Also.Also.Also: What’s More Exciting, A Spider Named Sparklemuffin or Ellen Page Eating Pancakes?

You’re so lucky! This is the best AAA ever.

Queer as in F*ck You

+ You will like this. Ellen Page In Vogue: “I Feel Freedom in Dressing”.



+ Interesting! Drawing Race and Class Boundaries with Sexual Discourses.

At River High, Black boys and white boys rely on distinct symbolic resources when “doing gender.” For instance, paying “excessive” attention to one’s clothing or identifying with an ability to dance well put white boys at risk of being labeled a “fag,” but worked to enhance Black boys’ masculine status. Pascoe also discovered that Black boys were unable to rely on fag discourse in quite the same way that white boys did. Indeed, though they were much less likely to use the term, Black boys at River High were much more likely to be punished by school authorities when they did. Black boys were also the only students reported to school authorities for saying “fag” by their peers. White boys, in other words, relied on racial hierarchies to control the meaning of the discourse such that saying “fag” was interpreted as “playful” and “meaningless” when they used the term and “dangerous” and “harassing” when Black boys did.

+ Aisha Moodie-Mills Will be the First Woman and First Black President at the Victory Fund and Institute, a Leading National LGBT Organization!

“We’re not going to win North Carolina if we don’t find and cultivate members of the African-American community who also happen to be LGBT to run,” she said. “We have to go places and actually make sure that our constituents know that we care about the populations that’s there and that the people we are supporting to run reflect the demographics of the people there.”

+ Kristin Russo is chatting with Arabelle Sicardi, Nicolette Mason and Rae Tutera about queering fashion! Ugh this is the best series right now I love it so much.

+ Rachel isn’t available, so it’s up to one of y’all to date Gillian Anderson. Good luck out there.

Doll Parts

+ Black Girls’ Sexual Burden: Why Mo’ne Davis Was Really Called a Slut by Brittney Cooper.

I recognize that I’m supposed to celebrate Mo’ne Davis’ character and applaud for her being so generous. To be clear, I’m mega proud of Davis. She’s an absolute superstar in my book. I love it when Black girls win. And she is winning. But as both a scholar and a former Black girl, I know that Black women’s prodigious capacity for empathy comes with a cost. Davis’ pain matters here. Not Casselberry’s. Too often Black women and Black girls on their way to becoming Black women are taught that everyone else’s pain matters more than our own. Too often we teach Black girls that they have to lose to win. Mo’ne, a consummate athlete, knows better than that.

+ Insidious Algorithms: Jobaline’s Voice Analyzer by Jenny Davis.

Similarly, writing about Voice Analyzer on NPR, Aarti Shahani states:

The benefit of computer automation isn’t just efficiency or cutting costs. Humans evaluating job candidates can get tired by the time applicant No. 25 comes through the door. Those doing the hiring can discriminate. But algorithms have stamina, they do not factor in things like age, race, gender or sexual orientation (emphasis added).

I think we can all get behind hiring practices that seek to minimize prejudice and discrimination. Voice based algorithms, however, inherently miss the mark. The framing of this technology as objective falsely assumes that 1) algorithms are not human made and 2) what “calms,” “soothes,” and “engages,” is biologically determined rather than socially produced.

+ Being Fat, Black, and Invisible In Body Positivity by Sonya Renee.

More often than not, when Black women’s bodies are acknowledged, it is to pathologize them. A Google search of black women + body image leads to scores of Internet hits on the “obesity crisis” in Black communities.

Whereas, when the word “black” is removed, the same search generates article upon article of White women embracing body positivity.

+ Oh did you feel like unexpectedly crying at the end of a post that’s ostensibly about not playing by fashion rules? WELL OK HERE YOU GO. Ashley C Ford‘s Playing Dress-Up: Forget Fashion Rules, This is Me. And I’m not even going to quote the best part because you have to get there on your own.

Before meeting Spencer, I didn’t try to be stylish. The few times I did, for special occasions or at the behest of my grandma, felt unnatural and like everyone could see how uncomfortable I was in my skin. Any compliment came with a side of who knew? Ashley Ford didn’t dress this well. I didn’t dress badly, just well enough to be mostly invisible. And being on anyone’s “style” radar made me feel like I was only seconds away from ridicule.

+ Is Medicine’s Gender Bias Killing Young Women? by Maya Dusenberry.

+ Many Women of Color Don’t Go to the Police After Sexual Assault for a Reason by Hannah Giorgis. “Survivors are seeking alternative paths to justice that don’t require involving a racist criminal justice system.”

+ Instagram removed Rupi Kaur‘s image of a fully clothed woman bleeding through her pants, so she rallied her followers to post the image themselves and let Instagram know how awful and ignorant their “policy” is. Instagram put the picture back up. I love everything about this.

thank you @instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique. you deleted a photo of a woman who is fully covered and menstruating stating that it goes against community guidelines when your guidelines outline that it is nothing but acceptable. the girl is fully clothed. the photo is mine. it is not attacking a certain group. nor is it spam. and because it does not break those guidelines i will repost it again. i will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be okay with a small leak. when your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified. pornified. and treated less than human. thank you. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ this image is a part of my photoseries project for my visual rhetoric course. you can view the full series at ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ i bleed each month to help make humankind a possibility. my womb is home to the divine. a source of life for our species. whether i choose to create or not. but very few times it is seen that way. in older civilizations this blood was considered holy. in some it still is. but a majority of people. societies. and communities shun this natural process. some are more comfortable with the pornification of women. the sexualization of women. the violence and degradation of women than this. they cannot be bothered to express their disgust about all that. but will be angered and bothered by this. we menstruate and they see it as dirty. attention seeking. sick. a burden. as if this process is less natural than breathing. as if it is not a bridge between this universe and the last. as if this process is not love. labour. life. selfless and strikingly beautiful.

A photo posted by Rupi Kaur (@rupikaur_) on

Saw This, Thought of You

+ This Arabelle Sicardi essay: Fresh Off the Boat Isn’t Perfect, But It Saved My Relationship with My Mom.

The more of the show I watched, the more I understood my own childhood wasn’t just a series of unfortunate events related to my awkwardness, or my girlhood, but something much larger. I’d constantly faced racism as a mixed-race girl in school, and I’d chosen the easiest way through. Where Eddie struggles not for assimilation but for respect, I’d done the opposite. I’d been complicit in my own assimilation to whiteness because I was afraid of being disliked. Where Eddie fights against the bullies in his school and revels in his successful power plays episode after episode, I’d done the opposite. I didn’t bother eating the dried pork sandwiches my mother had made me the way Eddie eats his stinky tofu outside of school: I just starved, or saved up for my own Lunchables. There were no other Taiwanese kids in school with whom I could carpool, like Eddie, but I was so afraid of being seen with my mother that I’d ask my white father to be the one to pick me up from school.

I made my mother disappear from my story.

+ There’s a Case Against Diversity in the Workplace, But the Alternative is Even Scarier.

+ Words can’t express how sorry I am that we didn’t share this with you sooner: 8 Year-Old Girl Gets Gifts From Crows She’s Been Feeding for Four Years aka she is living the dream.

+ Thank you I really needed this today/every day: Fleetwood Mac Friday: This Video. Also, important supplemental reading.

And Finally

A couple of new species of peacock spiders have been discovered in Australia and they were named Sparklemuffin and Skeletorus because the world is actually a just and beautiful place sometimes.

skeletorus, photo by jurgen otto

skeletorus, photo by jurgen otto

sparklemuffin, photo by jurgen otto

sparklemuffin, photo by jurgen otto

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. Aww, yes! Finally, a new species of cuteness to distract everyone from the drop bears and sharks!

    If Australia goes down as the mother of sparklemuffin and koalas I’d be so happy. Imagine telling folk you hail from the land of sparklemuffins! Just…argh!

  2. I neeeeeeeed to read the rest of that Ellen Page interview!

    I have a tattoo which expresses basically the exact same sentiment – that obviously means Ellen and I are soul mates, right!?

  3. That is one impressive spider. I wouldn’t want to find one in my kitchen, but I am happy to admire its funky colours on a screen. And I love that they somehow came up with Sparklemuffin as a name!

    • the best part is that they’re less than a 1/4″ long?? like what i just want to hold you under a magnifying glass and give you presents i l u spider xoxo

  4. Laneia I had the most terrifying dream about spiders last night but these spiders. These spiders I can deal with. Anything called “sparklemuffin” is ok in my book.

  5. Laneia, how do you always know when I’m going to cry? Always? That Ashley Ford essay is just. *whimpers.*

  6. can you even imagine doing stevie’s makeup as she sits on an old radiator and sings like this ten inches from your face? does anything else have meaning after that? do you think her hair just blows gently around her face like that all the time no matter what? also whoever is harmonizing with her is incredible. god i really needed this too apparently? i wonder how many more times i’ll watch this today. 10? 242? 10X242? who can say


    • i know i almost started crying?? then i got super sidetracked on which, btw, stellar fucking url choice, people. SINCE 1997. the founders of that website knew what the fuck was up.

      • notes from viewing #72: update! stevie is not actually sitting on the radiator! she is, in fact, sitting on a stool in front of the radiator. that was just a thing my eyeballs wanted to be happening i guess.

        also i wanted to say is and thank you for sharing it. i am having all my calls held until i finish reading it in its entirety. i mean now i know why stevie is called stevie and i love that i know that now!

  7. I really like stevie nicks, but i still don’t quite understand why people are obsessed with her. I even googled “why arepeople obsessed with stevie nicks?” and got no satisfying answers. Am i just too young?

    I read that ashley ford fashion piece, and by the end i was ready to go find her in brooklyn and ask her on a date. I’m disappointed her profile says she has a boyfriend.

    New goal when i get back to australia: find a sparklemuffin.

  8. Instagram’s policies will never not be hilarious to me. They don’t want to allow nudity or a woman bleeding through her pants but do you know what Instragram will allow? Pictures of drugs and drug paraphernalia. I have come across countless people’s pages on Instagram who have multiple pictures of weeds, pipes, bongs, etc. with no threats to having their accounts removed. But if Rihanna posts a picture from a Magazine photoshoot that features her breasts showing they want her to remove it or face the consequences. I would be fine with them not allowing nudity if they weren’t such hypocrites about everything else. If nudity and period blood have to go then so do all the pothead accounts.

  9. I had to look at the photo of Sparklemuffin three times before deciding that it was not knitting its own cozy.

  10. Why do we have all the spiders. I mean give em all the cute names you like, I’m still terrified.

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