On Waiting On Hollywood's LGBTQ Literacy: An Interview with Amy Sohn

@polka dots vs stripes Yeah. I love the part where she declares very few people are bisexual, including few of the people who identify as bisexual and have sex with both men and women. As a bisexual woman I really appreciate that kind of erasure.

Posted on August 5, 2014 at 7:24 pm 1

On Ask a Fancy Person: First Parties, Working for Free, and What to Do When Your Gym Is Crawling with Children

@PennyCentury It's true that weight machines, much like roller coasters, present a chance for serious injury if used unsafely - by adults or by kids. I'm not oblivious to the notion that gym plus person (especially small and unwise person) can equal hospitalization.

But going again to the letter itself: the type of gym is unspecified. When I was 11 or 12, I definitely hung around my share of gyms while my parents or my friends' parents were working out - running around the indoor track, playing on the racketball court and in the pool, walking the balance beam, snooping around the outskirts of basketball games, judo matches, and yoga classes, and maybe trying to imitate the adults a little. I wasn't directly supervised at these times, but I wasn't out of sight of adults either, and I knew where my folks were if I needed help or needed to tell someone who I belonged to. I was rarely the only kid; I was at gyms and health clubs that, yes, had rules about using the weight machines, but not about whether I was allowed to be in the room.

I also definitely played with the home exercise equipment of various relatives, horsing around on their stationary bicycles, ski machines, and rowing machines. And I climbed my share of trees and leapt off my share of swings and built rickety constructions to attempt to sail the creek behind my house. I only wish I'd had access to the climbing walls some modern gyms have; I would have spidermanned all day.

I'm not a particularly athletic person, and not a particularly daring one. I never broke or sprained anything; I don't even have any cool scars. In general, I was exactly the kind of kid you'd trust to be left to her own devices. When I read the letter, which says there are lots of kids regularly brought by lots of parents, I tend to trust that since a large number of adults (including both parents and gym personel) have not put a stop to it, that probably the letter writer (who, again, says the kids are annoying, not in danger) is NOT talking about misuse of weight rooms, but how irritating it is to exercise near kids generally and whether this is selfish.

I do think it's a problem to mark all risk-taking behavior by children as "unsafe" and something that should be forbidden and is a liability waiting to happen. It's the kind of thinking that leads to playgrounds getting demolished and gets parents thrown in jail for letting a 10-year-old walk to the corner store. Not good developmentally; not fun to live in a bunker mentality.

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm 0

On Ask a Fancy Person: First Parties, Working for Free, and What to Do When Your Gym Is Crawling with Children

@cordovan sofa I note the "gaggles of children toddling in everyone’s way." This really does sound like a gym in which this is normal (in which there are quite a lot of children, under the supervision of their parents) rather than an off-limits "adults only" space. Moreover, none of the complaints of the letter writer were about safety; that was entirely added by Fancy. The worst the letter writer said was that the children were distracting. Hence the parallel to dress codes. I completely understand the desire to escape children. I don't agree that the entire culture of the gym is rude, or that there's a moral high ground to exclusion.

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm 0

On Ask a Fancy Person: First Parties, Working for Free, and What to Do When Your Gym Is Crawling with Children

I also call bull on the "safety" justification. Letter writer never said it was unsafe; just annoying to her personally. I think we justify a lot of oppression by convincing ourselves we are doing it for the protection of the person we're restricting. I think of the number of times, as a woman, I have been told I should follow some kind of curfew or dress code "for my own safety," at times when my safety was not in question but someone else's prudery was. It's great to want to protect other people, but I have to give it the side eye when it's conveniently self-serving, and asks the supposedly protected person to give something up (or take something on) instead of the self-appointed protector.

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm 1

On Ask a Fancy Person: First Parties, Working for Free, and What to Do When Your Gym Is Crawling with Children

It seems silly to me to make ettiquette rules for "the gym" as though it were a single monolith. Different gyms have different cultures; some are kid friendly (and don't think 11 year olds need to be sequestered), some are all about grunting and yelling, some are about mingling singles, and some are about quiet striving. It's goofy to join one kind of gym (everybody's kids running around, loud vocalizations) and then be aghast that it is what it is. It's a bit like complaining that your corner bar is a domestic-brew dive when you prefer going to craft cocktail bars. I sympathize with the preference, but not the idea that the dive bar's very existence is rude and gross.

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm 0

On The Hairpin Rom Com Club: Notting Hill

@iheartoxytocin Agreed on the non-styled clothing. When this movie was shot (let alone when it came out) was not exactly pre-internet, but it was early baby days internet, when among other things photos took FOREVER to download. You didn't have sites like go fug yourself and tom and lorenzo and perez hilton posting sidewalk shots every day. Stars got styled for the red carpet, but probably mostly dressed themselves, and you know? That's not necessarily their forte.

Even now, in our current era-of-stylists, I've been on a lot of film sets and to a lot of movie rehearsals, and by and large the well-dressed movie star looking people are the makeup artists. The stars are just actors, and if you've hung out with professional actors, especially in London, you know they're more focused on FEELING things. They're not models. (Except the ones who are models trying to cross over, which tends to be difficult for them because they're too pose-striking and can't relax into the scene.) It's the crew's job to make the actor look good; it's the actor's job to sell the moment.

I've also spent time around some incredibly rich non-movie people, and plenty of them dress for comfort, not glamor. Fashion is a skill, and not everyone has it, and not everyone is interested in it.

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 12:07 am 0

On Armpit Hair?

The "science" of this article is...not so science-y. Like a lot of stuff that masquerades as evopsych, it seems to pretty much exist to post-justify contemporary social norms. And speaking personally as a woman who has had armpit hair my entire post-puberty life, nobody has ever reacted with disgust. If they've commented at all, it's been to say it's rad. Much like other supposedly horrifying things like visible bra straps or having my sexual partner realize I'm on my period, I forget it's even a thing except when I see anguished teen magazine pieces about it.

Posted on June 27, 2014 at 4:37 pm 2

On "Put the feminists in their place": A Q&A With Armina Etminan, Parliamentary Candidate and Member of Sweden's Feminist Party

Music in support of FI, including a track by The Knife? This record album is RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS. I couldn't find a link to it in the article, but I think this is it on Amazon US; it's called F! and is possibly only available for digital download.


Posted on May 21, 2014 at 5:50 pm 1

On 10 Famous Quotes Recast For the Beyoncé-Solange Situation

@Don'tcallmeJenny I'm with you. I don't necessarily want police involved, because I don't trust them, particularly where POC are concerned, and I think incarceration rates overall are too high. I feel the handling of this is up to the people involved, and it's sad that they have to do it in the public eye. I can't imagine the tensions in that family right now, and I have trouble making light of it.

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm 0

On The Greatest Video of All Time

@and it's not even my birthday Watching this cold, I agree with you, but watching this in the context of other "Between two Ferns" episodes, that's the aesthetic Galifanakis goes for with all his guests. They're supposed to seem kind of angry and disgusted and possibly about to hit him. A lot of it's in the editing.

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 3:34 pm 0