The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

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Things we noticed around the interwebs this week.

Something pretty, and very clever: It’s Just Moonplay.

From Scientific American, another round-up of research on pornography that seems to indicate that it’s not as problematic as it’s been made out to be.

It turns out that among porn viewers, the amount of porn each subject consumed had nothing to do with his or her mental state. What mattered most, Twohig found, was whether the subjects tried to control their sexual thoughts and desires. The more they tried to clamp down on their urge for sex or porn, the more likely they were to consider their own pornography use a problem. The findings suggest that suppressing the desire to view pornography, for example, for moral or religious reasons, might actually strengthen the urge for it and exacerbate sexual problems.

CL Minou on the double bind of looking like a woman.

…when I look at my reflection, I don’t see the face-that-was, a face I was fond of only the way I’m fond of some old purses–they’re really not me at my best, but I’m comfortable with them. I certainly don’t see someone who artificially chipped away at herself into a wet dream of the patriarchy. I see myself, and sometimes I doubt that self a bit.

If that doesn’t make me like most women then I don’t know what will.

I (Tallulah) have a question for Peg Aloi. Can’t I be badass, and like cupcakes? Because I can, and I do.  Seriously, after a day of kicking the shit out of the patriarchy, there’s nothing I like more than to come home and whip up a batch of frosting. And then eat it all. And yeah, I can do that because I have choices. Hard won, and miraculous choices to live my life however I like. Also, seriously, you’re heralding the women of True Blood as True Feminist Heroes? Sookie, whose entire life is predicated on which of 2 men she happens to be fucking at any given moment. Tara, the character on whom the writers have unleashed all of their rape fantasies, and Pam, who is demonstrably evil. Yeah, OK, good. I love True Blood, but I’m certainly not looking to it for role models.

From the New York Times, an article about the experience of getting women into boardrooms in Norway. Yes, it did involve quotas.

“We have excluded women for 1,000 years,” she said, with a smile. “So we have already had quotas — it’s just that they were for men.”

Some of our readers may recall that a few months back, Cactus Kate had a schmaltzy post about the heroism of men during the Christchurch earthquake. Apparently we weren’t celebrating male heroism enough, even ‘though the only way we knew all these stories was through the various articles in the media. Whatever. I (Deb) am sure there were many heroes in those early minutes and hours and days, both male and female, people who simply stood up and did whatever they could to help, with whatever resources they had to hand. Here’s a story about a woman who just did her job. Bus driver who rescued children in quake fights cancer.

Asked if she felt she had been dealt a cruel hand after her cancer diagnosis, Hansen said: “Hey, s… happens honey. I’ve got my family and I’m still alive. It’s just life, and you have no choice but to carry on.

I (Deb) have a fabulous colleague, Dr Cat Pausé. She’s a Fat Studies researcher, and a fantastic feminist.

“If I ever referred to myself as fat to other people they would say `no, no you’re not fat at all’. But I think what they really mean when they say that is I’m not unattractive, or lazy, or unhealthy or all of those bad connotations that go with the word fat.”

Cat has a radio show on Access Radio Manawatu, “Friend of Marilyn”. You can pick up her shows on Radio on Demand – select an alphabetical list and scroll down to “Friend of Marilyn”. Or click these handy links to download MP3s: Friend of Marilyn, broadcast on 17 August, and Friend of Marilyn, broadcast on 24 August.

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