Weekend reading: gender, class, and age edition

Good afternoon!

This first week of Autumn has treated me well. I’m over my illness, and my spirits are back up. Yesterday I had an absolutely killer workout, and I felt awesome through the whole damn thing (first time that’s happened in awhile!). I’M BACK, WORLD! Back, and ready to crush it.

I made an exciting decision to mix up my exercise in a couple of different ways that I want to tell you about. One way is to start thinking about participating in 100 days of yoga challenge (I’m talking like five minutes of yoga, not 100 days of hour long yoga classes!). The other way is signing up for my very own custom made fitness program from Christy Morgan/The Blissful Chef.

I am in contemplative mode about the yoga thing (I like to think for a long time before diving into things, even if they are generally inconsequential) but I paypal’d my first payment to Christy yesterday, so that’s on lock! (And yeah, I thought about that move for roughly four months before I actually did it. What can I say? I am who I am.) Although I am clearly very dedicated to my fitness, I have felt a little aimless lately, and I am REALLY excited to work with a personal coach to give me feedback/mold me even further to be the vicious ladybeast I aspire to be. Even a health coach needs a health coach sometimes and Christy is running an absolutely incredible deal (one month FREE!). If you are at all interested in someone making a personalized fitness plan for you, there’s pretty much no reason not to choose Christy. (Also, I think she has a space or two left. What are you waiting for?)

What else? Are you participating in the mass exodus from Facebook over to Ello? If so, I’m on there as @thelacydavis. Find me so we can….I don’t really know what. I’m sure Ello will have some stuff to do in the future, but for now I am happy to just look at it’s relatively pretty interface.

On that note! I have been reading a lot of things this week that make me happy, and as usual I want to share them with you.

What I’ve learned about being a man, from being born a female by Thomas McBee

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I do not know Thomas McBee, but I run across his work on a regular basis, and I always love it. In this article, he writes to the audience of Esquire magazine about his transition from female male, what he learned and what he has discovered about masculine vulnerability. I love the way he talks openly to the reader, and how he talks about gender in such a tender way.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I keep asking, “What makes a man?” I think it’s about integrity. I was thirty when I transitioned; I had a whole life before that. So how can I, in this life, in this body, have a sense of consistency and integrity, with self-respect for my past? How can everything feel like it aligns all together? The longer I’m in the world, the longer I think I was born in the right body, it just was a transgender body. I wouldn’t perceive myself in ever having been wrong in who I was.

When you are in a position of privilege, you see yourself as an individual, whereas other people see you as part of a system. It’s your responsibility as a guy to realize you don’t live in a fair world, and it’s not an unfair request for you to be more cognizant of that, to be an ally to the women around you and not rely on women to make an effort to fit in your world. For example, if you’re on an empty street with a woman, you should probably give her more space.”

 

Dealing with body image and self-acceptance in middle school by Mary Plummer 

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This is a small snippet that was sent to me, based around an interview of 8th grader Vionna Peng about her body image. In the interview Vionna talks about her accomplishments in speech in debate, how she survives through middle school by building up a community of her peers, and how dieting plays a role in the social caste system of MIDDLE SCHOOL.

She says: “When you can’t control something you’re like, ‘Oh well, I can control the calories, I can control how much weight I lose.’ And I felt like, maybe if I just lost 3 more pounds by next week, I can sit with the cool kids at lunch. So it was just very never-ending pressure ”

Does that make you want to cry? Me too. She says this SUPER casually, like it is like the most normal thing in the world, and i guess the thing is- it kind of IS the most normal thing in the world for teen girls to feel like they need to change their body to be “okay”.

Luckily, Vionna goes on to immerse herself more in speech and debate, and it seems her focus switches from counting calories to using her experience to talk about building self-esteem. I LOVE a self-directed teenager, and I think her talk is a potent reminder that diet culture is everywhere. If there’s one thing I learned from teaching high school, its that teens are always listening. Let us all be awesome examples for the Vionna Peng’s of the world.

How to write a novel by Emma S. for Rookie Magazine

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Writing a novel. It’s like, this thing that I am destined to do, but have not (fully) done. I wrote a first draft of a 500 page novel, then couldn’t stand to look at it last year. This year I had a book proposal that seemed like it was going! to! get! published! and then…….it didn’t. I know I will write a novel one of these days, and this article keeps my eye on the prize. (I think I can, I think I can…..)

MTV12 Hosted by Dawn Riddle and Misty 

Hey, so maybe this makes me old as hell, but in myyyyy day, MTV had MUSIC. MTV 12 is basically non affiliated with actual MTV in every way, but hey! They have music videos! Made by bands I care about! And Dawn and Misty are hilarious! I love MTV 12 and its throwback to the MTV format of my youth. I would say this 45 minutes is pretty much the best 45 minutes ever.

This is why poor people’s bad decisions make perfect sense by Linda Turado

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I love this article. It was written by a self-identified poor woman named Linda Turado who works her ass off, is a single mother, and either barely makes ends meet (at the time of the article anyway) or doesn’t make it at all. It lays out in perfectly plain detail all the ways in which people without money are basically slated to be unhealthy. (Is there a healthy, balanced meal on earth that competes with the price of 12 microwaved burritos for 2$? I really don’t think so.) My health is such an incredible privilege, in a multitude of emotional and physical ways, and that is a systemic FLAW. Just as all people should have access to a healthy body image and positive self-esteem, all people should have access to fresh and healthy food. How can I ask people to put a significant amount of energy into healthy habits when it isn’t possible or functional for them to implement them? Something I have no answer for, but I am definitely thinking about.

Have a wonderful weekend! Looking forward to talking to you Monday <3

vmo