On the (Rest of the) Net.

The return of the teen girl movie. [Daily Life]

What Go Set a Watchman can teach us about contemporary racism. [WaPo]

But Atticus Finch’s racism isn’t a new thing. [New Republic]

The rise of porn gifs (NSFW). [Fusion]

Taylor Swift may have “Bad Blood” with some (most recently Nicki Minaj), but her “feminist selfies” with Karlie Kloss, Lena Dunham et al. shows what it’s like to be close to her. [LA Review of Books]

Speaking of Swift inserting herself into Minaj’s beef with the MTV VMAs for her groundbreaking videos being overlooked in this years’ nominations, it isn’t the first time Swift has both played the white, innocent victim and been at the centre of VMA controversy. [The Guardian, Kevin Allred]

The cultural appropriation of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and how we perpetuate it by watching it. [The Cut]

Is Lady Gaga normal now? [Vulture]

Let’s clear up that Planned Parenthood selling aborted foetuses nonsense. [xoJane]

The hacking of cheating website Ashley Madison isn’t morally any better than The Fappening. [Daily Life]

In the wake of Good Weekend cancelling an article on Caitlin Stasey because she wouldn’t pose nude for them, she’s taken to Jezebel to tell her side of the story in more than 140 characters.

We need to stop devaluing women’s sports. [New Republic]

Serena Williams is the seminal athlete. [The Nation]

When painful sex continues long after the first time. [Medium]

What it’s like to be an extra on Magic Mike XXL. [Cosmopolitan]

“Pony”, “Closer” and the significance of the strip club soundtrack. [Pitchfork]

How The Bachelorette is changing the way reality TV deals with sex. [Vulture]

Clementine Ford is writing a book! [Facebook]

On the (Rest of the) Net.

What it’s like to be an empowered sex worker. Yes, they exist. [MamaMia]

Stella Young prefers to be called a “disabled person” than a “person with a disability” despite the government’s Reporting It Right guidelines, thank you very much. [The Drum]

A recent altercation with a friend over something I wrote about them on this here blog has formed the basis for an “Ask Rachel” post. [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman]

The opinion piece in last Saturday’s Good Weekend by food critic AA Gill about how men think women should dress was one I skipped over—I don’t really need to read yet another article about what men think women should do. Lindy Alexander takes Gill to task for it, though, saving me from having to rummage through the newspaper stack in my pantry to retrieve said article and get all riled up about it. [Daily Life]

Leave Lindsay Lohan alone! [TheVine]

“The A to Z of Freelancing.” [The Loop]

On the older virgin. [Daily Beast]

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is the latest woman of note to shun feminism. [Daily Life]

The Mystery of Migraines.

 

Last weekend’s Good Weekend had a fascinating article on migraines. Here are some highlights:

“… the World Health Organisation (WHO) rates it [the migraine] as a leading cause of disability worldwide, involving ‘substantial personal suffering, impaired quality of life and financial cost’… A host of ferociously intelligent and creative people have suffered similarly—Tchaikovsky, George Bernard Shaw, Nietzsche, van Gogh.” Scarlett Harris.

Seriously, though, “there are… many migraines… There are migraines with pain in the temples; around the eyes; between the brows; at the back of the head; on one side or the other.” I’ve had them all.

“Some migraines make you sensitive to light, some to noise; some have nausea and vomiting at cheerful additions to the unbelievable pain.” Yep, those were happy times indeed.

From the age of about 8 til the end of high school, I suffered from migraines, on average, once a week. Sometimes more; if I was lucky, sometimes less. The pain lessened as I got older, but I often missed school and, later, work as a result. I barely ever get migraines now; my last one conveniently took place on a four-day trip to Philip Island, and didn’t let up til my return home.

So this article resonated with me as no other Good Weekend feature has.

But how did I know they were migraines and not just headaches?

“… if your headache lasts between four and 72 hours (untreated), and if it includes two of the following—one-sided pain, throbbing pain, pain that’s increased by physical activity, or pain that’s strong enough to stop you living your normal life—you are probably suffering from a migraine.”

My headaches usually took the form of throbbing in the temple, nausea, the inability to sit up, read, watch television or use the computer, and left me incapacitated for two to three days on average. Definitely migraines.

Amanda Hooton profiles the history of migraines, from the Neolithic people who “were willing to have their skulls opened with stone axes in order to release the evil spirits inside”, to Lewis Carroll, to LSD as migraine cure, which was “just what someone already seeing small pink creatures on the carpet really needs”!

No one I knew suffered migraines the way I did, so I was all alone in my quest to dull the pain. I now have a system for diagnosing the cause of my migraines, and the remedy. If I haven’t eaten all day and start to get pain in both temples, it’s a hunger headache and I just need food. If I’ve been sitting in bed all day, or on an unsupportive couch, or on a La-Z-Boy/car seat with a headrest that pushes my head forward, it’s a posture headache, and water and drugs will help. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with mind-numbing pain on the top of my skull. The prescription? Drugs, drugs, and more drugs.

But,

“Neuroscientists currently believe that migraines might be caused by what doctors call a ‘spreading depression’—a wave that slowly spreads across the cortex, or outer layers, of the brain. This wave is caused by brain neurons, which carry an electrical charge. In order to send signals to each other during normal brain activity, they ‘transiently depolarise’, or discharge some of their electrical charge via negative ions…

“Researchers have also postulated that the ‘pebble’ [effect caused by the discharging neurons] is really a bubble or tiny blood clot that lodges in a cortical blood vessel… and others have suggested that migraineurs express genes that make their neurons ‘trigger happy’ and more likely than normal to depolarise.”

That’s all well and good, but what does this mean for migraine sufferers?:

“A little-known fact of migraines is that about 90 per cent of migraineurs have a close relative who also suffers from them.”

My mum had a couple here and there over her lifetime, but nothing like the severity or frequency I suffered. As far as I know my dad never had them, and neither did my sister. So, like Hooton, any medical breakthroughs that can somehow impede the TRESK gene that genetic migraine sufferers possess won’t really help us.

The good news is that “for most migraineurs, migraines become rarer, shorter and less painful with age.”

For me, they certainly have.

Image via The Age.

Newspaper Clipping(s) of the Week.

This week’s choice newspaper clippings come from The Age‘s Sunday Life supplement (Eye of the Beholder, August 8, 2010) and Good Weekend (Calendar Girl, August 7, 2010), respectively.

Calendar Girl, written by Virginia Heffernan, deals with hard-copy diaries like Filofax and the like versus the iPhone and Blackberry’s digitised versions. This is something I struggle to consolidate in my life, as I am an über-fan of stationary, but I just don’t have room in my life for physical lists, schedules etc., when the digital option is right there.

Sometimes I get a bit sick of talking about body image (what with the multitude of blogs, magazines and articles I read each week, as well as the issue being a common theme in my blog posts), but William Leith’s article, Eye of the Beholder, looks at it from a different angle. Why do women look “at a model and fall apart”, while men “shrug off [their] own belly”? Thought provoking stuff.

(Sorry about the crappy formatting—my scanner prefers A4 sized documents.)