Links of Great Interest 1/15/10

The org I volunteer for is pretty fantastic. Here’s their blog. We’re actually having an event today in DC.

:contemplates meaning of life in context of Sweet Valley High:

Let’s acknowledge great female SF/F editors!

“Instead of the American way they want multiculturalism. We plan to fight back—and, when it comes to textbooks, we have the power to do it. Sometimes it boggles my mind the kind of power we have.” God, couldn’t they just re-write Pocahontas? Oh, wait. Maybe the problem is that this time the Indians win, huh? Anyways, the Vatican thinks Avatar is stupid. Uhhh. Everyone else disagrees. Maybe they’re just feeling threatened because of its sheer awesomeness as a neopagan parable.

What makes a movie feminist? Also, what makes a fandom racist?

W00t! An Anita Blake sex chart!

It’s mean to call out racism.

Uh, there was totally a PRO-RAPE group on Facebook. WTF, over? Also, a rape culture isn’t about just gender. It’s about power.

“The mainstream media love to exploit this definition of the “real woman.”  In their view, the real woman is  “flawed” (whatever that means — in this context, apparently, it’s thigh dimples; maybe next week, it’ll be a big ass, and the following, thick eyelashes) and she’s not “a stick figure.” (A term I personally detest — models aren’t stick figures! They are women). The “real” woman stands in direct opposition to 99% of what women’s magazines tell us we should be in their ads, articles, and images.  She’s also just as much of a fiction as the women in those ads, articles, and images: she is flawed, they are perfect, in a stark dichotomy.”

“Ever since childhood, I have been honing my skills for living the life of a Radical Feminist Pirate and cultivating the Courage to Sin.” RIP, Mary Daly.

“No” gives “yes” meaning… but first you have to be understood as a body capable of consenting/not-consenting, and that’s like one of the first steps to understanding and resisting a rape culture.

How can posting about your bra raise awareness about breast cancer? Let’s ask Wonderella!

The weird thing is, I suspect that someone on such a limited diet is constantly thinking about food. Plus, this to me suggests we live in a crazy world — it’s fine to be mad at me for eating a cookie because I’m a fattie and there’s an obesity epidemic, but I can be arrested for having condoms because what? The AIDS epidemic is less deadly/real? Maria says: COOKIES AND CONDOMS FOR ALL!

2009 — The year of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Why WOULD MTV air a scene of female-on-male DV and not male-on-female, the much more common scenario? You tell me, media savvy Reader. You tell me. Speaking of domestic violence, this brave woman is doing a lot to help women who might otherwise be unable to escape dangerous situations.

——————–

the children of haiti
are not mythological
we are starving
or eating salty cakes
made of clay

————————–

Fandom in action: Help Haiti!

Comments

  1. says

    Seconding the opinion that Mary Daly’s transphobia and racism make it very problematic to unreservedly praise her.

    Also: the point of that article isn’t that 2009 is the year of the manic pixie dream girl, it’s that it’s the year of the Sphinx Minx, a manic pixie dream girl who breaks your heart rather than warming it :) Anyway, thanks for the link, I hadn’t noticed that pattern.

  2. Anemone says

    I studied Mary Daly at uni 25 years ago. I think we read both Beyond God the Father and Gyn/Ecology, or maybe just the first one. I remember we found her controversial at the time, but it was so long ago I can’t really remember why. She did influence me, but this was after I discovered Starhawk, so the influence was more intellectual than spiritual. I suppose it’s not surprising that she was bigoted. People got away with it more back then. Too bad, though.

    That obesity activist is really intense! Yikes! She is right about the junk food, though. I’m yet again detoxing after removing all the food that gives me indigestion from my diet, so I’m a little sensitive to the issue myself right now.

    The pink glove video is kind of fun. More fun than boring meetings, anyway.

  3. Charles RB says

    The Texas textbook thing that leaves me aghast. The implications are terrifying: they are deliberately keeping children ignorant and less able to think critically. What are the poor fuckers supposed to do when they go into higher education or adult life? This kneecaps them.

    And there’s that “rehabilitation of McCarthy” part too: I’ve seen that around. I don’t understand it. Why does McCarthy need rehabilitation?

  4. says

    What are the poor fuckers supposed to do when they go into higher education or adult life? This kneecaps them.

    The hell it does, I’m afraid. We live in a world where what you know doesn’t mean shit – it’s all who you know. As long as they know important people, it doesn’t matter how ill-equipped they are to deal with real-life problems. Or, well, it does, but they usually find a way to push back the consequences into their grandkids’ generation.

    Been going on for generations. This, truly, is the American way.

  5. Charles RB says

    “As long as they know important people”

    Which most won’t (only so many important people to go around), so they’re still fucked.

  6. says

    Hmm, my take is just the opposite. I find underqualified people herd together, finding strength in numbers, and actually often keep better qualified people out of the loop. But this is all anecdotal – maybe it depends where you live, what industries are big there, etc.

  7. Charles RB says

    In my experience, it mainly just gets people through to interviews. Once there, you’ve got to have some skill & knowledge to beat everyone else in the interview, some of whom will also know people (since everyone gets told “it’s who you know! Network!”). If it’s a minor job – you can get internships this way – or barely anyone applies, you can get in by knowing people, but for the last two years loads of people have applied for anything.

    Plus you’ve got to be competent enough to keep the job, unless you have friends/relatives in very high places (and they stay there).

  8. says

    Well, maybe the difference between your perception and mine boils down to the fact that I’ve worked mostly in film and other highly profitable industries where a monkey could be made CEO and the money would still roll in. Because those industries have generally enjoyed the luxury of being able to throw jobs around like party favors without losing their shirts, perhaps they’re not as careful about screening for actual know-how as a more high-stakes industry would force companies to be.

    It’s interesting that when the economy tanked in late 2008, the film industry started laying off/firing executives right and left. Unless I missed something, that wasn’t the trend in most industries – they generally start laying off toward the middle or bottom first. Made me wonder if someone actually started looking at whether these folks were actually bringing in enough income to justify their paychecks.

  9. Charles RB says

    Oh yeah, some industries like entertainment (or, so it appears, finance) work differently, no question. Certain parts in politics can get away with that too, there’s greater scope for cronyism. I don’t see that being an option for most people that come out of school though. It’s certainly a slog for everyone I’ve known, some more than others (retail work, the job seems to be “get paid to be shat on, extra if you have tits”).

    Most industries didn’t fire off their executives, which does sound damning about the film industry. (The finance and banking industry probably should have…)

  10. Robin says

    While I can’t deny that our society is becoming more sedentary and therefore less healthy, MeMe (such an appropriate name) Roth is out of control. It’s one thing to make sure that you and your family eat well and exercise enough. It’s something else entirely to force your stringent lifestyle on everyone around you. If I want ice cream or a steak or a bagel (with cream cheese — the horror!), I’ll damn well have it, and she can f#*&k right off. Could I be healthier? Sure. I’ve gotten kind of lazy and put on some extra padding while recovering from an injury. I’m working on getting back into fighting trim*. But how I pursue it is my own decision.

    Also, BMI is pretty much BS. It doesn’t account for body composition — i.e. how much is fat, bone, muscle, organs, what-have-you. As an active kid I had a lot of muscle, which made me much heavier than the BMI scale would approve of, yet my doctor was concerned that I was so skinny. My college roommate had a broad bone structure that meant she would never be thin, but she was very fit. I understand why such a quick-and-dirty metric would be appealing to an overtaxed health care system, but it is not the be-all and end-all in determining whether individuals are actually healthy.

    * I do not actually plan to fight anyone once said trim is achieved. Just saying. :)

  11. says

    You know, the “real women” article is awesome. I don’t really have anything to add, but I’m also thinking about the media’s use of the term “real men”, as in “real men don’t eat quiche.” “Real men” have character flaws, like being unable to resist unhealthy food or infidelity or being assholes; “real women” have body flaws, like cellulite and being a size 2 or higher. Even when we’re being subjected to the same bullshit media manipulation, men get a pass on being jerks and women get a pass on not being modelesque. I’d trade!

    MeMe Roth is someone who has one skill in life: starving herself. Because of this, her brain does not work properly. Seriously, I speak from firsthand experience. She’s monomaniacal about her topic because it’s the only one her compromised brain can hold. She cannot see studies and factual data that contradict her personal prejudices. She needs to shut up, and until that happens, people need to ignore her.

    Like Robin, I’m not saying there is no such thing as a person who needs to lose weight. I am just saying that we have really blown the “obesity” epidemic out of all proportion, and you know what? 50 years ago, people ate butter and eggs and saturated animal fats and sugar galore – there were no “lite” or “fat-free” or “sugar substitute” alternatives – and they were thinner. Why? No one worked out at gyms, but they were thinner. Why? Because the soil still had nutrients in it? Because not everything contained soy, and not every meat animal was fed on soy, which is known to wreck the thyroid? Because one parent (unfairly it was always the mother, I know, but still) could afford to stay home and fix meals while the other earned enough to keep 4+ people in good financial shape? Humans have not gotten lazier in the last 50 years – we were always lazy. We’ve just wrecked out environment, and if everything continues as it’s going (fortunately, soy use is reduced), in a few more generations, the next MeMe Roth won’t be able to sustain her idea of a correct weight without working out a whole lot more and eating a whole lot less.

  12. Scarlett says

    In regards to people being lazy – and this is based purely on anecdotal evidence and the fact I live in a very spread out city with a crap public transport system – I think there’s been an increased mentality of ‘why walk/cycle when you can drive?’. I once attempted pointing out the screwy logic of my sister wanting a lift to her gym, which is just a few blocks from our place. You DO realise that if you walk there and back, you like, DOUBLE your work-out? I’m curious what percentage of the population now has their own car compared to fifty years ago, ‘cos surely far less people had them but they still got out and about.

  13. Jen says

    A good one for the next links of great interest is this facebook fan page
    (I know there’s a lot of offensive facebook groups but this one caught my eye cos some of my ‘fb friends’ joined it)

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hi-Im-a-Girl-I-Ignore-Decent-Guys-and-Choose-Scumbags-Instead/165580274980?ref=search&sid=503439422.34591256..1

    Getting fans based on the interest in the song ‘bad boys’ by Alexandra Burke (which is a song about loving bad boys) this group/fan page recites that old sexist line: Girls always date arseholes and ignore me, the nice guy!

    First of all you aren’t a decent guy if you start a page which has a Ven diagram which illustrates how ‘smart, pretty girls are annoying’, ‘smart, nice girls are ugly’ and ‘nice, pretty girls are stupid’.

    You aren’t a decent guy if you have a link to a page that states that, basically, all feminists are fat girls who are jealous and can’t get boyfriends: Title: ‘Hi, I’m a stereotypical boy group, a fat girl made me’ tagline: ‘fat girls don’t deserve love’

    Annoying thing is I can’t comment on it unless I join it hahaha

  14. Jen says

    A good one for the next links of great interest is this facebook fan page
    (I know there’s a lot of offensive facebook groups but this one caught my eye cos some of my ‘fb friends’ joined it)

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hi-Im-a-Girl-I-Ignore-Decent-Guys-and-Choose-Scumbags-Instead/165580274980?ref=search&sid=503439422.34591256..1

    Getting fans based on the interest in the song ‘bad boys’ by Alexandra Burke (which is a song about loving bad boys) this group/fan page recites that old sexist line: Girls always date arseholes and ignore me, the nice guy!

    First of all you aren’t a decent guy if you start a page which has a Ven diagram which illustrates how ‘smart, pretty girls are annoying’, ‘smart, nice girls are ugly’ and ‘nice, pretty girls are stupid’.

    You aren’t a decent guy if you have a link to a page that states that, basically, all feminists are fat girls who are jealous and can’t get boyfriends: Title: ‘Hi, I’m a stereotypical boy group, a fat girl made me’ tagline: ‘fat girls don’t deserve love’

    Annoying thing is I can’t comment on it unless I join it hahaha

  15. Charles RB says

    The line I always remember in things like this is: “Yeah, why can’t those cunts appreciate nice guys like me?”

  16. says

    Scarlett, that’s true, but from what I’m told, everyone who could afford a car and gas to put in it drove everywhere in the 1950s. Automation was something to be proud of – walking was for those who had no other option. So, as I said, the reason we’re more overweight than we used to be cannot simply be “we’re lazy” – we were *always* lazy.

  17. Kadin says

    Like the piece about “real women”. On a related note, I’ve found myself defending thin women and models a few too many times for my liking. I see a lot of people with the idea that anybody under a certain weight limit is “anorexic” or “not real”, which is pretty annoying, especially given that they’re usually trying to encourage women to be comfortable in their bodies.

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