Internet Bibliography #1

I try to read the entire internet every 48 hours or so. Granted, about fifty per cent of what I mine from the digital repository gets stockpiled in Pocket or one of a kajillion tabs over three devices. What I’m saying is that I get to stuff in my own time, so I’m probably not one to follow if you want second-by-second reportage of breaking news. Hell, that’s why I decided to have an explicit “old news” tag for the blog for when I want to examine stuff that’s been floating around for weeks/months/years in online discourse. Anyway, this is the first in a regular(ish) series of posts chronicling stuff I’ve dug up and enjoyed online in the past week or so. Enjoy, dearest reader(s)!

-          On female bodies and food:

1962 Ad, Sucaryl Sweetener, with Pretty Secretary. Published in Good Housekeeping, October 1962, Vol. 155, No. 4.  From Flickr user   Classic Film  .

1962 Ad, Sucaryl Sweetener, with Pretty Secretary. Published in Good Housekeeping, October 1962, Vol. 155, No. 4. From Flickr user Classic Film.

o   Marcia Aldrich’s article “Weight” for The Butter – a reflection on her own experiences of body policing (externally mandated or otherwise), and the ways in which female weight affects everything. Quote: “Why does the subject of weight compel me? Because it connects me to others. Because it is a dynamic issue, not static, not something you solve once and for all and are done. It’s a process, it’s a lifetime objective. It intersects with other interesting and sometimes contradictory issues, and that’s interesting to me. It isn’t simple, no matter how simplified self-help approaches and diets try to make women and weight seem.”

o   Women Laughing Alone with Salad Tumblr - photographs spotlighting the aching absurdity of dieting / body control for women. Bless him, my feminist husband sent me the link to this: top work.

o   Model and comedian Sarah Hartstone has been photographed with salad, laughing and alone obviously. Her 2014 piece for The Guardian responds to the Tumblr, concisely breaking down why typical stock photographs of women, usually limited to four categories – the dieter, the multi-tasker, the mother, the sex-object – are so problematic.


-          On female self-presentation, feminism, and the patriarchy:

o   The inimitable Amy Schumer’s depressingly spot-on (and weirdly danceable)“Girl You Don’t Need Makeup” music video.

o   Alexandra Dal’s “Lady Problems” illustration, linked to from this AskMefi thread,  pictured left.

o   Megan Rosalarian Gedris’ pithy comic “Feminism is having a wardrobe malfunction”. Say it loud and proud with Gedris: Hey girl, have the whole pie.

o   Haley Motek for The Hairpin, asking “What are we doing about our facial hair?” As a woman with pale skin and mahogany hair, I welcome almost any reference to women’s body hair that drops the delicate veil and gets to the point: ladies be having the hair too!

o   Discussion of attitudes towards women shaving (or not) in a 2012 Metafilter thread, anchored around Mayim Bialik’s comments on her own decision not to shave her legs.

o   Sorta thematically linked: Soraya Roberts’ dissection of Alanis Morissette’s early incarnation as a pop princess (WTF!?), before consciously reshaping her identity and releasing (the perfection that is) Jagged Little Pill.

o   The Hairpin’s Sara Black McCulloch interviews Arabelle Sicardi, Buzzfeed beauty editor, on self-care and beauty as a means for women to create their own narratives, and overcome the restrictive banalities of everyday life. Quote “I [Sicardi] do these things because I have to survive, but survival isn’t progression—it’s the standard you need to keep. It’s like treading water, so if I don’t do self-care, then I’m just going to be stuck in my own head and detached from my own body.”


-          On history and meaning(s):

1968 Ad, Playtex Tampons, "The First-Day Tampon". Published in Redbook magazine, November 1968, Vol. 132, No. 1. From Flickr user  Classic Film .

1968 Ad, Playtex Tampons, "The First-Day Tampon". Published in Redbook magazine, November 1968, Vol. 132, No. 1. From Flickr user Classic Film.

o   Ashley Fetters’ history of the tampon for The Atlantic: “The commercial tampon as we know it has been shaped and re-shaped by a myriad of invisible forces—like genuine concern for women’s wellness, certainly, but also sexism, panic, feminism, capitalism, and secrecy.”

o   The coffin of Swedish bishop, Peter Winstrup (d. 1679), contains not only his exquisitely (and uncannily) preserved mummified body, but also the remains of a five-month-old foetus. So much going on here, including: 1) the mystery of how the foetus came to be placed there; 2) the agony of the imagined mother’s situation; 3) the very material reality of the Bishop, who is recognisable as a mummy in comparison to contemporary portraits; 4) the co-location of the foetus and the Bishop as a concretisation of the hierarchy tying laity to clergy. I concur with Mefite frumiousb: “I find this an incredibly sad story, because I see a mother who somehow wanted to help her child get to Heaven, and trusted the bishop to intercede on its behalf.”

o   Karinne’s “Clothing the Low Countries” showcases research into dress in the Low Countries in the period 1480-1530.  The glossary in particular is fab.


-          On the business of academia:

Call numbers on books (Library of Congress Classification). From Flickr user   CCAC North Library  .

Call numbers on books (Library of Congress Classification). From Flickr user CCAC North Library.

o   L. L. Wynn’s overwhelmingly useful guide to academic publishing from 2009, including encouraging words of wisdom, a breakdown of the whole process, free resources, and sample (successful) prospectuses and cover letters. Posted on Culture Matters, a forum for current and former students and staff in the Department of Anthropology at Macquarie University, Australia with lots of good content.