secretlesbians:

Depictions of Lesbianism by Henri Toulouse Lautrec

During his life, Lautrec spent a lot of time in Montmarte, the bohemian centre of 19th century Paris and home to artists, philosophers, writers, performers, and prostitutes. He spent a lot of time with the sex workers there, and discovered that many of them had intimate relationships with one another.

Lautrec’s depiction of lesbianism is particularly notable because it doesn’t fetishise sexual intimacy between women or present it as spectacle for the male gaze. Lautrec was trying to capture small, tender moments in the lives of the women he met, and he did so with humanity and sensitivity. In a world of constructed sexuality and fantasy, he finds the real relationships, and reveals to us the hidden lives of queer women in the 19th century.

Fin-de-siècle Paris was the capital of lesbianism. However, until the mid century, and despite the acknowledgment of male homosexuality, female homosexuality had been considered absurd. This scepticism was grounded in the fact that many nineteenth-century psychologists and medical professionals did not believe in female sexual impulse. Thus, when instances of lesbianism were reported in Alexandre Parent-Duchâtelet’s 1836 study of prostitution in Paris, lesbianism came to be understood as an activity associated with the Montmartre counterculture and, in particular, with prostitution. Indeed, deluxe houses of tolerance often functioned as specialty brothels that catered for a clientele with particular fetishes, such as tableaux vivants where ‘inmates, entirely naked, abandon themselves to homosexual practices on a large black velvet carpet or in rooms hung with black satin to bring out the whiteness of their bodies’. This was lesbianism as commercial spectacle, performed within a closed environment for male consumption.

Lesbianism in the public realm was a sexual preference that, while common, was negatively judged by French conservative society and for this reason was conducted with subtlety and partially obscured. In fact, many of the biggest stars of the Parisian circuses, dance halls and café-concerts were lesbian or bisexual, including Jane Avril and May Milton (whom, it is generally agreed, had a short-lived love affair), Sarah Bernhardt, Cha-u-ka-o and La Goulue. Whilst these Montmartre celebrities were depicted on multiple occasions by Lautrec, the artist chose to represent them as skilled professionals, never exploiting their sexual preference as the main focus of his compositions. So subtle was Lautrec in his treatment of these themes that art historians such as David Sweetman have gone so far as to argue that ‘It comes as something of a shock to realise that most of the women … were in fact lesbians and that quite a few were lovers. So many, in fact, that it is possible to argue that lesbianism is the hidden subtext of much of the art of Henri’s mature years.’

- from nga.gov.au

Images shown:

1. At the Moulin Rouge: The Women Dancing

2. In Bed

3. The Kiss

4. Two Friends

5. Les Deux Amies

(via interndana)

madeleineishere:

🎶Boy toy named Troy used to live in Detroit🎶

madeleineishere:

🎶Boy toy named Troy used to live in Detroit🎶

itsbearotitz:

YOU JUST HEARD OF IT

itsbearotitz:

YOU JUST HEARD OF IT

(via pantsgoblin)

(via pantsgoblin)

coryloftis:

For @Sketch_Dailies. 

coryloftis:

For 

(via pantsgoblin)

  10/21/14 at 01:53am

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  10/21/14 at 12:46am

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  10/21/14 at 12:15am

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  10/21/14 at 12:13am

(via sassy-out-the-wazoo)

When people say ‘This is my baby,’ they don’t always mean a baby. Sometimes they mean a dog.

A Somali student, on what has surprised her most about the United States. (via africandogontheprairie)

(via itsrabbitstew)

Let’s examine a traditionally male-dominated role that is very well-respected, and well-paid, in many parts of the world—that of a doctor. In the UK, it is listed as one of the top ten lucrative careers, and the average annual income of a family doctor in the US is well into six figures. It also confers on you significant social status, and a common stereotype in Asian communities is of parents encouraging their children to become doctors.

One of my lecturers at university once presented us with this thought exercise: why are doctors so highly paid, and so well-respected? Our answers were predictable. Because they save lives, their skills are extremely important, and it takes years and years of education to become one. All sound, logical reasons. But these traits that doctors possess are universal. So why is it, she asked, that doctors in Russia are so lowly paid? Making less than £7,500 a year, it is one of the lowest paid professions in Russia, and poorly respected at that. Why is this?

The answer is crushingly, breathtakingly simple. In Russia, the majority of doctors are women. Here’s a quote from Carol Schmidt, a geriatric nurse practitioner who toured medical facilities in Moscow: “Their status and pay are more like our blue-collar workers, even though they require about the same amount of training as the American doctor… medical practice is stereotyped as a caring vocation ‘naturally suited‘ to women, [which puts it at] a second-class level in the Soviet psyche.”

What this illustrates perfectly is this—women are not devalued in the job market because women’s work is seen to have little value. It is the other way round. Women’s work is devalued in the job market because women are seen to have little value.

jtotheizzoe:

The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo
The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.
Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?
(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)

jtotheizzoe:

The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo

The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.

Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?

(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)

(via pantsgoblin)

  10/20/14 at 07:25pm
songswithoutwords:

I’m going shopping

songswithoutwords:

I’m going shopping

(via fatsmeow)

necrophilofthefuture:

If bees aren’t around to fertilize crops, we lose many food species. Colony collapse disorder seems to be caused by certain pesticides, parasites, and harsh winters. Save the bees. 

necrophilofthefuture:

If bees aren’t around to fertilize crops, we lose many food species. Colony collapse disorder seems to be caused by certain pesticides, parasites, and harsh winters. Save the bees. 

(via fatsmeow)

Today’s meals. Breakfast/lunch: Overnight oats (oatmeal, protein powder, flaxseed, cocoa powder, coconut, almond milk, banana slices & chopped walnuts) & Dinner: stuffed red bell pepper w/ turkey sausage, mushrooms, onions, garlic & quinoa. #food #fakefoodie #mfg #cooking #everydayeats #hungry5ever

Today’s meals. Breakfast/lunch: Overnight oats (oatmeal, protein powder, flaxseed, cocoa powder, coconut, almond milk, banana slices & chopped walnuts) & Dinner: stuffed red bell pepper w/ turkey sausage, mushrooms, onions, garlic & quinoa. #food #fakefoodie #mfg #cooking #everydayeats #hungry5ever

  10/20/14 at 06:59pm