annajcook @ the feminist librarian | Booknotes: Clover Adams. A bit of shameless promotion here for my friend Natalie Dykstra’s first book, out in February from Houghton Mifflin. It’s a biography of photographer Marian “Clover” Hooper Adams, and has been ten years in the making. Click through to read more about Clover’s work, marriage, and eventual suicide.
Laura Prieto @ The Beehive | Guest Post: Uncovering a Passionate Friendship. Another friend of mine on a turn-of-the-twentieth-century “passionate friendship” between two Bostonian women, which she uncovered in the MHS archives during a recent fellowship.
Feministe has launched Season 8 of Feministe’s Next Top Troll. I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, but I admit it brightens my January considerably. Head on over to snark about anti-feminist (or just plain incomprehensible) comments and vote for your faves. Obviously head’s up for violent language, verbal abuse, etc.
John Scalzi @ Whatever | It’s My Fault For Reading It But Then the Writer is Not Blameless Either. Dude wrote confused piece about how women novelists get all the attention, another dude comments on first dude’s piece in scathing ways. Gotta love it. Also, Neil Gaiman weighs in. Men calling each other on sexist assumptions: I feel the world has gotten that much brighter.
E. J. Graff @ The American Prospect | Cynthia Nixon, Gay and Proud!. I weighed in on this in a short post over at the feminist librarian last week, but Graff’s is one of the best bits of commentary I’ve seen on the subject.
Having a choice in your life shouldn’t delete your civil rights. I may never have had any particular attraction to men, but I could have ignored my attraction to women. I did not. I still choose to identify publicly as lesbian—holding my wife’s hand in public, letting our son’s school community know that he has two moms. In other words, I do choose a gay “lifestyle.”
Along with Scott Long @ Gender & Sexuality Law Blog (Columbia) who writes about Cynthia Nixon, Joseph Massad, and Not Being an American Gigolo and suggests that:
There’s an unlovely looniness here. First of all, no one should be forced to surrender their personal identity to political obligation. That’s the antithesis of a liberal society, and has nothing to do with any campaign for human rights. Second, no one has the right to decide or define anybody else’s sexuality for them — to select, for God’s sake, what you can say about yourself.
Highly recommended reading.
Kate Borstein is looking to update her gender workbook. Click through to find out how to participate.
Chally @ Zero at the Bone | Sexuality, queerness, and children’s knowledge about themselves. I’m serious: if you don’t follow Chally on your medium of choice, go do so now. She rocks the world.
Laura Woodhouse @ The F-Word | Ask a Feminist #2: No, I don’t want you to watch. A reader asks for “snappy comebacks and reason explanations” for situations when she’s challenged on her bisexuality.
Craig Hallenstein @ Kids and Sex! | How Can I be Sex-Positive With My Kids When I Don’t Like Sex?. I was pleased to see that the response included both “work on developing a positive sexuality for yourself” and “it’s possible to keep not liking sex while giving kids ways to grow into their own sexuality.”
Choire Sicha @ The Awl | Elements of Trolldom: Katie Roiphe and Pico Iyer. “It’s actually a weird plea about human helplessness, or her own helplessness, which pretty much contradicts her other work, which more regularly maintains that helplessness (and sexual harassment in the workplace) doesn’t actually exist so much.” I’m probably a bad person for enjoying this post as much as I do.
Molly @ first the egg | Have I ever had “ANY unwanted/undesired physical or sexual contact”?. Molly writes about how she reflexively indicated “no” for this question on some recent health paperwork … and then got thinking about all of the unwanted, sexualized touch she’d experienced (and discounted as “normal”) all her life. Powerful, powerful piece (with a guest appearance by the fabulous Noah at the end!)
Amanda Marcotte @ Slate.com | Nagging: The Personal is Political. (via @amandahess). I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the so-commonplace-it’s-invisible assumption that women are responsible for making relationships work. Wives “nagging” their husbands to shoulder an equal share of the household work (material and emotional) is one such site of responsibility. Marcotte breaks it down.
Anne G. Sabo @ Quizzical Mama | bad parenting: how much slack should we cut parents?. How often do we, as a culture, excuse abuse of children with “parenting is hard”? She’s riffing off another post at BlogHer which argues that “Parenting is the very act of caring for these smaller people. It should not be synonymous with treating them in abusive ways.” Both posts are powerful reading.
Dave John @ Slate.com | Should prison inmates have the right to masturbate?. In my opinion, the correct answer would be “yes.” But I’m not that surprised that many folks think differently. The Tumblr response when I put this post up at the feminist librarian reads was fascinating (and at times frustrating) to watch.
Holly P. @ The Pervocracy | Rescripting Sex. Encouraging people to imagine consensual, communicative sex that doesn’t sound/feel like two robots having legal negotiations.
Historiann @ Historiann | It’s hard to be evil when you’re just stupid. Speaking of scripts, Historiann recently discovered that Google’s ad rubric assumes she’s a 55-64 year old man. Because of all that online shopping she does at Garnet Hill and the American Girl store? Check out her post and the comments for crowd-sourced analysis.
Angus Johnston @ Student Activism | Hugo Schwyzer is Still Doing Harm. I’ve mostly been watching this conversation unfold from the sidelines, since I was never heavily involved in either promoting or questioning Schwyzer’s work. I appreciated this piece for the way Johnston focuses on the power dynamics between faculty and students.