Sunday links, 5/3/15

pink tulip display

Baltimore/#BlackLivesMatter
-Thank God: Six police officers to be criminally charged in Freddie Gray’s death.
Meet Marilyn Mosby, the badass prosecutor fighting for justice in Baltimore.
-This is a really comprehensive and useful post: Everything we know about Freddie Gray and the Baltimore Uprising and how you can help.
Baltimore Uprising is a central space for information that can be updated in real time.
Baltimore’s failure is rooted in decisions that were made 100 years ago.
Baltimore been burning.
-Jessica Williams as Effie Trinket in Baltimore on The Daily Show = brilliant.
The economic devastation fueling the anger in Baltimore.
-“When protests and riots broke out against oppressive regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen as part of the Arab Spring, Americans cheered.”
Nonviolence as compliance.
-Cartoon: great moments in peaceful protest history.
-“Economic disruption has always impacted political decisions. That was the Boston Tea Party, right?”
-The parallels between Baltimore and Mexico: “On both sides of the border, the absence of any sane, humane, industrial or rural policy has created concentrations of dispensable peoples.”
The hideous white hypocrisy behind the Baltimore “Hero Mom” hype: how clueless media applause excuses police brutality.
Black America’s Baltimore schism: why the Freddie Gray tragedy demands serious soul-searching.
-Poem of the week: A Small Needful Fact by Ross Gay. (Note: the font is very light, so it’s easier to read if you highlight it.)
Where my girls at: meet two of Ferguson’s black queer activists.
Black Lives Matter protesters in NYC stock Forever 21 with “Never 21” t-shirts.

Fat Acceptance
The fallacy of “if you really liked yourself, other people’s opinions wouldn’t matter.”
Fat by choice: happy and healthy at the intersections of size and mental health.
I’ll take up all the damn space I want.
-A reminder of why I do fat activism: When they say “war on obesity,” I hear “casualties.” FA isn’t just about body image or self-esteem, although those are important. It’s about fighting a culture of fatphobia that literally kills and maims people.
I thought I was over my body image issues until I got diabetes.
Colorado preschool literally takes candy from a baby.

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Steven Universe: funny, feminist, and fat-positive

steven universe TV show banner

Steve recently introduced me to Steven Universe, a children’s TV show that has also gained a cult following among adults (and what seems to be most of Tumblr). I’ve only watched a few episodes so far, but I really like it, and I love that it’s body-positive without making a big deal about it.

The show revolves around the adventures of Steven, a 10-year old boy who is half-gem and half-human, and three gems who are basically his aunts: Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Gems are aliens who can take human-like forms, and these three protect humanity from the evil intentions of other gems and miscellaneous monsters. Steven’s father, Greg Universe, is so far a peripheral character, and there are occasional flashbacks featuring Steven’s mother, a gem named Rose Quartz who gave up her physical form when she gave birth.

Steven, both of his parents, and Amethyst are all fat–and their sizes are never played for laughs, or even mentioned. It’s treated as a matter of fact that Steven is chubby, Amethyst is short and fat, Garnet is tall and big-hipped, and Pearl is very thin. Since Steven’s powers come from a gemstone in his belly button, his chubby stomach is often visible, and this is never portrayed as negative or even noteworthy either.

steven universe trying to use his gem powers

Steven trying to activate his powers

The three gems are women with unique personalities who kick ass in their own ways, while also taking care of Steven and helping him learn to use his powers.  It’s refreshing to see three female characters who are both nurturers and warriors, who are strong without falling into the “strong female character” stereotype, who just feel like real people. I relate the most to Amethyst, who is the goofball of the trio. Continue reading