Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

Tuesday Linksday

Debbie says:
A very rich selection of links this week:

Extreme wheelchair sports provide great visuals:

occupied wheelchair hangs upside down in front of the crowd

Wheelz does what he calls WCMX, or wheelchair motocross. It’s like BMX, except with four wheels instead of two. Oh, and a disability thrown in just to keep it interesting.

Wheelz practically invented the sport. There are other wheelchair users out there doing WCMX, but Wheelz is the undisputed king. He’s gone bigger and jumped farther than anyone. You ever see an average guy in a wheelchair do a double back flip? No? That’s because only Wheelz can do that.

***

Pamela Raintree is my hero. In an attempt to overturn an anti-LGBT-discrimination ordinance, Shreveport, Louisiana councilman Ron Webb started quoting the Bible.

Pamela Raintree, a transgender woman … called out the Bible-quoting councilman, daring him to stone her to death.

“Leviticus 20:13 states, ‘If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, they shall surely put him to death,’” Raintree began. “I brought the first stone, Mr. Webb, in case that your Bible talk isn’t just a smoke screen for personal prejudices.”

Webb withdrew his repeal measure just minutes later, without calling for a vote.

***

What do Muslim women and gay black dads have in common? Reductive stereotyping, perhaps?

First, Maureen Ahmed at PolicyMic takes on the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research:

Here’s my two-cents: Why do we only see studies on women’s visibility from Muslim-majority regions? People everywhere have pressure placed on them to represent a society’s shared systems of value and belief.

Does anyone truly think that women in the United States are not subjected to similar forms of scrutiny? Just take a look at the discourse around rape culture here, and you will quickly find your answer.

Then, Courtney Baxter at Feministing looks at the Kordale and Kaleb viral internet sensation:

There’s something about the virality of these photos, including that they were stripped from an Instagram account, that yells: “OMG black men can be gay and they can be gay-dads and isn’t it the cutest thing you have ever seen?!” It sounds like they’re talking about goddamn puppies.

—> These Black Dads and Their Three Kids Golden Retrievers and Their Puppies have the Cutest Instagram Ever…Much cuteness. Such adorable.”

What’s happening here feels like, to me, a dangerous tokenization of these very daily, “normal” black and queer lives. It reduces and co-opts their normalcy into something that can be put on Huffington Post, and Policy Mic, and BuzzFeed and shared on social media. And so I’m frustrated and conflicted – we do need visibility around the “normalcy” of our queer lives.

I can’t speak for Maureen Ahmed, and I know sociological studies are very different from Instagram pix, but I imagine her having some of the same frustration and conflict.

***
The only reason Laurie and I didn’t pick this one out of links to write a whole blog about is that we couldn’t think of one more thing we would add to Shannon Barber’s piece about skin-bleaching at Nudemuse. Read the whole thing.

I was at the dirt mall beauty supply store and came upon a skin lightening product. The woman told me if I used it I could be “fairer” and my skin would look pretty.

I went for it.

Of course I did.

I bought and used it twice a day for months.

At first I only used it on my dark spots but when those faded I used it on more of my face.

You know what happened?

First my skin was kind of okay and then it just really wasn’t. I burned my cheeks, my little Ashanti style sideburns were burnt off, I got darker marks on my chin and a scar by my left ear that did not fade for almost a decade.

***

And for a different kind of body imagery, Ria Misra at i09 found this remarkable collection of old medical illustrations.

cutaway of a hand with metal workings shown inside

Aside from my usual sources: Feministe, Feministing, io9, and Shakesville, the Wheelz link came from Jay Lake.

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