NOVELTY AND CHOICE: After having a terrible 2008, Chen Xiao decided to let go, and let China’s netizens decide how she spends her days for the price of a small fee. She won’t do anything she considers illegal or immoral, but she will pick up dinner for your family, or deliver a hot lunch to the needy, or attend your baby’s birth. It’s an interesting experiment in autonomy and the social workings of the internet, and probably the only feel-good story you’re getting from me in this post.
SEXY OTHERNESS: At Muslimah Media Watch, guestblogger Cycads uses an offensive conversation about an “orientalist fantasy” to discuss the feminization and colonization of foreign bodies and lands.
BORDERS, BOUNDARIES AND RAPE: The presence of “rape trees” — “places where Mexican drug cartel members rape female border crossers and hang their clothes” — proves that this brand of sexual violence is officially present in the United States. Mexican and North American bureaucrats mostly deny this is true.
IT’S CALLED A SHIT SANDWICH, AND YOU’LL EAT IT AND LIKE IT: Schools across the country are “cutting budgets” by giving plain cheese sandwiches to children whose parents cannot foot the bill for a hot lunch, “singl[ing] out poor children in the most storied location of school-aged social hierarchies – the lunchroom.” My boy, Ethan, is terrified of being a cheese sandwich kid since they instituted this policy at his school. Sybil and Renee bring the outrage.
PORN COMES CALLING: Also from Renee, some entrepreneurs have offered Nadya Suleman another way of paying her bills — starring in a full-feature porn movie.
FIRST!: Last week King Abdullah threw out a bunch of reform-blocking cabinet members, and among other sweeping changes, named Norah al-Fayez as Saudi Arabia’s deputy education minister for women. She is the first female minister in Saudi Arabia.
ANTI-ABORTION ANGST: The right-to-life movement is feeling some angst about the ineffectuality of their activism so far, especially now that there is a general consensus that the movement is a political puppet in a panned Republican play.
RT @RANDOMDEANNA: Deanna Zandt’s “non-fanatical begginers’ guide to Twitter.” For people like my mom who still don’t understand what Twitter even is, and me, because I can’t explain it to her either.