What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

These are the articles I’ve been reading and thinking about this week. I don’t think it needs much more of an introduction.

Pop Culture:

The Miley Cyrus Complex: An Ontology of Slut-Shaming  (The New Statesman)

Largely about Miley Cyrus’s new image and the reaction of basically the entire world, the article also focuses on the way that people feel the need to comment on it.  It tackles Sinead O’Conner’s misguided open letters to Cyrus and Cyrus’s equally misguided response.  It talks about the fact that we are a society that doesn’t allow young women (or women in general) many opportunities or outlets for empowerment, and then when one attempts it, we are quick to judge and shame.  It’s an interesting read, and it’s really, really accessible.

I know you’re sick of hearing about it.  I’m sick of it, too, but there’s still some interesting stuff here to chew on.

Henry Louis Gates Fact-Checks 12 Years a Slave (Mother Jones)

I don’t know yet if I’m going to see 12 Years a Slave in the theaters, because I’ve heard that it’s really violent and really brutal, and I don’t much like paying for the experience of being deeply uncomfortable.  That being said, I’ve been wondering about the authenticity of the story, and Henry Louis Gates has a great article about it.

Rape Culture:

“Justice for Daisy” Goes Viral: the Collatoral Damage of Online Activism (Salon)

It’s likely that you’ve heard something about the story of the girl in Missouri who was raped when she was passed out at a party and, when she reported it, faced the backlash of basically the entire town (her house was burned down, guys).  Some people are calling it “this year’s Steubenville,” which is, of course, problematic in its own right.  The story is horrifying, and I feel for Daisy and the other girls like her.

But this piece from Salon takes it a step further and takes a look at what kind of toll online activism can have on people who may or may not even be associated with the event.  In this case, it’s the hacker-activist group Anonymous, and what happens when they latch onto a story.  I’m not commenting about whether or not what Anonymous does is good or bad, because that’s beside the point.  What I mean is this:

If you live in America right now and you happen to be named Matthew Barnett or Jordan Zech, you almost assuredly are spending today explaining that you’re not THAT Matthew Barnett or Jordan Zech.

Life, Etc:

“Counting My Drinks (Salon)

Another really thought-provoking piece, this one was uncomfortably real.  In it, the author talks about her parents’ functional alcoholism, her sister’s non-functioning alcoholism, and her own issues with alcohol.  What constitutes an alcoholic?  How many drinks until you’re considered one?  If you think about what you’ll drink later in the day or the week, does that make you one?

What did you read this week that you liked?


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