[CONTENT NOTE: ableist language; slut-shaming.]
Lest you worry that we have been ignoring you, beloved Loyal Readers™, fear not! Behind the scenes we have been working furiously, as ever, toward a better Palace, a better Internet and a better world. We have been away this week on a Sooper Seekrit mission, which is not yet ready for Palace prime time. Stay tuned.
If you’ve been asking yourself what the Internet is missing, I am confident that you have already come to the same conclusion I did: more Iris Vander Pluym. To that end, I am honored to announce that I have accepted an invitation to write regularly for a new project at Secular Woman called The Secular Woman Salon, “a new outlet on our website for the latest in opinion, think pieces, and news for secular women, as well as anyone interested in advancing the cause of social justice with a secular lens.” Opinions! Think pieces! News! OMFG I haz them!
This opportunity came along at the right time for me, as I’ve lately found myself really missing writing for the (now-defunct) Feminist Hivemind. It’s not that I don’t post secular/feminist-centered pieces at the Palace—of course I do—but my participation in an online community, one focused specifically on intersectional feminism and social justice through a secular lens, kept me not only inspired and informed, but also challenged me to bring my A-game to writing about these issues. Both the critical feedback and camaraderie were invaluable to me, and made the Hivemind an extraordinary experience; I am excitedly looking forward to learning from and working with a new group of talented writers at Secular Woman. Check them out here, and if you are so inclined, please give us a shout-out via your social media. My first post there will probably appear in the next week or so, and I will link it here when it does.
Loyal Readers™ may be amused to find there a three-quarter head shot of Your Humble Monarch™, the first ever posted. Because of the unremitting harassment, vile threats and horrific abuse to which feminists (and their loved ones) are routinely subjected for the unconscionable crime of saying feminist things on the Internet, I have deliberately kept a pretty low profile as far as my image and visibility are concerned. So when Secular Woman asked me for a head shot, I gasped audibly. To their credit, they graciously said they would permit me to use any image or avatar instead—they totally get it—but after I thought about it, I took it as an opportunity to take a teeny, tiny, baby step in the direction of…well, I don’t know what. But now that it’s out there and there is no way to take it back, I feel like I’ma just roll with it, and see how it goes.
Readers who have met me in person will probably have a good laugh at this. (Believe me, so did I.) My goal was that you would recognize me from this picture if you already knew me, but you wouldn’t necessarily be able to pick me out on the street very easily if you did not…
Behold, the face of Iris Vander Pluym:
Heh. None of this will stop dedicated haters, of course. But at least I had fun: picture me sitting on the floor in front of a full-length mirror holding my iPhone over my head, against a glamorous backdrop of hotel bedding strung from the mini-kitchen. And trying desperately not to giggle, without much success. (“Hey, you’re a serious writer, dammit! Stop laughing right now! *makes a serious face* “Oooh, VERRRY SEERYUS.” *giggles uncontrollably*. It was a looong day.)
PLEASE NOTE: Linking does not imply the Palace’s 100% endorsement of content.
FISA court judges buying Verizon stock as they approve NSA surveillance. RT.com (Jul. 2014).
Top 10 Things to Say When You Meet a White Person. Indian Country Today Media Network (Jul. 2014). (“I learned all your people’s ways in the Boy Scouts.”)
Ladies who don’t use contraception have had it with you 99% that do, you dirty girls. Marcotte, A., Raw Story/Pandagon (Jul. 2014). (“Considering how few women don’t use contraception, they appear to have managed to get a quote from each and every one of them.”)
Texas open carry advocates fume after ‘skanky topless libtards’ disrupt pro-gun rally. Kaufman, S., Raw Story (Jul. 2014). (“Boobs for peace.”)
How I Overcame My Soul-Crippling, Deep-South Addiction to Whiteness in 5 Steps. Odell, J., Alternet. (“In Mississippi, the drug of choice is racial superiority. But there are ways to kick the habit.”)
Anti-abortion fanatics invade a church service. Where’s the outrage? Abcarian, R., The Los Angeles Times (Jul. 2014).
Expel Palestinians, Populate Gaza with Jews, Says Knesset Deputy Speaker. Abunimah, A., Global Research (Jul. 2014).
It Turns Out Hamas May Not Have Kidnapped and Killed the 3 Israeli Teens After All. Zavadski, K., New York Magazine (Jul. 2014). (“Israeli intelligence is also said to have known that the boys were dead shortly after they disappeared, but to have maintained public optimism about their safe return to beef up support from the Jewish diaspora.”)
Dead Gazans Missing From Senate Endorsement of Israeli Invasion. Kelly, A. R., Truthdig (Jul. 2014). (“On Thursday, all 100 U.S. senators—including progressives Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken and Sherrod Brown—voted to pass an AIPAC-drafted resolution supporting the Netanyahu government’s military invasion of the Gaza Strip.”)
Decrying “Brutal Operation Taking Place in Our Name,” Israeli Military Reservists Refuse to Serve. Democracy Now! (Jul. 2014). (VIDEO: Amy Goodman interview of Yael Even Or. Transcript available at the link.)
Woman’s ‘Cards Against Harassment’ Campaign Fights Everyday Chauvinism. Sola, K., Mashable (Jul. 2014).
Rust Devastates Guatemala’s Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers. Kahn, C., The Salt (Jul. 2014).
Hair does not make the woman, Sarah Ditum. Melby, M.A., The TransAdvocate (Jul. 2014).
Unwanted arousal: it happens. Nagoski, E., Medium (Jul. 2014). (“what science says about those times when your genitals respond to stories of sexual violence.”) (TW: sexual violence.)
Why I’m Still a Butch Lesbian. Urquhart, V. V., Slate (Jul. 2014).