Treasure Box

Treasure Box: March 2017

It’s that time of the month again! I’m pretty sure this is the biggest Treasure Box so far and without any Atlas Obscura articles either, which I think is a first.) It wasn’t intentional but I think it’s fitting, because March is a great month–Women’s History Month!

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Snuffbox with miniature of Empress Elizabeth I. Her Wikipedia article notes that “she remains one of the most popular Russian monarchs due to her strong opposition to Prussian policies and her decision not to execute a single person during her reign.”

♣ The Poison Garden in England, which is totally going to inspire a writing idea sooner or later.

♣ Most media coverage of the alt-right has focused on its racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia, as it well should, but as someone who first encountered the movement through the sexist shitstorm that was Gamergate, I think it’s important to note its vicious misogyny as well. I agree so hard with this Elle piece, which notes pointedly how “Sexism is still seen mostly as a matter of personality, not politics.”

♣ Like many people, I adore Chrissy Teigen for her hilarity and spirit, and I really appreciated her candid Glamour essay about her postpartum depression.

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♣ I’m an evolution geek and enjoyed this fun Smithsonian guide to “evo-tourism” spots around the world, from the Blue Mountains in Australia that first inspired Darwin’s theory to a Chinese sculpture park inspired by foraminifera!

♣ Here are some more serious articles. First, I’ve written about this before, but here’s a follow-up report on the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing the Rohingya Muslim minority of Myanmar. It’s an extremely horrible read but please, please pay attention to this story.

♣ A more specifically women-centric but no less horrifying article about how poor Nepali women are being trafficked for their skin.

♣ We often make jokes about Japanese schoolgirl panty vendors and stuff, but this is a really important story about sexual harassment in Japan. It’s often cited as a country with one of the lowest national sexual assault rates, but underreporting is extremely low: only 11%, which is even more dismal than in the U.S.

♣ This has been 11 entries already but we’re only halfway done–hang in there! They’re not all heavy: look at these gorgeous fantasy insect sculptures by artist Hiroshi Shinno!

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♣ You might’ve seen that story about Diego, the triumphant tortoise whose impressive sex drive single-handedly saved his species (Lonesome George famously was unable to do so). It turns out there’s a word for the last individual of a species and it’s a poignant one: “endling.” Or as this wonderful New Statesman article puts it, “Tolkien-esque.”

♣ More viral fun: if you missed @spookperson’s epic 80-tweet roast of Trump advisor Roger Stone’s inauguration outfit, fix that immediately.

♣ Since it’s Women’s History Month: the Taylor/Kanye joke at the end is kinda corny, but this timeline of men getting credit for women’s accomplishments.

Beyond Curie, a design project by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya that highlights the achievements of women in science.

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Chien-Shiung Wu, the Chinese-American nuclear scientist known as the “First Lady of Physics.” 

♣ And back to some really serious issues. The Somalia famine has been getting shamefully little attention despite officially being the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II; here’s how you can donate.

♣ Feminism has to be intersectional, and ableism and how disabled people’s lives are undervalued is an issue that I’ve been starting to learn more about. Here’s an important, uncomfortable article on the Disability Day of Mourning for disabled people who are murdered by their caregivers–an act that able-bodied people often sympathize with due to the dehumanization of people with disabilities as ‘burdens.’

♣ There was recently online panic over a supposed epidemic of missing black girls in Washington D.C.–disappearances that the media and police reportedly ignored. You might’ve heard that the reality is both less and more dire: many of the cases that went viral are actually years old, so there hasn’t been any sudden string of kidnappings within a short period, but this is a systemic issue with missing girls of color getting less media attention than white women. You can read more about this here, here, and here.

♣ Speaking of people of color’s lives being less valued than white people’s: since the election, there’s been SO much hand-wringing about the supposed plight of the white working class. I have a lot of issues with this narrative, but since this insistence to portray Trump supporters as aggrieved and neglected will not die, here’s some actual data showing that–surprise, I know–white Americans are not actually in crisis compared to working-class people of color.

♣ Here’s something more fun: I love Park Chan-Wook’s The Handmaiden, so I’m all about these fashion posts featuring ensembles inspired by Lady Hideko and the erotic symbolism in the movie! (Note the Hokusai tote!)

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♣ I know this post has been very long and heavy, so I’m going to close it out with some entries that are more inspirational and uplifting specifically for writers of color. First, Lin-Manuel Miranda made a “Write Your Way Out” themed playlist!

♣ Angie Thomas’s spectacular Black Lives Matter-themed YA debut THE HATE U GIVE has now been #1 on the NYT Best Seller List for the fourth week in a row!!! Here’s a New York Times article about Thomas and other upcoming YA novels by black authors writing about police brutality and BLM. OH, and then the wonderful Tomi Adeyemi just signed a mega book and movie deal for her Black Lives Matter-themed West African YA fantasy trilogy!

♣ Finally, this month also saw the first Muslim Women’s Day. I collected some roundups of reading material curated by three of my favorite sites: Teen Vogue, Rejected Princesses, and NPR. I’ll also add this list of novels with Muslim protagonists, put together by Karuna Riazi, the young Muslim woman who created #yesallwomen and whose magical MG debut, The Gauntlet, was just released.

WHEW! Happy Women’s History Month! I want to say next month’s won’t be quite as long, but I can’t say I’m unhappy with this. I guess we will see.

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