Open thread

Have at it, Shapelings. I’m using all my words for dissertating today and my co-bloggers are using theirs for their paid jobs. Fluffcation rules do not apply on this thread: feel free to talk about what you want and get as controversial as you feel, so long as you abide by the Comments Policy.

Speaking of which, there has been a trend recently (mostly not from regulars) for commenters to say “I know you said this thread is closed, but” or “I know you said to take this threadjack to Ning, but” or “I know you said this thread is fluff only, but” and then to go ahead and say whatever thing they would have said anyway. To which I say: what the living fuck? This is not a discussion board. (This is.) This is a blog, and we moderate the shit out of it. You don’t have to like every decision we make, but you do have to respect it. It’s not about disagreeing; it’s about respecting the work we put in here. And hey, if you don’t respect that work? You don’t get to comment, though heaven knows why you’d want to anyway.

End of lecture. Open thread!

Straw Feminist Weekly: The jealous bitch

Via The Sexist: the astute cultural analysts of The O’Reilly Factor (not Bill himself, but his sub, Laura Ingraham) know why feminists don’t like Sarah Palin (because apparently it is mid-2008 again?): we are just totes jealous of her cute hubby and her cute little babies and her smokin’ bod! Ingraham breaks it down with her guests, WaPo columnist Sally Quinn and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway. See, it’s simple: all feminists are ugly, barren spinsters who are also firmly supported by the old boys’ network and who require you to have an abortion before they give you the time of day. (If you haven’t yet had an abortion, you should go ahead and get knocked up right quick so you can get the mandatory abortion out of the way ASAP.)

Sally Quinn, lord love her, seems to have both a sense of what feminism is and why Sarah Palin sucks:

QUINN: And most women I know are feminists. So I think it depends on who you call feminist. I think one of the producers was saying the sort of raging crazed pro-choice liberal women. But I have to say that of all the people I know, I don’t know a single person who feels jealous about her. I think that most of the people I know who are not Sarah Palin fans just don’t like what she has to say.

(Emphasis mine.)

But hers is not the voice of reason!  For that we need professional Republicans.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER:Yeah, the qualified stuff is a canard, and it came late after she made many women feel inadequate, Laura. This is a woman who is — her path to power was so unusual for women in power. She didn’t have the money or the power or the access of a father, of a husband. She certainly didn’t go to an Ivy League school. She was a standout athlete. I think of some of the spinster childless columnists who have attacked this woman for her right to choose…

INGRAHAM: Can you name names?

CONWAY: …and have five children. There are too many to name and then it would make them relevant on such a great show.

THE SPINSTERS, THEY ARE LEGION. YOU CANNOT NAME THEM ON A RESPECTABLE SHOW OR THEIR SEXLESS SPIRITS WILL TAKE OVER THE CAMERAS AND SHOW YOU FROM A BAD ANGLE.

Also, you’re fat and your SO is ugly.

CONWAY: …the extended family. He’s cute to go. And look, she lost all her baby weight. It makes some women crazy. They’ve got 1.3 children and a Pilates schedule they have to keep, and it makes some of them crazy.

These, of course, are not the spinsters, but don’t worry — they’re still jealous! You don’t understand how CRAZY you get when you do Pilates. Conway knows. I mean, the name is even crazy, am I right? Pilates. Pilates Pilates Pilates. No wonder feminists are crazy jealous bitches.

Look, you know who loves Palin? Caregivers, that’s who, you selfish jealous feminist fatty.

CONWAY: But the people who love and support her are still pushing babies in strollers and elderly women in wheelchairs just to go see her, just to go buy her book, which is already No. 1 and not even out.

Maybe the babies and the old ladies aren’t that wild about her, but whatever, that’s cool — you can just push them to the side while you coo over Trig and check out Palin’s muscular thighs. Grandma can wait! She doesn’t have an opinion of her own — I mean, she uses a wheelchair.

Palin-hating feminists, let’s just come clean. Sure, we say that we dislike her because she coopts feminist rhetoric to push an agenda that hurts women, or because she encourages her followers to be shockingly disingenuous about reproductive rights, but we all know we’re just blowing smoke. We are just so fucking jealous of Sarah Palin. She has a book and everything! You don’t hear about feminists writing books, now do you?

Now quit being jealous and start making some babies, for god’s sake.

Open thread: Other people are not on fluffcation

While we’re on fluffcation for a bit, perhaps you’re jonesing for some non-lemur blogging. May I recommend some excellent reading material? Here are some non-fatosphere blogs that I’ve been reading lately:

FWD (feminists with disabilities) for a way forward is brand-spanking new as of last month and is already chock-full of awesome posts. It’s a group blog, and a few of its writers are familiar around these parts as well, so go check them out and wish them well.

The Sexist, written by Amanda Hess, is part of the Washington City Paper (so it may be of particular interest to those of you in the DC area). Amanda is sharp in both wit and tongue. She’s so fun to read, I want to send her cookies.

The Pursuit of Harpyness, in addition to having the most kick-ass name ever, is a feminist group blog with a lively (but not overwhelmingly huge) commentariat.

I’m going to assume that you’re all reading the mind-blowing Fugitivus, but if you’re not, dear god, what’s wrong with you? Harriet Jacobs is one of the best writers in the blogosphere, hands down. Plus she’s wicked funny.

Tami from What Tami Said describes herself as “a wife, womanist, writer, stepmother, music lover, black woman, sister, nappy advocate, American, yogi, bibliophile, daughter, student, Midwesterner, progressive, eccentric,” but what she leaves out is whip-smart thinker and achingly good writer. Her blog often ends up in my “Posts I will be linking to over and over and over and over” folder.

And, for something a bit more fluffy for a great cause, I am totally obsessed with The Uniform Project. Part experiment in sustainable fashion, part fundraiser for children’s education, and all awesome. Sheena’s Halloween costume is a vision. Once you catch up on the archives, you’ll never look at a basic black dress again.

What blogs do you want to pass along to your fellow Shapelings?

ETA: For anyone who needs another dose of prosimians, may I suggest the humble aye-aye?

Fluffcation: Real names of prosimians

Bush babies

Unless, of course, some Wikipedian is punking me, these guys are all related to our friends the lemurs. Say hello to your new friends:

False Potto
Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur
Prince Demidoff’s Bushbaby
Southern Needle-clawed Bushbaby
Lesser Iron-gray Dwarf Lemur

And, my personal favorite: Grewcock’s Sportive Lemur

The False Potto’s scientific name is, apparently, Pseudopotto martini. Clearly, this is a fantastic cocktail in the making, so Shapelings, have at it: what’s in a Pseudopotto martini?

Fluffcation

Y’all, we are on fluffcation till further notice. We are posting nothing thought-provoking, drama-inducing, or troll-tempting for the immediate future. Anyone who says anything remotely controversial in comments will be thoroughly scolded.

Instead, we will all talk about lemurs:

 

That lemur look, by ucumari

 

 

Up close

Long-time Shapelings know that we are big fans of PostSecret. If you haven’t been there yet, check it out — it’s an amazing project. I loved one of the secrets posted today:

hopper
[A pointillist painting: Georges Seurat's Esquisse d'ensemble [sketch for a larger work, presumably Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte], with these words handwritten over it: Up close, everyone looks less perfect. In that, though, they look human.]

Friday fluff: Take back the (diet) food

Shapeling BlueRain points out that in my last post I was unfair to okara, the main ingredient in the Magical Diet Cookies. She notes:

Okara (as well as Shirataki mentioned in someone’s comment upthread) is a traditional food item in Japanese cuisine, and having it appropriated as “low-fat/low-cal miracle diet food” is offensive enough, but having it mocked here somehow makes it worse. Yes, there are cookies/crackers/biscuits made of okara, and they are quite yummy. They are NOT sold as diet cookies, but just plain snack-food.

I apologize for my ignorance and my assumption that okara was not yummy in sweets. Now I am really curious to try an okara-based treat (one that’s not advertising its own magical weight-loss-and-water-absorption powers, that is). More to the point, it made me wonder what other perfectly wonderful foods have been hijacked by diet industry hype (and how that relates to cultural appropriation: the “French,” the “Mediterranean,” the “Okinawa” lifestyles…). Let’s do an exercise in food positivity: what supposedly “diet” foods out there do you actually enjoy even — especially — when you’re not on a diet? What foods have we been taught are “good” as in moral are actually just “good” as in “I like it put this in my mouth”?

Monstrous cookies for cookie monsters

From the NYT comes this story about the Cookie Diet, a diet plan in which you survive on “six prepackaged cookies a day, plus one ‘real’ meal — say, skinless chicken and steamed vegetables.” The idea here seems to be that you will be so entranced by the idea of eating the sinful “cookies” that you will forget that you are, you know, starving yourself, and that these aren’t exactly your grandma’s snickerdoodles. (Ahem: “The main ingredient in the Soypal cookie is okara, or soy pulp, which absorbs any liquids you drink with the cookies.” Delicious!)

Surprisingly, the NYT actually acknowledges the cultural clusterfuck that the Cookie Diet symbolizes:

The popularity of cookie diets is hardly surprising in this culture of quick fixes. Who wouldn’t want to exert the minimal effort to get long-lasting results? Who wouldn’t want to lose weight by consuming something verboten on most diets?

“The Cookie Diet is very appealing, because it legalizes a food — the cookie — that is banned from most weight-loss programs,” said Jenni Schaefer, author of “Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover From Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life” (McGraw-Hill, 2009).

“The diet gives people a false sense of control, simplifying balanced nutrition into one food: the cookie,” she added.

The same cultural forces that tell you you must always be on a diet, Fatty McFatterpants, tells you that some foods are “good” and some are “bad.” Cookies, along with cake, pie, baby donuts, and other sweet things usually made with oil and butter, are the sine qua non of bad food. They are the snack of the robot devil himself. The Cookie Diet brilliantly exploits the false morality of fat: you diet by doing what would count as “cheating” on any other diet. You can’t just eat cookies without a plan, after all. And heaven forbid that you make your own cookies rather than spend $56 a week for someone’s soy pulp with secret spices.

Look, here’s the thing: you’re allowed to eat cookies. This is true if you’re fat or not fat. You’re allowed to eat six cookies a day if you feel like it. You’re also allowed to eat a cookie today and a salad tomorrow, or a cookie for dessert and a smoothie for breakfast. You’re allowed to eat whatever you want.

Cookies are not evil. Some things are evil. Cookies are just cookies.