Recommended Reading for May 25th, 2010

Dorian at Dorianisms: “Men Who Get It”

The danger lies in beginning to assume that you are some kind of Ultimate Authority, and in particular, that you can teach people about their own experiences. That you know better than marginalized people what is happening in their lives, with their marginalization. That you are the Ultimate Arbiter of what is and is not offensive. In short, once you assume you “get it”, it’s very easy to become a mansplainer. Or a straightsplainer or ablesplainer or whateversplainer, as the case may be. The point is that this is really, really, bad. And can pretty directly be traced to the assumption that you “get” something better than, y’know, the people who actually live it.

Diane Shipley, special to the LA Times: My Turn: A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferer reconnects with the world

Embarrassingly for a former English major, I lost words, even simple ones. “You know, those things! They go on feet!” I’d cry, frustrated.

“Shoes?” my mom would ask. “Socks?”

Janani Balasubramanian at Racialicious: Sustainable Food and Privilege: Why is Green always White (and Male and Upper-class)

Still, what could be better than a return to family farms and home-cooking, which many of these gurus champion? The images are powerfully nostalgic and idyllic: cows grazing on sweet alfalfa, kids’ mouths stained red with fresh heirloom tomato juice, and mom in the kitchen rolling out dough for homegrown-apple pie. But this is not an equal-access trip down memory lane.

darryl cunningham at tallguywwrites (LJ): The Facts in the Case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield [Image-heavy]

A fifteen page story about the MMR vaccination controversy.

5 Comments

  1. AUGH. Now I am realizing that I made a typo in that post. It is in your pull-quote: “whatersplainer” should read “whateversplainer”. How embarrassing.

    But this is a wonderful round-up, and thank you so much for including me in it! I am both surprised and pleased.

  2. Embarrassingly, for a former English major, I lost words, even simple ones. “You know, those things! They go on feet!” I’d cry, frustrated.

    “Shoes? my mom would ask. “Socks?”

    Ha, I get this too, and I was also an English major! (among other things). I think the verbal skills that allow you to succeed as an English major (i.e., close reading, writing) do not overlap completely with those that allow you to be a fluent speaker of conversational English.

    When I lose words, I tend to draw or mime whatever it is in the air. I can see what it is, as vividly as if it’s hovering there in front of me; I just can’t always name it.

  3. “I can see what it is, as vividly as if it’s hovering there in front of me; I just can’t always name it.”

    This happens to me all the time, and I was an English major as well, heh. I say to my girlfriend “Please pass me the thing! No, the thing. The *blue* thing!” and she’s like “cup? toothbrush? teapot?” and actually it’s none of these things, it’s a biro.

    Apparently the part of the brain that deals with speech is separate to the part of the brain that deals with other kinds of communication (writing, etc) – so I’m wondering if I could write down what I mean to say instead of doing my usual flap-like-a-chicken routine. I don’t suppose anyone’s tried anything like this?

  4. In these cases, with losing words in this manner, I can neither speak it or write it down, because I guess it´s unreachable on a level that comes before being channelled towards either speech or writing.

    I have the same long pauses in my writing as in my speech, but no one sees it in the writing unless I want to put some ….. in, but generally I just find writing with lots of unconventional punctuation put in for effect harder to read. So in case other people do too, I don´t.

  5. I’ve only just seen my piece was a recommended reading, thank you! I consider that very high praise, as I admire this site so much. The “shoes? socks?” line seems to be the one people laugh at/relate to the most. Ah, brain fog.