Also.Also.Also: The Olympics May Have Double Standards, but in THIS House We Stan Sha’Carri Richardson

Feature photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

I’ve been binging Inventing Anna since Saturday, and yes it’s not my favorite Shonda Rhimes production, but also I can’t seem to think about anything else?

(If you’ve never read Jessica Pressler’s original story that the mini-series is based on, you absolutely should! I still remember reading it for the first time — and much like the tv show, I put my life on hold to binge it — you won’t regret it.)

Saw This, Thought of You

Again I remind you that in THIS house, we stand with queer athlete Sha’Carri Richardson:

Sha’Carri Richardson Sees a Double Standard in Allowing Kamila Valieva to Compete. And yes, in case you forgot, Sha’Carri Richardson is famously some kinda gay, her girlfriend styles her for her races, and within just days of becoming a household name as the fan-favorite for fastest woman in the world, Sha’Carri tweeted out this rainbow flag emoji. She never wants you to forget where she came from, and we love that around here.

There’s No Escaping the 5 Love Languages. “Thirty years on, a Christian pastor’s theory of romantic communication is as popular as ever.” Just a little post-Valentine’s Day content for you. The amount of queer people I know who subscribe to the 5 love languages given its conservative, Christian, patriarchal roots — is absolutely mind-blowing, to say the least!

The Enduring Appeal of This Clunky, Old Vibrator. “The magic wand has ben No. 1 since 1968.” More post-Valentine’s Day content!

I Used to Crave a Fairytale Romance — Now I Realize Love Is All Around Me. Yessika Salgado is one of my favorite writers and poets and I would literally read a phonebook if she wrote it. Give yourself the treat of her essay!

“Return to Normal” Has Pushed Schools to a Crisis Point

Queer as in F*ck You

Ughhh, I think Lena Waithe is getting… an Adidas collection? That’s what’s happening here, right?

The New York Times did a series on Black Love for its iconic Modern Love column (you know, just sliding it in for Black History Month), and I enjoyed this one: The Lesbian Writer and Her Flamboyant Gay Husband. “Peter taught me to laugh at fate as we lived our dream. At least for a while.”

‘Veneno’ Star Isabel Torres Has Died of Lung Cancer at Age 52 (and if you haven’t seen Veneno yet, you absolutely must. It’s such gorgeous storytelling and I’m requiring it.)

Political Snacks

The One Commodity the Wealthy Value Above All

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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 700 articles for us.


  1. Tbh I think both Olympics doping decisions were wrong, but from the info I’ve seen it’s not accurate to say Valieva got off easy because she’s white (also she’s actually Tatar which is complicated but arguably not white). Two different organizations made the decisions, the US Anti-Doping League and CAS, and they don’t have the same rules. CAS is notoriously corrupt and soft on Russia. But you can’t really conclude that the US Anti-Doping League is racist solely because another organization is getting its palms greased. Can you conclude they’re racist because marijuana is a banned substance in the first place? Yeah probably. But I’d still bet if the US Anti-Doping League had power over Valieva she wouldn’t be skating.

    • True. I noticed the same thing. People seem to think/assume that the same organization applied different standards to the two athletes. It wasn’t the same organization.

      I agree, though, it’s dumb that marijuana is a banned substance. I’m not even sure that it’s racist. Lots of white people are using marijuana or would like to be.

      • The headline is “The Olympics Committee Has Double Standards, but in This House We Stan Sha’Carri Richardson.” So this roundup is implying that a single organization was responsible for both decisions, laying the blame with that organization, and also misidentifying which organization is even responsible for letting Valieva skate. Sha’Carri’s own tweets don’t clear up that two different organizations made the decisions either, so it’s pretty charitable to say the point is about systemic racism.

        • Respectfully Vita, a link round up title is often hard to encapsulate nuance like the kind you’re reaching for here. I’m also not sure that nuance escapes the point — two athletes, both on the brink of the Olympic careers, one of whom was Black, faced extremely different outcomes to their situations from two different committees related to Olympic competition. I’ll change the title from a singular “Olympic Committee” for clarity, but the overall point still stands.

          Autostraddle link round up titles are often “voicey” or tongue-in-cheek, but the both the tweet and the article I selected center Sha’Carri’s commentary and not the Olympics overall, which is not something I claim to be an expert in. But we are far from the only website pointing out the overall double standard of treatment right now, it’s a prominent and ongoing conversation online — which is something I always hope these round ups reflect.

          I do think there’s merit in this moment to asking in this situations if going back and forth in the comment section of a link round up selected by a Black woman, about the commentary of a separate Black woman about the systematic racism she’s faced, is particularly useful or helpful at this time? Sha’Carri Richardson made an observation about her own life, it is not any of our place to tell her that her own experiences are wrong. It certainly won’t be my place as an editor on this site.

          • Yeah, I can see that my tone and choice of venue were not ideal and I apologize for that. When I’ve got a lot of nervous energy, I can tend to get sucked into research and argument as a distraction, and I’m generally trying to work on how that can become annoying as hell.

    • I don’t necessarily think these facts are at odds with the point being made though? It seems to me that the point isn’t so much whether a particular organization is being racist in this instance, it’s that pervasive systemic racism (e.g. both CAS being soft on a majority-white country, and the Anti-Doping League banning marijuana) has resulted in these two very different outcomes for these two athletes.

      • that’s the thing about structural -isms, there’s always a perfectly logical reason why disenfranchised folks get shafted that won’t be any one person/entity’s fault per se, but the privileged ‘just so happen’ to keep benefiting, and those outside of the franchise ‘get consequences they could have avoided if they just xxx’. it’s an oxymoron of vague precision that keeps things unequal because fairness is often subjectively understood as beneficial with the cover of impartial.

  2. It’s kinda sad that Isabel had to die this early. And it’s really fucked what they’re doing to Sha’Carri. But that piece from Yessika Salgado lifted my spirits:) If you don’t mind Carmen I’m gonna put the links to a couple interesting reads here;

  3. I always looked at 5 love languages suspiciously, but didn’t know the exact reason for the bullshit. I hate all essentialist attempts at sorting people, from astrology to MBTI to Enneagrams. A running theme with these are the often trash roots for it and I wish other queer people would interrogate our need for this more!!!

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