The Suffragettes Who Learned Martial Arts to Fight for Votes, Atlas Obscura (November 3, 2015)
This contingent of British women fighting—very physically—for votes was officially named the Bodyguard, but they soon earned other monickers through local papers and word-of-mouth like the Amazons and the jujutsuffragettes. They were an underground unit of the Women’s Social and Political Union, trained and organized in response to England’s Cat and Mouse Act, which was an effort to handle the hunger strikes of imprisoned suffragettes in an ethically palatable manner, officially known as the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act of 1913. … And that’s where the Bodyguard stepped in—in between their sisters-in-arms and members of law enforcement, their mission to keep these prison breaks as long as possible. The women of the Bodyguard were extremely fit, willing to risk their health, safety and freedom.
Beware of Cupcake Fascism, The Guardian (April 8, 2014)
[T]he cupcake and its associates market themselves by catering to these never-never-land adults’ tastes. These products, which treat their audience as children, and more specifically the children of the middle classes – perfect special snowflakes full of wide-eyed wonder and possibility – succeed as expressions of a desire on behalf of consumers to always and forever be children, by telling consumers not only that this is OK, but also that it is, to a real degree, possible.
It’s an understandable urge, given how terrifying and confusing the world is at present. But it is, of course, the wrong response.
Trinity Tempo: The Idol Franchise Where Money Literally Equals Success, Ogiue Maniax (August 2, 2016)
Currently a little over a year old, Trinity Tempo’s premise is that different schools compete against each other in idol competitions, and you get to determine who wins by buying merchandise for your favorite team. You literally get to influence how the overall story progresses by spending cash on character-specific goods, with certain items giving you more “votes” than others. … Trinity Tempo exists almost purely in “merch space,” where potential fans are supposed to be drawn into it based primarily on their attraction to the concept and the characters themselves.
Dear Marvel: Stop Sexualizing Female Teenage Characters Like Riri Williams. Love, Everyone, The Mary Sue (October 19, 2016)
The sexualization of female heroes in general is a wider concern, but it’s even more acute when the character being sexualized is a young girl. It takes all the arguments about “Oh, but it’s just fantasy!” and throws them out the window. Because if depictions like this are allowed, that means “fantasies” include 15-year-old-girls. That is not okay.
Even less okay is the fact that this has been done to a young, black female character. Black women have a long history of being depicted in oversexualized ways. Sometimes, that oversexualization is done by white women in the name of feminism. Regardless of who’s doing it, it keeps being done disproportionately to black women. And this isn’t a woman. This is a black girl.
Fiction pick of the week:
Forever Now, Fireside Fiction (Issue 32)
Her parents had promised to buy her one special present of her own choosing from the Forever Now Mall, and if they didn’t do it tonight, she wouldn’t get one.
Rita didn’t quite understand how it worked, but the Forever Now Mall only opened at odd times, like Wednesdays with full moons, and then only if you had perfectly straight red hair, or could touch your tongue to your nose and say “bitter batter.” Today it was open for dark-haired girls celebrating their eleventh birthdays and nine-year-old boys who could wiggle their ears.
Poetry pick of the week:
The Second Coming, Michael Robartes and the Dancer (1920)
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.