Links of Great Interest 10/23/09

A judge in Louisiana refuses to marry interracial couples.


TroubleInChina chats with Feministing’s editors. Included in this chat are several other active bloggers.

Nnedi Okorafor interviews the author of Push. The movie itself sounds fab.

From Scarlett:


Anne Hathaway defends Bride Wars. Bitch responds to the interview here. We’re having a discussion about the movie itself here.

Off Our Backs continues to face criticism for its faulty racial politics.

Why did this woman have to die alone?

The nine most recent Disney characters list seems lacking. I mean, where’s Pocahontas? Bah. Anyways, here are some sexy Disney princes. Please ignore the comments on “dark meat” — I couldn’t find a better link. :(

SocImages talks about the politics of disinterest.

Champagne and Benzedrine has a post up on rape culture. Jezebel also has a post up on rape and politics.

I have only started reading this cooking blog because I like the icon.

Has anyone read I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out?

Morehouse’s new dress code might be about classism and homophobia.


  1. Scarlett says

    In regards to Hathaway comments, my best mate and I have often talked about, theoretically at least, having a double wedding. In a platonic way, because we’ve known each other 20 out of 27 years, we’re partners. If we stumbled on the same situation as Emma and Liv did – right timing, same taste – we would totally do a double wedding. It’s a cop out that Hathaway says it’s about the bride. WHY is it about the bride? I don’t get it. I feel like Anya from Buffy, needing these ‘strange customs’ being explained to me.

  2. says

    Weddings are traditionally “about the bride” because a girl/woman spent her entire life taking care of babies and husbands and old folks and sick people and all that, and so her wedding day (the day she completely yielded to the patriarchy, even cheerfully giving up her name to become “Mrs. Whatever”) was the one day she could expect to hold that center of community attention that rightfully belonged to her husband, kids, and so on. Then as feminism came along, that wasn’t enough, so Hallmark invented Mother’s Day. /eyeroll

  3. says

    You know, I’ve been thinking about cases of statutory rape in which a minor looks and acts older than s/he is, and a potential partner doesn’t realize they’re doing anything wrong. If the law does NOT require that you card potential partners, it would be pretty difficult to convince a jury “beyond reasonable doubt” that the defendant should have known the person was a minor. Unless, maybe, the defendant has a history of “accidentally” hooking up with minors frequently or something else that would throw their credibility on that issue into question.

    And I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married sounds really interesting. I’ve always felt that rather than “Why aren’t you married?” the question should be “Why are you married?” or “Why should I get married?”

  4. says

    Oh, and that Louisiana judge? Let’s break down his self-defense, just for giggles:

    “I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday.

    Clearly, he thinks “racism” is when you hate on folks. He’s just discriminating, which is not racism at all, oh, good gosh, no.

    “I have piles and piles of black friends.”

    I can’t put my finger on the specific reason why this is SO NOT the metaphor I’d have used. Because it sounds like bodies stacked alongside a battlefield? Not sure. I’m just betting he doesn’t have “piles and piles” of white friends. Or even “white friends” at all. They would just be “friends.”

    They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”

    OMG, does this guy know people who invite people of color over, but make them piss in the yard so they won’t get color cooties on the toilet? God, when racists congratulate themselves on crap like this, I just want to deport them to Jupiter and say, “What? Hey, I have piles and piles of racist friends, I only deport them to a flaming ball of gas when they want me to buy into their double-think.”

    But there’s more:

    “I’ve made some mistakes, but you have too. I didn’t tell this couple they couldn’t get married. I just told them I wouldn’t do it.”

    My favorite defense. The “I might be wrong, but I know you’ve made mistakes, too, so really you have no right to complain, only the person who has never made a mistake, but he doesn’t exist, so everything I do is okay.”

    You know what I say to these people, “No, I haven’t made mistakes. What are you talking about?”

    They say, haven’t I ever lied? Cheated on income tax?

    I blink, allow a look of horror to slowly creep over my face and say, “God, no. You HAVE? What are you, one of those hedonist liberals who think it’s a ‘mistake’ to diddle kids because, c’mon, we’ve all done it? You bastard!”

    It ends in stalemate, but at least I give them heartburn.

  5. Scarlett says

    In regards to your comment about partners looking older than they are… I believe some kind of common sense should apply on the older person’s part when there’s a cl;ear age difference. In this case, she said she was 16 (actually 13) and he was 20, and he took it at face value…

    To put another spin on it, the legal age of buying alcohol in Aus is 18. A lot of places have an official policy of ID’ing someone who looks younger than 25 (pretty lax about it, in my experience.) They do it ‘cos if they get busted serving anyone under eighteen, serious fines/jail. The onus is on THEM to prove the age of the person who CLAIMS they’re legal.

    Actually, I think that’s my point. Why not make stat rape laws so the onus is on the older person to verify the age of the person who claims they’re 16 but is actually 13? I imagine a lot of people woulld rethink who they they with if they knew ‘she told me she was overage’ wasn’t an excuse anymore

  6. Charles RB says

    I hadn’t seen the Jon Stewart clip before, and I’m glad I did. Though I’m depressed to find out from the Champagne blog that Halliburton employees are no longer allowed mobile phones because they might call for help when they’re imprisoned in a fucking crate after being gang raped.

    And yet four or more of the Republicans who don’t want Halliburton to be de-funded are having at ACORN? What? That’s like stopping the police from going after the mafia while you demand they go release dogs on kids in hoodies who hang outside shops.

  7. says

    Re: Halliburton. When I was a kid in the 80s, the local university advised female students to go to the campus police, not the real police, with rape allegations. The campus police proceeded to accidentally-on-purpose lose at least a hundred files on these crimes, which just coincidentally kept local U football stars from being prosecuted. They put the female students off with claims things were still being investigated or there wasn’t enough evidence.

    Then the local sheriff found out about this and blew it open wide in the media. There was little to be done about the lost cases, but they mounted a public awareness campaign that rape is a crime, and no private or public institution can claim jurisdiction over the local police or sheriff.

    That was the 80s. In a red state. You’re telling me 20 years later, a company is allowed to sign away police jurisdiction? Not only is this beyond disgusting from a moral standpoint for all the obvious reasons, it’s legally contemptible.

    Additionally, this is NOT the right way for a company to protect itself against lawsuits relating to sexual harassment and/or assault. You need to have clear hiring practices and maintain a zero-tolerance attitude for harassment, and then when an individual rapist sneaks past your due diligence and harms another employee, your HR people should be HELPING the victim file police reports and get rape kits together. Then no judge would hold you accountable for doing less than your best to prevent it. No, what Halliburton’s doing is what you do when you’re a collection of misogynists egging each other on to higher and higher levels of misogyny.

  8. The Other Patrick says

    Re: weddings – I have just talked to a couple of friends who are planning to get married, and by no means will this be a “bride’s day only”. In fact, they are complaining that they probably will have to scale down both of their wishes, but it is very much a partnership thing, that planning the wedding. But I’m German, and they’re planning to have a medieval-style wedding, so perhaps it’s not a general thing.

    Also, have you seen that Rape is a pre-existing condition just like having had an abusive relationship? It really boggles the mind how inhumanly cruel insurance companies can be.

  9. says

    Just two things:

    1.) Rainbow Bright…WTF. I especially liked the link with the side-by-sides of Strawberry Shortcake; it REALLY emphasizes what’s being done.

    2.) Hot disney guys…please forgive the obligatory “I’m not gay” comment, but damn, that was shit-hot. So: since I see nothing wrong with exploitative beefcake shots of Disney heroes (the bulges were an especially nice touch, btw), where do/should I stand on Disney heroines?

    (also, going along with #1, I see nothing wrong particularly with sexualization of ADULT characters, even if those characters are primarily oriented towards kids…though the sexualized versions should not be aimed at kids. I do see PLENTY wrong with sexualization of characters that are in fact supposed to be children.)

    Oh, also LMAO at Eric’s tat. And Cuzko does not, IMO, belong in that lineup (though Milo made it work).

  10. says

    Additional (sorry): I apologize for commenting before I had fully checked all those links. I just read the one about the poor woman who was not allowed to see her dying partner, and I am disgusted and outraged. The depths to which some people will sink, for no reason at all, simply astounds me.

  11. Scarlett says

    Spartakos, there IS a reason. SHEER SPITE. With a hefty dose of bigotry thrown in for good measure. My God. And the thing is, if it were a hetero couple who had been married for eighteen DAYS, there would be no question at all about their rights.

  12. Scarlett says

    Other Patrick, I was a bridesmaid a few years ago and… never again. I’m far too selfish and disinterested in he minute details of matching this and co-ordinating that to be a bridesmaid. I LIKE using my days off to do my own thing, not run around picking up bits and pieces for the bride all day and I LIKE not having to get up at 5am for hair and make-up and I LIKE my hair not feeling like a hunk of plastic from industrial-strength hairspray. I’m sure there are plenty of reasonable brides out there, but that particular experience soured me off being a bridesmaid ever again.

  13. Maria V. says

    Hey Scarlett!

    Do you think there’s some “exceptional female” issues going on in the way we talk about weddings tho? I talk about this a little more here:

    That was actually my problem with the earlier thread. I think there’s a lot of misogyny embedded in the idea of the bridezilla, and while it’s useful to talk about that in relation to Bride Wars (since in that case it’s a misogynist plot device) I think it’s less common to hear people sort of call themselves on it… like the idea that it’s JUST the bride being crazy about the wedding, or that it’s crazy to want such a big day to be a particular way, ignoring that it’s actually a big freaking deal to organize such a big event if you’ve got a large or demanding family, particularly when the labor associated with planning the damn thing is often displaced onto the bride.

  14. says

    So: since I see nothing wrong with exploitative beefcake shots of Disney heroes (the bulges were an especially nice touch, btw), where do/should I stand on Disney heroines?

    I feel there’s no right answer to this question because I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a world where sexualization happens differently than it happens now. I tend to think that if men and women were sexualized equally instead of it mostly focusing on women and designating us as a sex-providing class, it wouldn’t be unhealthy. But… well, let me come at this a different way.

    I really REALLY enjoy looking at men I find attractive, but I get annoyed when the camera does the leering for me. I enjoy the mystery of getting a glimpse here and there of what turns me on rather than having the camera slowly pan over whichever unclothed part the filmmaker thinks I want to see. When the camera serves up an actor to me that way, I feel like he’s being pimped, and it’s the pimping I’m expected to find attractive.

    I think deep down that’s what’s going on with the way women are served on camera, in magazines, on billboards, and in strip clubs. They’re being handed by men to other men to leer at. And so when men hand me a man to leer at, I get resentful because there’s this third party in the exchange who doesn’t need to be there and his function really creeps me out.

    But you know, I just watched the most god-awful show in order to look at an actor I find tremendously attractive, and while I got annoyed at the obligatory shirtless scene, I was driven wild by glimpses of his forearms and hands because those are two of the body parts I find very sexy on men. (For anyone who finds that weird, I’ve talked to a lot of people, of both genders, over the years who find certain allegedly non-sexual body parts just as alluring, or even more so, than the parts we usually think of as sexual.)

    So my ideal would probably be for a visual media not to hit us over the head with SEE THIS PERSON IS SEXY MMM MMM FEAST YOUR EYES WHEREVER YOU LIKE. Just photograph both male and female actors prettily, and let viewers find the sexiness all by themselves. I actually think that would be *more* sexy, and it might eliminate that pimping issue that is, I think, at the basis of objectification.

  15. Scarlett says

    Maria, that’s probably true. I know for me I just cannot fathom why people would put all that time, effort and money into something that last just one day (apparantly the average Aus wedding costs $A32K – you could travel for a year on that. Or knock several years off your mortgage. Or fund all but the most expensive university degress) so while I never thought about it before, I could very well be coming across very contemptously about big weddings in general.

    In regards to demanding families – the friend who I was bridesmaid to actually had one of those. The budget ended up being doubled ‘cos all these family members and friend-of-family members came out of the woodwork expecting to be invited and then one of the other bridesmaids set her heart on a particular outfit that was twice what my friend wanted to pay and refused to budge. I’ve heard so many horror stories about mothers and MILs who basically get their way, especially if they’re footing the bill. I find it stressful enough dealing with my boyfriend’s mum on the occasional weekend she comes up to Perth, I can’t imagine how stressful it would be to be in a battle of wills with her over something like a wedding.

  16. Scarlett says

    And I take it we get a lot of spam which involves the ‘m’ word (the one about houses and loans and owing the bank a lot of money, not the one about white dresses and marzipan cakes) – I just got one of those messages that asked me to verify I was human when I used it in the last comment.

  17. says

    Well, I’ve been thinking about it, and I think I can point out some factors about these images that differentiate them from similar artwork about their female counterparts (and women in general):

    1.) They portray sexy people, not sexy parts…note how you can see the face in each image, even when the subject is turned away. They’re mostly full-body shots, from at least the knee up; no close ups on the crotch, for instance. I mean, the crotch is clearly there…but they don’t make it the centerpiece of the image.

    2.) They portray sexuality without being degrading. All the subjects look like strong, sensual men, guys who you could have a good time with in bed…but not objects to be used, not submissive sex toys. They are generally in strong (even aggressive, in some cases) stances, and the highlights seem to be their muscles, not their packages.

    3.) They portray sexy adults. I realized last night what gave me the “pervy old man” vibe about sexy images of Disney princesses…most of them are supposed to be teenage girls; if adults, just barely. The men, on the other hand, are generally more clearly in the 20’s to 30’s age bracket, and thus more “legitimate” targets of sexual gaze. Confirmation? The 2 shots above that bugged me were the Peter Pan and Zac Efron images…but I couldn’t even put my finger on why until I’d thought about it. (Oh, and Gaston, but that’s just because I find hairy guys kinda gross)

    4.) They portray a wide variety of body types…from the skinny, wiry guys like Milo Thatch up to the big burly dudes like Herc and Dr. Sweet. Even though a lot are “muscular dude”, there is a big difference in Tarzan’s build compared to say, Pheobus. For that matter, there’s a good variety of hair types and facial features represented. Compare and contrast with the standard of “classical beauty” among the female versions.

    In closing…I personally don’t mind cheesecake/beefcake art, where the clear intent of the shot is to be sexy (the camera does some leering, in your words). I like looking at a well-formed body, be it male or female (though I enjoy the female in a different sense). And I think things would be a lot better off in terms of erotic art if more people followed the 4 rules above when portraying women.

    I will agree with you about the camera-panning trick…again, I like the full-body shot, where my eye can go where it likes.

  18. says

    Spartakos, that makes sense to me. It’s never made sense to me that we’re taught men are really tough creatures, but they need images of women softened to the point that they look half-unconscious or too young or too utterly vapid to know what’s going on… as if a fully sober, cognizant woman would intimidate the male viewers for whom such images are intended?

  19. Anemone says

    Like Jennifer, I prefer glimpses of skin to full-on nudity, but I’m generally ok with beefcake when it’s live photos of guys just having fun with it, like those firefighter calendars. (Well, I don’t like all the photos, but they don’t creep me out.) Women in cheesecake can be fun like that too, but unfortunately, often isn’t.

    The part where they’re animated characters does bother me a bit, since it’s not them posing for fun, but an artist who is posing them. A little weird.

    The whole wedding thing has me remembering the only wedding I’ve gone to where I knew one of the people getting married. It was a hippie wedding: bare feet in a grassy field, vegetarian feast, smudged down with sweetgrass, sacred circle dancing, walking on hot coals, bride and groom saying vows under the Jewish canopy (half-Jewish bride), music provided by ’70s hippies, the minister was the 20-something firewalker expert, but the JP who did the paperwork was a white Sikh. How come we never see weddings like that in movies??? And a last minute double wedding combining hippie and traditional would be quite something.

  20. says

    It’s never made sense to me that we’re taught men are really tough creatures, but they need images of women softened to the point that they look half-unconscious or too young or too utterly vapid to know what’s going on… as if a fully sober, cognizant woman would intimidate the male viewers for whom such images are intended?

    I think the answer is more insidious, actually (especially when you consider that many men find attractive women who are not merely sober/cognizant, but aggressive or dominating). The main reason I think too much erotica/porn presents women as helpless/softened is to try to pretend that cognizant, aware women who enjoy their sexuality (and are full participants, not vessels) don’t exist.

    That said, what you said may have some truth to it as well, as may the fact that rape-culture sexualizes the idea of having sex with less-than-willing women (be it by force, drugs, coercion, seduction, etc). Y’know, there’s probably several reasons.

  21. says

    The main reason I think too much erotica/porn presents women as helpless/softened is to try to pretend that cognizant, aware women who enjoy their sexuality (and are full participants, not vessels) don’t exist.

    It’s not just porn – these women are pretty damn rare in mainstream media, too, and probably for all the same reasons, whatever they are.

  22. Charles RB says

    I dunno, I’ve seen female characters who seem to enjoy their sexuality.

    All of which are, er, villains or borderline evil. You think they’re trying to tell us something?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *