pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

Without further ado, here are the articles I’ve been reading and thinking about this week:

Pop Culture:

The Race to Address Race in Orange is the New Black (Cultural Leanings)

You all should know by now that I love me some Cultural Leanings.  It’s smart, well-written commentary on TV and pop culture, and if you aren’t checking in with the blog every once in a while, you should be.  This piece identifies some of the problems I have with some of the think pieces about race and Orange is the New Black, and it does so better than I ever could.

In a cultural landscape where everyone is racing to have the first word about whatever topic is trendy at the moment, things are being missed.  This piece talks about how some (too many, in my opinion) critics felt the need to critique OitNB without having watched a single episode (or having watched only some).  It’s like writing a review of a book after reading a couple of blurbs about it.  Anyway, this is worth a read.

Politics:

Washington Post this Weekend: Girls Are Asking to be Raped (Slate)

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably at least seen people mention the Washington Post piece by Richard Cohen where he basically says that girls who get raped have it coming.  Not only is the festering turd of an article a total blatant attempt at link-bait, but it’s also just awful.  It’s not just that piece in the Post, though: they have a history of sort of making the argument that sexual assault is the result of girls being girls or some other such bullshit.  Whenever I see arguments like this I actually see red and it gets hard to think clearly.

This piece basically summarizes a bunch of rape culture apologists while also casting scorn and derision on the so-called “journalism” happening at the Journal.  Ugh, guys.  This world.

Can These College Students Fix Wikipedia’s Lady Problem? (Mother Jones)

It’s no secret that Wikipedia has a lady problem.  Something like 87% of the site’s editors are male, and the bias shows (see: American Novelists vs. American Women Novelists for one example).  There’s a new fight to bring ladies onboard the site, though.  An online class encourages its female participants to get active in editing Wikipedia content in an attempt to bring the female perspective to the site’s articles.

Life:

When You Can’t Forget the Gifts You Didn’t Get (NY Times)

I’ve got two weddings and an engagement party this month alone, so weddings are on my brain.  This piece, which ran in the New York Times this week, is all about how people won’t forget the fact that you didn’t get them a gift for their wedding 20 years ago even though you’re rich, you cheap douche!  I’m not making this up.  The people interviewed in this article cannot let go of the fact that people deigned to show up to their wedding and celebrate their marriage without also hauling a crystal bowl.

I just can’t.

FYI: An Open Letter to Teenage Girls Who Don’t Always Wear a Bra (RESPONSE) (Jessica Gottlieb)/FYI (If You’re a Teenage Boy) (The Iron Daisy)

Okay, so this one is kind of a doozy.  Both of the articles linked here are in response to a blog post written by a conservative Christian mom on her own little blog.  That post blew up this week, and people have been posting it like crazy on Facebook and Twitter.  The piece, which I’m not linking to (but can be found linked to in both of these response pieces), basically presents itself as a friendly open letter to the dirty, braless teenage girls who dare to take pictures of themselves and post them on the internet.  It’s everything I hate: self-righteous, hypocritical, sex-negative, and profoundly idiotic.

On the other hand, these two responses, written by smart, articulate ladies, find the funny in the original piece and articulate exactly what is wrong with the original post’s thinking.

What did you read this week that you loved or got you thinking?

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