Musings of an Inappropriate Woman

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Bringing back an old blog feature after a two year break, because links are good. Some things I’ve read and loved over the past couple of weeks.

"Maybe ‘not illegal’ is not the best way to think about the range of things it is acceptable to do." (The New Inquiry)

"We totally match." On Louis C.K. and assortive mating. (Sociological Images)

"Fast food is disparaged for being cheap and disposable. Its workers are hired because they are seen as the same." Amazing long-form reporting by Sarah Kendzior. (Medium)

Want to write and sell a book? Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the American publishing industry. (Vanity Fair)

"Sometimes, you cry in a stranger’s arms precisely because they are a stranger." (Danielle LaPorte) And, related: On Secret and Whisper … a lot of what’s posted are expressions of emotions that aren’t sinful so much as hard to say in other places.” (New York Times)

A bar for geeks in San Francisco.

A sneak peek at Emily Gould’s forthcoming novel, Friendship. (Book Keeping)

I made this for dinner on Wednesday. It was good. (How Sweet It Is)

Image via Richard Calmes.

The best of the rest of the internet


Bringing back an old blog feature after a two year break, because links are good. Some things I’ve read and loved over the past couple of weeks.

Everyone is totally just winging it all, the time. (It’s true.) (The Guardian)

Why don’t women’s magazines write about female scientists and engineers? (It’s OK for Intellectual Feminists to Like Fashion)

7 ways to increase your chances of getting your book published. (Medium)

What happens to the creators of viral hashtags like #yesallwomen? (Daily Dot)

"Help is so affordable when migrant workers make $200 a month." Molly Crabapple interviews Donald Trump… and pisses off Ivanka. (Vice)

Pitch, bitch. Love this new initiative from Estelle Tang. (Kill Your Darlings)

"If depression is the Black Dog, then jealousy is the Black Cat." Justin Heazlewood on negativity in the Australian arts scene. (Faster Louder)

"Taken together, these images, and the stories that accompanied them, were speaking about their relationship, even if the pair themselves weren’t offering comment. And what they were saying was that this wasn’t a story about sex or scandal; rather, it was one of family, humanitarianism, and global citizenship.” Anne Helen Petersen on Angelina Jolie’s perfect media game. (Buzzfeed)

It’s not all men, but we don’t know in advance which one it will be. (Dame Magazine) 

This whole tour has been such a humbling experience.” Shit writers say on social media.

And in case you missed it, here’s me talking antiporn activism in The New Inquiry.

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Some things I have read and liked recently.

Simone Decker does chewing gum art in Venice. (Lost At E Minor)

Laurie Penny has some smart things to say about eating disorders:

In Italy, there is a tradition called “sciopero bianco” - the white strike. Here, it is known as work-to-rule. Workers who are not permitted to strike fight their bosses by doing only what is required of them - to the letter. Nurses refuse to answer phones that ring at 17:01. Transport workers make safety checks so rigid that trains run hours behind schedule. Eating disorders, particularly anorexia, are to riots in the streets what a white strike is to a factory occupation: women, precarious workers, young people and others for whom the lassitudes of modern life routinely produce acute distress and for whom the stakes of social non-conformity are high, lash out by doing only what is required of them, to the point of extremity. (New Statesman)

Teju Cole attacks the White Savior Industrial Complex. (The Atlantic)

Really, there are only two rules when it comes to having a beach body. The first is that you need to have a body. The second is that your body must enjoy going to the beach.” (This Ain’t Living)

Stop writing on the internet to make people love you. I liked this article, except the part about freelance writing (and freelance writing on the internet, of all places) being the “easiest” way (for the author, at least) to make money. On what planet? If making money was my priority, I would have looked for a job in accounting, or law, or advertising, or a staffer job at magazine, or even an activist. I would not become a freelance writer. And I definitely would not become a freelance writer on the internet, which in most cases pays absolutely appallingly. Seriously. It’s a bad, bad idea. (The Gloss)

How to network without going to networking events. Or plonking your business card in front of people who don’t want to employ you. (Forbes)

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This week’s best reads on gender, politics and creativity… chopped up, roasted and served to you on a platter.

Lego Moleskins. Tell me you don’t want one. (Lost at E Minor)

"A feminism that doesn’t allow for paradoxes and contradictions in the ideals versus lived experiences of its proponents is not terribly useful." Elizabeth Nolan Brown talks Hugo Schwyzer. (Elizabeth Nolan Brown)

Celia Emmelhainz on the rhetoric of luck in the 99 percent:

Yet the current economic and political situation didn’t just happen to either the “lucky” or the “unlucky” ones. As in other periods of U.S. economic history since the 1700s, the underemployment, debt, financial instability, and lack of affordable life-goods that Americans face are the result of deliberate policies designed to streamline and protect growth for investors, large corporations, and other profiteers. (Sociological Images)

How to engage with criticism. (Seth Godin)

What the failure of Katherine Heigl’s career says about women in Hollywood:

However, the problem with Heigl herself is that she’s good at talking the talk — speaking out about the inherent sexism in the movie industry — but terrible stepping out and doing anything about it, and she seems almost willfully against challenging the norms of gender in cinema that she criticizes. In an interview conducted shortly after Knocked Up made her a star, Heigl criticized the fact that every up-and-coming actress is touted to be the “next Julia Roberts” but mentioned, “There’s not another woman I look at and think, ‘That’s it. That’s whose career I want to have.’” (In Our Words)

Funny! All woman panel has some great ideas about men’s sexual health. (RH Reality Check)

10 ways to feel rich. (Yes and Yes)

Sarah Nicole Pickett on the collective bargaining of creative success:

Still, for reasons economic and otherwise, we won’t all work for ourselves. More and more of us, I think, will work for each other. Not in the old ladder-climbing way, but in a new friends-with-benefits-and-maybe-someday-a-salary way. (Toronto Standard via Jessica Stanley)

Some of the best advice I’ve read on how to stay productive and get lots of shit done. (Illuminated Mind)

Or on the other hand, you could stop being a tortured creative and go and have fun. (Nextness)

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If you read one thing this weekend, make it Ian Parker’s very long, but very excellent analysis of the events leading up to gay teen Tyler Clementi’s suicide in 2010. I’m cutting it out and keeping it for my “awesome journalism of the kind I hope to someday produce” file. (The New Yorker)

College student Brittany Molina was passed a note advising her to “consider that what you’re wearing has a negative effect on men” this Valentine’s Day when she dared to step onto campus wearing a knee-length dress, leggings and a cardigan. (Footage Not Found)

Exhile in Gal-ville: the Atlantic takes on the Hugo Schwyzer versus the feminist blogosphere fight that dominated my January web browsing. Great subject matter, wish it had been tackled with more depth (or perhaps just different emphasis). (The Atlantic)

Rachel Rabbit White tackles the old “can men and women be friends?” chestnut in a manner that actually is fresh and real and reflective. (Rabbit Write)

When did TED stop trying to collect smart people and instead collect people trying to be smart? (The New Inquiry)

I talk to the ladies at Feminaust about how I came to feminism “through words”. (Feminaust)

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If you read one thing this weekend, make it Lou McCudden’s Three Faces of Feminism: Louise Mensch, Laurie Penny and Jodie Marsh:

Less than 800 people could be bothered watching Louise Mensch and Laurie Penny argue about the role of the state and the speed of the government’s cuts (important issues though they are), but all around the world, women and men were watching ‘Jodie Marsh Bullied: My Secret Life’, and learning something terrifying: that as children, girls like Zoe are taught never to be clever, and then, later in life, women are blamed and mocked for acting dumb. (Left Eye, Right Eye) 

Mitt’s new rapper name: R-MONEY. (Democratic Underground)

Jessica Valenti on online feminism’s big win against Komen for the Cure. (The Nation)

How to stop “trying on other people’s sparks” and learn to embrace your own. (Roots of She)

Why I broke with up with my Girlfriend (and Dolly too). (Girls Are Made From Pepsi)

"I am fat, curvy, busty and genderqueer. This body which I have has very little to do with my gender – except in other people’s opinions." (Medicinal Marzipan)

On identifying bigotry:

If you ask someone if they are racist, sexist, or homophobic, they aren’t going to say that they are. No one likes to think they are doing something shitty. If we use the intentions and feelings of privileged people to determine when bigotry occurs, you will find that no one is bigoted by that definition. The experiences of oppressed people is the more appropriate way to judge the behavior of privileged people. This is uneasy feeling to people with privilege, but its not difficult compared ot actually being subject to bigotry on a daily basis. (Skeptifem)

Lessons for creatives from artist David Hockney, including why he never bothered to meet Picasso. (Nextness)

Do you have the “quality of keeping people together”? (The Happiness Project)

True story: I gave up on my dream. (Yes and Yes)

This post on the Occupy Movement resonated with my thoughts on recent controversies in the femmesphere:

What’s going on, I observed, is that Occupiers on-site are mirroring the social dynamics they want to challenge.  Rick said ‘Yeh, someone else said that. We are becoming them.” My response: “I wouldn’t put it that way. No. I’d say that we are them – we’ve always been them. There is no them, only us. Whether we like it or not, consciously or unconsciously the 1% exists in part because of the complicity of the 99%.” (See And Connect)

Olivia Hambett and Sandi Sieger’s new e-publishing company is all kinds of awesome. (O & S publishing)

Liz Phair on Lana Del Ray: "As a recording artist, I’ve been hated, I’ve been ridiculed, and conversely, hailed as the second coming. All that matters in the end is that I’ve been heard." (Wall Street Journal)

And Flavia Dzodan says she sings Video Games for the fourteen year old girl she once was. (Tiger Beatdown)

Yellow fever: dating as an Asian woman. (Persephone Magazine)

And how to create eight article ideas in one sitting. (The Urban Muse)