Most of what I remember about what I read in women’s magazines is mind-numbing and makes me feel inadequate based on my appearance. But men’s magazines do the same. Like Molly Fisher points out in her work about LadyBlogs, perhaps women’s mags, too, are known for their particular tone and short bursts of sass, advice, or content—meaning that they might publish shorter features than men’s mags. Certainly they’re each selling distinct personalities and lifestyles, emphasizing roles for each gender, placing significance on what specifically men versus women should care about. But all of this says more about difference in content than difference in quality. Is this the sexist bias at it again?
Lisa and I have started an email thread to share articles we read on the daily. It’s not like I don’t do this with all my other friends all the time, but now we have a designated space and expectation to share. There is so much out on the internet and even more books to read—an endless amount of culture to consume! Does postgrad mean freedom to read as much as I want? Will I yank myself away from my computer to get to my print magazines, books, and journals? Will I write half as many words as I read? I hope so.
I found this interactive infographic on the New Yorker, and it visualizes what I already well know: that NYC has crazy income inequality, which affects where people in the city live. I wonder how this data will change in a decade (or even in half that time). I definitely see the value of moving to a cheaper city after graduation.
Why I almost defriended everyone who had an HRC logo as their profile picture this week:
It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that, though I didn’t think about this at the time, I probably started a blog because I need somewhere to vent my boundless rage that is not random people’s Facebook walls. I mean, one thing among the many thousands of things that are guaranteed to raise my blood pressure is when folks get all “the internet isn’t real, and it’s not a viable platform for communication,” but also like, Facebook fights are dumb, I’m supposed to be an adult now.
So here’s the thing that got me all het up this week: gay marriage.
Specifically, these goddamn things:
Professor Kyle Kusz of URI on the White Man-Boy Industrial Complex
This form of inequality is quite a shame, but what’s more of a shame is how I’m just not surprised. Will these numbers provoke the magazines to hire more women? There’s no excuse for these publications to say they didn’t realize the ratio. Now they do. Diversity in gender is important, but diversity in opinions and perspectives is even more important. That’s not to say those two forms of diversity are mutually exclusive—in fact, they go hand and hand. Indeed, I wonder how the pie charts would look if such factors like race or socioeconomic were tracked instead. Those, certainly, are significant to consider when attempting to reflect an array of views to make a magazine rich in content and relevant to a wide audience.
On Sunday night some friends and I gathered in my living room to watch Episode 9 of Girls: On All Fours. When the episode finished, I was incredulous and slightly shaken. I could hardly believe what I had just witnessed in one of the final scenes. Adam and Natalia have sex for their second time, and it is bad sex. No, it’s awkward sex, probably just as much for Natalia as much as it was awkward for me to witness. I might even categorize it as confused sex. But the right words to describe the sex tugged at me all along: sexual assault. I’m surprised the Guys on Girls of Slate didn’t pick up on that explicitly. Amanda Hess did, and for that I am relieved.
image courtesy of Glamour.com
Thinking of Natalia as more than just a character, I cannot say if Natalia herself would think of her experience as sexual assault. But we see her feeling violated as she is rough-housed and used. In some instances, for certain people, this kind of sex might be desired. Before she and Adam had sex the first time, she specifically asked for no soft touching. But she did not ask for Adam to finish on her chest or to go down on her. There was no consent. She said no—twice.
That neighborhoods are segregated by income levels may not be newsworthy, but that fact takes on a much realer form when visualized.
“Invest time and energy in the spaces you control: your blog and Twitter account. (I’m assuming you already have both of these things because you are no fool.) Use them to dash off quick opinions and keep track of things you’re interested in exploring at greater length. ”
I guess I’ve been a fool, but finally, here I am with a blog. I can’t promise that I’ll be tweeting anytime soon, but baby steps matter, right?