Hi readers! It’s been a while. I’ve missed writing for HB, but I also haven’t felt like I have much to write about. I think a lot of that has to do with not being in an academic environment – I’m not reading or writing much at an intellectual level right now, so I’ve sort of gotten out of practice. I’m also no longer surrounded by people who want to talk about bodies and feminism all the time, so I’ve mostly been thinking things to myself. But I have been reading an awful lot of other blogs, and I think that’s another reason why I haven’t been writing – I keep finding things that I would like to re-post, but the blog would get pretty boring pretty fast if all I did was re-post every cool thing that I read. But right now, I’m back, at least for today.
Since I have been doing a lot of reading, I thought this post would take the form of a round up where I talk a little about the blogs that I’ve been reading and some of their recent posts that I’ve found especially interesting.
First up: Sociological Images
If you don’t read SI, you should start NOW. They’re in our blog roll and we frequently get sweet material from them. They write about all kinds of sociological topics from wage and employment gaps, to gendered/sexist advertising, to the “whitening” of non-white people.
They’ve also had a few recent posts about the gendering of children’s toys, and I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit as the Christmas gift season is upon us. For instance, they had a great post about a website the specifically shows girls playing with traditionally “boy” toys such as tool kits and a bow and arrows. After reading that post and thinking some about how toys that really could be enjoyed equally by either gender are marketed only to one or the other, I was really excited to see a picture like this on a play kitchen at my local big box store.
Wait, both BOYS and GIRLS can play in a kitchen?!?! I really like that advertising like this makes it clear that any child can enjoy cooking pretend food and just having these images on the boxes can help to break down gender stereotypes (like that women belong in the kitchen so we should train little girls with mini kitchens).
Next blog: Feminists With Disabilities for a way Forward (aka FWD/Forward)
FDW/Forward is a new blog in the feminist/disability sphere (as you may have guessed by the blog name). It took my a while to warm up to this blog, I think mainly because I hadn’t done much reading in the disability sphere before so I was unfamiliar with a lot of their rhetoric, phrases, and issues. However, since I knew next to nothing about the disabled blogging community, my learning curve was very steep and reading this blog has definitely expanded my ideas about people with disabilities and their concerns. I feel like I am much better informed and much better able to be an ally.
One of their recurring segments is their Ablelist Word Profiles in which they give the history of word that is used to demean or mock people with disabilities and explain why use of said word should be discouraged. I especially liked this word profile about using the term “wheelchair user” instead of “wheelchair bound”. I’m trying to say lame less, and things like “you’re so OCD!”, but I’m honestly not going to try to rid my vocabulary of the word idiot.
I think some of the posts on FWD/Forward that have been the most useful to me are those that helped me to better understand the lived experience of people with disabilities: what it’s like to have people blatantly disregard accommodations that you need, the assumptions that the temporarily abled make about the (invisibly) disabled, and places that aren’t accessible for stupid reasons.
In the past, I’ve written a couple of times about Glee and the disability issues therein. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that Anna says in this post about Glee (and the controversy about the “Wheels” episode), but it’s a good read with lots of links to other articles and commentary about Glee. If it were up to me though, I think the #1 thing that the producers/writers/actors/directors of Glee need to read is this article by Wheelchair Dancer on How to Push a Wheelchair (without being an ableist douche-bag).
Ok, I think that’s enough for right now, hopefully I’ll have more time/inspiration soon and you’ll be seeing (reading) more of me in the near future.