Links of Great Interest: :side-eye to the universe in general:

From Scarlett:

The following one is about a new UK reality show where they put a gorgeous woman and physically deformed man in a house. I assume they’re meant to fall in love? What’s the bet we never see the reverse – gorgeous man and deformed woman?

The following link is about a reality show where the ‘best’ would-be bride at the end of each episode gets to choose from her wish-list of plastic surgery. The photo is from Aus soap Neighbours sometime from the 80’s – ironically, the bride is Kylie Minogue, who I reckon has had surgery.

The search for Mitrice Richardson keeps uncovering more and more sinister clues. Most recently: a racist mural that might depict her degradation.

Pornland sounds like an amazing, powerful work, particularly in light of what Jenn’s saying here.

Remember, y’all: ARTS FUNDING IS JOB FUNDING. Support the arts!

Dude, Tyler Perry? Not so sure he should be taking on For Colored Girls… Y’know, it’s a serious, classic, awesome play… and he, like, does racist, misogynistic drag. This could be a foul, hot ass mess.

UMMMMMM I think this dad, who got on a school bus and defended his daughter against sexual harassment and bullying, is actually pretty awesome and should not have been arrested.

CONSENT IS PERMANENT, and you can’t unconsent. GOD I NEED A DRINK. Welcome to rape culture 1.5, where you aren’t allowed to change your fucking mind.

Behold! The first born-and-bred Arab woman body-builder! Get it, girl.

This woman reads Playboy to the blind. Neat! The observation about tats would probably make me giggle if I was the one reading it, though.

STFU, feminists! You, and not sexism, are the REAL PROBLEM.

A UF professor believes that Latinas dress more provocatively than American women. Because Latina and American are mutually exclusive. Like this excuses his ongoing issues with sexual harassment.

Humanity Together sounds pretty neat — wanna read a graphic novel about everyday heroes?

Who knew? 9/21 is the international day for peace! Also: the 23rd was celebrate bisexuality day!

Oh, hello, new video game! You’re a funny fellow! What? You’re built around XENOPHOBIA!? Sweet!

What’s going on with all the Gabby Sidibe love?

WTF, Emma Frost doesn’t BEND like that. Plus, she’s HBIC. An HBIC does NOT eat pancakes. Caviar and cake all the way.

REALLY, WisCon? Ally!fail. >_< I’m glad they have a fandom of color safe-space, because if you’re going to make it possible to debate the good citizenship of POC and religious minorities because of an intellectual commitment to safe space that tacitly reflects what opinions it’s safe to say out loud and what’re not, my ass will need a drink in a quiet, dark room. Anyways, here are some responses in the WisCon LJ comm, and here’s the official spot to respond. Someone’s asking what the burden of education is at a con — good fuckin’ question! DeepaD’s got a link round up entitled “The Dirt I Lay Claim To“.  Karnythia is a member of the planning committee and is reacting here. I gotta agree with TanyaD — this shit is making me rethink WisCon, particularly since they keep trying to change the parameters of the convo from being about racism to being about something else. FantasyEcho’s got some bullet points of WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK here. Basically? Marginalized people shouldn’t always have to be the bigger person and be the sacrifice for someone else’s “teachable moment.” At the same time, Nisi Shawl, the other guest of honor, and NK Jemisin both advocate for attendance and good ally-hood.

Wow, this series of messages from LGBT adults to LGBT youth is centered around one simple fact: “It gets better.”

HARRY POTTER FOR EVER! Snarky HP icons FTW! Especially useful if you’ve ever wanted to diss those annoying Gryffindors or those tag-along Ravenclaws, or on your friends’ list.  THE HUFFLEPUFF ONES ARE NOT AMUSING THOUGH, AT ALL!

Guess what! There’s money to be made from fangirls! “girl” here might have  a political connotation as well.

From a reader:

VH1 might be sleeping, but PBS certainly isn’t.


There’s gonna be a blog carnival on race and midwifery.

Apex Magazine is looking for submissions by Arab writers and by Muslim writers.

Crossed Genres is looking for media featuring characters of color.

A lexiconical writing project~!


  1. Lisa says

    This commenter is now banned. My apologies for initially letting this one through.

    >CONSENT IS PERMANENT, and you can’t unconsent. GOD I NEED A DRINK. Welcome to rape culture 1.5, where you aren’t allowed to change your fucking mind.

    Personally, I think if she consented when when was entered, that at that point it counts. I kind of pity men’s comparitive lack of an… off switch? However, she never said yes to the sex, only ‘heavy petting,’ and she was injured on top of it. Can we get a freaking assault or battery charge at least?

    • says

      My standard is id you can stop if you mom walks in the room, you can stop if the other person revokes their consent. Since almost no guy would consider continuing in the former, they can respect the latter. The off switch idea is a myth.

          • says

            I so totally agree with both of you, Attackfish and Shaun. If there are conditions important to HIM that would enable him to stop in mid-thrust, then if a man ignores his partner’s request to stop in mid-thrust, he’s crossed a line.

            I think people also need to realize: if we created a society in which women felt less confused and conflicted about their sexuality, with less guilt and shame and manipulation to deal with regarding every aspect of every act of sex a girl or woman considers having, this type of confused consent repealing would probably be a rare thing. (I mean, that’s why men and boys so rarely revoke consent – they’ve been taught NOT to feel guilt, shame and confusion about their desire for sex.) But as long as men keep fighting for the right to rape women who’ve revoked consent, we can’t have that world.

            I think men would get laid a lot more in my ideal world, don’t you? And yet millions of them haven’t the basic goddamn sense to figure that out.

    • Raeka says

      Although I also (obviously) agree that consent can ALWAYS be revoked, I am (disturbingly) almost more disgusted by the complete inattention the judge appears to give the fact that the girl was injured.

      I accept that some people are still tragically confused on the ongoing nature of consent, but I find it hard to believe that the the judge didn’t see the girl’s injuries as indicative of a certain force used during the act –absent any whisper of kink, how can people believe a ‘normal’ girl consented to bodily harm?

      I don’t mean to be perpetuating ideas of ‘if she didn’t struggle to the end, she must have consented’, but this one bit of info raises my impression of the judge from ‘tragically misinformed’ to ‘doesn’t give a shit about some slut’.

      Just ’cause you give someone permission to touch you, doesn’t mean you give permission for them to beat you black and blue.

      • says

        I totally get what you’re saying here. If a judge has nothing but testimony to indicate whether or not consent happened, that’s a big challenge. But an injury really ought to be seen as corroborating that testimony. I mean, that’s exactly what medical examiners look for to determine if a murder victim was sexually assaulted, so WTF happened here?

      • SunlessNick says

        I am (disturbingly) almost more disgusted by the complete inattention the judge appears to give the fact that the girl was injured.

        Or the media. Most articles on this case gloss over that part.

    • Charles RB says

      “men’s comparitive lack of an… off switch”

      We’re sapient beings capable of learning and of analysing situations. Pulling out and not going back in is not a feat beyond our ken.

  2. scarlett says

    When I first read the Beauty and the Beast post, I was like – WTF? It’s like they decided Beauty and the Geek was too classy and needed tackying up. I suspect it will be the same old story: gorgeous, sophisticated woman falls for geeky/ugly/deformed man and learns lessons about being shallow and judgemental. But that scenario is hardly ever reversed. Where are all the gorgeous men falling for geeky/ugly/deformed women? Apparantly only women are allowed to fall for someone lesser in looks for their heart/soul/brains.

      • scarlett says

        Yeah but even then, Jack Black is hardly what you would call DDG. I’m thinking the most gorgeous man you could imagine and a plain, fat woman – bonus points for deformities – and they fall in love because he loves her for her heart/soul/mind. At best, you get movies like Shallow Hal which are about TWO physical undesirables – and even then, the woman is a far deeper human being than Hal – and at worst, you get this idea that a guy can be an absolute asshole and and still pull someone way above him in looks/age/personality, with the common in-between being that the guy pulls someone far younger/more attractive who loves him for non-physical reasons. But I can’t think of a single example of the gorgeous man falling for a plain/ugly/deformed woman for non-physical reasons.

        This reminds me of an article I was reading about Katherine Heigl in Sixteen Dreesses; the writer made a joke about how you could tell she was coming up in the world when she graduated from geeky, loser leading men like in Grey’s and Knocked up to Ed Burns and James Marsden in SD. I don’t know what the writer was intending to say, but it came across to me as ‘the default is that the smart, sexy hottie is paired up with men beneath her in looks/intelligence etc until said smart, sexy hottie has enough clout to pick and choose her leading men’.

        • The Other Patrick says

          Yeah, definitely. I mean, I just saw a trailer for a film with Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, who in the film are married to Wynona Ryder and Jennifer Connelly. Of course.

          I must bring up “Observe and Report” because I still think this film intentionally turns the “shlub hero and woman magnet” genre into overdrive and makes explicit how awful many of these films treat women and other people in general.

          The more I think about it, the more you are right. I know daily soaps with “ugly” women falling for handsome men, but usually those involve the women getting in shape and taking care of their looks, whereas the other way round it’s about the women accepting the men how they are. Big man with tiny wife – you see it all the time. The other way round – I can’t think of an example. And for more pronounced deviations from the beauty standard, it’s even worse.

          If it happens at all, it is played for a gross-out gag.

          • scarlett says

            OP, you’re German, aren’t you? in which case you’re probably not familiar with the only thing I could come up with in the last hour: Muriel’s Wedding. It’s an Aus film and one of the minor plots involves this plain, insecure woman (IMHO, Toni Collette is a stylish, confident woman, but was never by any stretch of the imagination conventionally beautiful) who gets involved in a greencard marriage so she can be married to this absolute hunk of a A/African swimmer. She’s like a 3 to his 10. He detests her initially, but grows fond of her, recognising traits of ambition and lonliness. They end up splitting – she realises happiness comes from within, not from having a gorgeous husband to gloat about – but I liked that their attraction was based on mutual personality traits despite him being so much more physically attractive than her.

            Of course, it doesn’t end up with him realising ‘OMG, I’m a South African hunk who was too shallow to realise that Toni Collette is the woman for me!’ – though that probably wouldn’t have worked in the context of the movie – but I did like that they at least broached the idea that a hunky man might be attracted to a woman vastly his inferior looks-wise for non-physical reasons.

            >end rant.

          • The Other Patrick says

            I know *of* Muriel’s Wedding, but that’s all. Never seen it.

            I think I once saw a “Cyrano” version with Camryn Manheim as stand-up comedian, too. But you know, I can easily think of dozens of films which are the other way round, and without resorting to some TV movie thing.

          • scarlett says

            It wouldn’t let me nestle any lower so I’m replying here.

            TOP, I happen to think Manheim is a gorgeous, stylish woman and I wish she would get more roles. (If nothing else, how do you get such long, healthy-looking hair?) I totally reccomend Muriel’s Wedding if you can get your hands on it. I’m sure it’s highly dated by now (my elecen-year-old self will always look at it as the epitome of cool) I suspect a lot of it gets lost in translation both linguistically and culturally but I think there’s a moral to it that the ugly duckling realises she will only be a swn once she lreans to fly on her own.

    • says

      Scarlett, I think about 97% of people think it’s a biological matter that men are supposed to be shallow about looks and women are supposed to be more tolerant. I have been lectured dozens of times about this by people who think it’s so obviously true, I must have been living under a rock not to realize that’s just how it is and nothing we say or do will fix it.

      Yeah? Then why do we need multiple TV shows and myths and stories throughout history *reminding* women to ignore looks and search for some deeper value in men?

      • Casey says

        Ugh, my mom just told me “Guys don’t wanna date fat girls, but girls like chubby guys and if you grew up with brothers you’d know THAT’S JUST THE WAY MEN ARE…unless they’re gay.” (YAY MISANDRY, AND HOMOPHOBIA DERP)

        • says

          Well, the urge to piss wherever you’re standing is also perfectly natural, yet we’ve made a decision to toilet train our species.

          Ditto on hitting someone who irritates you. Why on earth consider that wrong, when humans are hard-wired to do that, as evidenced by all the physical fights little kids get into even when they come from perfectly non-violent homes?

          We’re not constrained to “just how [men/humans/women] are.” I actually don’t believe that’s “just how men are”, given the evolutionary advantages of being chubby, but even if it was, your mom’s point is rendered moot by her expecting men to use toilets. Which I presume she does. 😀

    • M.C. says

      The only reverse example I can think of is Yo soy Betty, la fea and all it’s international rip-offs like Ugly Betty and Verliebt in Berlin. But most of those shows feature an “ugly” woman who’s beautiful anyway – I mean who in their right mind doesn’t think that America Ferrera is hot?

      • scarlett says

        MC, that’s another pet peeve of mine – the ‘ugly’ girl played by a gorgeous actress. (Personally, I would call Ferrara striking rather than gorgeous, but definitely not ugly or plain.) And naturally it just takes a few superficial things to reveal her true beauty.

        It hit me at like three in the morning: there’s an Aussie movie, Strictly Ballroom, where from memory the guy is much better looking than the woman – he’s forced to partner with her rather than his usual flashy type because she’s the only one who ‘gets’ his radical dance moves – and even when Fran gets dolled up, she’s STILL not a stunner. Much nicer than in baggy rehersal clothes of course, but there’s no ‘she unties her hair and takes off her glasses and the ugly ducking becomes a swan’ moment.

        But I had to go back almost twenty years for that.

  3. Patrick McGraw says

    Pornland unfortunately sounds like more of Dines’ highly dishonest work – she looks for the extreme niches and then presents it as the mainstream, just like anyone trying to sensationalize something does. The things she describes as “typical” and “mainstream” are anything but.

    The Emma Frost picture… ugh, Marvel, really? One More Day was the final straw that drove me away from Marvel, and doing that to another of my favorite characters is not doing anything to win me back.

    • says

      Uh, while I actually disagree with some of Dines’ conclusions, she’s not picking extreme niches. I mean, the niches are where the “nicer” porn of the 80s and 90s has gone. If you go looking for porn on the internet, which is where most people start looking for anything these days, the first things you find will always be “men abuse bitches, bitches like it” and “jailbait” and other stuff that used to be fringe. It may not be YOUR experience of mainstream, if you’ve been watching it for a while and know where to find what you like, but for someone trying to make a foray into porn without knowing what they’re doing, I think Dines is pretty accurate. At least as far as the article goes – the book may grasp at straws, but for example, the snippet from a website that the book quotes? That’s not atypical for results on the first page of the search engines. And that’s how I define mainstream.

      • Patrick McGraw says

        You’re absolutely right in that it is easy to come across the most repulsive stuff without even looking. My argument about “mainstream” is based on how despite the proliferation of independent Internet sites, the bulk of the porn market is still dominated by larger companies like Vivid that produce feature porn little different than what they produced 20 years ago. And the gonzo market, while big, is much more John Stagliano than Max Hardcore (in direct contrast to what Dines claims).

        The biggest porn moneymaker of recent years was Digital Rain’s Pirates, a feature is very mainstream in its content.

  4. The Other Patrick says

    Those are a lot of depressing links. So defending your daughter from bullying while the school does nothing? Gets you put up on charges. So talking out of your ass about muslims? Makes you be invited to WisCon as a guest of honor.

    I didn’t read that link about Tyler Perry because I recently read two articles about it, so I don’t know whether it’s in there, but apparently Perry rewrote the script so he’ll be credited, not the original author (who, IIRC, also wanted to direct initially?). Not only do I think his films are not worth all the praise they get, but that’s some shitty behavior.

    The Unconsent thing… wow. Just wow. Really, why is this still happening? How can this still be happening?

    The article about Gabby Sidibe was very enlightening, I think they’re on to something with non-threatening beauty.

    Great article about women in gaming, and a good antidote after the STFU feminists ones, about which: really? Can anyone be so blind?

  5. Charles RB says

    I thought “well, Homefront as a game doesn’t sound inherently bad and doomed to racism” until I saw it kicks off after South Korea reunifies… willingly. Now, the only way South Korea would peacefully reunify in a way that gives all the power to North Korea is if North Korea had invented a mind-control ray. Add in that “Korea” in this game also includes other Asian countries, and the whole thing becomes extremely dodgy indeed – and wouldn’t work as an invasion game anyway, because how many South Korean and Japanese soldiers are going to be eager to brutally invade and subjegate an ally nation? You’d be looking at double-agents, deliberately incompetence, and desertion up the wazoo.

    But I bet the game won’t have the resistance supported by friendly Asian soldiers who’ve “lost” some of their guns.

  6. Casey says

    That “STFU FEMINTISTS!!” link made me nearly shit myself with rage. Don’cha just hate it when someone prefaces a statement by saying “I totally believe in Women’s Rights, BUT…” and then goes on to say something deliciously ANTI-FEMINIST? Why is that, I wonder? *rolleyes*

    • SunlessNick says

      I also love* the use of:

      So, folks, let’s take a step back and try to look at things from an objective perspective.

      … as a code for “so folks, let’s try to agree with me now.”

      * For sufficiently small values of “love.”

      • Ray says

        Also: “Another thing common to People With Agendas is that they only focus on the negative and somehow don’t pay notice to the things that they are asking for.”

        Sometimes true, usually not.


        “When people say “I just got raped by that holy paladin” (lol), they use the term because it is the ultimate description of how horribly they were just treated. Can we not see the connection here? They are not trying to belittle the experience of a rape victim. When people use the word to describe something, they are lending credence to your plight, dear, unfortunate rape victim. You’ve already suffered enough, so please don’t torture yourself further by seeing mistreatment where it isn’t.”


        (Re the Rihanna and Eminem song, I’d actually like to see a discussion of that here… I have heard conflicting opinions on the song from people I respect, and though my immediate (and continuing) reaction was very negative, I know that people have defended it as anti-domestic violence. It also strikes me that the effect of the video is different than that of the song alone… There was a good post against the whole thing at Tiger Beatdown a while back.)

        • Maria says

          I’ve been thinking about doing a video roundup of songs featuring domestic violence as a theme… Like Bebe’s “Malo”, the Eminem/Rihanna song, and maybe one or two others. I think it’d be an interesting discussion prompt… but the next two Thursday’s I’m all about Latino music for Latin@ history month, so it’d be in like 3 wks or so

  7. Ray says

    I love all the new focus on women in fandom/geekdom/etc., but I always get annoyed when this is attributed to geek stuff now being more mainstream. I’m sure that’s made it easier for more women to get involved (so has the Internet), but there have been geeky women for a long time… Geek women have also been geeks when it was uncool (not that it still isn’t, to a large extent), and put up with just as much of that teasing.

    • Ray says

      Also: If you follow a link in the fangirls link to the Geek Girls Network, you will find the Geek and Gamer Girls Music Video (Katy Perry parody). It made my morning.

      • Maria says

        Really? I actually really dislike it. Geek girls aren’t geeking out intending to meet guys… and they’re not all thin and semi-naked while they play… and they’re not all white/hitting white beauty norms.

        • Ray says

          I see your point. What I liked about it was the way that it used the song about “California gurls” wearing stilettos on the beach and attracting guys and subverted it, at least somewhat, to be about women who don’t get songs written about them in the same way. I took it as geeky women choosing to be sexy and make a fun video, and being nearly naked as a parody of the earlier video.

          …but yeah, it’s definitely problematic. Thanks for reminding me to look closer :)

  8. Jenny Islander says

    Re “Beauty and the Beast” pairings–while I adore Georgette Heyer’s frothy, witty Regency romances, I didn’t like what happened to the other woman in Venetia. She was the “butter-toothed,” homely Christmas cake who never got a line because her prospective husband married Venetia instead. So I thought of a different plot.

    The hero appears to be a classic Byronic rake at first, but turns out to be a former naive young scholar who had his heart broken by a mercenary operator. He only comes into contact with the homely also-ran because he is running out of money and her family is nouveau riche. At this point in the novel, he meets Venetia. But what if he doesn’t? He resigns himself to an arranged marriage and a facade of respectability. Slowly, however, he comes to know his dumpy, pug-nosed,* yellow-toothed bride as a mute inglorious Christine de Pisan. She has been squashed all her life, her formidable intellect and wit shamed into hiding. Her one rebellion has been her adventures in the library her late father bought with the house. Self-educated in Latin with the help of a set of grammars left in the schoolroom, and better read in French than her vigilant aunts suspect, she has devoured books that would give them palpitations. Her teeth are yellow because of the tea she drinks to keep awake during the long nights over her books.

    Our hero comes to know this without her realizing it. He realizes that this is the woman he thought he saw in his faithless lover years ago. The notes she has left (because she was sure that nobody else would ever read them) in the margins of her books are amazing, hilarious, sometimes very sad. The little Latin epigrams in some of the endpapers are delightful and alarmingly perceptive. But his wife never shows this face to him deliberately. She will not be drawn out. She is dully conventional and always correct–because she is secretly terrified of being put away, back under the control of her horrible aunts. Her role is to keep up appearances and his not to disturb them too much.

    So the alternate plot is about the handsome former rake who finds himself desperately in love with the ugly wife he married only because he had to. How can he convince her that it is safe for her to open her heart and bloom?

    *These being conventional ugly-woman signifiers in cartoons of the period IIRC.

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