What I’m reading

Someone is actually trying to defend sweatshops? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Expect an upcoming post about this, but in the meantime, check out the link. via InnocentSmith.

TashaFierce of RedVinylShoes is guest-blogging for Bitch. She wrote a post about fat men’s television characters being negatively portrayed (I also wrote about this several months ago). She then went on to discuss how, even though fat men have it bad in the media, fat women (and woman, period) still have it worse. Sometimes, it’s not necessary to work in women’s oppression into everything. I get that the post was for a feminist rag, but really, if you can’t just admit that men can be oppressed without making sure to list the ways in which women have it worse right afterward, then please don’t pretend that you’re writing about oppression that men face. Because you’re not; you’re playing the Oppression Olympics, and using a TV show as your excuse.

Speaking of TashaFierce, she has a fantastic article up about news media, and how honest, accurate, truth- and information-oriented news is a myth.

Looking at changing your name after getting married, since same-sex marriage has become legal in several US states. And is it still a feminist issue?

A video of Malcolm X discussing his name, and how slavery destroyed the history of African Americans.

Someone talks about fat and health, and the internet explodes.

My governor just fucking sucks. There’s really no question about it. Thing is, while there’s a lot of talk about his alleged hope to run for president in 2012, I just don’t think he’ll win. And I don’t think he’ll win Minnesota. We’re simple folk, if you wanna generalize; we are not stupid, though.

What have you been reading lately?

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13 Responses to What I’m reading

  1. David K says:

    I have been reading:
    The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes by Jonathan Rose
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-intellectual-life-of-the-british-working-classes-by-jonathan-rose-752865.html#
    and an obscure feminist science-fiction anthology from the 1970s called ‘Aurora: Beyond Equality’ which features two different pseudonyms of Dr Alice B Sheldon and an piece by Ursula K LeGuin called ‘Is Gender Really Necessary?’
    and if you’re going to read stuff like that, the least you can do is show off about it 😉

  2. Paul says:

    You know, the married-name debate doesn’t interest me so much, really it seems fairly straightforward- whatever the couple decide to do (Each keep their own, take one or the other, hyphenate, make up something entirely new- whatever) they should be allowed to do.

    What I think is a far more interesting issue is- what name do the kids (if there are any, of course) get? One can only hyphenate so much before a name becomes unwieldly, after all.

    • April says:

      The married name thing wasn’t ever really a big deal to me, either. Growing up I always assumed I’d take my husband’s name, then I started to think I wanted to hyphenate, then once I got married, we both hyphenated, and it’s all good. It wasn’t ever a struggle to figure out, though. I have had little pressure about it, though, which probably makes a lot of difference to my relative ease about the topic/experience.

      …Which leads into your question… what to do about the kids? You’re right, one can only hyphenate so many times. I figure that a kid with a hyphenated name will just figure that out with their own spouse or kids. Maybe they want to combine a name or two, or just take one, or create a new one entirely. Most places will let you just use the marriage license as a way to legally change your name to anything, not just for one to take the others’ name.

  3. Desipis says:

    I saw the feministe post on Fat and Health just after it went up and could tell it was going to be an explosive post. It was good to see at least some support for the post in the comments section amongst the torrent of wharrgarbl. It’s always bothered me how much some progressives will deny with vulgar hostility any inconvenient truths.

    On the name issue, I think that if a couple is planning on having kids, the family should ideally adopt a common name. I’d also look at options other than plain hyphenating in combining existing surnames if the names were already on the long side or perhaps coming up with a new name that represents the people.

    • April says:

      It’s always bothered me how much some progressives will deny with vulgar hostility any inconvenient truths.

      There’s such a fine line that I see being toyed with. On the one hand, of course fat /= unhealthy. But it’s also abundantly clear that a lot of extra weight can cause health problems. The denial of the latter in the feminist blogosphere tends to come from a place of not wanting to shame people who are overweight; I can understand that. But I don’t think that the solution is to pretend that weight never has anything to do with health, ever.

      To me, it seems similar to the climate change debate. The right-wingers want to pretend climate change can in no way be attributed to humans because their economic interests lie with the very things that are causing the problems– the oil industry, deforestation, pollution that comes from excessive waste, etc. I wish everyone could just shut up and be honest. A pie in the sky dream, I guess.

    • desipis says:

      That’s an interesting analogy, and it’s certainly true that denialism is common on both ends of the political spectrum.

      Where I think acceptance movements go wrong is where they stop being about accepting the people with certain attributes (fat, disabled, intersexed, etc) as being capable and valuable members of society, and start being about ‘accepting’ the attributes themselves, insisting they have no negative aspects and being hostile to anyone who suggests they or other people might wish to not have such attributes.

    • wriggles says:

      But I don’t think that the solution is to pretend that weight never has anything to do with health, ever.

      This is a tricky one, it’s the hypocrisy. Being underweight has an equally bad prognosis as overweight, yet there is comparative silence on that.

      So it could be argued that some fat people see fatness in the same way. You have to consider why it’s only denial when fat people share that view.

      And in fact that’s the truth about fat people in general, everything said could be said about depression anxiety etc., yet we are not allowed for the reason you mention the tyranny of the ‘shaming’ accusation.

      Fat people try to get on that bandwagon, suddenly everyone can see how terribly bad and corrupt it is.

      Secondly, and more importantly.

      No body is stopping the obesity industries from coming up with a way of adjusting weight. They’ve cried off it themselves. It is their failure.

      Somebody else must be allowed to fail apart from fat people, surely.

  4. machina says:

    It’s always bothered me how much some progressives will deny with vulgar hostility any inconvenient truths.

    I feel this way about sweatshops too. Are sweatshops good? No. Are sweatshops better? Often. I saw a little segment of a TV show a few years ago about how growing prostitution in Vietnam was in part fuelled by the loss of sweatshop jobs as Vietnamese businesses couldn’t compete with Chinese ones given the low yuan. It was a simple example of the “sweatshops are better” argument.

  5. Josh says:

    Before you write your post about sweatshops, please read the Paul Krugman piece linked to in the article. It’s one of the few articles on the subject that has changed my thinking, and I think it would be neat to see Krugman’s points addressed.

  6. Danny says:

    TashaFierce of RedVinylShoes is guest-blogging for Bitch. She wrote a post about fat men’s television characters being negatively portrayed (I also wrote about this several months ago). She then went on to discuss how, even though fat men have it bad in the media, fat women (and woman, period) still have it worse.
    Which is why I very rarely waste my time crossing paths with women when it comes to fat and gender. Because no matter what it will always end up as “women are the real victims”. I’ve had women try to site Peter Griffin as proof that fat male characters don’t have it that bad. To the devil with them.

    And honestly when I read this:

    As we well know, men have access to a hell of a lot more privilege than women do. But fatphobia still affects them as well, they just have an easier time with it. So although there are many more positive representations of fat men in pop culture, there is still a fatphobic framework in which they have to work—which is why fighting fat hatred should not only be a feminist issue but an issue of social justice across the board.

    I read that as, “Yeah fat guys have it bad but their male privilege mitigates the damage so they don’t have it as bad as women. But if they really want to do something about it they should join feminism.” (I find it very amazing that mitigations like that are only brought up when its about men.)

    As for me I just finished off Percy Jackson book 1 (The Lightning Thief).

    As far as online I haven’t been reading much because I’ve been getting ready for Earl.

  7. Hey, my first visit here! Like the blog, I’ve linked yall! (HI DANNY, wondered where you’d gotten to!)

    The “fat and health” thread continues to amaze. Is Monica going to be forced to write some mea culpa for having an opinion? Yeesh.

    • April says:

      Thanks for the link! I’ve also blogrolled you– I’ve seen your blog before (I think it was your blogging anniversary or New Years post?) but was only recently reintroduced via this train of responses to the Feministe post. I love it!

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