Welcome to another edition of What We’re Reading, our intermittent roundup of all the articles, videos, and images we shared with each other (and now with you!) this week. You are encouraged to share your own links in the comments. Bonus this week: a game!
“There’s no positive feminist alternative to the Disney model of romance,” an old friend told me late one night.
As is not unusual in conversations with me, the topic of feminism had come up, and I’d asked him whether he thought gender roles were a good thing. He responded by sharing a story of his own heartbreak: a relationship that ended after moving in together and falling into a pattern of contentious discussions about who should be responsible for which chore.
My friend seemed to be implying that gender roles make things easier, that the feminist model of each couple negotiating for themselves was more work. “We spent all our time in negotiations about living together, instead of just enjoying living together.”
I pointed out that it was more work for him to talk about it, but probably less work for her because the continuing inequality in household chore breakdowns means that, statistically speaking, women who don’t specifically negotiate otherwise tend to end up with an unfairly large chore burden. And of course, relying on gender roles for divvying up household chores only works for couples with one man and one woman.
Nevertheless, I think there was value in my friend’s observation about a feminist alternative to the typical romance narrative. It was a revelation to me, perhaps because I live in a bit of a feminist bubble: I think there is a feminist story of love, and perhaps we just have to do a better job of spreading it.
To all of our readers, we think this is a great opportunity to pause and reflect on how the themes of freedom and slavery impact our lives. What kinds of slavery, whether literal or metaphorical, do you think we as a society (or societies) still need to liberate ourselves from today? What are some steps you want to take toward greater freedom for yourself, for others, or as part of a social justice effort?
Look, fuck all that happy to be here shit that y’all want me on. -Drake
Just Happy to Be Here. It’s what I call a line of thinking that can emerge in the mind of someone from an oppressed group who manages to nab a seat at “the table.” JHBH can creep up in a variety of contexts- “the table” might be a movement, a conference, an institution of higher education, or any number of entryways to opportunities, access, knowledge, and power. Maybe it’s a nonprofit that hired you, impressed by your knowledge of and lived experience with the issue it works to address. Maybe it’s an organization that is working to recruit people from a group that you identify with, and financed your membership and your attendance at national events. Maybe it’s a liberal arts college to which you were able to be admitted, despite the consequences of structural racism, thanks to affirmative action. Whatever it is, it has issues- but you don’t feel completely free to point out areas of improvements because you feel silenced, you want to fly under the radar, or you are genuinely happy that it got its shit together at least a little bit or you wouldn’t be there to speak to the problems at all.
Hey guys girls and guppies, recently I was trying to Appreciate Some Female Comedy via Netflixxx and I watched an Amy Schumer (and three other female comics) special and was…underwhelmed. But I’m glad I did, because afterwards Netflix suggested I watch a special by my new best friend, Anjelah Johnson.
Anjelah Johnson is an actress, comedian, and former NFL cheerleader (FOR THE RAIDIERS! GO RAIDERS!) Her most famous role to date is a cast member on the series MADtv during its 13th season, but in 2009 Comedy Central hosted her one hour comedy special, Anjelah Johnson: That’s How We Do It, and she’s appeared in a few movies since then.
Here you are. I chose this video because my girlfriend and I have had this argument repeatedly, and RECENTLY.
Content note: this post contains images and language that may not be safe for work.
I first learned about the social construction of sex from a lovely trans woman named Kiki.
She said, “You may have heard before that gender is socially constructed, while sex is biological. But I’m here to tell you that what you’ve heard isn’t true. Sex is socially constructed too. So are you ready for the truth? Are you going to take the red pill or the blue pill?”
Three years later, I was diagnosed by my gynecologist with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which means that my body produces hormones intermediate between “typical men” and “typical women.” What I learned from Kiki gave me context in which to understand what this meant about my body and who I am. But it’s still very hard for me to talk about. My hormones affect me in ways that are hard to see, so even most of my lovers don’t know. I can count the number of people in my personal life who know this about me on my two hands.
I picked the red pill. If you read on, you can take the red pill too.
archie panjabi, elisabeth moss, gillian anderson, helen mirren, jane campion, jodie foster, kyra sedgwick, law & order: svu, major crimes, mariska hargitay, mary mcdonnell, mireille enos, prime suspect, the closer, the fall, the killing, top of the lake, veena sud
This is a guest post by The Odalisque.
Raise your hand if you love chicks with authority. Now raise your hand if you love chicks with authority on your TV screen. Raise them even higher if you love chicks with authority on your TV screen who are seriously challenging the patriarchy of entertainment and genre fiction. My friends, look no further than the lady homicide detectives of primetime cable and network television. Kicking ass and taking names with guns and badges while making strides for women’s representation is all in a days work.
Being a sex educator and a bisexual/queer woman, I get a fair amount of questions. Normally, I’m super enthused to answer them. However, some questions are just getting old. To make everyone’s lives easier, I present to you my personal FAQ, in the hopes that no one will ever ask me these questions again.
1. You’re bisexual…do you date women and men at the same time?
No, that’s called polyamory. Some bisexuals are poly, just like gays, lesbians, and straight people!
2. So, um…how do two women, like, you know, do it?
3. You have a girlfriend now. Do you ever miss penises? Continue reading
Hellooooooo readers! Are you ready for another dose of the good and the bad of the microcosm of culture that is the internet? Well here we go, and make sure to share your thoughts and reading links in the comments below!
- The creators over at the webcomic Strong Female Protagonist have broken the mold in a really great way by adding a very well written trigger warning to their upcoming chapter. We’re hoping that more webcomics will follow this trend when necessary!