Stuff I just tweeted

‘Cause I am not up to a more substantial post…

“Noted woman physician” on why women shouldn’t have careers. It’s the Caitlin Flanagan of 1947.

About that #twowholecakes thing…. (And speaking of cakes, if you missed Fat Satan, you must check that out, too.)

McDonald’s Eats A Super-Sized Order Of Its Own Words (via Womanist Musings)

Oh, and I thought of writing a substantial post about this, but… didn’t. Women challenge Marks & Spencer bra pricing policy.

Also, we’re still #1 at Powell’s! Suck it, Stephenie Meyer. ETA: As of 4 p.m. CST, we’re back down to number 2. It was a good run, though, especially for International No Diet Day! Thanks again, everyone.

Quickly: The Amazon Thing

I wrote about AmazonFail 2009 over at Broadsheet this morning, so if you’ve been dying to discuss it here, check that out and come back.

One thing I didn’t get to in that post (which got out-of-hand long very quickly) was this post at After Ellen, in which Sarah Warn reminds us that the problem at the bottom of all this — gayness being strictly associated with sex — is hardly anything new. 

 

With so many media images working together to over-emphasize the sexual aspect of homosexuality and bisexuality, should we be surprised someone at Amazon.com apparently put gay and lesbian books like Heather Has Two Mommies and John Barrowman’s biography Anything Goes in the “adult” (i.e. explicit sexuality) category?

Amazon.com is calling this a “glitch with our sales rank feature that is currently being fixed.” Even if that turns out to be true, this kind of glitch is inevitable in a culture which relentlessly oversexualizes gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

Amazon isn’t alone in making this correlation. Internet filters at schools and libraries, ISPs, even whole countries routinely block gay and lesbian sites, even when they contain no “adult” content. YouTube requires users to be over 18 to view a video of an innocuous same-sex kiss, but not an opposite-sex one.

Go read the whole post. In the meantime, I’ve changed the sidebar link to our book so it goes to Powell’s — but, for reasons explained in the Broadsheet post, I’m really hoping not to have to write off Amazon for good. Beyond my (selfish, lazy) desire to keep buying from them, as an author, I would like to be able to recommend them in at least sorta-kinda good conscience, since they are a major fucking bookseller everyone knows. So, you know, APOLOGIZE ALREADY, GUYS. APOLOGIZE A LOT. SOON.

Weekend Open Thread

Sorry about the light posting this week, but FJ and SM have already offered their explanations, and mine is that my mother-in-law was in town and I was sick. (Comment on that combo from my Facebook page: “In a sitcom, this would be where you decide to repaint the bathroom, which goes horribly awry in a million ways and results in you trying to hide the fact that you’ve glued your hand to your pants and Al’s mom having to run around the corner to the dive bar to pee for the entire visit.”) 

And now, I’m headed out of town for my first (and knock wood, last) destination bachelorette party, which is what all the bathing suit fuss was about.  (Well, technically, it’s not a destination bachelorette per se, because the bride actually lives in the resort town where it’s taking place; she didn’t just pick a random location and ask us all to fly there.) Things I’m excited about: Hanging with a couple of my oldest besties, fruity cocktails, warm weather. Things I’m not excited about: Barfy heteronormative rituals, the bathing suit I settled on (one I already owned, after hours of browsing online and even driving around the suburbs looking for suits to try on), airports. 

In unrelated things I’m excited about, an advance copy of THE ACTUAL BOOK arrived yesterday! Marianne took a picture of hers — check it out. It’s real! And so far, I’ve only found one typo. Don’t tell me about the others. 

Aaaaanyway. I got nuthin’, and I gotta go write one more Broadsheet post for the day, then finish packing. Talk amongst yourselves. If you need a topic, try Mo’s post on Star Jones and the implications of lying about gastric by-pass surgery. See you next week.

I am in love

With 88-year-old Gladys from Austin, TX. The video is longish, but so worth watching. The internet has not gotten this many genuine LOLs out of me in a long damned time.

Oh, and I got it from Shakesville, but don’t click over there until you’ve watched it yourself, if you can, because Liss gives away the best line in the whole thing (which comes around the 4-minute mark, with the set-up beginning at 3:53). (ETA: OK, just realized the caption does, too, but watch it anyway.) I’ll also second Liss’s request for a transcript, if anyone knows where to find one or has the time to transcribe. 

ETA again: People at Shakes are saying there’s speculation that Gladys is a hoax. Sure, ruin my fun. Even if she is, though, kudos to the hoaxers for actually being hilarious instead of mean-spirited and unfunny. How often does that happen?

Reverse resolutions

I’m not a fan of the New Year’s resolution phenomenon. I do think it’s got some good or at least non-insidious applications — I’m in favor of periodic reevaluation of whether you like your life and how you might like it better, and I’m in favor of small achievable goals (a friend vowed, for instance, that she would do one pull-up this year, which I think is terrific). And I empathize with the desire to do them right now, not in my case because it’s the first of the year but because I just got off of a pretty long vacation, which made me think about how I spend my time. I have things I’m planning and things I’d like to change — for instance, I want to learn to crochet, and I really ought to blog more, and the gym has been feeling like a chore lately instead of energizing me and I want to find a new type of exercise that I get something out of. Coming back to work has made these thoughts about my daily routine more immediate and important. I get that, and in that sense I approve of resolutions in theory.

But I don’t like how they’re marketed, and in fact I think they’re packaged for failure. Keying them to the beginning of the year, with its clean-slate implications, essentially imparts the sense that this is a chance to shed your sins and diet and exercise your way into purity and virtue. New Year’s resolutions are about abjecting your “former self,” condemning her as someone in need of scourging or salvaging. It’s not about contemplation of your life and your pastimes, but about making a grand statement of conversion — “last year I was bad, but this year I’ll be better.” This generally peters out quickly, like any other grand personal narrative with nothing backing it up, leaving people feeling stuck with the “old self” they now see as a failure (Miss Conduct has more on this).

So as an alternative, let me ask you this, Shapelings: what did you already do in the last year that made you healthier, stronger, happier, better-adjusted? It can be something as big as discovering (or rediscovering) that exercise can be fun, or as small as adjusting your office chair for better support. Tell us what you did in 2008 to make the self with which you enter 2009 who she is today. Did you get fitted for a bra? Start taking vitamins or drinking red wine? Make time for yourself? Learn a new language or skill?

Nothing’s keeping you from continuing to grow in 2009, or even from setting new goals and making new plans at the beginning of the year. But please don’t forget that 2008-you was pretty great too.

Surprising paths to Shapely Prose

WordPress lets us see what Google searches lead the most people here each day. Most of the time these are variations on or misspellings of “kate harding,” “shapely prose” (we get rather a lot of “shapley prose” searches), “bmi project,” and the like. Every now and then there’s something… different, like today:

why do women think a man’s cock is gross

I can’t imagine where we’ve answered this question here. But confidentially to the three people who found us this way (or the one person who found us three times?), either you’re showing your cock to the wrong women, or you should bathe more strategically.