Hacking, Husbands and Heroes

No Complaints #171

A day late! But still here! I am trying to be better about doing this consistently, I promise. And if you ever miss me, don’t forget I now do a daily newsletter that you can sign up for here.


Things to read

“My friends reminded me to practice self-care, a well-meaning comment that I found unintelligible. Getting a manicure or a massage wouldn’t fix this. Nothing would fix this. And even if I had wanted to indulge, I was worried about how my behavior might be perceived. I had quickly discovered that a woman whose husband is objectively Not Okay is likely to be ignored, picked apart, blamed, and have her sanity questioned — especially if she is a black woman and her husband is a white man. So whenever the topic of self-care came up, I’d say something that would get them off my back, and then I’d get back to work.”
A great piece of writing about a terrible time. Email to Pocket.

“The substance of the blogs — guidance on motherhood and domesticity — is often so thinly reconstituted that it’s basically motherhood tips from a content farm. Rather than writing about their own personal experiences or expertise, the mothers producing it seem to be following a set of conventions that they learn in the online blogging courses they buy. The result is a uniformity of tone and content that fails to conjure anything real. It’s a simulation of motherhood engineered to earn a bit of income for mothers.”
Insight on the weirdly bland world of mommy blogging. (Everything is an MLM, don’t @ me.) Email to Pocket.

“Some argue that removing the app leaves women with even fewer options. The digital age has in fact allowed more women to escape oppression in Saudi Arabia. Previously, women needed the physical presence of their male guardians to travel, and some argue that Absher at least gives them an option of hacking their way out of the control of their male guardians.”
In case you needed reminding that the world is unutterably grim, in Saudi Arabia there is an “Uber but for women’s oppression” app. Email to Pocket.

“I don’t know what it means to have your body represented on screen in a way that isn’t somehow tied to magic. If the disabled body isn’t evil or mistaken (the hairy Beast, the green skin of the Wicked Witch, the disfigured face of Red Skull), it is always redeemed in the end—either through actual magic, like when the Maiden Without Hands has her hands grow back in the tale from the Brothers Grimm, or through the magic of the compensation theory of disability, which is what happens a lot with our superheroes.”
On superheroes and the portrayal of disability. Email to Pocket.

“The pizza delivery car pulls up outside. It’s right on time and so, so hot. The delivery guy hands it over with an appropriate smile and says, ‘Enjoy, I hope you’re not sharing it with anyone if you don’t want, I believe everyone is in control of their own bodies and should never be shamed for what they decide to eat or not eat.’ He makes no effort to come inside because that would be weird and alarming. I smile and give him a reasonable tip for his normal behavior as I shut the door. Time for The Crown.”
The real erotica that all women really want. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

I’m obsessed with this audio time travel project. It’s just so beautiful and surprising.

I’ve also done something things where you can listen to me talk recently: I was on the BBC’s Podcast Radio Hour this week and on The Allusionist podcast talking about detective fiction and pseudonyms. You can also here more of the latter on my own podcast, Shedunnit.

Oh, and I now have that daily podcast newsletter you should sign up for.


Things to watch

I am afraid I haven’t watched anything this week other than old episodes of Gilmore Girls! So . . . you should do that. Start at the beginning.


Compulsory medieval thingamabob

When you read a mean comment on the internet.


The guest gif

Me, receiving an unreasonable email.