Tuesday Linksday This Week

Debbie says:

This history of queer fashion video is oddly heteronormative for its topic, but it’s also a whole bunch of fun, and quite knowledgeable.


We are seriously thinking about stopping providing links to Jezebel, for reasons explained below in this post. But I had already saved this one, which we found there, and it gives a tiny bit of research support for things we already knew.

In a new study published online in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that men were more likely to feel subconsciously worse about themselves when their female partner succeeded than when she failed.

However, if you flip the dynamics the other way, women’s self-esteem was not affected by their male partners’ success or failure.

The whole article (including the abstract) is behind a paywall, so I don’t know if there were 15 subjects or a few hundred. But my anecdotal experience generally agrees with the conclusion.


Some stereotypes are just wrong, and Christine Whelan debunks one:

Early last year I ended a monogamous relationship with someone I had been with for more than a decade. In the aftermath of the breakup I decided that what I most wanted at this stage in my life was sex, and lots of it. I dubbed 2013 my “year of fucking recreationally” and set out to find some hot, sweaty, messy, dirty, uncomplicated fun with like-minded friends. And find it I did! Here are some things that I learned about what it’s really like to seek casual sex as a forty year old fat chick.

Now, I should note that when I tell you I’m fat, I really mean it. I’m not just slightly chubby and complaining about those last 15 pounds. I’m rather short and weigh almost precisely 300 lbs. I wear size 28 clothing. Unless you think such things are mutually exclusive, I would describe myself as reasonably pretty, in a natural, low-maintenance, naughty librarian kind of way. I am fiercely intelligent, deeply hilarious, casually stylish, utterly unselfconscious and really, genuinely nice. I am also an absolute riot in the sack. And I’ve been getting laid like crazy.

I am certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, and I’m not at all offended by that fact. I respect that attraction is a personal thing and that lots of guys just aren’t into what I have to offer. That’s ok with me, as long as they’re not dicks about it. I have my own tastes and preferences as well, so I’m certainly not going to begrudge anyone else theirs.


Why are we thinking about boycotting Jezebel? Because it’s hard to support any site (let alone one that identifies as feminist) after they offer $10,000 for pictures of a woman (Lena Dunham) who doesn’t want those pictures out in the world. We’ve seen lots of good analyses of this trainwreck, but the extraordinary HannahKy at Binary This digs deeper:

… we want to be careful that we can still see the political forest despite the pop culture trees.

Given that popular culture is a huge part of daily life and a source of enjoyment for many people (whether we agree it should be or not) it certainly warrants attention. But I do agree we should make sure our critique doesn’t become so narrow and specific that we miss the point. From what I can see going on in the Dunham-cover debate, there is a pretty narrow focus not on a tree, but on a tiny bug sitting on a leaf.

I mean, if we’re going to spend our time and money ($10,000, really Jez?) critiquing Vogue, why not look at it’s full-on reinforcement of class disparity? Why not look at it holistically, as a cultural artefact: what does it keep us aspiring to? That it proposes a vision of beauty that isn’t just a particular form of femininity, but is perhaps more grossly white, upper-class and heterosexual?

When we’re doing these analyses, why don’t we ask: who is the *real* enemy?
The women posing, willingly participating in their objectification?
The individual photoshoppers, for being so brutal with their brush?
The editor of Vogue, for dictating what is socially normal and acceptable in fashion and beauty?

…Or, something bigger?…


If you’re looking for something different in a doll, especially something culturally respectful, Taofick Okoya has your back.

Taofick Okoya couldn’t find a black doll for his niece in Nigeria.

This realization shocked the 43-year-old into action when he saw that in the booming economy of his country, there was a gap in the market with little competition from foreign companies like Mattel Inc., the creator of Barbie. So he set up shop and went on a mission to create dolls that looked like the children of his country,

According to Reuters, Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, are all represented in the Queens of Africa dolls. The dolls sell from about $8 to $22 for special-edition models. Okoya makes a net margin of approximately a third of the price and sells in his home country, as well as increasingly churning out sales to the U.S. and Europe.

Okoya also has one more design plan that he is determined to undertake. He wants to make the dolls larger-bodied.

Finally, if you’ve ever wondered what Wonder Woman thinks of sexy WW makeovers, we have the answer.

Aside from my most usual sources: Feministe, Feministing, io9, and Shakesville, our own Lynne Murray found the African dolls link, Alan Bostick found the Wonderwoman cartoon, supergee found “fat, forty, and slutty” and the queer fashion history link came from Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, regular blogger on The Politics Blog at The Atlantic

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Linksday This Week

  1. How do we know that Lena Dunham didn’t want those pictures published? I saw the whole thing as an attempt to show that Vogue had radically airbrushed her body to their standards, which, in fact, they didn’t do.

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