For International Women’s Day: Links by, for and About Women

Laurie and Debbie say:

The book world is buzzing with the story of Margaret Seltzer, a privileged white woman who made up a story about being mixed race and living in the gritty world of South Central L.A. … and got an advance of almost $100,000 for her book. The “memoir” had just been published when the news broke.

Angry Black Woman is, appropriately, angry, and has a thing or two to say about the phenomenon.

Just once I like the acclaimed voice of the poor inner city kids to be a poor inner city kid, and not some white person looking to make a buck off the community. Is that so much to ask? Can the fabulous writers that come from our communities be the voices of our communities? Or does White America really need appropriation in order to connect with the reality of life as a POC? We aree here, we can speak for ourselves and if you can manage to listen? Thats your problem. Our work might not feed into all those comfortable stereotypes that this book did, but then there is a reason this book is little more than the fantasies of a privileged white woman looking to for bigger and better ways to stroke her own ego.

The whole piece is perfect and, as fans of The Wire, we’re especially pleased to see the nod to Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, whose book doesn’t get the attention, the money, or the respect that crap like Seltzer’s book seems to attract.

By way of a public service announcement, here’s an underpublicized side effect of Lipitor, which seems to affect only women. A friend of Laurie’s told her about it when she was in Boston. His mother was feeling like she was getting really stupid. Instead of taking her seriously, her male doctor said, “If you’re sharp enough to worry about it, you’re fine.” She found out on her own about this Lipitor side effect and and stopped taking the drug. Hopefully it’s the solution.

“This drug makes women stupid, Orli Etingin, vice chairman of medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital, declared at a recent luncheon discussion sponsored by Project A.L.S. to raise awareness of gender issues and the brain. Dr. Etingin, who is also founder and director of the Iris Cantor Womens Health Center in New York, told of a typical patient in her 40s, unable to concentrate or recall words. Tests found nothing amiss, but when the woman stopped taking Lipitor, the symptoms vanished. When she resumed taking Lipitor, they returned.

I’ve seen this in maybe two dozen patients, Dr. Etingin said later, adding that they did better on other statins. This is just observational, of course. We really need more studies, particularly on cognitive effects and women.

It’s not clear how much original testing of Lipitor and other statins was conducted with women (many drugs are only studied in all-male tests) but large-scale studies with women are happening now. As the article makes clear, there’s no reason to stop taking Lipitor, regardless of your gender, unless you are experiencing these symptoms, in which case, make sure your doctor knows about this article.

Feministe has not one but two kick-ass posts we want you to see:

First, Zuzu writes about “embracing the gray,”, in a post that goes well with our recent thoughts on the topic.

And Holly pulls out a superb list of ways to avoid dealing with racism. All (actually 17) are so familiar that it’s hard to imagine how a conversation about racism would go if none of them were called into play. Here’s a sample:

The Remove the Right To Be Angry
You are too sensitive if you weren’t so aggressive, vocal, hostile, angry, or upset, people would listen to you and you wouldn’ tget in trouble.

The Utopian Eye-Gouger
I’m colorblind, personally, why can’t we all just ignore race, it’s not like it’s even real. It’s not like I tangibly benefit from being white every day or anything! Can’t we all just get along?

Turning the Tables
You are being just as racist against white people, you realize. You ae being racist against me right now, you reverse-racist hypocrites!

On a personal note, Carol at Kimchi Mamas is talking about reasons that she and her family are thinking about leaving the United States for Peru, her husband’s home country:

Culturally, Peru is very diverse. There is a strong Asian presence, particularly Japanese and Chinese that has been there since the late 1800’s/early 1900’s. Which is not to say that people are culturally enlightened and racism does not exist there (it most certainly does, it just doesn’t reach the violent fever pitch that it does here), but we would not stick out like a sore thumb. Actually it’s more likely that people would simply assume we’re Peruvian. The opposite of here, where I’m still occasionally asked “Excuse me. DO … YOU … SPEAK … ENGLISH?!” …

Right now, we work very, very hard to have very, very little. We have very little time to be a family. My son’s daycare teachers hold him and know more about him than I do (words cannot explain how much this bothers me and breaks my heart a little more everyday). To actually be present in the moment for my child, and have an opportunity to have another, or two more kids. Imagine! Currently my co-workers get more of my attention than my son (my poor husband, he doesn’t even make it on the list). …

I have heard the arguments that even with all the warts, we’re still better off in the US. …They don’t have access to up-to-date technology. What if you get really sick? If we were ever in need of any major kind of healthcare procedures, we’d probably need to come back to the States. So fine, we’ll get on a plane. But hell – the cost of some procedures I can’t even afford now, so what does it matter – I might still not get the treatment I need living here.

And finally, something beautiful, a survey of beautiful fat women in art from all over:

Welcome to the Broad Band, where you can see Broads of all Widths (and Bandwidths) on the internet.

race, racism, Margaret Seltzer, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, biography, memoir, Lipitor, women, feminism, going gray, gray hair, emigration, Peru, fat, body image, size acceptance, art, Body Impolitic