and how we dance can all be used against us if we decide to report a rape? Do they think that we’re not aware that society will blame us at every turn if we dare to file charges? It’s as if they’ve decided to treat us like we’re stupid while shoving the realities of rape culture in our faces instead of working to change that culture.
It’s insult on top of injury.
- Five Locker Room Myths About Penises Debunked by Melissa A. Fabello at Everyday Feminism (Keywords: penises, sexual education, bodies, shame, sex, pornography)
And while we’re covering the scoop on sperm: The human male ejaculates an average distance of 7-10 inches – not across the room, although the world record stands at 18 feet – at an average speed of 31 mph.
That’s faster than some jaguars. Whoa.