Friday Links September 26: The Sam Pepper Edition

September has not been a fabulous month. It's been full of computer problems, being sick, and a whole bunch of frustrations. And cold. 2014 will go down as the year we turned the heat on in September.

  • I spent most of this week reading about Sam Pepper. I started with Laci Green's Open Letter to Sam Pepper and fell down a rabbit hole. And kept falling down a rabbit hole. I call bullshit on his "social experiment" excuse. I've gone to his channel and seen his videos where he handcuffs himself to women until they kiss him and another where he lassos women. (I've stomped around the house yelling BULLSHIT a lot this week.) He gets off on invading women's space, touching them physically when they don't want him to, and making them uncomfortable. Every morning I'd do a Sam Pepper search on Twitter and there was something new and horrible. It's been completely soul-crushing to see young girls and boys (and grown ass men) defend Pepper's actions. "It's just a prank! You're bullying him!" Before you rant off on YouTube, this isn't a YouTube problem. It's a societal problem. It's a rape culture problem. It's a "privileged asshole thinks his wants are more important than a girl's autonomy over her own body" problem. It's a "some dudes (aka misogynistic fucktwinkles) still think they have a right to touch female bodies and use them any way they want" problem. It's a "we think "famous" people can't be assholes" problem. It's a whole lot of problems that can't be blamed exclusively on YouTube or social media or reality television or youth. Influential YouTubers were the ones that escalated the videos this week and were instrumental in getting them pulled. They were the first ones to speak out about it, created their own videos about it, and will be the ones that don't forget it when the rest of us have moved on to the new horrible thing of the week. 
  • On Poisoned Apple, the "Great YA Debate," and the Death of the Patriarchy. It's long. You need to read it anyway. Writing about girls is a political act. And last four paragraphs? Maybe if that happened we'd have fewer Sam Peppers in the world. (Don't fool yourself. Sam Pepper isn't the only person on YouTube who makes videos they think are pranks but are indeed harrassment and/or assault.)
  • Sydney No one ever really figures out the writing thing. You'll want to read her post about why she abandoned her last book to fully appreciate how Sarah Dessen found her way back. 
  • "What's Your Passion?" The Conversation Ever Couple Needs to Have. Every person needs to have this conversation, even if only with themselves. What do you really care about in life? What's your passion. Now what if told you that you couldn't say family or your job or your position in relation to either or those things? How do you define yourself without using your role as a descriptor? Can you do it? 
  • A Blogger Looks at 40 I'm not someone who gets freaked out about aging. Aging is much better than not aging because not aging would mean I no longer exist. 40 sounds pretty good to me. 
  • 15 Lessons from 15 Years of Blogging Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. 
  • 115 Book Bloggers You Should Be Following. Good list! These lists are always interesting to me because I find people I didn't know about, but I also notice who is not on the list. There will never be one definitive list of bloggers in any niche. Looking at lists like this gives me a peek at how communities overlap and diverge.