These weekly round-ups are now listed in the category Recommended Reading. The previous category name (Elsewhere) was far too vague.
Ampersand discusses Blackmun, Ginsburg and Roe v Wade and Harry Blackmun’s unexpected ascent into a feminist icon.
Utopian Hell looks at the gaze in advertising and how images of female sexuality work when targeting women and men. They aren’t so different, and that is what is disappointing.
Amanda’s final section of her five-part explanation of the Men’s Rights Movement. Brilliant stuff.
TalkLeft points us to an article on the $100 million dollars “missing” in Iraq. Missing?
Blondesense presents The Week In God.
DED Space expresses some compassion for Pat Robertson. Sort of.
TOAAW: The religious wingnuts appear to be in full bloom.
Apparently Dave Sifry is a fucktard.
Chuck exposes some ingenious marketing by a credit card company. I’ve seen this envelope in person and it’s unreal.
Kim longs for sexy shoes while pregnant with twins. I strongly identify with this — when I was pregnant I fantasized about clothing. My object of lust was a red corduroy coat. I found one about two years after Ethan was born and I shelled out an ungodly amount of money to have it (bonus points for finding it at a locally owned store). After fantasizing over something for so long, you can’t just pass it up.
As an adolescent in Shaker Heights, I tried to plot some middle ground between excelling like the white kids and being accepted — or at least left alone — by the black kids. At that time, there was no such Promised Land. So I conceived of my survival as a game: the Race Game. You pick up a card, a behavior or circumstance is described, you have to guess the race of the individuals involved. Sometimes I played for fun; sometimes I played as if my life depended upon it. White people often refer to the “race card,” the excuse that blacks supposedly hold at the ready to explain away our failures. But for my generation, the first to embark upon the brave new world of integration, the Race Game was much more complex: an obstacle course, as intricate as chess, more exhausting than Monopoly.
Playing the game, I used my experience to guess not just who was what but how those people might think, feel, react. To hear the silent subtext, anticipate the racial insult that comes seemingly out of nowhere to hijack you, hold you back, put you in your place. Sometimes I still find myself playing it, though I also long for what is instinctive to my children: the freedom to take someone, anyone, at face value.
One day, in junior high school, I hear a group of students enter the school library — cursing, bellowing, cackling — and I don’t even have to peek between the stacks to know: They are black. They won’t linger here, but while they do, I stay hidden.
Years later, in my thirties, I am in a boutique on the Upper East Side of New York, and the well-heeled shop ladies are discussing some missing stock: ankle bracelets, cute erasers, kitschy stuff. I bristle, expecting an accusation. The owner senses this and explains with an indulgent laugh, “This time of year the girls from such-and-so academy come in and take things, a springtime ritual of the senior class.” I don’t have to wonder: These girls are white and rich. The offense that I had anticipated did not come, and the owner knew to explain the situation: move ahead one step. But because these girls are privileged and white, their crime will be dismissed as a prank: move one step back.
Whiteness Visible: An article at Alternet covering a new book that interrogates the concept of whiteness. Also gives props to Spike Lee’s Bamboozled which, for all its faults, is one of the better socially-conscious movies I’ve seen in a long while.