A Proper Tea Party

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(Source: october-glory)

tamorapierce:

gohomeluhan:

As I’m walking through Target with my little sister, the kid somehow manages to convince me to take a trip down the doll aisle. I know the type - brands that preach diversity through displays of nine different variations of white and maybe a black girl if you’re lucky enough. What I instead found as soon as I turned into the aisle were these two boxes.

The girl on the left is Shola, an Afghani girl from Kabul with war-torn eyes. Her biography on the inside flap tells us that “her country has been at war since before she was born”, and all she has left of her family is her older sister. They’re part of a circus, the one source of light in their lives, and they read the Qur’an. She wears a hijab.

The girl on the right is Nahji, a ten-year-old Indian girl from Assam, where “young girls are forced to work and get married at a very early age”. Nahji is smart, admirable, extremely studious. She teaches her fellow girls to believe in themselves. In the left side of her nose, as tradition mandates, she has a piercing. On her right hand is a henna tattoo.

As a Pakistani girl growing up in post-9/11 America, this is so important to me. The closest thing we had to these back in my day were “customizable” American Girl dolls, who were very strictly white or black. My eyes are green, my hair was black, and my skin is brown, and I couldn’t find my reflection in any of those girls. Yet I settled, just like I settled for the terrorist jokes boys would throw at me, like I settled for the butchered pronunciations of names of mine and my friends’ countries. I settled for a white doll, who at least had my eyes if nothing else, and I named her Rabeea and loved her. But I still couldn’t completely connect to her.

My little sister, who had been the one to push me down the aisle in the first place, stopped to stare with me at the girls. And then the words, “Maybe they can be my American Girls,” slipped out of her mouth. This young girl, barely represented in today’s society, finally found a doll that looks like her, that wears the weird headscarf that her grandma does and still manages to look beautiful.

I turned the dolls’ boxes around and snapped a picture of the back of Nahji’s. There are more that I didn’t see in the store; a Belarusian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, a Laotian, a Native American, a Mexican. And more.

These are Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, and while they haven’t yet reached all parts of the world (I think they have yet to come out with an East Asian girl), they need all the support they can get so we can have a beautiful doll for every beautiful young girl, so we can give them what our generation never had.

Please don’t let this die. If you know a young girl, get her one. I know I’m buying Shola and Nahji for my little sister’s next birthday, because she needs a doll with beautiful brown skin like hers, a doll who wears a hijab like our older sister, a doll who wears real henna, not the blue shit white girls get at the beach.

The Hearts 4 Hearts girls are so important. Don’t overlook them. Don’t underestimate them. These can be the future if we let them.

You can read more about the dolls here: http://www.playmatestoys.com/brands/hearts-for-hearts-girls

This is the most amazing thing!  Little sisters heck!  Have you got nieces, granddaughters, cousins, daughters?  Not only girls of color can benefit by having dolls like these, but white girls who are growing up in a world of color!

pogosticks:

Horned Viper/עכן חרטומים (Cerastes cerastes) by Aviad Bar

lookit the cute sneaky snake!!!!!

On John Grisham, Victimized Pedophiles, and the Children’s Book Industry

tamorapierce:

anneursu:

As you may have heard, John Grisham gave an interview with The Telegraph in which he lambasted the US judicial system for excessive incarceration—including that of “Sixty-year-old white men in prison” whose only crimes were consuming child pornography.  

“…But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.”

I’m bemused that someone who writes legal thrillers thinks being drunk is exculpatory when you break the law. (Or maybe he just thinks it is for white men? I can’t imagine why he’d think the system works differently for rich white guys.) Regardless, as proof of his thesis, Grisham spoke of a friend who was caught in a child porn sting and served three years in prison:

"His drinking was out of control, and he went to a website. It was labelled ‘sixteen year old wannabee hookers’ or something like that. And it said ‘16-year-old girls’. So he went there. Downloaded some stuff - it was 16 year old girls who looked 30. 

"He shouldn’t ’a done it. It was stupid, but it wasn’t 10-year-old boys.

See, it wasn’t THAT bad; Child porn isn’t so terrible when the subjects are teenage girls. We have no idea what website his friend actually looked at***, but the way Grisham chooses to demonstrate the relative frivolity of the crime is to describe the children on the site as “sixteen-year-old wannabe hookers.”

 I do not have the stomach to engage in a discussion about levels of acceptability in child pornography—even writing this post is making me physically ill. The point here is that, yet again, we have someone using teenage girls (especially, I suppose, slutty ones) as a signifier for people who aren’t worth quite as much as other people. And when you speak this way about teenage girls who are victims of sex crimes, it perpetuates the culture that creates these crimes.

 Is Mr. Grisham under the impression that these hypothetical girls actually aspire to prostitution? And this is, what, resumé-building? Or is he just trying to imply that they are super slutty, and so really are choosing this? Does he believe that child porn featuring teenage girls can in any way be a consensual act? Or does that part not matter?

 I’m guessing it’s that last one—it doesn’t matter— since his entire discussion is based around the act of looking at these images with little to no awareness of the humanity of the children in them.  What matters, to him, is the excessive persecution of the pedophile. Because it’s they who are the real victims here.

 That’s the thing—implicit in his comments is the idea that child pornography just happens, and when men of a certain age get drunk and poke around on the internet they cannot help but stumble upon it. Ah, well. No harm done. Who put that porn there? It’s not like they’re perverted or something. 

 So, what does it mean when comments that diminish the harm of consuming child pornography come from someone who writes bestselling books for children?

 I am not going to complain about celebrity authors writing children’s books—guaranteed bestsellers mean publishers can take chances on books whose success is not guaranteed. I cannot comment on the quality of Grisham’s middle grade series, and I cannot say whether or not these books are a cash grab on Grisham’s part or if he truly feels called to write books for young readers (though he has joked that he started the books because he was bitter at being displaced by JK Rowling as the bestselling author in the world.) 

Whatever his motivations, these books have sold the requisite crapload of copies; in other words, lots of people are making lots of money on John Grisham: Children’s Book Author.

So my question is: When one of the most famous authors in the western world uses his platform to say that viewing child porn isn’t so bad, really, does the industry have an obligation to respond? Does his children’s book publisher? When he argues that a guy should get a free pass for downloading pornographic pictures of underage girls, what does that mean to a business that depends so much on the dollars of underage girls? How much of a stand do we take for our customers? What is the line here?

 Sure, Grisham has apologized. Naturally, a statement was issued. Mistakes were made. Words were said. Regrets were regretted. 

But is that enough?

 I do believe that when you profit off kids, you have a moral obligation to serve and honor those kids, and I know that this industry is full of people who care a great deal about that obligation. So, what happens now?

 Authors are allowed to be jerks and still get book contracts. But when an immensely powerful man with international visibility essentially excuses the consumers of child pornography, when he acts like child pornography is a victimless crime, what does it say if the children’s book industry continues to give him a platform? When we profit off selling his books to the very kids he has essentially pooh-poohed the exploitation of?  

I don’t know the answer. But I think it’s worth asking the question. 

[EDIT: ****Aaaaand it turns out that yes, Grisham was actually using “sixteen-year-old girls” to make things seem not-quite-so-bad, because his friend was exchanging images of kids younger than twelve as well. The friend, it seems, served 18 months in prison, and Grisham—not at all trading in on his celebrity—wrote a letter advocating this guy get reinstated to the bar. Because trading in child pornography shouldn’t keep you from being able to practice law. And acting like it’s not that big a deal, apparently, shouldn’t keep you from publishing highly visible children’s books with a major publisher.]

When the hell did Grisham start writing for kids? 

I happen to feel very personally about teenage girls.  They are my fan base, my characters, my friends.  I love teenage girls.  I read Grisham’s justification and, being in the middle of three crises, I put it aside.  The thought of this flabby southern good ol’ boy snarking about my girls … about kids, about excusing a lawyer who ignored the law, who added his coins to the kiddie porn industry—I wonder if anyone has written Grisham’s publisher?

cakeandrevolution:

sadboosexual:

theyuniversity:

It’s good to know that we weren’t the only ones driven crazy by people who “axe” questions.

Okay, see, we talked about this linguisitic phenomenon in my grammar class. I don’t remember what it’s called, but it happens with other words, too - my professor used an example of “uncomfortable.” When you say it out loud, most likely, it sounds more like “un-comf-ter-ble,” thus mixing up the position of the r and the t, like how the k and the s are mixed in this speech pattern. However, not many people are out here acting high and mighty because someone said “uncomfterble” like they are with “ax,” and that has absolutely everything to do with academic biases - because “ax” is associated mostly with Black people (and occasionally lower-class whites), it’s viewed as “improper” speech, whereas most people, even middle & upper class white people who are thought to speak the most ~proper~ version of English, say “uncomfterble.”
And a quick Google search yields that even Chaucer used “axe” to mean “ask” within his writing. (Source) (Source)
tl;dr actually caring about whether someone says “ask” ~”correctly”~~ is rooted in racist & classist biases of language so, consider, not. 

Most linguistic pedantry is inherently racist in nature.

cakeandrevolution:

sadboosexual:

theyuniversity:

It’s good to know that we weren’t the only ones driven crazy by people who “axe” questions.

Okay, see, we talked about this linguisitic phenomenon in my grammar class. I don’t remember what it’s called, but it happens with other words, too - my professor used an example of “uncomfortable.” When you say it out loud, most likely, it sounds more like “un-comf-ter-ble,” thus mixing up the position of the r and the t, like how the k and the s are mixed in this speech pattern. However, not many people are out here acting high and mighty because someone said “uncomfterble” like they are with “ax,” and that has absolutely everything to do with academic biases - because “ax” is associated mostly with Black people (and occasionally lower-class whites), it’s viewed as “improper” speech, whereas most people, even middle & upper class white people who are thought to speak the most ~proper~ version of English, say “uncomfterble.”

And a quick Google search yields that even Chaucer used “axe” to mean “ask” within his writing. (Source) (Source)

tl;dr actually caring about whether someone says “ask” ~”correctly”~~ is rooted in racist & classist biases of language so, consider, not. 

Most linguistic pedantry is inherently racist in nature.

First day of new job!

First day of new job!

roachpatrol:

thefingerfuckingfemalefury:

honestlyvan:

#ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHEEERS
don’t you mean
one of these is not like the otters

"THIS IS A REALLY WEIRD DOG PACK I HAVE JOINED"

these weird dogs are always wet

roachpatrol:

thefingerfuckingfemalefury:

honestlyvan:

#ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHEEERS

don’t you mean

one of these is not like the otters

"THIS IS A REALLY WEIRD DOG PACK I HAVE JOINED"

these weird dogs are always wet

(Source: cute-overload)

I work at my university's bookstore and every semester one of the professors teaches 'Fight Club' and it's so exciting to see boxes of it come in and rather disappointed to see people return their rented copied or sell them back. Once I returned a copy and the student wrote the synopsis of each chapter under the heading and I freaked out. My manager said it was in otherwise fine condition so we couldn't charge her but what spoilers. How do you feel about your work being taught ?

neuroatypically-speaking:

feministbatwoman:

blue-author:

leonrw:

jesuisperdu:

synecdoche:

chuckpalahniuk:

That fact that ‘Fight Club’ is being taught seems — to me — to underscore the dearth of novels that explore male issues.  The past years have given us so many books, from ‘The Color Purple’ to ‘The Joy Luck Club’ to ‘How to Make an American Quilt,’ which depict women in groups and relationship, but almost no books depicting social models for men.  That’s my two cents worth.

i am sitting here SCREAMING with laughter 

what world do you live in chuck palahniuk

and how can i live in this world with a dearth of novels that explore male issues

wow

showing this to everyone who tries to argue that palahniuk is being ironic and mocking masculinity and ‘male issues’ in fight club

omggg

I think at least two rules of Fight Club are being broken by this class.

"almost no books depicting social models for men" 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA

*wipes tears* 

Oh wait, you were serious? 

image

Also. 

Fight Club was published in 1996. 
The Color Purple was published in 1982
Joy Luck Club was published in 1989 
(and note how these are both books about women of color) 

They are not books “the past years” have given us, you IGNORAMUS. THEY WERE PUBLISHED THIRTY YEARS AGO. YOUR BOOK IS MORE CONTEMPORARY THAN THEY ARE. 

*headdesk* 

Translation: “Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. I am uncomfortable when we are not about me. Me.

Also, I am so lost in the Manbox, I think dudes beating the crap out of each other qualify as a social model for men.”

(Source: fuckitandmovetobritain)