Due to financial circumstances outside of our control, it's been a pretty stressful month. We think we know what's going on, then we don't, then we think things are certain again, then they're not. I know I'm being vague right now, but trust me, it's the best way for me to be about the whole thing. Ultimately - money is tight and nerves are frayed. In an attempt to not go completely looney toons on everybody, I've been focusing on shit I can control, like making sure the house is clean and dinner is tasty, that I get lots of sewing done and get new items listed in my etsy shop, that I save as much money as possible by making our laundry soap and putting on an extra pair of socks before running the heater, that Silas is bathed and clothed and fed. The important things.
This Winter has been long and weird and cold and has drained me of the energy to write very much. Predictably, I've turned inward and have taken more words in than I've put out. I've been reading A LOT and may as well share the random bits I've stumbled across.
Fat Sex: What Everyone Wants to Know but is Afraid to Ask by Amber Parker
"It took me a long time to realize that my partners were having sex with me in part because of the way my body looks, not in spite of the way my body looks. It sounds simple, I know, but when you spend your whole life being told that fat bodies are not sexy, it takes some time to realize that sexiness isn’t that simple. This understanding is not something that happens overnight for most of us. Hell, it can take years. But, the sooner you learn (yes, learn) to feel sexy just the way you are, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy your sexuality more fully."
Colonialism in Africa helped launch the HIV epidemic a century ago by Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin
"We typically think of diseases in terms of how they threaten us personally. But they have their own stories. Diseases are born. They grow. They falter, and sometimes they die. In every case these changes happen for reasons.For decades nobody knew the reasons behind the birth of the AIDS epidemic. But it is now clear that the epidemic’s birth and crucial early growth happened during Africa’s colonial era, amid massive intrusion of new people and technology into a land where ancient ways still prevailed."
"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power…Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing."
— President Theodore Roosevelt, 29 April 1938
Meet JAL's cafeteria-eating CEO by Kyung Lah
"That philosophy, that he's just like everyone else trying to make it through Japan's recession, is why he takes the city bus to work, eats in the cafeteria with his employees and strolls through the operations room at the airport. When the company looked to cut costs, he eliminated every single expensive perk of his job. He took away the corner office and chauffeur. Then he slashed his pay dramatically, so that in 2007 he made less than his pilots."
My Fat, Beautiful Body By Jenn Leyva
"'Body image' isn't really about the image of bodies. It's about the holistic relationships we have with our bodies. It's about how bodies look, how they move, what they feel like, and how we treat them. Even if we ignore semantics, conversations about body image almost always come down to health. Most conversations I've had about body image blame the media and advertising for exposing young girls to impossible standards in order to sell products. But more than selling products, these images drive people to unhealthy habits—crash diets, disordered eating, and sometimes even more dramatic actions like diet pills and self-harm."
"The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.
For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you."
— Neil deGrasse Tyson
I don’t want to be a feminist anymore on Feministing
"I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of seeing someone writing something offensive, sexist, racist, ageist, ableist, somewhere online. I am tired of seeing those writings getting likes and lol’s, and SO TRUE’s. I am tired of being consumed by confusion and anger, typing, typing, typing and typing a seemingly endless response, including research, links and statistics, and then hesitate clicking “submit”. I am tired of knowing that I hesitate because I am afraid of the flood of responses that will come. I am tired of knowing that I will be bombarded with lighten up’s, stop whining’s and get a sense of humor’s for so long, that I will start to wonder if I am indeed wound up too tight, a nagger and humorless."
Crackpots Do Not Make Good Messengers by Kevin Drum
"This isn't the biography of a person with one or two unusual hobbyhorses. It's not something you can pretend doesn't matter. This is Grade A crankery, and all by itself it's reason enough to want nothing to do with Ron Paul. But of course, that's not all. As we've all known for the past four years, you can layer on top of this Paul's now infamous newsletters, in which he condoned a political strategy consciously designed to appeal to the worst strains of American homophobia, racial paranoia, militia hucksterism, and new-world-order fear-mongering. And on top of that, you can layer on the fact that Paul is plainly lying about these newsletters and his role in them."