Webcrawl Wednesdays: Icebox edition

The temperature in my town has hovered consistently around freezing for the past week. Which means this tropical girl isn’t having a very good time! Still, I managed to thaw my fingers enough to bring you this week’s Webcrawl.

From the department of humans suck, but animals are awesome: Three lions reportedly saved a girl from assault and rape, chasing away her attackers and staying with her until help arrived. I knew The Lion King is my favourite Disney movie for a reason!

Since it’s still January, I’m allowing myself to post one more new-years-resolution related thing, because I think these are pretty great: 20 New Years’ Resolutions for 20-Somethings.

I know next to nothing about American football (including why a game that involves why throwing around a vaguely egg-shaped thing is called FOOTball) but I love this slideshow of female fans with awesome painted faces. Also, go Steelers!

Are you in college/finishing up/recently graduated? Drop whatever you’re doing right now and click over to Mint’s Life After College guide. It’s a great basic guide to getting your life organized after you graduate. Even if this advice doesn’t apply to you any more, you shpuld definitely pass it on to younger friends/relatives and make their lives that much easier. 

As someone who’s struggled with the ‘smart vs pretty’ dichotomy, I cannot say enough good things about The Right Way To Talk To Young Girls About Beauty. Two thumbs up. 

From the Department of Awesome: Disney Princess Superheroes. Note to Disney: You own Marvel, a freaking superhero comics company. Why does this not exist already?

 

Webcrawl Wednesdays: Happy New Year edition

Hi everyone! Sorry for the radio silence. Who knew moving to a new country could be so draining? Anyway, here’s this week’s Webcrawl!

From the ever-fabulous Gala Darling: Ten Fantastic Ways To Get Ready for 2012, and More Ways To Get Ready for 2012!

A look back at the 50 Best Moments For Women in 2011.

To my utter dismay, several of the girls in my third-grade class are crazy about Twilight. I wish I could explain to them why Edward and Bella aren’t exactly great role models… or better yet, show them this article:The Bloody, Twisted, Inverted World of Twilight: Violent Vampire Sex, Demon-Babies and Overwhelming Female Desire

A thought-provoking video that’s a must-watch for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation: Heterosexuality in a Homosexual World.

Finally, can anyone please explain to me why on Earth we have so many different kinds of sockets?

 

 

 

 

In defense of Chick Lit

Photo by Graeme Robertson. Image: Four Mills and Boon novels laid out in a fan shape.

 

I have a confession to make.

I read romance novels. I enjoy reading romance novels.

But confession is a bad choice of words. I’m not ashamed of reading Julia Quinn, Meg Cabot, Cindy Dees, and the rest, indeed, of enjoying them.

But, according to some people, I should be.

According to some people, there are two kinds of literature. One that’s worthy of being read, and one that isn’t. 

And chick lit falls near the top of the latter list. 

If I had a tenner for every person who’s expressed shock that someone like me (read: someone smart) reads chick lit, and romance novels at that, I’d be a rich woman indeed. 

 

Continue reading

No homo. Yes bigot.

No homo.

What does it mean? Basically, when someone (generally a guy, and generally someone in his teens or early twenties) does or says something that could be construed as not being entirely ‘straight’, he immediately disclaims the possibility of being gay, by saying ‘no homo.’

In some respects, the objective of the phrase is attained. Whenever I hear someone say ‘no homo’, I don’t think they’re gay. I do, however, think they’re a gigantic cowardly homophobic douche.

Because what ‘no homo’ implies is… Being gay is bad. Being gay is so bad that I have to immediately point out how NOT gay I am.

And worse, it reinforces all the stupid patriarchal bullshit about how guys aren’t supposed to show emotion. How they’re supposed to be the strong, silent types. How anything that departs from the tiny, rigid box of ‘acceptable’ masculine behavior is gay, feminine, deviant. 

Wrong.

And the sick thing is, you ask any of these people who say ‘no homo’… they’re going to immediately say, ‘Of COURSE I’m not a bigot! I love gay people! I have gay friends!’

Some friend you are, then, implying that you’re too good to be one of them. That being one of them is so repugnant to you that you have to qualify any statement you make that might imply you’re anything but unfailingly, utterly straight. That you’re so insecure in your masculinity, in your sexual orientation, that you can’t show affection or caring without thinking about how it might affect other people’s perception of you as a macho tough guy.

Some of you are going to read this and think, ‘Jeez, chill out! It’s just a joke!’ and ‘man, you’re taking this way too seriously…’

It’s not a joke. It’s an insult, to gay people, to bi people, to straight people. It’s immature and hurtful and bigoted. And it’s just plain stupid.

Being a queer rights activist isn’t about the number of gay friends you have or the amount of rainbow crap you buy. It’s about everyday thought, word and action, about the small things that have the potential to cause big hurts.

It’s about calling out things you think are wrong, wherever you can.

So this is me calling out everyone that uses ‘no homo.’

Grow up, please. And grow a pair, while you’re at it.

Webcrawl Wednesdays: International Women’s Day

I read. A lot. And Webcrawl Wednesdays is my way of sharing some of the cool things I find on the interwebs. Here’s the IWD edition, a day late but hopefully not a dollar short!

The Guardian’s list of the top 100 most powerful women, via Kals. Great stuff, and so inspiring!

Wardrobe Oxygen’s IWD post on why she identifies as a feminist. She says it better than I ever could! 

Via the New York Times, a very interesting articles on our obsession with actress’ bodies and their appetites

The founder of blogging service Dreamwidth, sydendochic, on why modesty is a dirty word, especially for women.

And finally, for all you Bondphiles out there: Dame Judi and Daniel Craig (who looks quite pretty in a dress and heels) in a PSA about how far we still have to go.  

thoughts on body image, girl bonding, and tearing ourselves down.

We’ve all been there. At lunch with a friend, in the school parking lot, at the mall. And then someone makes a comment about how fat she is. And we all rush to reassure her… by pointing out our own flaws. Look at my thighs. My hips. My stomach. Look at the pimples on my face, the scars on my legs, the flab on my arms. 

Well, I’m looking, and I have this to say: They’re beautiful. You’re beautiful. 

I always wonder why, when someone points out a so-called flaw, the immediate response, if you’re a woman, is to offer reassurance by pointing out your own instead of assuring the other person they’re fine the way they are. I’ve never seen a bunch of boys say, oh, look at me, my muscles aren’t big enough! (To be fair, boys have body image problems of their own, but since talking about those will lead us in another direction altogether I’m going to stick with us girls for now.) 

Sometimes I look in the mirror, and my reaction is, hey, she’s cute! And then, a voice inside my head tells me, shh, don’t talk like that, it’s arrogant, it’s vain, you’re nothing special with your dark skin and your non-model features and your excess pounds.

Well, you know something? Screw you, voice. I am beautiful. I am beautiful with my dark skin and my glasses and my hair that will never behave and my spare tires. And so is everyone else.

I wonder if it’s part of our socialization as women, to tear ourselves down rather than build ourselves up. To say, look at me, I am just like you, I have flaws too, I am not a threat. To find common ground in our weaknesses rather than in our strengths. To continue the vicious cycle that tells us we’re not thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, good enough.

Well, it stops now. The next time someone says ‘Oh my God, I’m so fat!’ I’m not going to talk about how I could stand to lose a few pounds too.

I’m going to tell them they’re perfect just the way they are.

Because it’s true.