Announcements, Fat, Feminism, Miscellaneous

Some Stuff

So, three of us have colds, one of us is out of town and indisposed, and the other one hates you all. (Kidding. Mostly.) Until we’re back into blogging shape, have some links.

I wrote about Lincoln University requiring fat students to take a “Fitness for Life” course before they can graduate here. I’ve got more thoughts, and we’ve got a half-assed SP roundtable going on about it behind the scenes, but that might take a while to get anywhere (see above), so start there.

I’m also writing for Broadsheet 5 days a week now (usually two posts a day), if I haven’t officially mentioned that, so there’s lots of other stuff there. For instance, I wrote today about a British “Next Top Model” kinda competition for women with disabilities, and a couple weeks ago about Candy Crowley’s weight and how The Rules will. not. die.

I would link to stuff other people are writing, but between working and and traveling and getting laid out with a cold over the holiday weekend (and thus spending 3 straight days doing nothing but watching 21 Jump Street on Hulu, which was actually kind of awesome), I haven’t been reading shit. Well, I did read Nick Hornby’s latest novel while I was traveling, and I loved it, but that’s about it.

One more link, though! Women, Action and the Media (WAM!)  is auctioning off a bunch of cool stuff to support their work for gender justice in the media, and one of the items is an opportunity to have me edit any prose manuscript up to 25 pages. I actually used to do that for a living, and I really miss it, so if you need feedback on something you’re writing, support WAM! and give me the chance to have some fun with it.

78 thoughts on “Some Stuff”

  1. I like your version of “The Rules”. I am baffled by the original.

    The Missing Top Model thing looks about as ugh as all similar shows are….

  2. “getting laid out with a cold”

    I so thought that you just wrote “getting laid.” That would be better, less snot involved.

  3. Kate:
    You may send me the Nick Hornby book for Christmas. I’m fine with used. Just give it a Clorox wipe first to erase any cold germ residue. kthxbye.
    <3 J.

  4. Can we guess which one of you hates us? LOL.

    I’ve been enjoying your work in Broadsheet. The comments, puh-leeze. As is true of almost all Salon commenters, they mostly post to talk about how they don’t like the writer. Jeez, it’s all so personal with those people.

  5. Ugh, cashed in about a months worth of Sanity Points reading a few gems under the Candy Crowley piece. I will not be reading Salon comments again!

  6. I know this isn’t an open thread, but there’s something that’s really been bothering me that I thought was worth bringing to the attention of SP and its readers. I read a shit-ton of webcomics. Like, 150. And one of the webcomics I read regularly is Sinfest. It isn’t the most enlightened, but as far as the author can get past his privilege to do so, it is generally good at poking fun at stereotypes and popular ideas of “how things are”.

    But oh, last Saturday’s strip. So incredibly offensive in both feminist and FA ways. I apologize in advance for the rage I might be inducing in others, but I just can’t wrap my head around it. I’ve had flashes of anger at certain other strips, but this one just hits all my fucking buttons in a way this particular webcomic never has before.

  7. I really liked the blog post on “The Rules,” especially the ending. :) Also, I read the comments on that post before seeing Kate’s warning, and it was very eye-roll inducing.

    I did, however, enjoy the one guy who kinda-sorta accused Kate of being the downfall of feminism. That’s certainly a … grandiose claim.

  8. The best part is how people who accuse me of ruining feminism (and that’s hardly the first) are invariably the sort of people who would like to see feminism ruined. You’d think they’d be throwing parades in my honor or something.

  9. Just went back and read some of the broadsheet stuff, I don’t ever remember the URL, so I can never check up on it. The one about violence in pop music was fantastic. I heard that “Kiss With a Fist” song for the first time on the radio a couple of days ago. I actually said outloud to my car “That song makes me feel icky.” Dexter, my car, of course said nothing back, so I’m glad you articulated it for the both of us. It’s lovely how the musician said it wasn’t about domestic violence, but talks about burning a bed, which I can’t imagine anyone not linking up with domestic violence. I guess it was supposed to be a spicy sex thing? Gag.

    Anyway, great article, I’m currently reading all the rest. I never realize how starved I am for the feminist perspective on pop culture until I go there, or there’s a pop culture update here.

  10. Kate, I’d like you to know that I have had a lousy week, full of catastrophic stupid stuff happening, and it is all better now because of your article on The Rules, especially the bit where you assured me that I am the acme of desirability for American men.

  11. I hope everyone is reading Kate’s stuffs and actively supporting her various projects. In addition to being made of sweet, boneless awesome her command of craft is fucking stellar. It’s hard to be great every and hot damn, Kate, you’re FUCKING ACE everyday!

  12. Kate Harding permalink

    The best part is how people who accuse me of ruining feminism (and that’s hardly the first) are invariably the sort of people who would like to see feminism ruined. You’d think they’d be throwing parades in my honor or something.

    Haven’t you heard, Kate? There’s now a “right” kind of feminism according to the Dude Mafia. It’s the kind where you continue to wear sexy clothes and makeup, diet unquestioningly, love to give blow jobs because it’s “empowering,” and are deeply, deeply concerned about all the issues that men face in this big bad feminized world. Ideally, you should also be unsure that “feminism” is the right name for your movement, and wish you could change it to “humanism” or something, because you Care Deeply About Men, Too.

    This definition generally comes from dudes who will proudly call themselves MRAs with absolutely no thought that that’s just as much an “inherently biased name.” For bonus points, they will also complain about men’s rigid gender roles being reinforced by the media, and how terribly restrictive they are, and then make a “get back in the kitchen” joke, because it’s funny, you harpy, lighten up.

    That’s the kind of “feminism” you’re ruining. And I say more power to you.

  13. I really wish Broadsheet had an RSS feed. I know it’d basically be counterproductive to their advertisers, but…*sigh*

    Yeah, it’s confirmed. I’ve become one of those hopelessly picky internet assholes.

  14. I hope everyone is reading Kate’s stuffs and actively supporting her various projects.

    I have supported Kate’s efforts by putting in a request at my public library that they buy her books. They ordered Lessons. It got four holds requests on it the first day it appeared on the OPAC’s ‘on order’ list.

  15. Heh. I went to sign up for your editing services and there’s already a bid there… I imagine it’s going to get competitive! Hope you raise scads.

  16. I loved The Rules article. This line: ‘Men want short-tempered, poorly dressed fat feminists who have sex on the first date and never stop talking’ is fricken’ gold, tells ya! (Also, true of my marriage. Huzzah!)

  17. Heh, “The Rules” are insane and not awesome. I don’t follow any rules. Current boyfriend started as a one night fling and turned into something more. Go figure. In addition, sexual histories are all out on the table, skewed as they are.

    Oh yeah, and I went in for a check up and found out I had a silent chlamydia infection. THAT was an awesome conversation. I made him cookies as an apology, and things were fine.

    Nothing like a good case of VD to test a relationship.

  18. PS Kate, don’t let people hate us :( That’s no fun.

    Hopefully they will read about my chlamydia cookies and smile and feel happy.

  19. I just have one question. Possibly it has been answered somewhere but I’m being a lazy reader.

    How the Sam Hill does Lincoln University know its students BMIs?

    That alone frightens me. Seriously. Do they have to report for a physical? Is it the Army? Isn’t going to university about one’s mind? Is this an attempt to educate the ‘whole person’, gone scarily creepily WRONG?

  20. Grafton
    I have supported Kate’s efforts by putting in a request at my public library that they buy her books. They ordered Lessons. It got four holds requests on it the first day it appeared on the OPAC’s ‘on order’ list.

    Ooh! I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet. I’m going to do it tomorrow, thanks for the idea. :)

    Dearest SP bloggers:

    Thank you for being so awesome. I can’t wait for your next post, but until then I will satisfy myself with SP archives and the linkage contained in this post.

    With love,

  21. Ugh, I got knocked on my well-padded rear by a cold over the weekend. Three out of five of you have my sympathies.

    I love your Broadsheet writing, Kate, but I can’t trust myself not to look at the comments and give myself a stroke. I can only read the articles when somebody is around to look at me going all convulsing-with-rage when I inevitably comment-delve and ask me why I’m reading something I hate.

  22. Alexandra Erin – it’s fairly easy to read the writing and avoid the comments, simply by not clicking on the comment link. That’s basically how I can be dazzled by the writing and avoid the heat seeking ignorance.

  23. Ok. Three of you are feeling very poorly with colds, and one of you hates us (a little). This is not good. So, in order to help things feel cosy and festive, I have made a list of reasons to look forwards to Christmas to cheer you up. (May include reasons I look forwards to Christmas, more specifically.)

    1. Giving gifts that leave the receiver totally speechless. This happened to me three years ago when I was given a calorie counting book. The person who received my kick to the bollocks was literally speechless throughout the festive season.

    2. Knitting warm pointed hats for Lemurs, imaginary or real. Incidentally, Lemur’s enjoy cranberries just as much as the rest of us, but hide them about the house a little – give them some sport – dont hide them in people’s clothes though, the last thing you want is a lemur pick-pocket. Especially if your lemur is an imaginary one, like mine.

    3. Enjoying the feeling that Santa will be dropping by, and he is the greatest promoter of body acceptance in the world. Try to ignore the fact that he has to buy our affections by yearly gifts. (I left him whiskey and cake one cold Christmas eve as a child, and caught my granddad drinking it outside while smoking a cigarette and scratching, but that’s by the way.)

    4. You are allowed to be a total lounge lizard and drink, swear and grope freely.

    5. Strapping on a hardy thigh guard, safe in the knowledge that when you stab your fork into your leg, enraged by someone at the Christmas table, you won’t be permanently maimed.

    6. Re-buying chocolate gifts you have already eaten in the run up to Christmas.

    7. Encouraging your imaginary dog to take the blame for “that smell,” after the main Christmas lunch.

    8. Enjoying the one time of the year when it’s ok to insist on a Dickensian/Victorian name. This year, I’m thinking of being called ” Miss Jellyby Flinching-by-Flumenhort”, so feel free to invent your own, AND answer only to them.

    I hope this helps Christmas run little smoother. Happy Christmas to you all!

  24. The entire text of your article on Lincoln University seems to have ended up on the NAAFA Myspace blog. I wouldn’t mention anything about it except that I’m under the impression that Salon pays you, and does so because you bring traffic to their site. Reposting the entire article, I’m assuming without your permission or Salon’s, is rude to say the least. They cite you and link to Salon, but it still seems like a glaring case of infringement to me.

    Having said all that, I liked the article. I’m still focused on the “libertarian” aspect of the requirement, I’m of the opinion that one’s health is not the business of any educational institution. Also the infantillizing nature of the requirement puts my hackles up, as a society we really need to stop thinking of college students as children. And on the third hand, there’s the whole ableist aspect of Lincoln wanting a “healthy” student body, as the common definitions of health are deeply rooted in ableism.

  25. Oogh, colds. Hope you feel better soon!

    I loved your Salon articles, but the comments? Reminder to self: Don’t. Just say no. Because the stabby feelings start, and I have to waste valuable seconds that could be spent looking at kittens hitting the back button repeatedly.

  26. The entire text of your article on Lincoln University seems to have ended up on the NAAFA Myspace blog.

    AAAAARGH, they do this all the time (not steal my stuff in particular, but reprint whole articles.) , and it drives me nuts. It is indeed both copyright infringement and extremely rude.

    Thanks to everybody for the support, and to Snarky for kissing my ass. (I’m gonna double your salary!) Also, DON’T READ BROADSHEET COMMENTS.


    I actually have this on a sticky on my computer monitor as of this morning, because I always get to the end of your articles and go “That’s brilliant! I want to go read other people’s laughter and support of this idea!” and then I remember that often the comments are stupid, but how could anyone seriously support the idea of The Rules anyway? And who would be such a moron as to not get the tongue-in-cheekness of your claim that your relationship is universal?

    So then I click, and wonder if I need to go back to therapy to address what is clearly a personal issue: I have way, way too much confidence in the Broadsheet readers, which probably indicates some sort of pathological condition that I should address if I ever want to catch me a husband.


  28. Good morning from the West Coast, everyone! Kate, I’m so glad you posted because you were in my dream last night. You and I went to this crazy sale at Torrid, and you bought five dresses. Good times.

  29. Who hates us sort of? I know you won’t say but I’m just dying to know! I’m kidding. Mostly.

    No one hates you! Really! I was trying to think of a more interesting excuse than “Busy working and shit like usual.”

    There are times when we all hate the internet in general, but I don’t think any of us have ever hated the Shapelings.

  30. Kate, I’m so happy you mentioned Nick Hornby’s new book! Somehow it had escaped my attention that he had one, and now it is on its way to my door… perfect timing, since I just finished a book and have been feeling very twitchy and uneasy without my next one lined up!

    Hope the rest of you awesome bloggers feel better quickly.

  31. It’s because we have gotten used to reading awesome articles by Kate and others here. We start assuming that any great article will be followed by interesting, funny, fascinating discussion.

    Shapely Prose (and some other sides) renew our faith in humanity, because we do not have to deal with the drivel that they do not allow to be posted. And sometimes, this makes us forget how good the internet can be at bringing out the worst in people.

    *klings to safe spaces*

  32. Also: I wanted my library to order “lessons”, as well as some other books I have seen referenced around the blog-o-sphere (yes means yes, the purity myth, several books on US history from the points of views of POCs), but they do not buy non-fiction in English :-(

    Anyone I can write to get them working on a translation?

  33. @Paintmonkey: I want to virtually gay marry you and your imaginary lemur.

    @Kate: Being an even bigger marriage expert than you (hey, I get paid to write about planning weddings, and have been married for more than sixteen years, so put that in your expert pipe and smoke it, woman!), I feel qualified to say that you have it about half right: all men want short, fat, WELL-DRESSED, feminists who won’t shut up. To all my married friends who are: tall, thin, and/or quiet most of the time, you’re just fooling yourselves, honestly. To my unmarried tall, thin and/or quiet friends, that’s why you’re still single and I’m not, so nyaaaaah!

    Yes, even those of you who don’t want to get married. You’re just fooling yourself that a woman could have any ambivilance about the institution. Now stop deluding yourselves and start getting passive-agressive bullshitty with the next man you meet, even if you think he’s disgusting, so you can fulfill your womanly duty by conning him into marrying you.


  34. @twistie – Gay marry me? Wow…this is quite a step. And you are prepared to take the imaginary lemur on as your own?

  35. Kate, I’ve followed your rules to the letter, especially the bit about being short-tempered and poorly dressed, but after 8 years with a lovely man I don’t even WANT a diamond ring, let alone have one! What am I doing wrong?
    *wrings ringless dried-up spinster hands*

  36. Loved the Salon article extra hard. And skimmed some of the comments, which wasn’t too bright. I had to stop after the guy who said that some men will put up with anything “to get a pussy.”

    I still can’t get over the fact that that’s all we are to some people. >:(

  37. I had to stop after the guy who said that some men will put up with anything “to get a pussy.”

    If only my boyfriend would actually let me get a cat… :-b (He’s allergic, so it’s not really his fault.)

  38. Meggie–
    No kidding. What are those asshats doing on Salon, anyway? I like to think they’re hiding under rotting logs in the deepest forest, not reading progressive online stuff.

    Thos people to whom women are nothing but pussy are already known as ‘dicks.’ Apropos, isn’t it? I love this language.

    Speaking of progressive or non-progressive online news organizations, I was interested to see that Double X is disappearing. I loved it and commented a lot in the first couple of months, but they lost me when they began the outrageous feminist-bating. If I’m going to get into an online conversation, I’m going to do it somewhere where the trolls are banned and the articles aren’t deliberately and horrifically inflammatory. Like, y’know, here.

  39. So, I’ve been reading through Kate’s back catalog at Broadsheet, and stumbled across the one about looking for non-misogynist crime fiction. That’s something I’m always on the lookout for, too — any tips? (And Kate, what was the blog you read that on? I think I want to check it out.)

  40. I really am having trouble adjusting to Salon’s redesign and these things don’t usually bother me. Is there any possibility you could put a link here to the “Kate Harding” page there?

    I also just wanted to say that I have been mixing fictional characters and real actors in my imagination today and giggling at the thought of Alex P. Keaton’s reaction to his “mom” announcing she is a lesbian. Oh, what a “very special episode” that would have been!

  41. Wish I’d read this thread before attempting to read the comments on your articles – my daily Sanity Watchers points have been severely depleted! The whole “well-rounded student” thing people are using to defend Lincoln has me headdesking – my university also strives for “well-rounded students” by requiring fitness courses, but without employing discriminatory bullshit. They achieve this by requiring them for EVERYONE!

  42. Kate, you rock.

    Waaaaay back in the 90’s I wrote a piece ripping on The Rules, particularly the crappier ones like “don’t call anyone back.” I then had the entire foaming-at-the-mouth “bootcamp” Rules Girls ragging on me on the Internet. Joy of joys.

    I’ve always thought, “if I have to act like that to get/keep a man, why would I want him?”

  43. Kate, I haven’t read all those links yet, but I just read your piece on Lincoln University and loved it. Once again, good on you.

    …too bad I made the mistake of reading the comments page. *sigh*

  44. Random thoughts. Since finding you, I’ve thought a lot. And then some more.

    Tonight I worked out that food is only food; and it has no empowerment; and fat is only fat and it has no disempowerment.

    But only if we see it that way.

    Very very grateful to have found this site, and amazed at the wisdom here.


  45. PS if I have worked it out wrong, be kind when you tell me :-)

    (And I know there is much more for me to work out. . . . .)


  46. I’m one of the ones with the colds, which means I’m not lucid enough to think of any writerrific way to say how much I don’t hate y’all. :) And Paintmonkey, that one’s going on the fridge. (Figuratively. We got a stainless steel fridge when we moved. Did everyone else know that magnets don’t stick to stainless steel fridges? I figured stainless steel, that’s, like, the metalliest fridge finish there is… SURELY magnets would stick, right? But they don’t. Apparently all matter is made of atoms, see, and… um, well, that’s where I get lost.)

  47. I am a well-rounded student! My bum is round, my stomach is round, my head is round (and too big for many hats), even my boobs are round in some bras (and pointy in others). My shoulders are rounded from many hours hunched over my laptop farting about on the internet analyzing data.

    I’d also like to know if an imaginary lemur would be a compatible addition to a household with two attention-hungry cats. Would it just add a third (if hypothetical) contender for the coveted napping spot between me and my husband in bed?

  48. Oh! And this isn’t lemur-related, but it’s cute-animal-related, and I keep forgetting to mention it. On my way to work every day I see a sign that says “OTTERY TICKETS SOLD HERE.” [sigh] I suspect there aren’t really any otters, but wouldn’t that be lovely? For Christmas I want tickets to the ottery.

  49. A Sarah: I bet they have those great Victorian carousels at the ottery. And they sell gingerbread cake, and roast chestnuts in paper cones, and probably eel pie, although that might just be for the otters.

  50. Okay if you guys keep reporting that you’re sick everyone’s going to assume I’m the hater. :) THERE IS NO HATER IT IS A FICTION MADE UP BY KATE. (But I’m not sick, I’m just home for three days between two jaunts out of town without any internet to speak of, and trying to actually do some work before I leave again.)

  51. I assumed it was Fillyjonk because you are/she is the feistiest. I hate lots of people over the internet, too, so I wasn’t offended. And, may I add, LOL. Get well soon to everyone who’s sick, and to everyone who’s sick of the human race. :)

    (is “feisty” a bad adjective to use? I think it sounds kind of anti-feminist, so my apologies if it goes amiss.)

  52. to clarify: the pronoun shift in my first sentence was to cover both contingencies regarding whether or not FJ was reading this.

  53. KH – Does the editing on offer include brainstorming, or are we talking line editing only?
    And would you be willing to do two 12.5-page screeds instead of one 25.0-page one?
    And when does the auction close?

    (And has littlem turned into an interrogative-spouting-only machine for the holidays, with no declarative sentences left?)

    Everyone who is sniffling please feel better. Garlic. Astragalus. Fluids. <3

  54. @Rosemary Riveter – I think the imaginary lemur would work very well with the cats. Having said that, cats are strange with imaginary pets. My own cat thought she was St.Jerome for a while, which made things awkward, but I think she would have welcomed the distraction of an imaginary lemur at the time. Bizarrely, she slept in a Barbie’s four poster bed during the phase which was very much at odds with her new found sainthood,thus proving how notoriously fickle ALL cats are. The bed was way too small, but it did have elaborate detailing which seemed to be the main draw. I think it broke in the end under the pressure. I actually have a grainy photo of her in it – mean-faced and scowling yet surrounded by flounce. Truly odd.
    I may have lied about the St.Jerome phase, but the rest is true.


    That is exactly what the hater would say.

    [Kidding – we love you, FJ! Even if you secretly hate us all. For the record, my money was on A Sarah. There’s a flinty look in that woman’s gravatar’s eye.]

  56. Re: the Jag Haro column Kate discussed in her post about The Rules, just wondering if I was the only person who found this absolutely hilarious. It’s when she is talking about a girl “just wanting” an engagement ring for Christmas:

    “That isn’t to suggest that such aspirations for a Christmas or Hanukkah or New Year’s engagement are culturally contrived. To the contrary, NOTHING could be more natural than for a woman in love with hopes for marriage and possibly children to wish to see her dreams reciprocated during a season centering around family, tradition, and reflections on the year behind and that ahead.”


  57. Kate quotes that part in her post – I forgot to say that – so clearly she saw the irony as well, but I actually laughed out loud and wondered for a moment if this Jag person was writing parody.

  58. KH – Does the editing on offer include brainstorming, or are we talking line editing only?
    And would you be willing to do two 12.5-page screeds instead of one 25.0-page one?
    And when does the auction close?

    Yes, it would include brainstorming/general suggestions, not just line editing. Yes, I’d be happy to look at 2 different things, as long as the total is under 25 pp. And I think the auction closes in about a week…?

  59. I swear that today’s the day I set up a little bank that I put money into every time I read comments anywhere but here, Shakesville and a few other choice sites. And then I’ll donate the money to the most radical organization I can find.

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