Monday Blogaround

5 10 2009

Here are some things that popped up on my feminist radar:

What Counts as Real Rape? – More from Gwen on the Roman Polanski case

Concerns About Racism Are “Weird” – The trivialization and dismissal of racism by saying “it’s weird”

US Fence Causes Increase in Border Deaths – Today marks the 15th anniversary of the poorly misguided border strategy known as Operation Gatekeeper

Childbirth at the Global Crossroads – The implications of surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology on women in the “developing” world

End the War in Afghanistan – Peter Rothberg’s lists ways you can help end the war in Afghanistan

Fiona Pilkington inquest: how ableism can lead to suicide – ableism has been instituted and normalized in our society, thus marginalizing and erasing certain existences

Woody’s To Face Boycott – The Fairness Campaign is calling for a boycott of Woody’s Tavern at 4 PM Tuesday

My Weight – Stomp out weight bigotry and fatism. As Joy Nash says, “Tell people how much you weigh. It’s just a stinking number.”

Reclaim the Night (For Cis Women Only) and the London Cis Feminism Network – Feminism is not fully functional if it excludes trans people

Activist Modus Operandi: Methods of Communication – a great post from Genderbitch on activism for marginalized groups and tips on how to be an effective activist





PETA gets worse

20 08 2009

PETA has a new fatist billboard campaign in Florida.  This billboard just went up in Jacksonville:

s-SAVE-THE-WHALES-large1

Save the whales.  Lose the blubber: Go vegeterian?!!  PETA is notoriously sexist and racist in their campaigns, and now they are fatist as well.  From their press release:

A new PETA billboard campaign that was just launched in Jacksonville reminds people who are struggling to lose weight — and who want to have enough energy to chase a beach ball — that going vegetarian can be an effective way to shed those extra pounds that keep them from looking good in a bikini. [….]

Anyone wishing to achieve a hot “beach bod” is reminded that studies show that vegetarians are, on average, about 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters. […]

“Trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly is no day at the beach,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA has a free ‘Vegetarian Starter Kit’ for people who want to lose pounds while eating as much as they like.

This is absolutely shameful, tactless and tasteless, but is not very surprising considering PETA’s track record.  Trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly?  Way to fat shame and make women feel even more pressured to be thin.  PETA is completely inconsiderate and unempathetic of people’s feelings.

One woman wrote a heartbreaking letter saying:

I would like to express my outrage at a billboard I recently saw in Jacksonville, Florida.

My family was visiting, and I was planning on taking them to the beach to enjoy the beautiful day when i saw a billboard that made me want to cry. It says “Save the Whales,” with a picture of an overweight woman in the foreground.

We all sat there and stared at it for a minute and everyone in the car was silent. No one wanted to mention my weight. I laughed it off as usual, but it really had made me so embarrassed, so self conscious and so ashamed about my weight that I dropped off my family at the oceanfront and left to go home, making the excuse that I wasn’t feeling well.

My embarrassment turned to outrage as I was sitting at home contemplating that distasteful, disgusting billboard. I can’t believe that PETA would be so disrespectful as to use the terms “whales” and “blubber” when referring to obese people. I wish there was something I could do. I’ve already written to them expressing my outrage at their malicious terms and asked them to take it down.

Unfortunately PETA does not care that they are consistently offensive and outraging.  H/t Holly at Deceiver.





This article is an EPIC FAIL

4 08 2009

The Los Angeles Times had an article out on July 27th in their Health section titled, Tough love for fat people: Tax their food to pay for health care.  I kid you not, that is what the actual article is called.

Tax their food?  Because fat people just gorge themselves off junk food all day.  You know, chips, cookies, ice cream, soda.  So taxing “fat people food” would mean taxing junk food, assuming that only fat people eat junk food (that’s why they’re so fat, duh).  Not a sound assumption because being thin does not necessarily equal being healthy.  And being fat does not necessarily equal being unhealthy.

Also, what is this fat tax supposed to do?  Taxing and increasing the price of cigarettes has done little to make people quit smoking.  Is the logic something like, if fat people have to pay more to eat their fatty foods they’ll stop buying it, therefore stop eating it and magically become skinny?

The article stupidly tries to argue that fat people are putting an immense strain on the health care system, so if we tax their food then they’ll stop dragging the rest of us down along with them.  It also demonizes and further shames fat people – yes, there are some fat people who eat a lot of junk food, but there are also lots of skinny people who eat a lot of junk food but don’t get fat.  And there are also a lot of fat people who exercise regularly and eat healthy yet do not lose weight.

So fat = unhealthy, unmoral and disordered is not necessarily true. A significant amount of the dialogue around fat and obesity is very fat-shaming.  And saying that the health care system is strained because of all these fatties pits fat people against thin people, which is ridiculous and not at all a constructive way to discuss the health care system.





Bacardi Misogyny Makes Me Drink More Malibu

20 06 2009

via Jezebel:

Bacardi has a new promotional site through Tel Aviv ad agency McCann Digital for it’s Bacardi Breezers that is just disgustingly awful.  The site has been created in both English and Hebrew.

The idea behind the site, entitled “Get an Ugly Girlfriend!,” is that all that women have to do to look attractive is find a less attractive friend to accompany them to events.

The site stresses that women can find “ugly” friends to accompany them to the pool, the beach, the mall, or a barbeque.  The site suggests that with sexy fashion accessories, lots of Bacardi Breezers, and these “friends,” any woman can look hot.

ug2

Vomit, vomit, triple vomit.

Read the rest of this entry »





Friday Blogaround

19 06 2009

Sorry posting has been slow lately, but here are some interesting reads.  Enjoy and happy Friday everyone!

Happy Juneteenth, Peeps!

Trigger Warning: A young trans woman in New York was tortured to death yesterday, via A.E. Brain

New College Alcohol/Assault Stats – What seems to be still missing from the discussion is prevention

This is depressing – UK Officials Assigned to Fight Rape Actually Promote Rape Myths

Racism Review has a round-up of links to stories on Race, Racism and White Supremacy

Fat and Fashionable AND happy? Impossible!

How the Recession Impacts Women: More Women Forced to Reduce Maternity Leave Under Stress of the Economy

Two great pieces from MoJo: Bush Officials Cash In as More Americans Lose Out and Obamanomics: The Good, the Bad, the Weak

I’ve heard a lot about the new movie, The Hangover and how it’s super hilarious and a must-see.  Here’s a more critical review of it, More White Men Behaving Badly: A “Brain-on” Look at The Hangover

Safer Sex PSAs Conflate the Penis with a Firearm (NSFW)

Wealth-Care Reform: Fixing our health-care system will make us more economically secure.  It won’t make us much healthier.

Jessica Valenti on The Virginity Movement, Rebranded

Depression in Action, or Why I’m Still a Radical Feminist Despite it All

A Study in Ableism

Advocate’s (And the Gayosphere’s) Jacked Up Reporting on Black Transwoman’s Marriages





Saturday Stupidity

6 06 2009

We are back with more Saturday Stupidity.  Here is a compilation of ignorant, offensive comments we’ve heard/received recently.

My friend and I were talking about PETA and he sent me a text message saying:

Nah PETA has naked chicks against fur.  I don’t care if someone supports Hitler, if they look good naked I can excuse it.

We don’t need to go over the many things wrong with PETA again, but this statement evokes a pretty obvious WTF?! response.  It’s also incredibly shallow.  He also later texted me saying:

There are all these girls walking around in tight tanktops and short shorts and dresses, but someone oughta have told them that they’re too fat to go out like that.

What?!!!  If you’re female and it’s hot outside, you’re only allowed to wear summery clothing if you’re skinny and fit our unrealistic and completely absurd standard of beauty?  Fat shaming is all too common in our society especially as summer comes upon us.  I also don’t understand how exactly the sight of a “fat” woman offends, and I don’t get what fat shaming another person does for you.

My friend who switched majors so that she’d be in more male dominated classes also told me:

The office I’m working in is full of women.  I mean, it’s a small office, but everyone is a woman!!!!  I can’t stand it!  Thank god I’m doing Business now so I can be around manly men.

After she told me this, I was just um…lolwut?  First of all, it bothers me that she can’t stand working in her office simply because all of her co-workers are female.  Secondly, not all males studying or working in Business are “manly men”.  And what exactly constitutes a “manly man”?

While trying to figure out how much to tip at a restaurant, I took out my phone to calculate, and my guy friend said:

Of course you have to use a calculator.  Girls can’t do math.

First of all, it wasn’t like he could figure out the tip either.  Secondly, a new study just came out demonstrating that when girls do more poorly in math it’s because of cultural conditioning not because girls are inherently just bad at math.

Then someone else said,

Why do you care about sexual assault?  Were you sexually assaulted?

Like we’ve said before, sexual assault  is an issue that affects the entire community.  One does not need to have been sexually assaulted in order to care about sexual assault.  Furthermore, the statistics show us that we all personally know somebody who is a survivor of some form of sexual assault.

And then:

Oh, there must be a lot of rape up there.  Those Boston people are all crazy and Red Sox.

Huh?  This statement just doesn’t make sense.  Rape and sexual assault are not specific to Boston or Tufts.  Also, being a Red Sox fan does not make you more likely to be a rapist.

Another comment:

Why are you a feminist?  Do you believe in equality for the sexes or do you like want women to take over?

Of course the latter.  Feminism is all about getting women to take over, duh.

Sometimes you just wonder, is it even worth trying to convince people who you know just won’t listen with an open ear and mind anyway?





“What’s Good for the Bitch is Good for the Bastard”?

26 05 2009

While I was wandering around in a bookstore the other day, I saw this:

skinny_bastard

It’s by the two women who brought us the Skinny Bitch books (Skinny Bitch, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven and Skinny Bitchin’), which proclaims “sugar is the Devil” and “soda is like liquid Satan” (Yes, it’s probably not a bad idea to consume less sugar and soda, but is shaming women the best way to go about doing that?).  Skinny Bitch has been a best seller on The New York Times Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous Paperback Best-Seller list for 92 weeks, and has sold  a whopping 1.1 million copies nationwide, according to Nielsen BookScan.  It’s shameful that a book that tells women to “Stop being a moron and start getting skinny” would be successful…It goes to show how much society idolizes and values thinness.

When Skinny Bitch first came out, a lot of my female friends raved about it.  I wasn’t too excited about it, and reading the first few pages was enough to make me put the book down.  It begins with “Healthy = skinny. Unhealthy = fat”.  Not only is that incorrect (healthy can come in different shapes and sizes.  Weight (and BMI) is a misguiding measure of one’s health.)  Being skinny is the desired beauty/body norm, but it does not always mean healthy.  “Fat” is also a subjective term and a social construct.) but it is also very fat shaming.

Skinny Bitch is a vegan manifesto that is very misogynist, fat-shaming, condescending to women, and just terribly misguided in their approach to promoting veganism.  Why can’t women want to try veganism or vegetarianism because they wanted to do so for personal beliefs, their health, the environment, etc. instead of because they were shamed into it?  Why can’t women just feel good about themselves and want to be healthier instead of being shamed by a stupid, condescending book?  But of course, the self-help industry (as does capitalism) thrives on people feeling badly about themselves and the way they look, so the idea of telling someone that they look good, that they are already good enough is simply unfathomable!

And now we have Skinny Bastard which hit bookstores at the end of April.  It is geared towards men and tells them, “Eating well isn’t some ‘girlie’ thing—these Bitches will whip your ass into shape with their straight talk, sound guidance, and locker room language…if you’re man enough to take it.”  This plays right into gender stereotypes – that men are completely independent and individualistic and can’t take/don’t need advice from anyone, especially women.  And it implies that men who can’t get through Skinny Bastard are not man enough.  Here we go with the shaming again – now men are being shamed and their masculinity is being challenged.

Read the rest of this entry »








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