Things I read this week that I found interesting

Hello everyone. This week I haven’t read much due to hectic IRL business, but I did read some things that I found interesting, and maybe you will, too. As always, drop me some links if you think I’ll find it interesting.

Review: Surprises at Theatre Royal, Bath (Mediocre Dave)- Dave went to see a play. He was thoroughly unimpressed at its backwards gender politics in a hilarious fashion.

Kirk Sneade’s candidacy for UCLU Women’s Officer (Major Tom)- Tom explains rampant misogyny in a student election. Trigger warnings.

Men are no victims in this rape apologism debate (Tintinnytins)- A male ally explains some shit that really shouldn’t need explaining, but unfortunately does. Very eloquently.

Yes means Yes, or why safe words might perpetuate rape culture (itsjustahobby)- An interesting take on BDSM safe words, and how they buy into a “no means no” model of consent, with a few examples of what else could be done.

Let’s make all crimes against sex workers hate crimes (Diary of a VirginWhore)- Account of an initiative in Merseyside where crimes against sex workers are treated as a hate crime, and there is some collaboration with the police, leading to far higher conviction rate for rape of sex workers. While I’m not sure about working with the police, it seems like this has gone some way to improving safety.

And finally, listen to the sounds of police scanner radio, with gloomy electronica as a backing track. A delicious aura of the Bad Future.

Things I read this week that I found interesting

Little later than usual, but perhaps Sunday is the better day for these “things I read” roundups, anyway. Here’s some stuff I read that I found interesting, and perhaps you will too. Please drop by in the comments and let me know if there’s anything else I might like.

The Sun: Shocking but not surprising (The Media Blog)- Analysis of last week’s Sun front page wanking over Reeva Steenkamp, and why we’ll be seeing more, not less, of this in the future.

Deep inside: a study of 10000 porn stars (Jon Millward)- Detailed analysis of the profiles of a vast sample of porn actors, examining what they look like physically, what kind of work they do, and even what names they choose. A fascinating read, illustrated by infographics.

Hidden Misogyny: Why the Menimists should take stock (tintinnytins)- Tinny calling other men out on some bullshit and talking about what a male ally should look like.

World’s oldest porn “is bisexual” (Gay Star News)- The title here really sells the content short. The world’s oldest porn is queer as all fuck, and that’s fabulous. Also, bisexual. They use that word a lot. I do not think it means what they think it means.

Sex, friends and strangers: what to expect when you stop shaving (Marie le Conte)- Marie stopped removing her body hair. Here’s a funny, personal account of what happened after that.

A plea for policy based on evidence, not anecdote (itsjustahobby)- Heartfelt plea from Jemima, which does exactly what it says on the tin.

Hilary Mantel v Kate: a story of lazy journalism and raging hypocrisy (Hadley Freeman)- Just about the smartest, best thing I’ve read on this Mantel/Middleton nonsense.

Munchausen by Internet: Current Research and Future Directions (Whitty, Buchanen & Feldman)- Open-source journal article on the phenomenon of “Munchausen by Internet”, where people fake medical conditions in online spaces.

On the composition of lasagna: A caprice on horses, abstraction, and the division of labour (Prolapsarian)- A gallop through why we’re disgusted at eating horse and what it all means. Yes, I made a vague horse pun. No, I’m not ashamed.

Why do women always have to be the condom police, anyway? (xoJane)- Good articulation of how women are expected to be the ones enforcing condom use in heterosex.

Don’t Menshn the Blog: The Unfashionista Train-Wreck (Perestroika)- Louise Mensch has moved into fashion blogging, and it’s predictably very problematic. The brave Perestroika gives us an overview of what’s wrong.

And finally, a short story based on a fair few in-jokes: “The Kernel of Truth”. If more than one thing on the following list amuses you, you’ll probably enjoy it: var of piss, Luke Bozier, Louise Mensch, Milo Yiannopolis’s “trollwatch”, the Guardian.

Things I read this week that I found interesting

Yes, it’s that time of the week again. Here’s some things I read this week that I found interesting, and you might find them interesting too. Also, please share more things that may interest me in the comments.

Reeva Steenkamp (Guardian)- you’ve read a lot about Oscar Pistorius. Read about the life of the woman he killed. It sounds like she was an amazing human being.

White Feminists (TM)- Page Three (Funny Grrrl)- a discussion of class and race issues in the No More Page Three campaign. In short, race very absent, and the campaign is really quite classist.

Exposing the sexism on the pages (Squeamish Bikini)- interesting points about how objectification doesn’t have to involve nudity.

Why No More Page Three is a bad idea in almost every way (Hunter not the hunted)- An very thorough analysis of the flaws of the No More Page Three campaign, picking up some stuff I missed.

Men, we need to engage with women (A dragon’s best friend)- A quick call for men to get better, with a few interesting thoughts on political institutions and squeamishness about bodies.

Django deconstructed: returning Tarantino’s “gift” (Justin Struggles)- Justin analysis Django Unchained, and is fairly unhappy with how the film handled race.

Beyond Silk Roads– Analysis of homosexuality in China and Japan, right up until the beginning of the 20th century.

And finally. As you might be able to tell, I’m furious at Murdoch this week. Here’s a video from back in 2011 of me and some mates torching the last issue of News of the World in a mock funeral. I hope we are doing this for the Sun before long. And then the Mail. All the while muttering “you’re next”. Yes, the bearded man is Mediocre Dave, before you ask.


Things I read this week that I found interesting

Here’s the weekly round-up of things I read, some of which wasn’t even written this week. Please feel free to drop more things I might find interesting into the comments.

A Million Caesars: Phillida Lloyd’s Julius Caesar (There Is No Alternative)- A review of the all-woman production of Julius Caesar, which I really really want to see now.

Creepy White Guys– Creepy messages received by Asian women from white guys on a dating site. This post by Jolene Tan, written before the Tumblr even existed, outlines exoticisation of Asian women.

Same Sex Marriage Bill: transgender implications (AuntySarah)- Sarah outlines the implications of the same sex marriage legislation for trans people. Short story: it’s not very good

(towards modern lovers) (Sociopathetic Semaphores)- A love poem, calling for direct action against the fairly assimilationist Stonewall.

Justice (Pierce Penniless)- A summary of the Alfie Meadows case. Important read, and please come and support Alfie in court on Monday.

And finally, my Dear Nadine Dorries project has been reinvigorated with six new letters this week. Go and read tales of uterine mirth, woe and anger.

Things I read this week that I found interesting

Is it Friday already? It’s Friday, isn’t it? Here’s a round-up of some things I read this week that I found interesting or important, and you might be interested in reading them too. Please leave me any more things I might like to see.

The problem with polynormativity (Sex Geek)- I cannot recommend this exploration of the normativity of the type of poly relationship which is presented to us in the media. It’s a long read, but thoroughly discusses problems that can arise from the couple-form. A must-read, I think, even if you’re not poly, as it challenges a lot of expectations.

I’m sorry if you’re offended (stillicides)- Stillicides writes about the art of the “fauxpology” and how it differs from an apology.

Ableism and apologies (Laurie Penny)- Laurie Penny slipped up and said something ableist. Rather than a week-long Twitter storm, she apologised in this heartfelt post. This should be the norm, not a refreshing exception–at least until we’ve smashed kyriarchy.

An open letter to the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers’ Party from union activists (assorted comrades)- An open letter, urging the SWP Central Committee to work on their terrible approach to gendered sexual violence.

Your rights and mobile fingerprinting (Netpol)- The police have been given the power of mobile fingerprinting during stop and search, and being the police, they’ll probably abuse this power a lot. Please read through this guide to learn your rights if they attempt to do this to you.

It’s time to talk about trigger warnings again, apparently (verasteine)- Good response to the Vagenda nonsense on trigger warnings earlier this week.

Policing Fanguage (Jonnie Marbles)- Poor Jonnie. He loves leaving boxes of snakes lying around, and there’s some mean people who are making him label his venomous snakes.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Blogger Impassioned – Why Do “Angry Women” Scare People So Much? (Carey Purcell)- An exploration of angry women and why we terrify people (particularly men. And patriarchy).

Causes of rape: A statistical analysis (Flightrisker)- An excellent and informative infographic.

Things I read this week that I found interesting

It’s that time again where I round up the stuff I bookmarked this week because I read it and it was good, even though some of it might not have actually been published this week. Drop by and recommend me more stuff in the comments, O lovely readers.

Labiaplasty, parts 1 and 2 (Guernica)- a two part series on labiaplasty, featuring interviews with labiaplasty surgeons. Introduced me to a procedure known as the “Barbie” which involves the complete removal of the inner labia. All the surgeons were male, and none of them believed there is any sensitivity in the inner labia. It made me think a lot about bodily autonomy, patriachy, and what happens when men design cunts.

What is a hottentot apron? (Lippy Girl)- A really interesting post on vulvas and colonialism.

The dinosaurs never expected extinction either (itsjustahobby)- the last thing, I hope, that needs to be said on the recent media transphobia frenzy. See also, their other post on the fine art of the apology.

Silent no more and “manning up” to online abuse (sian and crooked rib)- Sian provides an anatomy of misogynistic abuse online.

Do men really have higher sex drives than women? (io9)- an accessible look at what evidence there is, and what that actually means. Could further explore neglect of female sexuality in science, throughout history, though.

The Men’s Rights Movement: much less popular than horse porn (manboobz)- A compelling analysis of google trends. The title is indeed correct.

And finally, a little situationist lol. Yes, I’ve descended into being amused by shops with funny names and I’d like to thank @renatus84 for bringing this to my attention.


Things I read this week that I found interesting

I’ve been on holiday this week, so might have missed a lot of things that weren’t related to the week of reckoning for transphobic columnists. Or, more likely, that’s mostly what we’ve been talking about as it’s singularly awful. Anyway, here’s some things I read this week that I found interesting. If there’s anything else you think I’d like, point it my way.

Julie Burchill has ended up bullying the trans community (Roz Kaveney)- Coldly angry piece from trans activist Roz, with a lot of wise words on how thoroughly awful Burchill’s piece was (also, read Roz’s book, Rituals, the first part of the Rhapsody of Blood series. It’s awesome queer feminist fantasy, and I’ll stop plugging it when you all read it).

The Julie Burchill transphobia scandal (CN Lester)- CN talks about how to channel rage at Burchill/Moore to improve conditions for trans people and bring about change for the better.

Burchill’s attack follows the same pattern – trans stories are only of interest if we star as villains (Jane Fae)- Jane discusses the role of trans women as “whipping girls” in the media, and how the community won’t take this any more.

“Nasty Idiotic Tripe”: stand against Julie Burchill’s years of transphobia (The Quietus)- Excellent summary of the whole Moore/Burchill disaster, including why what they said was wrong. Good for beginners. Bonus appearance by Suzanne Moore in the comments.

Please, no Moore: a snapshot of transphobia in Britain’s broadsheets (Media Darlings)- Another good summary of events, featuring a very good cartoon on trans oppression, and the phrase “farting privilege in all directions like some sort of collapsing cis Hindenburg”, of which I thoroughly approve.

On anger, privilege and power (Ally Fogg)- Ally explains the difference between the effect of anger of a newspaper columnist and the anger of those who they have offended, very reasonably.

Take the chip off my shoulder? Fuck you, Burchill! (Scriptonite)- The title summarises content rather nicely 🙂

And finally, something which isn’t about Observergeddon:

Structural inequality of an invisible minority (The Stroppy Rabbit)- Thought-provoking piece about handedness, which left me wondering where the problems of left-handedness fall as an oppression. Perhaps related no non-neurotypical issues?

Things I read this week that I found interesting

Each week, I’ll be putting together some things I read this week–that weren’t even necessarily written this week–that I found interesting, thought-provoking or enjoyable. Here’s this week’s reading. Feel free to pop anything else I might like into the comments.

Symphysiotomy survivors gather to recount stories of torture ( Trigger warning for abuse by doctors. I hadn’t heard about this procedure until I read this article. Up to 1500 Irish women were given a procedure called a symphysiotomy during childbirth. This involves sawing through pelvic cartilage with a hacksaw. It’s usually a last resort, when a C-section is impossible. It was thoroughly unnecessary. They didn’t consent. Many were left permanently disabled.

Grace’s Trans 101: An Introduction to Transsexuality and Some Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (Alas, A Blog)- An overview of trans. Worth a read, particularly for cis allies.

A fate worse than death (O.M. Grey)- Righteously furious piece about rape culture.

Racism within white feminist spaces (Black Feminists Manchester)- If you are a white feminist, read this. You are probably doing–or have done–some of these things. Read this. Resolve to be better.

The truth about false accusation (The Enliven Project)- An excellent infographic illustrating false accusations of rape. Note: these are based in US statistics. In the UK, the conviction to reporting ratio is slightly better.

As the #transdocfail hashtag showed, many trans people are afraid of their doctors (Charlie Hallam)- Trigger warnings. Charlie outlines the horrific processes and abuses trans people experience when engaging with healthcare.

Do you have sex like a girl? (It’s Just A Hobby)- Sex, intersectionality, calling out transphobic bullshit. This post has it all.

Privileges and oppression are never… irrelevant (Ally Fogg)- Ally on why we can’t just close our eyes and pretend some oppressions are irrelevant.

And finally, a little treat. Here’s a very important musical public service announcement from Nadia Kamil:

Things I read this week that I found interesting

New year, and new feature on the blog: here’s some things I read this week–they’re not even necessarily recent posts, but just struck me as relevant–which I enjoyed and I’d like to share with you.

This week, I’ll be honest, I haven’t really done much reading, so it’s a little sparse. Please drop anything into the comments that you think I might like. I will try to read it. Promise.

Violence against women is pandemic (Sam Ambreen) — huge trigger warnings here for rape and gang rape. Sam discusses the Delhi gang rape, racism, and how we mustn’t think violence against women is limited to India.

Why do some feminist spaces tolerate male abusers? and On Hugo Schwyzer: Accountability, not silencing dissent (@graceishuman) — Trigger warnings for abuse. Grace talks about the issues surrounding Jezebel contributor Hugo Schwyzer, a former perpetrator of abuse who seems to be popular among feminists. Last night, she also tweeted some excellent things.

I hate the tone argument (unquiet slumbers) — How can we reject the tone argument while still enabling shy people to speak? Very good exploration.