Friday, 27 April 2012

Why I have Pride

Posted by Zim

Hello all! How are you today? I hope you're at least 50% fantastic. If you're not, I strognly advise a hot drink of your choosing and relaxing in a comfortable (or as near to it as you can get) position whilst watching something hilarious that requires minimal brain activity on your part.

Or maybe that's not your thing. I've got no reccomendations in that case; I can only speak from experience.

What's that, I'm pretending you just said? "What a masterful segue"? Oh dear, imaginary reader. You're too kind.

Why yes indeed, I am Zim, and I am here to talk about my experiences and feelings.

Now, I could perhaps discuss with you how, after several years, being compared to a tiny, green alien ceases to be hilarious. (Though it does bear mentioning that all your base are indeed belong to me.) Or perhaps the hardships of a life lived as someone with a large head who also happens to look fabulous in a large variety of hats. Maybe even my flaming vitriol at the fact that mushrooms continue to exist as a viable foodsource despite all the letters I've written to their parents and their supervisors.*

There are so, so many things I could talk about incessantly to you all, but I think I'll settle on the topic of Pride.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Links round up

Lashings of Ginger Beer
Posted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Matthew Ingman (of The Oatmeal comics, some of which are NSFW/not failproof) says something stupid and privileged about a topic he knows nothing about. Fans call him out on it. Matthew Ingman says "That was stupid and privileged and I didn't know what I was talking about." And donates $1000 to an anti-domestic-violence organisation. Owning yr privilege and not being a twerp about it: yr doing it right.

At Perils of Divorced Pauline, a meditation on Ann Romney, economic privilege and the so-called Mommy Wars:
I’ll be honest: I often miss my former life. I don’t miss the guilt I had, having so much when others had so little, but I do miss the absence of stress. The kind of stress that comes from lack of choice. And that is what Hilary Rosen was talking about. When you don’t have to worry about money ever, and you can afford to buy your way out of most problems, being a SAHM, even to five boys, is easier than being a mom who does have to worry about making ends meet, and who can’t buy her way out of most problems, Whether or not she stays at home.Or in Ann Romney’s case, stays at homes.

Bang-on analysis from Jonny's Opium Den on the popularity of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic among the young-adult set:
Let me explain. Unlike a lot of kids TV, the central characters of MLP:FiM (or the “Mane 6″) are not children... No, the focus is on six young adult ponies fundamentally trying to find their place in the world and, often, to come to terms with balancing their own childish desires with the need to be mature and responsible... Not only that, but the core message about friendship rings just as true with us as it does with any child, maybe more so.

Interesting discussion of the demands we put on allies in anti-oppression movements

Christians turn up to the Chicago Gay Pride Parade holding signs saying 'I'm sorry for how the church has treated you'. Hugs ensue.

Some perspectives on feminism and misogyny in poly communities (triggering for rape culture):
Feminist non-monogamy? at Love is Infinite
Is non-monogamy feminist? at Silicone Valley

Friday, 20 April 2012

Six Reasons The Hunger Games is not Twilight and One Reason It Matters

Posted by Carlotta

Many people have compared The Hunger Games to Twilight.

In fact, several have written almost exactly this article, refuting the claim that they are the same. In most comparisons, THG seems to come out on top. In fact, the HuffPo found that over 90% of the people who answered their poll thought that Katniss was a stronger character than Bella.

Yet here I am writing pretty much the same article again. I’ll save you the suspense - I do not think the two series are the same, and I think that THG is a more complex, interesting novel which fails significantly less than Twilight. I outline my case below, for those who are interested. But first, let me talk about the more important issue: Why It Matters.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Academic Round-Up

Lashings of Ginger Beer

Posted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Oxford-based Lashers are SO PSYCHED for this lecture series starting next week - open to anyone who can get to Oxford for 2pm on a Wednesday:

pictures of queers from history

Before Oscar: Reading Gender & Sexuality Pre-1880
"Crossing period and national boundaries, this lecture series will introduce the pleasures and dangers of reading pre-twentieth century literature through a queer-studies and gender-studies lens."
More exciting queer academic events below the cut!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Links round up

Lashings of Ginger Beer
Posted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

The Neediness Dilemma
On expressing needs in relationships, and why this is sometimes difficult, especially for those of us socialised as women.

Note to everyone: Disabled people have sex!
s. e. smith on the desexualisation of people with disabilities.

Some awesome pronoun badges

As you may  have heard, last week Christian group The Core Issues Trust planned to advertise  "reparative therapy" for gay Christians on London buses, and Boris Johnson stopped them.
This article discusses experiences of such "therapy" - unsurprisingly it is very triggering for homophobia.

Dating while fat (and feminist) - this is potentially really triggering for insidious cultural fat-hate. It's also a brilliantly direct and honest post. By the end it's got right into the very nature of feminism, and it's given me a lot to think about.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Men, Women, Chainsaws and Why I Still Miss Buffy

Posted by Lilka

[Trigger warning: Use of misogynistic language, in the post and the links. I discuss sexist portrayals and violence against women in the horror genre, including sexual violence, and have embedded a video that depicts some of these things. Some of the film descriptions I link to may also be disturbing or triggering. At least one of the linked videos is NSFW (the others, it may depend on where you work!).]

[Spoiler warning: I potentially spoil some minor plot points in The Vampire Lovers, Shambleau, Jenifer, Deadgirl, Carrie, Teeth, Misery, and Bride of Frankenstein. Major ending spoilers for Perfume and Martyrs. Some spoilers for Supernatural, especially in the embedded video, but nothing from the last couple of seasons. Almost all links contain spoilers.]

So, I'm a fan of horror. Movies, books, comics; anything that promises me a creepy doll, a supernatural menace, an eldritch abomination or just a really good scare, I'm there for. And I feel sympathy for people who raise their eyebrows when I mention this. One friend said to me, “Oh, I'd like to get into horror fiction too. It's just so hard to find the good stuff that isn't all blood and rape,” and I could only agree with them. While I would say horror is no more prone to Sturgeon's Law than any other genre, horror's usual subject matter means that the crap is often, well, crappier; more violent, more gratuitous, more enraging, more difficult to read or watch. Horror fiction is by its nature often reactionary – it's about the intrusion of the abnormal into normal life and (usually) the eventually re-assertion of the status quo. That being the case, it's not surprising to find the annals of horror fiction littered with bad guys who are in some way othered: demons dressed in S&M gear, predatory lesbians (link NSFW), really offensive metaphorised representations of people of colour.... And of course slasher movies are particularly infamous for the tendency of the victims to be black, sexually active or generally behaving in non-societally approved ways.

Besides the general kyriarchical mess, though, there are two things that make it tough for me specifically as a female fan of horror, and it's those that I'd like to talk about more in this post.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Research studies

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Participating in research studies can be a way to give policy makers and others in power greater awareness of marginalised perspectives. Here are some studies that readers may be interested in participating in:

LGBT Community Research

The terms ‘LGBT community’ and ‘LGBT communities’ are often used, but how much do we know about how these are understood – or experienced?

A new UK research project aims to address these questions, and explore the impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) health, wellbeing and ‘quality of life’, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the ‘Connected Communities’ programme.

For further information please see the project website:

Watching Women's Films

Do you identify as a feminist?  Do you like watching movies?  Watching Women's Films is a place for feminists who consume popular culture to share their views, thoughts and feelings about "Women's Films" today.

Please take a look at the website and take part in discussions on the forum:

Enduring Love?

The Enduring Love? project is a mixed methods study on long-term adult couple relationships. The findings will add an important dimension to understandings of personal and family lives in contemporary society.

Increasing knowledge on how long-term relationships work and the emotional and practical relationship work that goes into sustaining them, will facilitate more effective points of intervention, informing the improvement of policy making, governance and support services, and relationship education.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Links round up

Lashings of Ginger Beer

Posted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

[TW for transphobia, child harm] Berlin Authorities Endorse Forced Psychiatric Treatment of a Transsexual Girl. This is just too horrible. You can sign a petition here.

[Trigger warnings for discussion of body image.]
 Ashley Judd Slaps Media in the Face for Speculation Over Her ‘Puffy’ Appearance
Ashley Judd pulls out the misogynist implications of media criticism of her appearance.
"I choose to address it because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle. The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about."

Dear DIVA: One Does Not Simply Justify Biphobia
DIVA published an article about biphobia amongst lesbians, and mercury_phoenix explains why this article is so problematic:

"In the article, bisexual women are encouraged to 'understand' the fear that grips lesbians when faced with dating non-monosexual women, lesbians are encouraged to air their views as to why they would not date a non-monosexual woman, and the given 'solution' is that bisexual woman will just have to work that little bit harder to prove their fidelity. "

 What Pirates! taught me about women
I (Annalytica) enjoyed the film Pirates! in spite of it's various failings, but Laura Woodhouse at the F-Word highlights some important respects in which its portrayal of women sucks.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Another Brick in the Wall: Trolls, Tea, Kittens, Samantha Brick and the Daily Fail

GalateaPosted by Galatea

[Image description: A GIF file of Professor Quirrel from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone running through the Great Hall screaming ‘TROLL! IN THE DUNGEON!’. This is possibly my favourite GIF ever.]

An opening caveat: if you happen not to have already read the article by Samantha Brick that was realeased on the Daily Mail website on Tuesday, do not, repeat, DO NOT go over there and read it. I mean it: sit on your hands, step away from the computer, install Kittenblock (a handy piece of software that re-routes all Daily Mail links to pictures of tea and kittens) if you have to.

The reason that I tell you this is because the Daily Mail are being trolls, fol de rol LOL, and we are all falling for it. My Facebook page and Twitter have been falling for it all week, I’ve had several heated arguments about it today and yesterday, and now apparently, courtesy of me, the Lashings blog is falling for it too. The reason I’d prefer you really didn’t go over there because of me is because the Daily Mail is getting advertising money for each person who clicks on their site –  a total of £19 million in the year to October 2011 according to this Guardian article – and I really don’t want to be furthering their economic growth.

If you do really want to read the article for whatever reason, a cached version of it that will NOT give hits to the Daily Fail is available here: (if it appears not to work, click on the first line that reads ‘Samantha Brick on the’). 

(Courtesy of Annalytica: Here are some other ways of preventing giving ad revenue to the Fail

Basically, it’s a story that was written by a journalist named Samantha Brick describing a) the ways in which she feels that she has been judged, bullied and put down by other women because of her attractive appearance, and b) the gifts, special attention and general happytimes that she feels she has received from men because of her attractive appearance.