Links of Great Interest: XENA + GABRIELLE = OTP

GayProf and Historiann talk about making US history more relevant.

TransGriot reflects on being an “unwoman.”

HAHAHAHA the machines will take over the world…

This children’s book features a clever heroine and a stuttering prince.

Fashion just got a little bit more inclusive.

Single Black women only have a median income of $5??? Well… that, like, explains my LIFE.

SOMEONE WAS RACIST ON THE INTERNET AND MIGHT GET PUNISHED FOR IT!!! Frikkin’ amazing!!! (That last link is mostly useful as a link round-up kinda way — I’m not a big fan of its poo pooing of the issue near the end, where the author is all omg maybe you’re giving the site too much attention!!! That’s a kind of derailing for dummies, in my opinion.)

Hats off to Andree Peel, AKA as Agent Rose, who saved 102 Allied soldiers, and died this week at the age of 105.

AfterElton has a list up of the top 50 gay tv characters. Here’s a little bit of commentary. AfterEllen’s got a similar list for lesbians.

GoodAsianDrivers’ Youtube channel is always kinda awesome.

Comments

  1. sbg says

    (That last link is mostly useful as a link round-up kinda way — I’m not a big fan of its poo pooing of the issue near the end, where the author is all omg maybe you’re giving the site too much attention!!! That’s a kind of derailing for dummies, in my opinion.)

    I admit it: I couldn’t get past what looks like a credit to Voltaire’s biographer for an actual Voltaire quote as the very first thing stated on that link. Maybe I misread it? I do have a killer headache.

  2. says

    The quotation is commonly attributed to Voltaire, but he didn’t actually say it. My co-blogger went to some trouble to track down the actual source.

    What can I say? We’re lawyers, we care about the details ;)

  3. says

    I just love this finale on the single women of color median wealth article:

    “If wealth was based on hard work, African-Americans would be the wealthiest people in our nation,” she said. “It’s not about behavior. It’s about government policies. Who does the government help and who is it not helping?

    “Our government knows how to build wealth for people. They’ve done it for others and they can do it for all of us. They need to focus some attention on women of color. Look at the situation and see what we need.”

    I will never understand how a rational human being can look at people working and conclude, yep, the harder you work, the more you earn. That might be the biggest “Emperor’s New Clothes” myth we have going in this society.

  4. says

    I’m not a big fan of its poo pooing of the issue near the end, where the author is all omg maybe you’re giving the site too much attention!!! That’s a kind of derailing for dummies, in my opinion.

    I’m not “pooh poohing” the issue. The page is highly offensive and I’d rather things like that not be on the Internet. I can totally understand why Hodder-Watt wanted Google to take away links to it. He has every right to be offended and hurt. The page is racist and inappropriate.

    My constant fascination is whether the law actually works for what the person is seeking to achieve. In this case, the idea is to get the offensive post banned in Australia, right? And to stop the authors adding to the post? Well, I don’t think these objectives will be met by the AHRC’s action. It’s like the defamation cases I mention which ended up making the nasty defamatory comments much more widely known than they otherwise would have been.

    So before you reach for the law as a solution – think carefully – will it actually achieve the aim you are seeking to achieve? Or will it achieve the very thing you are trying to avoid? That’s what I want people to think about.

  5. Anemone says

    I am totally in favour of legal action to remove hate speech from the internet. How are people supposed to know this material is genuinely offensive if news of such efforts don’t make the news? It’s astonishing how many people don’t think joking about racism etc is offensive. Having a lawyer involved, somewhere in the world, makes a pretty strong point that it is. Dude, we didn’t know you were serious.

  6. Anemone says

    I haven’t been to this particular site, but I’ve been on a sport-related forum where sexist jokes and homophobic slurs were allowed, on the grounds it doesn’t count as bad if you’re just joking. So in my experience not as many people realize that it’s offensive as I’d like.

  7. says

    Anemone, these people know full well joking about racism is offensive. In fact, that’s the entire point of their site – to shock and offend people as much as they possibly can. They “troll” specifically to offend people and then laugh at their reaction. I don’t know why they do it to be honest. Why would you want to hurt and upset people?

    Anyway, they kind of remind me of a small kid – doing bad things to seek attention – sounds like they haven’t gotten past the age of 3.

    I would hope that 99% of the world would realise that this particular site was offensive. It was so awful that I couldn’t actually go to the bottom of the page. I think most people would realise that without a legal action to tell them so.

    • Maria says

      I thought the point of ED was to chronicle the drama llamas of the internet, not to archive and perpetuate racist thought. I think the best thing about the lawsuit is that it highlights that racist thought isn’t the kind of interpersonal or parody stuff they normally feature. I mean, seriously, how is something a parody or a satire when it partakes of a long series of serious conversations about race? I mean, it’s not like the stereotypes they’re “poking fun” at re: aborigines arent ones believed or spread in everyday life. It’s like hipster racism.

  8. Anemone says

    On the forum I was on, when I complained about the homophobic slurs, I was told that that was the way they liked things, there wasn’t anything wrong with it, their way was better than other forums (more friendly) and that if I complained again my comment would be deleted. If I didn’t like it I could leave.

    Filing a complaint under the British Columbia Human Rights Code would only work if I had a name and address to send the complaint to (which I don’t have, plus I have to choose my fights, and this one is not the highest priority). It was a forum for a group that I think would qualify as offering a service to the public under the terms of the code. The only way their policy would be legal would be if they were strictly a private club holding private conversations, and I don’t see a group offering classes and get-togethers open to anyone qualifying as that. But I could be wrong. (Plus I can’t file on grounds of sexual orientation, because I’m straight – I’d have to file on the basis of the sexist jokes.)

    So there are times I’d really like to see someone made an example of, just to get the message across to all the rest.

  9. says

    The question is – when someone makes a homophobic joke, do you sue them, or do you just pointedly refuse to laugh and make it pretty clear that their conduct is not okay? I had a boss who made a homophobic joke to a colleague who was in fact gay (although the boss didn’t know that). So I turned around and said, “That’s not on, and it’s really not funny. How do you know I don’t have a gay brother?” I was very mad. That made the boss shut his mouth pretty damn quick and apologise. Hopefully he thought carefully before making that kind of a joke again. And I do hope that I made him realise that his comments could be hurtful. Funnily enough, my gay colleague was less offended than I was!

    Here’s a summary from gawker.com of what ED is supposedly about:

    ED is run like Wikipedia, but its style is the opposite; most of its information is biased and opinionated, not to mention racist, homophobic and spiteful, but on the upside its snide attitude makes it spot-on about most Internet memes it covers.

    It is like hipster racism, agreed – offensive behaviour as “trendy” and “edgy”. The sad thing is, as you say, that the stereotypes on which they play are believed by some in real life. But is banning the site going to stop those stereotypes from being believed?

    Sometimes you do need the strength of the law to persuade people that discrimination is not okay. I totally agree with that. But other times, the law is not going to achieve terribly much. I suppose my take on this ED action is informed by the fact that as far as I can see, the AHRC has no legal basis to its claim that it can prevent a US site publishing material in the US. We have conservative and left wing lawyers on our site in agreement on this point, and in agreement as to the futility of the action. So what’s the point of bringing a legal action if it’s not actually going to do anything except bring unwarranted attention to the site?

    You know what would be interesting? What if someone set up a page poking fun at ED and its owner? I bet he wouldn’t like it so much. He can give it, sure, but can he take it when it’s aimed at him personally? My own experience is that people who are good at giving offence to others are usually very quick to take offence when like conduct is aimed at them.

  10. says

    I don’t know a thing about ED but what I read here, but on the topic of law, let me just say I agree with Legal Eagle that it’s not the best solution nearly as often as people assume.

    But there are generally two reasons people start stuff like ED: because they find it entertaining, or to make money. They have links for selling T-shirts and advertising on the site, so I’m guessing they’re making money (or planning to). Well, offensive sells. Offensive gets you talked about, linked to, and visited. That pays. (Hell, we offend misogynists on this site, and when they come and read and leave comments and load page after page, we make money off them.)

    It’s when money is involved that sometimes the law is the best way to go. Because anything else you do will just send these guys more traffic, and more $$. Making fun of the site owner = more money for him. Lawsuit = monetary losses for everyone involved except the lawyers and judges. Sometimes that’s the only thing that will get their attention.

  11. says

    Anemone, I agree that it’s good to make an example of someone at times for racist, homophobic and sexist behaviour, but as you also say, you have to choose your fights. I don’t think this particular target was a good one for legal reasons, and it would have been better left alone.

    Jennifer, agreed about the money point too. Someone I’m close to was discriminated against, and the person who discriminated against her was unapologetic. In the end, my friend sued this guy. The guy was still unapologetic – but the good thing was that his hip pocket was hurt, and we knew he’d HATE having to pay out. There was a real sense of vindication in that.

    Part of the reason why I don’t think legal action is the best idea in this case is because I don’t think the action will succeed, and I don’t think any judgment will be enforceable, but these “jokers” will get a lot more money from the extra traffic and publicity which comes their way as a result.

  12. Charles RB says

    One more: blogger on the creeping scourge of institutional sexism and how it can undermine creative work, as seen via the latest issue of 2000 AD: http://thatremindsmeofthis.blogspot.com/2010/03/sex-gender-mary-wollstonecraft-2000ad.html

    The key point: “I thoroughly enjoy reading 2000 AD, and strangely even more than that, have always enjoyed the fact that 2000 AD has always ideologically sided with the powerless against the powerful. And it has. … But these [mutants and robots] are symbols. Where are the actual women who aren’t locked into traditional roles?”

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