Welcome to another weekly round-up, where we share (what we see as) the most interesting and important articles from the previous seven days. We’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the issues covered in the articles we’ve picked.
As always, linking to articles does not mean endorsement from the F-Word and certain links may be triggering. We welcome debate in the comments section and on Facebook/Twitter but remind readers that any comments containing sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic or disablist language will be deleted immediately.
If you notice that we’ve missed out any important articles from the past week, feel free to let us know.
From the article: “For twenty-two years I had been conditioned to regard my Chinese identity—starting with my name—as a source of embarrassment and inadequacy. Now, choosing to introduce myself with my Chinese name as an entry to reclaiming this identity was, and still is, a sorely vulnerable act.”
From the article: “[To] be looped in a GIF, to be put on display as ‘animated’ at the behest of audiences,” as Monica Torres describes for Real Life, is an act with racial history and meaning. These GIFs often enact fantasies of black women as “sassy” and extravagant, allowing nonblack users to harness and inhabit these images as an extension of themselves. GIFs with transcripts become an opportunity for those not fluent in black vernacular to safely use the language, such as in the many ‘hell to the no,’ ‘girl, bye,’ and ‘bitch, please’ memes passed around. Ultimately, black people and black images are thus relied upon to perform a huge amount of emotional labor online on behalf of nonblack users. We are your sass, your nonchalance, your fury, your delight, your annoyance, your happy dance, your diva, your shade, your ‘yaas’ moments. The weight of reaction GIFing, period, rests on our shoulders. Intertwine this proliferation of our images with the other ones we’re as likely to see — death, looped over and over — and the Internet becomes an exhausting experience.”
From the article: “Nineteen hyenas and a broken vacuum cleaner control the White House, and ice is becoming extinct. I get it. I am desperate and afraid as well. I am prepared to make leviathan compromises to pull us back from that brink. But there is no recognizable version of the Democratic Party that does not fight unequivocally against half its constituents’ being stripped of ownership of their own bodies and lives. This issue represents everything Democrats purport to stand for.”
From the article: “When I eventually tracked down my Keyser Soze, I was even angrier to find out he was a ‘normal’ person. An adult man who holidays with his girlfriend in Italy, shares videos about dogs being saved from floods on Facebook and, apparently, has an alter ego for sending women they’ve never met ‘I know where you live’ messages. After finally keeping him on the phone long enough to read what he’d sent to me back to him, I was taken aback by how distraught he was and yet completely unsympathetic.”
From the article: “Writing about those stars often makes me melancholy, less because of their personal decisions, and more because of what those decisions reveal about the resilience of the image-flattening machine.
“Which is why it’s always such a delight to look into a star archive — like Theron’s, or Kidman’s, or Witherspoon’s — and find these moments of resistance and weirdness. Of course, all three of those women have survived in Hollywood because of their whiteness and their beauty. But that survival is also a testament to their stubbornness, their talent, their bitchiness, and their insistence that they are far more complex, far more worthy of your time and consideration, far more than the sum of their exquisite parts than the publicity world would have you believe.”
From the article: “Women’s safety is being [compromised]. It goes against the home affairs committee’s call last year for women sharing premises to be decriminalised. The police are permitting a terror campaign against sex workers. Even having a key [to enter the premises] is deemed to be assisting in running a brothel.”
From the article: “Proportionally, we find a larger reduction in household income for lower-income women, with the reform increasing the measured income poverty rate of women aged 60 to 62, who are now under the state pension age, by 6.4 percentage points.”
From the article: “If you look at this belief that women’s sexuality is more receptive – it’s more fluid, it’s triggered by external stimuli, that women have the capacity to be sort of aroused by anything and everything – it really just reinforces what we want to believe about women, which is that women are always sexually available people.
“With men, on the other hand, the idea that they have this hardwired heterosexual impulse to spread their seed and that that’s relatively inflexible, also kind of reinforces the party line about heteronormativity and also frankly, patriarchy.”
The image is used under a creative commons with thanks to Victoria Pickering on Flickr. It is a black and white photograph of what appears to be a protest taking place at night. The protesters are facing away from the camera towards a row of lit up shop fronts. Part of a placard one of the protesters is holding can just be read from the angle and it says: ‘The revolution has always been in the hands of the young.’