Monday links, 1/20/14

Female sumo wrestler (source)

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.
Letters from a YSI jail
Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did.
MLK Boulevard: a snapshot of King’s dream deferred.
This piece by Ta Nehisi-Coates isn’t directly about MLK, but it’s relevant and so important. 

An ASOS maternity fit review and a SWAK rant
-I’m disappointed but not surprised to hear that ASOS has often stolen designs from indie designers
-More tutu options: this shop, which makes custom tutus in any size for an extra $10, and this plus size tutu.
-Re/Dress will soon be carrying menswear/butchwear!
-Skorch’s Royal Issue is now live.
-The Advanced Style hat party looks like so much fun.
-Ragen writes about fashion-bashing and Gabourey Sidibe; Melissa reminds us that it’s ok to cry, that brash indifference to fat hatred can be great but shouldn’t be the only socially acceptable response. 
San Francisco finds new life for old clothes through a recycling program.
-Evie from Work It, Own It, Use It! is selling some super-cute clothes. I’m especially in love with this floral cardi, but it’s too small for me–one of you should buy it so I can enjoy it vicariously. Same with this Domino Dollhouse bow out skirt, which I love love but wouldn’t wear because I don’t do high waists or zippers.

I love this short documentary about the Sapeurs, a subculture of stylish men in the Congo.

Fat Acceptance
A world without fat people
Chris Christie and pulling the red handle.
Research, the media, and “obesity”: a case study.
-Melissa debunks yet another myth about fat people, that we want to force everyone to find us attractive
-Brodie writes about the lack of fat representation in the media beyond characters who are walking jokes.

Climate and Sustainability
Native sun: in the Deep South, a solar farm rises on a former cotton plantation. (Note to Ani DiFranco: this is an appropriate use for a former plantation.)
Sustainable butcher shop responds to PETA attack in the classiest way possible.
Vivienne Westwood is right: we need a law against ecocide.
Just add compost: how to turn your grassland ranch into a carbon sink.
Have environmentalists failed West Virginia? “In the long run, these changes will hopefully be for the better. But the long run means little if your livelihood is on the line and you have mouths to feed and bills to pay. So the environmental movement had better start offering real, scalable alternatives for states like West Virginia. As a first step, we must leave our elitist attitudes at the door and start to see and hear the real needs of these communities too long ignored.” 

Janelle Monae on Sesame Street = so much awesome!

Jobs and the Economy
It is expensive to be poor
-How the mantra “do what you love” harms workers.
-Activist inspiration: this group of fifth graders who rallied for higher wages outside of a Burger King here in Boston.
Huffington Post’s exploited voices.
Portland’s food truck heaven: how a new kind of fast food brings jobs, flavor, and walkability
Bootstrapping my way into the Ivory Tower.

Everything Else
Because of you: my letter to CeCe McDonald on her release.
Mama, Ellis has a penis! How to talk to your children about gender identity
How restorative justice changed this cop’s views on prison.
On femininity and race in figure skating.
How “Frozen” fails where “Catching Fire” succeeds. (Note: I love love love “Frozen”–it’s my new favorite movie ever. It gets so much right, and it’s important to talk about that–but it’s also important to talk about how it could have done better. I haven’t seen “Catching Fire” yet, but I loved the book and I’m looking forward to the movie!)
When “positivity” goes wrong: please stop shaming people for being sad. (Related read: Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America.)
Zapatista communities celebrate 20 years of self-government.

4 thoughts on “Monday links, 1/20/14

  1. Thanks for actually addressing MLK Day beyond random isolated feel-good quotes. (I mean, I do love me some inspirational quotes, but there’s more to him than that). He’s one of my favorite historical activists, and I could definitely learn more.

    Yesyesyes to the article on sadness-shaming. Seriously, how is it that everyone’s writing and thinking about the same things at the same time? It baffles but also pleases me. At least I know I’m not alone, and that shared humanity is often stronger than differences.

    When the Sapeurs link showed up on your Facebook, that was the first I’ve heard of them. I’m glad to see Africa being represented in a way that’s not “OMG look at these poor struggling people, let’s pity them”. These dudes seem like a lot of fun and people I’d get along with. I can also relate to what they say about fashion and why they enjoy it and what it does for them. A love of fashion is really not superficial or vain (I hate it when people say that), it’s just a hobby/skill/art form like any other. Can I make a request? I’d love to see you take down that argument, and name some of the myriad reasons why people may care about appearance beyond vanity or pleasing a potential mate or insecurity in their “natural” looks (though, not that vanity is even necessarily a bad thing…I love how Marianne Kirby talks about it as a coping skill). But only if you want to of course.

    • You’re welcome! MLK is one of my favorite historical activists as well, and there’s so much more to him than the out-of-context inspirational quotes that always float around.

      It is really cool that you and so many others are on the same wave-length! I love when random internet-wide zeitgeist-y stuff like that happens.

      I agree about the representation of the Sapeurs! And I also think they seem like a lot of fun.

      So much yes to fashion being just another hobby/skill/art form, not something superficial or vain. I think I covered some of what you’re taking about in this post, but I’ll think about writing another one–it’s definitely an important topic.

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