Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Reading List

Hugo's “Penetrate” v. “Engulf” and the multiple meanings of the “f” word: a note on feminist language:
In every women’s studies class I’ve taught here at PCC, and in many guest lectures about feminism I’ve given elsewhere, I use the “penetrate” versus “engulf” image to illustrate a basic point about the way in which our language constructs and maintains male aggression and female passivity. Even those who haven’t had heterosexual intercourse can, with only a small degree of imagination required, see how “envelop” might be just as accurate as “enter”.
Sady Doyle's The Edward Cullen Underpants Conundrum:
I mean, consider: Edward Cullen has no characteristics, as a person, other than wanting to “protect” Bella and being beautiful and gorgeous and perfect all the time. (And also an insufferable asshole, but that seems more like a mistake than a purposeful effort to give him a personality.) He has no goals in life other than being with Bella. He is over a hundred years old, and he’s never had sex with another person. He’s never wanted to have sex with another person. There is not and will never be a person or a thing or an event that is more important to him than (eventually) having sex with Bella. He is an object designed for the gratification of female desire. He’s the most ridiculous person who’s so amazing at everything, and he’s so beautiful you creamed yourself. And that’s it. And we’re used to dudes writing ladies this way, we’re even used to dudes writing ladies this way and passing it off as “literature,” but the idea of a female author writing a male character in this way, for the pleasure of other ladies, is profoundly disconcerting. Even to me! Because it’s backwards.
Filthy Grandeur's Presentations of violence and gender in the Twilight Novels:
Though all of the Cullens are stunningly attractive, there's a clear gendered difference in their appearances. The men are large, and strong, while the women are small and graceful. Though the women are also impeccably strong, they do not look it.
EAMD is an Angry White Girl:
First of all, I actually have no idea what, if any, of my university's admissions criteria involve race in any way. True, then I should not be arguing about them, but on the other hand, that is precisely the point--not a single goddamn one of those columns actually states how exactly race plays a role in admissions. My guess is because the writers and speculators on this campus don't actually have the slightest idea if or how race impacts admissions. They just use the assumption that it gives minority students a concrete advantage to spew unfounded bullshit about how "qualified white students" are being denied admission to make room for all the darkies who definitely wouldn't get in otherwise.

Meloukhia's Transgender Day of Remembrance:
Some people think that days of remembrance are a waste of time. Or they say that people should be thinking about this “all the time.”

Well, I do.

Every. Single. Day.

I think about it. I think about the people I haven’t known and never will know, now, because they are dead.

And I’d like you to do the same.

Because the thing about a day of remembrance is that it allows us to take a moment, together, as a collective, to acknowledge something.

From See Emily Blog, there's Books Critiquing America Series: Rethinking Thin:
Not too long ago, I thought that anyone who was overweight chose to be overweight, and that if they really wanted to be thin, they could. Many people still think this about the overweight and obese- why can’t they just eat less and exercise more? What’s keeping them from getting control of their lives? Well, according to Kolata’s book, this is a question that has been puzzling scientists for decades. And, spoiler alert, it’s rarely the obese person who is to blame for their weight.

And, because my first car handled exactly this way on ice (and snow, and sometimes rain...) a Zits comic:

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