Links of Great Interest: :sound of tires screeching:

Sooo over Riley.

Some great reviews of Moment of Change. 

Bodies in Bikinis.

She works HARD for no money…

On the Avengers’ costumes.

Fair pay for ALL work.

I have a petition for you!

American nuns continue to ROCK OUT.

Porn blamed for rape.

Folklore and Other Stories needs your help!

Comments

  1. says

    In the Bodies In Bikinis article, I thought it was very telling that the girl described the male character’s thoughts in third person, but the female character’s in first person. That really shows you who’s learning what. And by the way, that ad was a stolen screenshot from a comedy sketch about awkwardness, not rape or sexual assault. Entirely inappropriate in every way.

    The Gallup poll is appreciated (and bookmarked) but not surprising. There’s a pervasive meme that stay-at-home parents/partners don’t “work”, whether it’s a politician running their mouth or my uncle asking my mom to pick up his dry-cleaning. Between that and the unpaid internship article, I’m simultaneously pessimistic that the exploitation of women (often poor women of color) is so widespread and invisible in our society, and optimistic that at least it’s getting talked about.

    I didn’t realize the nuns had been told to hand control over to some bishops! What a load of hogwash, and it makes the gender dynamics obvious. The church has a real problem with the status of women; I remember when I was a Catholic, nuns would be trotted out as the go-to example when we complained about inequality (“Boys are priests and girls are nuns! It’s the same thing!”) but the limelight would be thrown back on priests when discussion turned to any matter of moral authority.

  2. Casey says

    The “porn blamed for rape” thing sounds like an SVU episode from 5 years ago…unless of course this kind of thing happens often. SMDH

  3. Amy McCabe says

    I really liked that Buffy ended without Buffy being attached. I don’t think any of the men she dated really treated her with the respect she deserved. I think post-soul Spike was the closest, but that was still problematic.

    I don’t have as much time for surfing the net lately, so I didn’t see the fuss over Black Widow. I thought she was one of the more progressive female portrayals of recent history. Nor did I think her clothes were anything compared to what most female leads end up donning.

  4. Dani says

    I wonder if some of the backlash against Black Widow has to do with internalized ideas about shame and women’s bodies. As a society, we are shown so many negative images of women in tight or revealing clothing that I wonder if some people’s knee-jerk reaction to a female character in a tight (but no tighter than the outfits of some of the male characters) outfit is to dislike her and/or see her as merely a sex object, despite the fact that, as Amy said above me, her outfit is nothing compared to many female costumes.

  5. Quib says

    I didn’t think here clothes were even much of anything compared to the other Avengers. I’m not attracted to women, so I wasn’t really looking; I didn’t find her suit to be nearly as eye-catching or flattering as those of the male Avengers.

    I don’t even understand why The Bishops are being such massive jerks. What is even the benefit to attacking groups within their own organization, who are doing charity work that could make for some pretty good PR even.

    I’m finding the article on blaming porn for rape really disturbing (even the grammatical syntax disconcerting). Is the argument that he didn’t understand what he was doing, or that his actions are forgivable because he saw someone else do it? If the former, then what we really need is to teach kids, about what sex means and how pornography does not reflect reality, not try harder to keep them ignorant. If the latter, I’m appalled that it is anykind of viable defense, and can’t imagine a similar logic applied to any other crime.
    “He said it appeared such material was discussed in the first year at secondary school and parliament was currently discussing how to protect young people from getting access to such images.” what does this even mean? It hurts my brain to try and imagine a person not knowing that 12 year olds talk about porn and sex, and it hurts my brain even more to try and understand how that thought leads directly to parliament.

  6. says

    Quib,

    I’ve really been struggling with the porn rape one, too. First, there’s no question in my mind that seeing hardcore porn would mess with a 12 year old’s head, period. But second, I don’t think that alone causes a kid to rape somebody, even hardcore. Don’t most kids come across some porn by that age?

    If he gets therapy that gets down to the root cause of his action, maybe he can be helped – I hope so. But if they’re just assuming that showing porn to kids presses a magic brain button that turns them into empathy-free torturers, then they’ll miss it and he’ll just do it again later.

    Whatever’s at the root of this is going to be something like that he’s been raped, or that no one’s giving him any sort of guidance, so he literally didn’t understand that porn doesn’t represent anything like reality. As you said, probably a big part of the problem is that no one is teaching him the REALITY of sex.

  7. Amy McCabe says

    I’m really interested to see how the Vatican’s actions against the American nuns go over. I don’t have much doubt that the Vatican will do what they want to do, but I also know that Catholics really respect and like their nuns.

  8. Patrick McGraw says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    First, there’s no question in my mind that seeing hardcore porn would mess with a 12 year old’s head, period.

    What definition are you using for “hardcore?” I’ve seen definitions ranging from “features explicit depiction of sex acts” to “focuses on degrading the performers.” (Along with people deliberately blurring distinctions, such as Professional Liar Dr. Gail Dines.)

    I think that most of the problems attributed to exposure to pornography have more to do with, as you said, nobody teaching kids the reality of sex. The context that a person, especially a child, brings to an experience can heavily affect the way they perceive it.

    But with widespread efforts to prevent children from receiving any sort of real sex education, many will inevitably try to get their information from pornography. And as someone (I forget who) within the American porn industry said, porn is to Sex Ed as car chase movies are to Driver’s Ed.

  9. The Other Anne says

    I’d like to mention that my personal problem with the way Black Widow is used in the film has nothing to do with how she is made to look in costuming but how her narrative goes. She has no character arc. For the only female avenger to have no character arc is ridiculous. Also, her costume is not the only visual cue for her portrayal, and the way a camera might show her tends to be more important. I need to watch it again, but I remember the camera focusing on her body as an object more than for the male avengers. The Male Gaze often has less to do with how much skin is showing and more to do with how the audience is made to look at women by camera choices made behind the lens. Not as much as is usual, so I was glad about that. But my issues with her portrayal is not anything to do with her costume. In fact, I quite like it.

  10. Amy McCabe says

    *nods* I do see some arc for her, but it was weak and nothing like most of the male characters. I do think her costume was fine. Heck I’d even say Hawkeye had the most eyecandy (or I guess you can agrue the Hulk).

  11. Quib says

    I thought she had a decent amount of character arc for a movie that is split between 6 protagonists and a villain. More than Hawk Eye at least. She could use more, and her own movie for sure.
    They also did do that thing where a female character has to go through a life of hardship and trauma before she gets to be bad-ass, but dudes can just show up and want to be soldiers really bad, or be really smart or strong and they get to be action heroes. (I don’t know how HawkEye got really good at shooting arrows).

  12. I.A. Scott says

    The nuns sound like…they’re doing their jobs and following their mission? Also the quote from the bishops’ former spokesperson in the original Chicago Tribune article would seem to indicate that they think its the nuns’ fault that there has been a decline in (presumably Catholic) womens’ religious communities.

  13. says

    Patrick McGraw, I’m thinking mainly about rape and deliberate degradation (by “deliberate”, I mean the characters are degrading other characters, not the sort of degradation in the meta that many of us perceive even in a lot of mainstream non-porn film).

    But I also think there’s more to it than that. I really just don’t buy that all males are rape bombs waiting to be activated. I’ve known a number of rapists, and they are super out of touch with reality – it takes work to distort a child’s brain enough to produce an adult result like that. These people can hide their delusional thinking a lot of the time from a lot of people, but if you get to know them, you realize they’re just not on your planet (and, unfortunately, you often think maybe it’s you who’s crazy). Then again, if you evaluated a teen by adult standards, you’d think they weren’t right in the head either, so I’m trying to take that into account given this boy’s age. That said…

    Whatever went on here, I think what’s bothering me is they all seem to accept the males-as-rape-bombs theory, as if hardcore porn+boy=rape. And that’s definitely not true. At worst, I think hardcore porn+boy=boy who need for long chats with a trusted adult or professional. I believe it took more than that to make him into a rapist, and I’m concerned he won’t get properly separated/healed from the influence that’s made him a rapist and will continue raping after he’s released.

  14. Patrick McGraw says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    I’m thinking mainly about rape and deliberate degradation (by “deliberate”, I mean the characters are degrading other characters, not the sort of degradation in the meta that many of us perceive even in a lot of mainstream non-porn film).

    Got it. As I said, it’s one of those terminology issues that there is little to no consensus on – like the difference between “pornography” and “erotica.”

    I really just don’t buy that all males are rape bombs waiting to be activated. I’ve known a number of rapists, and they are super out of touch with reality – it takes work to distort a child’s brain enough to produce an adult result like that.

    My pet theory is that the “rape-bomb” idea (great term!) is a key element of maintaining rape culture. Its propagation normalizes rapists by convincing people that their pathology is not pathological at all, but actually how “normal men” think.

    Just as with “women are responsible for avoiding being raped,” I think the “rape-bomb” idea is another reason why studies show that male jurors are more likely come to a guilty verdict in rape cases involving a male rapist and female victim. Men who do not have a rapist’s mentality are more likely to be aware that the “rape-bomb” idea is a load of crap.

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