"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Memories

Day 11: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

Monday, December 22, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Memories

Day 9: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Memories

Day 8: A Garfield Christmas Special (1987)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Memories

Day 6: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Memories

Day 5: ALF's Christmas Special (1987)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Memories

Day 4: Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Memories

Day 3: A Chipmunk Christmas (1981)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Condom Factory!

Lounging on the couch, listening to happy little kitty snores coming from the chair next to me, and watching this video (via Feminist Law Professors) is SO much better than writing a paper about feminist pedagogy:

Stewart to Huckabee: "At what age did you choose to not be gay?"

Melissa just posted this video and notes that she can't get over the fuckbag-osity of Mike Huckabee. I totally agree, but I wanted to post it in order to point out the awesomeness of Jon Stewart:



Check out Melissa's post for the transcript.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The LOL is Political

I love me some LOLcats, but from a fat acceptance standpoint, I found this one problematic:

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It bothers me a little that this image promotes the assumption that you can tell what someone's diet consists of just by looking at them. I think we have enough messages in our culture that normalize such visual interpretations of the body.

I realize that these are cats and not people, but animals are certainly not immune to becoming symbols of human social discrimination, and since anthropomorphizing animals is sort of the whole point of LOLcats, our feelings about difference often get projected onto these furry household pets.

Do you think I would get any respect from the academic world if I shifted my research focus to the political implications of I Can Haz Cheezburger?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Without Representation

Empire magazine has posted their annual list of the 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time on their website, which is apparently selected based on nominations and votes from their readers. I clicked through the entire list, and (not surprisingly) it's pretty much a White Men Only party. Here's the breakdown. Out of 100 movie characters:

-12 are white women(or played/voiced by white women)
-6 are men of color
-0 are women of color

As you can see from the lists below, the female characters are pretty much relegated to the bottom of the list, often placing below the male characters from the same movies (Princess Leia is a prime example, coming in below Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Han Solo and Darth Vader. See also Silence of the Lambs).

Women
97. Clarice Starling - Silence of the Lambs (Jodie Foster)
91. Scarlett O'Hara - Gone with the Wind (Vivien Leigh)
90. Wicked Witch of the West - The Wizard of Oz (Margaret Hamilton)
89. Princess Leia - Star Wars (Carrie Fisher)
88. Jessica Rabbit - Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (voiced by Kathleen Turner)
75. Marge Gunderson - Fargo (Frances McDormand)
66. The Bride - Kill Bill (Uma Thurman)
62. Mathilda - Leon (Natalie Portman)
56. Juno Macguff - Juno (Ellen Page)
45. Amelie Poulin - Amelie (Audrey Tatou)
41. Mary Poppins - Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews)
9. Ellen Ripley - Alien (Sigourney Weaver)

People of Color
78. Axel Foley - Beverly Hills Cop (Eddie Murphy)
47. Blade - Blade (Wesley Snipes)
46. Anton Chigurh - No Country for Old Men (Javier Bardem)
33. Tequila - Hard Boiled (Chow Yun Fat)
22. Ellis "Red" Redding - The Shawshank Redemption (Morgan Freeman)
19. Jules Winnfield - Pulp Fiction (Samuel L. Jackson)

I think it's important to take into account how likely it is that the audience doing the voting for this list was made up of mostly white men, but even so, I still think this list is symptomatic of the shortage of female characters and characters of color in movies. Especially in the big Hollywood films in which nearly all of these characters appeared.

Who are your favorite female movie characters?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Girls Rock

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. It's finals time at school, and I told myself that if I'm good and get all my work done early this week, I can go see this movie on Thursday night:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today in Double Standards: Google and Human Anatomy Edition

Susie Bright:
If you set your Google SafeSearch filter on "strict filtering" and search for clitoris, you get zero returns.

But if you try a Google SafeSearch "strict filtering" search for penis, you get...

33,000,000 returns.

That's because "clitoris" is on Google's list of naughty words which are never, ever "safe."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thank you, Shakesville!

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This screenshot depicts the number of visitors I've had at this blog since June, 2008. See all of those totally giant peaks?

Those peaks represent the days that Melissa at Shakesville linked to little old me in one of her Blogarounds.

Dang, right?

I know I already link there all the time, but I really just can't say enough good things about Shakesville, or about my favorite feminist blogger, Melissa McEwan.

And despite my piddly links here and there, and even though I wear my teaspoon with pride, I can't shake the feeling that I don't do enough to recognize all the work she puts in over at Shakesville to write tirelessly about feminist and other activist issues and to foster an amazing community of readers (many of whom are kind enough to stop on by at my little corner of the web just because she drops me a link). She's done WAY more for me as a feminist blogger than I could ever even begin to do for her, and I just thought it was time I wrote her a thank you.

I know there's been an outpouring of love for this amazing blogger over the last week (just read the comments here), but I wanted, no-- needed to add to it.

Liss,

If Judy Chicago updates The Dinner Party to add more place settings, you totally deserve a spot at the table.

Love,
Tracey

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When Commercials Objectify Men

Just wonder what you all think about this new Clearasil commercial in which a (rather Bowiesque) guy seduces a female ice cream shop worker by unbuttoning his shirt a little:



Aside from the inversion of traditional gender roles in the ad, there's something about this guy's version of masculinity that interests me, too. As silly as the situation is in the commercial, I somehow find him more believable as enticing to women than the typical macho/muscular guy women are usually seen drooling over in ads.

Like, for example, in the old classic Diet Coke ad:



Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

There was no not posting this:

Roomba Cat Goes for a Ride


Totally lives up to its title, right?
(Via)

Secretary of State Position = Pink Ghetto?

Astraea at Astraea's Scales:
You know what's not a good question?

"What's with women and the Secretary of State job?"

That's how NPR posed the question in a promo for a piece on the the radical possibility that three out of the last four Secretaries of State have vaginas. Seriously, what's with those women? There are a couple problematic things going on here.
Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Transgender Day of Remembrance this Thursday

One of my close friends is a professional musician, and when a colleague asked her to play flute for a Transgender Day of Remembrance event a couple of years ago, she was a little confused. She agreed, but she later asked me, in a hushed voice, "Is it because of hate crimes against transgender people? Is the situation really that bad? Do you think this is an annual event?" I told her that she was right, and that it really is that bad. She played at the event and walked away from the experience with the knowledge that over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives.

Thursday is the 10th Transgender Day of Remembrance, and Monica at TransGriot has just posted this list of people who will be memorialized:
Kellie Telesford
Location: Thornton Heath, UK
Cause of Death: Strangled
Date of Death: November 21, 2007
Kellie was strangled to death with a scarf, by 18 year old Shanniel Hyatt, who then covered the body of 39-year-old Kellie Telesford with a white blanket - with the brown furry scarf used to choke her still bound tightly round her neck. Hyatt said her killer her after discovering she had a penis.

Brian McGlothin (Liked to dress in Women's clothes)
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Cause of Death: Shot in the head with an automatic rifle by Antonio Williams who is serving a six year sentence. Brian was 25 years old.
Date of Death: December 23, 2007

Gabriela Alejandra Albornoz
Location: Santiago, Chile
Cause of Death: Attacked and stabbed
Date of Death: December 28, 2007

Patrick Murphy (Found Dressed in Women's clothes)
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Cause of Death: Shot Several times in the head
Date of Death: January 8, 2008
Patrick was 39 years old.

Stacy Brown
Location: Baltimore, MD
Cause of Death: Shot in the head
Date of Death: January 8, 2008
Stacy was 30 years old.

Adolphus Simmons
Location: Charleston, SC
Cause of Death: Shot to Death (Aldophus was 18 yrs. old)
Date of Death: January 21, 2008

Fedra (a known transvestite)
Location: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Cause of Death: Was found lying face up in a pool of blood,
cause of death was not reported.
Date of Death: January 22, 2008

Ashley Sweeney
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Cause of Death: Shot in the head
Date of Death: February 4, 2008
The age of Ashley Sweeney is unknown, she was only described as a young transgender woman in a press release.

Sanesha (Talib) Stewart
Location: Bronx, NY
Cause of Death: Stabbed to Death
Date of Death: February 10, 2008
Sanesha was 25 years old.

Lawrence King
Location: Oxnard, California
Cause of Death: Shot to death by a classmate because he liked to wear
women's clothes. (Lawrence King was 15 years old).
Date of Death: February 12, 2008

Simmie Williams Jr.
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Cause of Death: Shot to death, Simmie was found wearing women's clothing. (Simmie was 17 years old)
Date of Death: February 22, 2008

Luna (no last name reported)
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Cause of Death: Brutally beaten to death and tossed into a dumpster.
Date of Death: March 15, 2008

Lloyd Nixon
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Cause of Death:Repeatedly beat in the head with a brick.
Date of Death: April 16, 2008
Lloyd was 45 years old.

Felicia Melton-Smyth
Location: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Cause of Death: brutally stabbed to death by Francisco Javier Hollos, who said he killed her because she would not pay for sex. Felicia was an HIV activist on vacation from Wisconsin.
Date of Death: May 26, 2008

Silvana Berisha
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Cause of Death: Stabbed to Death
Date of Death: June 24, 2008

Ebony (Rodney) Whitaker
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Cause of Death:Shot (Ebony was 20 yrs. old)
Date of Death:July 1, 2008

Rosa Pazos
Location: Sevilla, Spain
Cause of Death: Was found in her apartment, she had been stabbed in the throat.
Date of Death: July 11, 2008

Juan Carlos Aucalle Coronel
Location: Lombardi, Italy
Cause of Death severely beaten causing fractures to the head and face before being run over by a car.
Date of Death July 14, 2008
Juan Carlos was 35 years old.

Angie Zapata
Location: Greeley, Colorado
Cause of Death: She was found in her home with two severe fractures in her skull.
Angie was murdered by 31 year old, Alan Ray Andrade. Angie was 18 years old.
Date of Death: July 17, 2008

Jaylynn L. Namauu
Location: Makiki Honolulu, Hawaii
Cause of Death: Stabbed to Death
Date of Death: July 17, 2008
Jaylynn was 35 years old.

Samantha Rangel Brandau
Location: Milan, Italy
Cause of Death: beaten, gang raped and stabbed numerous times before being left for dead.
Date of Death: July 29, 2008
Samantha was 30 years old.

Ruby Molina
Location: Sacramento, California
Cause of Death: Drowned
Date of Death: September 21, 2008
Ruby's naked body was found floating in the American river.
She was 22 years old.

Aimee Wilcoxson
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Cause of Death: undetermined (Police have yet to reveal cause)
Date of Death: November 3, 2008
Aimee was found dead in her bed. She was 34 years old.

Duanna Johnson
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Cause of Death: Shot
Date of Death: November 9, 2008
Duanna was found dead in the middle of the street. She was 42 years old.

Dilek Ince
Location: Ankara, Turkey
Cause of Death:Shot in the back of the head
Date of Death: November 11, 2008

Teish (Moses) Cannon
Location: Syracuse, New York
Cause of Death: Shot
Date of Death: November 14, 2008
Teish was 22 years old.

Ali
Location:Iraq
Cause of Death:executed for being transgender
Date of Death:2008, Month is Unknown
Video of Ali before she was executed: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2tDVtjQNfQ

*IMPORTANT NOTE FROM ETHAN - (In case I don't get the details posted in time) There were 2 other Iraqi transgender women who were executed at the same time as Ali. Please remember them at your TDoR event.

TransGriot Note: For further info you can contact Ethan at radicalguy@gmail.com

Monday, November 17, 2008

Did Anyone Just See Big Bang Theory?

A genuine fat girl played a love interest for the character Leonard, which is amazing enough, but here's the coolest part:

NOT A SINGLE FAT STEREOTYPE WAS EMPLOYED.

Not a one. She was portrayed as an attractive and desirable doctor with no self esteem issues whatsoever. The other characters made no mention or issue of her size, and even though she totally got. it. on. with Lenoard, she was in no way hypersexualized. I'm just... floored. I already loved this show, but it just won major points with me.

(I'm not going to mention the interesting fact that maybe the show found it more okay for Leonard to date a fat girl, since his character is also non-traditionally attractive due to his geekiness. I'm too impressed in general to try to diminish it.)

Anyone know who that actress was?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two Things That Keep Me From Reading Your Blog

1.)If you post too often, I will likely unsubscribe. I like to be able to get through my entire feed-reader each day without leaving anything "unread", and it's hard to do that when ONE blog has posted 10, 20, or even 30 times.

Example: As much as I sometimes like Jezebel, they got axed from my Google Reader for precisely this reason.

Exceptions: The amazing Shakesville, which is stellar from post to post and has a perfect mix of commentary, anecdotes, YouTube fun, and open threads, and Queers United, which, despite posting several times a day, posts short and sweet commentary, news, and action alerts that I am sure to take the time to read.


2.) If your entire post does not appear in my feed-reader, I am unlikely to click over to read the rest of it. (In blogger, you can check or change this under the "Site Feed" tab in the "Settings" menu.) It's nothing personal, but unless I am so engrossed in your post from the title and first couple of sentences alone that I absolutely have to know what comes next, I am likely to just scroll on by it. And even if I DO click over to read it, I am annoyed that I had to open a new tab and wait for it to load.

In case you need more convincing to switch to displaying full posts in your feed, here's a scenario to think about. When I used to use my Google Reader as a way to allow me to read blog posts on a work computer in which nearly all blogs were blocked, having to click to a blog to read the post meant I had no way whatsoever to read it. I would sometimes try to mark the posts I wanted to come back to and read later at home, but it almost never happened.


What keeps you from reading blogs?

Friday, November 14, 2008

I met Susan Faludi yesterday!

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And when she signed my copy of Backlash, she wrote:

Nov. 13, 2008
For Tracey,
In sisterhood!
Susan Faludi


(*OMG-feminist-girlcrush-SWOON!*)

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Implications of Gendered Lube

Have you seen those commercials for KY Yours and Mine, the new "his" and "hers" lube? Here they are, all on one convenient YouTube video:



Now, read what Rachel from Women's Health News has to say about it:
Earlier this week, I was waiting around the drug store for a prescription, and was able to take a good long look at the crotch aisle (condoms, lube, and pregnancy tests) as the products were actually on the aisle rather than locked up in a case.

Now, I’ve recently been seeing commercials for KY Yours & Mine, and was curious enough to read the package. The “Yours” is supposed to be “for him” and the “Mine” is supposed to be “for her,” so I will now refer to them as “his” and “hers.”We’re going to leave aside for now the obviously problematic nature of assuming all sex takes place between “him” and “her.”

Get this: his has sweeteners - honey and sucralose (which is Splenda!) - while hers has “fragrance.” Seriously. Hers does not have sweeteners, and his does not have “fragrance.”

Now, I suppose it’s possible that the other ingredients in his just taste terrible and need some help, and the other ingredients in hers smell bad and also need a boost. The message I’m going to walk away with, though, because I think it’s more likely, is that his (and only his) body is for tasting while hers is naturally stinky.

Harumph.
Harumph is right.

I know those commercials go on and on about how the "sensations" these lubes give are somehow gender-specific (whatever that means), but this flavor/fragrance ridiculousness is maddening.

And sucralose? Seriously? I could make so many jokes about Diet Cock right now...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Change.gov

I am totally diggin' Obama's transition team website. I haven't looked through the whole thing yet, but here are a couple of my favorite features so far:

-The ticker at the top of the pages counting down the days until Obama's inauguration

-The detailed (and totally kickass) page about women's issues.

-And, as Queers United reports, the site's job page clearly states:
The Obama-Biden Transition Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other basis of discrimination prohibited by law.
HOPE: They're doing it right.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

YES WE DID

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Vote for Lando!

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Get out your blue and red crayons!

The CRAFT Magazine blog just posted a link to this awesome Color Your Own Electoral College Map.
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Click here to download the full-sized image. Just print it in landscape, and you're good to go!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ads That Work

I couldn't find it online to share with you, but I just saw a commercial for the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Kitchen, and I was impressed to see that the commercial depicted two little boys and one little girl all playing with the kitchen together.

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Granted, the kids these toys are aimed at are probably too young to distinguish between the various colorful bits of plastic they're playing with, unlike the little girls targeted by such genderiffic products as Hasbro's Rose Petal Cottage, but at least it's something.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"John McCain has finally put the concerns of women where they belong: in derisive air quotes."

God, I love me some Samantha Bee. Start watching the video a little before three minutes in.

(Via Feminist Philosophers)

Pleasure and Pain

Shakesville has an amazing post of pictures of "Girls 4 Obama", and while they're all sufficiently inspiring, this one stood out to me:

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I know the focus of this photo is supposed to be the high five this little girl is sharing with Barack Obama, but all I can see when I look at it is the discomfort she's causing with her other hand. The look on that guy's face? Priceless.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fun with Stretch Marks

I wish I could say I am as accepting of my stretch marks as TR is of hers (one of the many body issues I would love to rid myself of), but I WILL agree with her that they're kind of fun to touch. I have this one just below my stomach that's tiny, but super deep, and I'm so fascinated by its existence that I wouldn't be surprised if I've made it even deeper by how much I touch it when I'm by myself.

I mostly just wish the ones in my side-fat-folds and on the sides of my boobs didn't itch so damn much.

Seriously, though. TR's post is great. Read the whole thing at The Rotund.

Three Minutes of My Life I'll Never Get Back



Ha! And you won't get it back, either!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yes We Carve

Even though Dan and I carved pumpkins just last weekend, we have been thinking of doing it again before the fall season is over, so it was good timing that I looked at Bitch PhD today and saw this.

Such a good idea! I'm totally making a "Barack-o-Lantern".

Monday, October 6, 2008

From 65 to 0 in Seconds

Early voting today was great. Everyone was really nice, the lines moved quickly, and this guy who was all smiles was outside in the parking lot giving out "I Voted Early for Obama" stickers. There were people from both sides set up with lawn chairs and campaign signs for their candidates and issues, but everyone seemed happy and excited about election season. When I left, I felt great about life.

And then I got stuck in traffic behind a douchebag in a giant pickup truck with a McCain/Palin bumper sticker on the back window and a canvas Obama poster tied to his trailer hitch with rope and dragging on the ground behind him.

There's no racism in 2008, right?

Sigh.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Quote of the Day

Tina Fey, on playing Sarah Palin for SNL:

"I want to be done playing this lady Nov. 5. So if anybody can help me be done playing this lady Nov. 5, that would be good for me."

(Via Women and Hollywood)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Women's Studies is Bitchin'

You know you go to an awesome school and have the coolest major when you're walking across campus and you see faculty members from your department standing outside with clipboards getting students registered to vote.

So cool.

And speaking of registering to vote, you can do that here. (Or request an absentee ballot or check your polling place.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Bechdel Test Movie List

I'm putting together a mini-lesson on The Bechdel Test, I and stumbled on this awesome site I wanted to share: The Bechdel Test Movie List.

It lists tons of movies, each with an icon indicating which -- if any -- steps of the test it passes. You can submit films to add to the list, and for folks like me who can never be trusted to remember and re-visit a site, it has a feed!

In related news, NPR just did a segment on The Bechdel Test at the beginning of this month.

Click here to see the original Bechdel Test comic.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And it Begins...

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I've got my my mailbox, my copy code, my teaching assignment, and my $370 worth of books for the classes I'm taking this quarter. Grad school is officially here.

I have no idea yet how my classwork, lesson planning, and grading are going to affect this blog. I do know that I'm already keenly aware of how few blogs I'm going to have time to regularly read from now through December, and I'm sure the frequency of posts will wane for a bit. But please don't unsubscribe or stop checking for new content! I'm still around, even if there are large gaps in posting.



Also, thanks for SAVING BITCH!

Now, consider continuing to donate, and make sure you're subscribed to the magazine. They get their money quicker that way than if you buy from the newsstands and you cut out the middlepeople.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More Things You Can Do To Save Bitch



Aside from DONATING,

you can add banners to your websites and blogs,

and you can join the Facebook group.

Spread the word!

Save Bitch Magazine



Just saw this posted at the Bitch Blog and wanted to pass it along.

Bitch is highly responsible for kindling my interest in feminism. I started reading it over seven years ago when the TA to my Into to Women's Studies course recommended it, and I haven't missed an issue since.

Donate here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best Campaign Slogan Yet: "Coat Hangers for McCain"

Deborah Siegel of Girl With Pen blogged today about an Anti-Palin protest in Anchorage, Alaska. We've already heard the soap-opera gossip about how even some of her closest girlfriends may not be able to bring themselves to vote for her ticket, and now here's a closer look at just how controversial a figure Palin is, even in her own state. The Washington Post coverage of the protest includes a list of slogans seen on the signs there:

Pro Palin Signs:
-Sarah Palin Is My Hero
-We Luv Our Lady Guv
-I Love My Alaska Girl (I wanted to interpret this as anti-Palin. As in, "I love my Alaska Daughter, and I don't want Sarah Palin controlling her reproductive freedom", but it's most likely in favor of her.)

Anti-Palin Signs:
-Bush In A Skirt
-Palin: She Be Failin'
-Jesus Was a Community Organizer
-Palin: Thanks But No Thanks
-Smearing Alaska's Good Name One Scandal @ a Time
-Candidate To Nowhere
-Rape Kits Should Be Free
-Voted For Her Once: Never Again!
-Community Organizers are the Real Patriots
-Barbies for War
-I Shall Not Be Pandered To
-Give Palin Your Vote AND Your Draft Age Child
-Sarah Palin: So Far Right She's Wrong
-Coat Hangers for McCain
-Sarah Palin, Undoing 150 Years of American Feminism
-Hockey Mama for Obama (on a hockey stick)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Today in Double Standards:

Rachel at Rachel's Tavern:
What strikes me about baby boys clothes is how much they promote activity and paid labor force work. Even as infants, we start to socialize baby boys into occupations. You rarely find occupation themed clothes for girls. Little girls clothes often have flowers, frills, and some animals (i.e. butterflies), but they don’t have occupational themes. They also rarely have activity themes outside of shopping or cheerleading. In fact, to me the worst subset of little girls clothes are those that say princess or diva. Diva is oftten used in a derisive way to indicate that the girl is overly demanding, and unlike the fireman or construction worker a princess doesn’t earn her title–she’s born with it or marries into it. Princess themed clothes also seem to play up baby girls looks–looking like a princess means looking pretty. I’ve seen a few shirts that have messages about boys being handsome or cute, but those are much less common.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

On Putting Politics Before Feminism

This commenter on a post at Feminist Philosophers, hopeful about the prospect of the first female vice president, asks rhetorically if refusing to vote for McCain/Palin is "putting your politics before feminism".

I'm going to break the rules of rhetorical questions and give an answer, because the answer is simple: ABSOLUTELY NOT. You can't separate my feminism from my politics. My politics are feminist, and feminism is political.

While I agree that seeing a woman rise to a position historically filled only by men is generally a good thing, it sure isn't the only issue here, nor is it the most important. Any and all benefit of that sort of feel-good feminist tokenism is completely negated when that same woman has politics that are inherently anti-feminist and the power to find ways to enforce those politics on millions of other women.

Electing an anti-choice, anti-gay rights, anti-science, war-mongering woman as our first female vice president will not be a victory for feminism. It won't make me feel warm and fuzzy about how far women have come, and I do not feel torn about my decision to vote against her ticket. Not in the least.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I am sooo not okay with this:

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I just heard about this mess at TheF-Word.org, and the photo is from the Washington Times article to which Rachel links there.

I have yet to scroll through the other blogs in my feed-reader today, but I won't be surprised if I see some rants about it more than a few places. I recommend reading Rachel's post, though. It discusses how even though the image above can produce a visceral insulted feeling in feminists like me, the idea behind it is "not so historically far off". Here's my favorite part of her post:
The McCain camp was only half-right when it distorted Obama’s innocent lipstick on a pig adage. Palin isn’t the pig; she’s the lipstick on the sexist pig that is the GOP. Palin has aligned herself lock step with a party that, had it gotten its way, would have made the PTA her last stop, not her first. These are people who have inveighed against the reproductive freedom that has allowed Palin to be both a mother and stateswoman. These are the same people who insist a literal translation of creationism be taught in schools from the very Bible that firmly establishes man’s authority over women. These are the people who, for many years, sought to reverse the very gains that led Palin to the Alaska Statehouse. Conservatives are not threatened by the specter of Palin taking on a man’s job, because hers is the brand of faux-feminism that doesn’t threaten antiquated gender roles.

In Case You're Interested

Remember the post a few days ago about the banned movie poster for Zack and Miri Make a Porno? Well, they replaced the poster in the U.S. (the old one wasn't banned in Canada), and here's what they came up with:

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Via SlashFilm

Thursday, September 11, 2008

OMG ANTM!

Even if reality TV (especially reality TV about models) isn't usually your thing, if you're at all interested in trans-rights and anti-racism, you should be watching this season of America's Next Top Model.

There is some juicy discussion material going on in this show, from the way the other models react and relate to Isis (the show's first openly trans contestant, about whom Monica Roberts posts all the details here, here, and here), to the cool and confident Sheena, to the shitstorm on tonight's episode in which some of the woc models called out Hannah on her not-so-subtle racism and she responded by storming out of the room, sobbing, and comparing their criticism to being gang-raped. Rrrright. I was cringing so hard I thought my face might freeze that way.

Next Day Update: That last part I mentioned is on YouTube today. Check it out starting at 3 minutes and 20 seconds in:

Support Marriage Equality



Via Queers United. Go read the whole post there to learn about California's Proposition 8 and what is being done to fight against it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Getting Head

Both SlashFilm and the Entertainment Weekly blog Popwatch reported last week about the MPAA's decision to ban the first poster for Kevin Smith's upcoming film Zack and Miri Make a Porno. (There was already a controversy in which Smith had to challenge the MPAA to downgrade their original rating of the movie from NC17 to R.) Here's the poster the MPAA found so offensive:

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And here's a poster the MPAA didn't ban:

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So, an unclad, satisfied-looking Dane Cook receiving a blow job from a faceless, nameless woman functioning merely as a prop is somehow more appropriate than two fully (even conservatively!) clothed characters getting the same treatment from each other with quirkier, less "pornified" expressions on their faces?

Popwatch mentions that simply the word "porno" could be partly to blame for the poster's banning. Dan is convinced it's because the MPAA has a long-held grudge against Kevin Smith. Those reasons may be totally true, but I'm going to weigh in with an additional reason that this particular poster might have been banned while the even raunchier Good Luck Chuck poster was given a free pass.

The biggest difference I notice between the two posters? In the one for Zack and Miri, the dude and the chick are BOTH gettin' oral sex.

It's well-documented by double-standard experts that while we're quick to welcome female nudity over male nudity (that whole male gaze phenomenon), we prudish Americans are WAY more uncomfortable with female sexual pleasure than we are with male pleasure. The former is considered dirtier, non-traditional, or deviant; the latter is regarded as run of the mill. And if you've ever seen the movie This Film Is Not Yet Rated, you'll remember that particular bit about how the MPAA has always been more inclined to slap a higher rating on films that show women receiving oral sex or having orgasms than on films in which those gender roles are reversed. Based on sexuality content alone, a film with a violent rape scene is likely to have a more lenient rating than one that shows a woman actually enjoying herself.

When I look at these two movie posters side by side, one of them is OBVIOUSLY offensive and inappropriate, and it's not the one the MPAA banned.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I pity the fool who gets caught in the background of my TMZ video clips at the airport!

In the screengrab below, look past Mr. T's shoulder at the fuzzy little couple I've circled for your viewing convenience. You're looking at me and Dan.

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That's right. Mr. T was on our connecting flight from Chicago to LA a couple of weeks ago, and even though he was far ahead of us in first class during the plane ride, he came to baggage claim just like everyone else to wait for his luggage. We had no idea why he was being interviewed by someone with a camera until we happened to be flipping through the channels at the hotel and see him (and OURSELVES) on TMZ.

The TMZ guy was interviewing him about the commercial I blogged about back in July, and even though he fails to really say anything interesting about it in the clip, you still may want to watch my television appearance. The video can be found here. I'm riveting as The Girl in the Red T-Shirt.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Advertising to the Laydeez

Knowing I would find it just a little bit ridiculous, Dan forwarded me this spammish e-mail he received, which advertises a seminar going on soon at a local car dealership:

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Click here to see the full ad.

Even the big version is a little hard to read, so here's what it says:
Car Solutions for Women

Who understands a woman's car question better than another woman? Judy Hansen has been in the automobile industry since 2004 and is top in her field. She is a teacher/trainer and a mother of four. She atrtributes her success to her commitment to excellent customer satusfaction. Judy brings laughter and inspiration to all who attend her seminars empowering YOU in making the right choices for YOU!

Call your friends and let them KNOW!!

Don't get me wrong. I don't have a problem with the premise, here. I actually sort of like the idea of teaching women more about cars and empowering them to feel more confident about buying one. I could just do without the condescending language, pink design, and the stereotypical imagery of laydeez gabbing on the phone.

Gotta Love Samantha Bee and Sarah Haskins

I saw this hilarious clip the other night, and I noticed that Jender at Feminist Philosophers posted the link to it. Enjoy:

The Daily Show: Bristol Palin's Choice

And then there's this home run:


Friday, September 5, 2008

Hopefully Back in the Swing

So, I never really found the time to blog while I was in LA, although I did spend some time formulating a post in my head about how many more ads there are out there for plastic surgery than there are here in the Midwest, and how much I think those "before and after" images (along with all the strangely too-beautiful people) started to seep into my subconscious mind and make me feel worse and worse about myself as the week went on. And I was only there for a week!

It totally creeps me out how if something has enough advertising, it's easy to completely normalize it. It's easy to think of "aesthetic foot", eyelid, and vaginal tightening surgeries as completely ridiculous when you've only heard of them in passing, but when there are ads for them on every other page of LA Weekly, TV commercials for chin lifts and liposuction during every break, and giant billboards with photos of nice-looking and trustworthy cosmetic surgeons and their phone numbers, it suddenly seems as run of the mill as going to the dentist.

While we were there, Dan kept saying things about how great the weather was and how beautiful it was and how much he would like to move there. And while I agreed with him about the weather and the novelty of palm trees, I was also secretly ready to go home to Ohio and be free of those superficial influences (well, a little more free, anyway).

I've been back for almost a week, but now that I'm not chained to my computer for eight hours a day like I was at my old job, I haven't felt as motivated to read other blogs or write about much. My feed-reader is bursting with thousands of posts I haven't gotten around to reading -- posts about Biden and Palin and conventions and change and choice and all sorts of news I've missed over the last couple of weeks -- and I have this mental block that makes me feel like I can't post until I'm caught up on all that reading. We'll see what the next few weeks bring as far as posting while I'm starting classes and whatnot. It might be a weird time for the blog while I figure out a new routine.

In the meantime, I'll just post this awesome cartoon I spotted on the blog Beyond Feminism:


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MaryTracy, you said it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Yesterday was my last day at work before I head off to grad school in a couple of weeks. Today, I finally moved the last of my stuff out of the apartment I lived in for four years and officially moved in with the fiancé (Seven whole months before the wedding! Scandalous!).

But I'm posting to let everyone know that I will be spending the coming week in sunny Pasadena, so I may be slightly delinquent about posting and replying to comments while I'm gone. I know there's no Internet access in my hotel room without paying for it (which I refuse to do), but hopefully I can find some Wi-Fi somewhere to get my blog fix. Otherwise, my Google Reader is going to be totally out of control when I come home.

That, and I really wanted an excuse to post some Bowie:

Seriously, WTF?

funny pictures

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Feminist Sex-Ed: Women Get Erections, Too!

Susie Bright, the amazing feminist writer and sex educator, has a post up today at her blog that I just had to share:

The Internal Clitoris— What a Woman's Cock Really Looks Like

If you told a man that his "penis" was nothing more than the head of his cock— his "glans"— he would laugh in your face.

If he pitied you, he might tell you that there was an important aspect to the penis called the shaft, also the frenulum, and perhaps a foreskin. His scrotum and balls are part of the essential package as well.

Women's anatomy education, on the other hand, has been a giant exercise in vacancy. Until recent times, we've been schooled that the clitoris— the female analog to the penis— is nothing more than the small glans one can see on the outside of the vulva.

Start laughing.

Women have a big, big, clitoral body— but it's nearly all on the inside, instead of the outdoor plumbing that's viewed so easily on men.
Go check it out. The post includes this video, which is probably NOT safe for work, although it should be. (I watched it at work. So there.)



The part where the artist draws a big ol' heart-shaped outer labia over the whole thing in red marker? LOVE.

Under Lock and Key

So, on the way home from work last night at about 11:30pm, I stopped at the grocery store to grab a couple of things. After putting a gallon of milk and some Bagel Bites into my shopping basket, I remembered that the fiancé and I were out of condoms, so I headed over to the pharmacy section to grab a box. I had bought them from this particular Kroger plenty of times, but when I got to the aisle, I saw that they had put all of the condoms (as well as the home pregnancy tests) behind a locked glass case, and there was a sign telling customers to find an associate for help obtaining items in the case.

Annoyed, I sighed and went to the nearby chashier at the self checkout and told him I needed an item from the locked case in the pharmacy section.

He looked up at me sluggishly. "Oh, the condom box?"

I nodded.

"Ruth!" he yelled after much older cashier who was walking away. "She needs something from the condom box!"

This Ruth apparently didn't hear very well. She turned around and came back toward us, asking, "What?!" to which the first cashier repeated himself, "The condom box! This lady needs something out of the condom box!"

I stood there, rather amused, as Ruth took the little key from the first cashier and proceeded to try to use it to open a drawer at the register.

The first cashier, getting impatient, quasi-yelled this time, "No. The condom box!" And I tried to help by adding and pointing, "It's over in the pharmacy section."

Finally understanding, Ruth had me follow her over to the glass case, and before opening it, she said, "Now what was it that you needed?"

I pointed at the box behind the glass. "These."

"Okay," she said, and slooooowly opened the case to pull out the box of Trojans with spermicidal lubricant.

Noticing that they were on sale for, like, 3 dollars cheaper than usual, I asked her to go ahead and give me two boxes.

"Really?" she asked, really looking up at me for the first time. And then she added, "Wow."

WTF, right? She really said that! I imagined she was either totally judging me for being slutty or totally jealous of my apparent sex life. It wasn't as bad as the time the cashier at CVS asked me if the UTI medicine and Vagisil I was buying were for me and then proceeded to remind me how important it is to take care of my urinary tract, but I was still surprised this lady had the nerve to make a comment.

Rather than just giving the condoms to me, I had to follow her to the register with them and proceed to check out.

Now, even though I think the whole ordeal ended up being rather amusing, I have to admit that I was pretty pissed that the condoms were in a locked case in the first place. Not because I'm the type of person who is too embarrassed to ask for help in getting them, but because I hate it when something as important as contracepion is hard for people to obtain. I'm sure the condoms and pregnancy tests were locked up for a practical purpose like theft-prevention, but the way I see it, instances of theft of those particular items is likely high due to the shame associated with purchasing them. And by making it necessary to ask an associate for help, stores only increase customers' fear of shame or embarrassent. Even though I considered my particular encounter with the store-workers to be sort of funny, I can't help thinking that if I had been a scared teenager trying to buy condoms for the first time or if I had been an even more scared teenager hoping to buy a pregnancy test as discreetly as possible, the experience would have had the potential to be completely mortifying. If I had actually been concerned about being judged for my purchase, I easily might have backed out and would have either gone somewhere else, or worse -- gone without.

And that makes me mad. Kids already have such a hard time getting accurate information about contraception, and now we keep condoms under lock and key so that they have no way to protect themselves?

Theft-protection or not, I think that's pretty unfair.

By the way, if you want some help picturing the story as it happened, Ruth the cashier looked almost exactly like the second lady in this commercial:



That's right. The one who says, "I had no idea my gold jewelry was worth so much money," in the most unexcited voice possible. The fiancé and I definitely had a good laugh about that when I got home last night.

Olympic Controversies Summed Up

As reported by the Daily Show:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today in Double Standards:

Another Olympics-Related one: Tobes at Hear Me Roar:
But when you compare male/female Olympians with similar qualifications (good story, press coverage, similar medals won, records set etc) ... men STILL earn more. Much more. The pay disparity shocked the hell out of me. Nearly an 80 MILLION dollar difference between the top female and male athletes!

Stephanie Tubbs Jones: 1949-2008

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I just read at Feministing that Stephanie Tubbs Jones, "the first black woman to represent Ohio, and one of only 23 women of color in Congress" has died.

Jones attended law school at Case Western University and served as a judge and a prosecutor before being elected to Congress in 1998.

When the Democrats took control of the House in 2007, Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Tubbs Jones as the chairwoman of the Ethics Committee.

A strong supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tubbs Jones endorsed Barack Obama in June and was scheduled to attend next week’s Democratic National Convention in Denver.

She was only 58 years old. This is a huge loss to the people of Cleveland and the whole country. My thougths are with her family and loved ones.

Melissa and Pam have more.

Becoming Amelia

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After her awesome portrayal of Alice Paul in Iron Jawed Angels, I'm totally excited about the choice of Hillary Swank to play Amelia Earhart in the upcoming biopic Amelia, which is currently in production and expected to hit theaters in 2009.

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I also couldn't be any more jazzed about the fact that the director of this film is none other than the amazing Mira Nair (of The Namesake, Vanity Fair, and Monsoon Wedding fame).

Meanwhile, Amy Adams is set to play Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum 2, which is also due out next year.

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It's kinda cool to see Amelia Earhart getting some big-screen recognition. I always thought she would have made a good addition to the time-travelling group of historical figures in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, but they decided to go the token route and make Joan of Arc the only girl in the group. And she didn't even have any lines in the movie!

I love me some Internetz!

I have no idea how I have made it this long without seeing this:



My life is now complete.

(H/T)

Work it, Cloris!

Cloris Leachman began her segment of the Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget by announcing, "I'm not here to roast Bob Saget. I'm here to fuck John Stamos."

And then, she ended with this:



[Update: I notice that this video has been removed as well. For those who didn't get to see it before it disappeared, Cloris says, "Now, get up here, John!" And Stamos goes up to give her a kiss that turns into a rather long and steamy makeout.]

Love it.

By the way, I only recommend watching the whole roast if you're super-keen on seeing a bunch of comics resort to making fat jokes about Jeff Garlin and calling Bob Saget gay. Yeah. Not my idea of a good time, either.

Norm MacDonald's intentionally-subtle-non-roasty roast had me in stitches, though, but I couldn't find a clip that hadn't been removed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm Not Your Baby

I just lent a key for a piece of equipment to a male contractor at my job, and as he returned to my office and handed it back to me, he said:

"Here you go, baby."

My inner monologue went something like this: "Did he really just call me 'baby'? Seriously? Should I be flattered or something? No! I'm not flattered. I'm not your baby!"

What did I do, though? How did I -- a card-carrying feminist -- put him in his place?

I smiled slightly less than I usually would as I thanked him and avoided making eye contact.

Boy, did I show him, or what?

He went on his way with his world completley unchanged, secure in his privilege to never give our seemingly innocuous interaction a second thought, and I'm left in my office, annoyed with myself for not having the balls/ovaries/whatever to call him out on his sexism.

On one hand, this is a guy I don't know and will probably never see again, so why waste the energy it takes for me to respond negatively (and surely cause him to regard me as a total bitch in the process), but on the other hand, why should he feel entitled to call me "baby"? That shit makes me totally uncomfortable, and while there may be plenty of women out there who either don't mind it or find it flattering, I can say with confidence that it's certainly not true for all of us.

It's just frustrating that I can be spoken to so dismissively and "endrearingly" called names like "baby" and "sweetie" by men who don't even know me simply by virtue of my being both young and female. And it's more frustrating that when it happens, there are so many reasons to not even bother to speak up about it.

America the Beautiful

Gotta see this when it comes out. Not only does it look cool and interesting, but Eve Ensler is in it!



Visit the film's website to learn more.

Update: Tobes has a post with a CNN segment on the film.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Greg Jarrett of Fox News Apologizes for Blatant Trans-Hate

Fox News Apologizes:



And here's what they apologized for:



I think the transphobia, homophibia and misogyny are pretty apparent, but in case you can't watch the video clips, here's how GLAAD describes it:
Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett and Us Weekly Editor-at-Large Ian Drew spent the segment gratuitously insulting the America's Next Top Model contestant, using dehumanizing terminology, inaccurate and inappropriate pronouns and offensive references to her anatomy.

While laughing and joking, Jarrett mocked Isis’ description of herself as a woman whose “cards were dealt differently,” and said, “That’s an understatement!” Drew referred to recent instances of transgender visibility on reality television as “The Crying Game ’08,” going on to call the show “America’s Next Top Tranny.” Drew then said that she doesn’t look any different from other contestants because “they are not exactly the most high-class group of women.” Throughout the segment, Jarrett switched back and forth between male and female pronouns, and both Jarrett and Drew suggested that Isis “fooled” people by “blending in.” They went on to make crude remarks about her genitalia and the pitch of her voice.

(Via CineQueer)

Excluding, Judging, and Shaming Women is Anti-Feminist

[UPDATE: tigtog pointed out that the original title for and some of the language in this post made it sound like I am criticizing all radical feminists, and this is certainly not the case. I have made changes accordingly.]

Check out this awesome post in which tigtog calls out TERFs, or trans-exclusionary radfems, (thanks for this term, tigtog!) for scapegoating transwomen:
Of course transnsgender behaviours are an exercise in artificiality - but is it fundamentally any more artificial than cisgender behaviours? If reifying gender by dressing so very femininely is so fundamentally awful, then why so much criticism reserved mainly for the transwomen who do so, and so little criticism by comparison for all the ciswomen who embrace all the rituals and accessorised impedimenta of femininity?
Seriously, go read the whole thing. She does such a wonderful job of summarizing and deconstructing some of the most common arguments radical feminists make for excluding transwomen from feminist events and pursuits. Some interesting discussion is going on in the comments section there as well.


I have to admit that when I was new to feminism (or feminist theory, anyway), I identifited first and foremost with a radical point of view. Why work within the current system for change when the system is the problem and should be overthrown completely? Liberal feminism felt like feminism-lite after being inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Firestone, Greer, Dworkin and the like. But despite embracing some radical ideas, it got harder and harder for me to get behind radical feminism entirely as it became more and more apparent how often many (though not all) radical feminists rely not just on criticizing cultural systems, but on judging and shaming women (both trans and cis) for the various ways in which they operate within those systems. And I just can't get behind that.

While it is fine for feminists to spend time describing patriarchal society and theorizing alternatives, it just doesn't make sense to do this without recognizing that, in this reality, all women must bargain with patriarchy in different ways and to different degrees just to get by. My feminism does not allow for judging or shaming women for the ways in which they bargain.

You can criticize transwomen, sex-workers, sex-positives, religious women, married women, heterosexual women, and/or women from other cultures all you like, but if you ask me, it doesn't make you MORE of a feminist than the rest of us -- it actually makes you pretty UN-feminist.

(See also: Womanist Musings - Radical Feminsm And CIS Privilege)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Today in Double Standards: Olympic Edition

Ottermatic:

But did you also know that while male Olympic athletes should eat lots of calories in the form of a wide variety of delicious food, such as pancakes and sausage and delicious cheesy bean things and big old sandwiches on white bread, women should be sure to eat only “clean” foods? And that it is totally adorable when a man doesn’t cook at all, but women should always make their own food and never order pizza? And that eating junk food like oatmeal or cereal is very bad for you? And that an appropriate amount of “extra protein” after an Olympic caliber swimming workout consists of two eggs and two slices of toast?

Well, now you know.


Laredhel at Hoyden About Town:
A couple of years ago, Tigtog posted about athletlcs uniforms and the trend toward sexified, midriff-baring, underwear-style women’s uniforms.

At the time, she wondered whether the women at the next Olympics would be running in sports corsets. While not quite corsets, the women’s uniforms in the big sports are all skintight, while the men (with the exception of swimmers) are wearing looser with more coverage. Tigtog said it before, but I’ll say it again: minute increases in performance cannot account for this difference, otherwise the men would be in skintight clothing also.

No. It’s not about faster, higher, stronger. Women in sports are promoted as sexualised bodies for ogling; men are promoted as performers.



Kate Harding at Shapely Prose:
Barnes goes on to explain that the compression suits improve performance and make things easier on the athletes’ bodies — so, you know, he guesses it’s okay. “You can always regain your femininity when you have wriggled out of the damn things after the race.” Oh, hey, great point! I mean the one about how wearing functional, appropriate clothing to compete against other world-class athletes = a loss of femininity, of course. Thank god there’s a cure! Just wriggle out of a wet swimsuit on in front of a bunch of TV cameras, preferably flashing the boobs that were so confusingly compressed for a couple of minutes there!

And hey, didja know there actually have been boob flashes, y’all? Two Australian swimmers already had the suits come apart on them! AWESOME! (Which leads me to wonder: At some point, shouldn’t the possibility of seeing naked boobs outweigh the lamentable lack of outlines in the LZR Racer? Get your priorities straight, Barnes!)

It gets better. Given all the new world records being set in swimming these days, Barnes generously concedes, “So it’s worth looking a bit flat-chested if you want the speed.”

IF you want the speed. As an Olympic athlete.

“Hmm, shall I go with the suit that’s better for my body and will increase my chances of winning, or the one that will increase the pleasure of men staring at my tits while I compete in an event I’ve been training my fucking ass off for years? Crap, let me get back to you. That’s a toughie.”


Kayla at the Feministing Community Blog:
Why is it that women can not simply be strong, powerful, and athletic? Why must they be sexualized and forced in to evening gowns? And why is it that similar articles featuring men are never published? Oh, right. It's the Olympics. Of course the big, strong men will be going. But these muscular, toned women? Let's just cover up all of that masculine power with a sexy dress so we aren't too afraid to ogle their tits.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Importance of Opening Weekend

Every time my fiance Dan is interested in a new movie, he keeps tabs on it, knows when it hits theaters, and usually prefers to see it opening weekend. He and a bunch of friends often meet up at the theater on a film's opening night. Just this summer, he's done this with Iron Man, Hellboy II, Kung Fu Panda, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. He probably would have done the same thing with Indiana Jones:The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Wall-E, and The Dark Knight if he hadn't waited until I was free to see them. He's out seeing Seth Rogen's new flick Pineapple Express as we speak. For him and his friends, opening weekends dictate when and why they get together. It isn't just catching movies when it's convenient and seeing whatever is playing. For them (and for millions of twenty-something males), the movie is the event.

It really got me thinking about opening weekend when Melissa Silverstein (from the blog Women & Hollywood) posted this excerpt from a USA Today article in which she was quoted:

If Sex and the City and Mamma Mia! have proved anything, it's that it makes no difference to the bottom line if most men decide to steer clear. Women did it all by themselves.

And if female moviegoers want more of the same, they will have to continue to take a break from their busy routines and buy a ticket again.

"Go see a movie about women on the opening weekend, that is what matters to Hollywood," says Melissa Silverstein, who blogs on the Women & Hollywood site and contributes to the Huffington Post. "We need to build our economic power and prove we're a market."

Cash, at least, doesn't have a gender bias.

"The only thing that makes anyone pay attention is money," says Diane English, the creator of TV's Murphy Brown whose update of the 1939 Joan Crawford-Norma Shear classic The Women arrives Sept. 12.

"Anyone who thinks otherwise shouldn't be in this business. Young men under 25 keep seeing comic-book and slasher films, and that's why Hollywood makes them. If women want to change things, they can't wait for the DVD."

Makes total sense, right? I have to admit that I feel sort of silly for not ever realizing the importance of opening weekend profits to movies made by, for, and about women. I also have to admit that I think it's sort of silly that opening weekend is so important in determining the success of a film, but if it's opening weekend sales they want, then maybe it's opening weekend sales we should give them. If more women-centered movies brought in more opening weekend profits, maybe more women-centered movies would be made.

It's not like there aren't other good reasons to go see movies right when they open. Dan says he likes to see movies on opening night or during opening weekend because the audiences are better. To him, a packed house makes for a better movie-going atmosphere, and since those who make the effort to see something during opening weekend are more likely to be fans of the genre, topic, director, etc., it's cool to be in a packed house of like-minded people. I have to admit that before meeting him, I never really thought of going to the movies in this way, even though I consider myself a movie-lover, but I get where he's coming from, and I'm starting to agree with him about that opening weekend feel. Another good thing about seeing something right after it opens is that you can read all of those online reviews that are full of spoilers, and you can take part right away in any discussions that are sparked by the film.

I'm new to this myself, but my advice to anyone interested in supporting women-centered films is to start following movie news so that you know what films are coming out and when. Read and subscribe to sites like Women & Hollywood and Movies by Women (which I learned of through Viva la Feminista). Learn which female directors and writers you really like, and make a commitment to see their films. There's still a long way to go to close the gender gap in Hollywood.

Anyone have any other good sites to recommend?

"Grossly Obese" Cat is Surprisingly Healthy!

Meet Prince Chunk:

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Well, actually, the 44-pound cat's original owner named him Powder, but when she had to give him to an animal shelter after the foreclosure of her home, someone (in either the shelter or the media) decided to re-name him Chunk. Delightful.

And since the woman who lost her home and had to give up her pet is hardly newsworthy, the media has been focused on the spectacle of her giant cat and on finding out which of the 500 or so families who applied to adopt him will win out. (A New Jersey family has been selected, by the way, and they will remain anonymous to avoid the press.)

This story is just bursting with class issues. There's something so heartbreaking about Donna Oklanter losing her house, having to put her husband in a retirement home, moving in with friends, and having to watch the cat she gave up appear on Regis and Kelly and Good Morning America accompanied by a "foster" parent from the shelter.

I'm about to get to the Fat Acceptance part, but I'm going to put in my two cents and say that if Powder's new owners really had hearts, they would get in touch with Donna Oklanter and let her know she can have her cat back as soon as she is ready for him and that she can visit him anytime she wants.

*dismounts one soapbox and climbs up onto a different one*

Powder/Prince Chunk/Whatever-You-Want-to-Call-Him is in the news because of his size, which is apparently a couple of pounds shy of the world record weight for a tabby. And, obviously, since the world thinks that FAT = UNHEALTHY, the coverage is filled with concerns about his health. His original owner suspected a thyroid condition, and one article speculated about how his new owners may be burdened with giving him insulin shots if he's diabetic. After a complete health inspection, however, SURPRISE!

The cat is completely healthy.

Apparently, no one involved in this entire story has ever heard of Health at Every Size. Despite his perfect health, he's been put on a diet and an exercise regimen to make him lose weight. Because losing weight is the most important thing ever. Even for cats.

Today in Double Standards

Last week, I put up a post called Today in Double Standards, hilighting quotes and links to blog posts that specifically noted ways in which men and women are unfairly treated differently in society. Since pointing out double standards is one of the most effective ways we have for revealing sexism and demonstrating a need for feminism, I think I'm just going to make this a regular feature on the blog. I thought about making it a weekly thing, but I don't think I'm consistent enough to actually be sure to post it regularaly on a certain day, so I'll just add them as I notice them.

So, without further rambling, Today in Double Standards:


Faith at Muslimah Media Watch:
Some women suicide bombers are motivated by personal factors and some are coerced. However, there is hardly ever a look at the ideological and political reasons for why women become suicide bombers. I suspect this is because of gender bias. Women are seen as irrational and emotional and the reasons for why they become terrorists are portrayed as irrational and emotional. This is completely different from how male suicide bombers are portrayed. Coverage of male suicide bombers usually does not focus on personal factors and almost exclusively focuses on religion, ideology and politics. Coverage of male suicide bombers focuses on their causes and usually not the bomber himself. This leads to portraying male suicide bombers as having more rational reasons for becoming suicide bombers.

Melissa at Women and Hollywood:
He actually said that kids should drop out of high school smoke a lot of pot and write a movie about it. Aside from that being the stupidest advice EVER, I don't think if a young female actress said this it would be looked at as funny. I think she would get her ass kicked. Me thinks I smell the "double standard."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sandra Valls

Cinequeer just introduced me to an awesome female comic I had never heard of before. Sandra Valls is an outspoken Latina, unapologetically lesbian, and hilarious. I'm posting the video especially for this joke:

"The straight girls wear 'fuck me' shoes. The lesbos wear 'fuck you shoes'."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rape: Still Not Funny

It always bugs me that rape is considered such a hilarious topic in "college humor", considering how rape and sexual assault proliferate on college campuses. See here for some statistics (Note: the link is a PDF).

In this charming little video, CollegeHumor uses the old classic-cartoon-characters-doing-unexpectedly-violent-things trick in order to get some laughs, only it's not funny.


Trigger Warning:



"Super-Raped"? Seriously, what the hell?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Overgrown Dudebro[s]"

Inspired by this comment from Shakesville about Maher, I decided to make this submission to totallylookslike.com:

Bill Maher

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totally loooks like

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Hugh Hefner


(This is my second ever submission to the celebrity look-a-like site. The first one can be found here.)

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