This is racist!

3 07 2009

I just read on Racialicious that Lisa Sheen, a Chinese American woman living in Flushing, Queens in New York, is suing a Flushing co-op board for trying to evict her and her family out of the building because they are Chinese.  In December 2004, she bought a sixth floor apartment for herself, her husband, and her two young daughters, and since then the members of her co-op board have made her miserable in both direct and indirect ways.

On Sheen’s application, she included her Chinese name, Shih Hung, and said that when she was filing her papers for an apartment in that co-op, its board of Mainstay Cooperative, Section One had a pending lawsuit (in the Queens Supreme Court) against them by a tenant for racial discrimination against Asians.

According to an article:

They waited months after she applied for an apartment to schedule her interview and then stonewalled her mortgage company until she lost its financing offer, according to legal papers.

When Sheen raised the money with the help of her employer, a real estate company, board members took a more active approach – telling her boss “to convince me to leave the building and move to the Chinese part of town,” she claims.

Boss Steve Silverberg wrote in a sworn affidavit that board members approached him during a visit to Sheen in February. They asked if he was Jewish, which he said he was. They told him “as a Jew, I should understand [that Sheen] should live with her people … in the Chinese area,” he said in legal papers.

Telling someone to go live with your people is just plain racist.  It’s a problem that this co-op board already has a pending racial discrimination lawsuit against them and now is being sued again for the same thing.





Monday Blogaround

30 06 2009

There’s a lot we’ve missed lately… so here are some good reads to catch up with:

As Pride Month comes to an end, and as we reflect on Stonewall: Obama Commemorates Stonewall, Inequality in the Marriage Equality Movement and The Real Stonewall Legacy.

Eve Ensler’s op-ed in The Washington Post: A Broken UN Promise in Congo.

Gender is a social construction, so two feminist parents in Sweden are raising their child gender non-specific.

Triggering and heartbreaking – Violence against the trans community is still very persistent and pervasive: Transgender Woman Brutally Beaten in Queens Bias Attack – TLDEF Demands Full Investigation Into Hate Crime.

Recession Depression: Having a good work/life balance is ideal, but how realistically achievable is it especially in economic hard times?

This caught my eye because even though I am not a big Chipotle fan, many of my friends rave about it: Chipotle Injustice – Chipotle is the nation’s most rapidly growing fast food chain, but how socially responsible is it?

Prison rape is a widespread phenomenon and the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission just released a new report with suggestions and guidelines on how to end prison rape.

Reflections on Privilege, Guilt and Identity.

Some body to love – you are more than just your body.

Racist Thinking at the Supreme Court – Again.

The connection between reproductive rights and sexual violence – “He Thought a Baby Would Keep Me Forever”: When Partner Abuse Isn’t a Bruise but a Pregnant Belly.

Society is obsessed with parenting and children – Vanessa Richmond at Alternet explores this further.





Wednesday Blogaround

24 06 2009

Keeping up with blogging during the summer isn’t an easy task. Here are some great reads on things we’ve missed:

Transgender federal employees will soon be protected from discrimination in the work place.

A piece from The New Yorker about the incompatibility of medicine and the “free market”.

The economic recession affects everyone, so “Don’t call it a ‘he-cession’“.

We can affirm the value of fathers but still support government structures that support diverse family arrangements of all kinds.

The latest on Chris Brown and Rihanna.

Trigger warning – physical assault and violence in the name of casting out the so-called homosexual demons.

Facebook and how it upholds and perpetuates the gender binary.

A very long overdue apology – Senate Apologizes for Slavery.

Check out the first part of a MoJo special on the Hidden Defense Budget.

If you ask the NYTimes, sex selection is culturally Asian.

WTF?!  No!!!  Harvard’s Office of Sexual Assault is closing for July.

Can we ever say a woman can’t choose?





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





What we missed this weekend

15 06 2009

Violence against the trans community remains largely prevalent but ignored – Group of Teenagers Attack Trans Woman in Seattle

Up in Canada, Sharon McIvor celebrates her victory over sex discrimination in the Indian Act – Justice for Sharon McIvor and all First Nations women – at last!

The Great Wall of Mainstream Feminism

A sick family business: a father and a son collaboratively ran a rape trade business, WTF?! – Police Arrest Rape Traffickers, Then Book Trafficked Women on Drug Charges

How does the US measure up when it comes to Paid Parental Leave?

And how does the US compare to other countries when it comes to military spending?

Meet D.C.’s Anti-Gay Marriage Crusaders

GLBT Peeps, If You Want Your Rights, Fly This Flag!

Spain – convicted trans woman transferred to women’s prison after 11 years

The Chrysler/Fiat Merger will emasculate the dudes?! Just for clarification – A Car is Not a Penis

Another great post from Renee – Privilege and Ignorance Speak Volumes

Check out Food, Inc.‘s blog, Hungry for Change. See the movie if you haven’t already.





Pastor Drake Prays for Obama’s Death on Fox News

11 06 2009

via Womanist Musings:

Alan Colmes: Well you say you are praying for the death of somebody using imprecatory prayers, I then asked for whom else are you praying you then said President Obama.  Are you praying for his death?

Drake: yes

Alan Colmes: So you are praying for the death of the president of the United States

Drake: Yes

Alan Colmes: Are you concerned by saying that you might find yourself on a secret service call or on some kind of FBI wanted list? Do you think it is appropriate to say something like that, or even pray for something like that?

Drake: I think it is appropriate to pray the word of God.  I’m not saying anything. What I am doing is repeating what God is saying and if that puts me on somebody’s list then I’ll just have to be on their list.

Alan Colmes: You would like the president of the United States to die?

Drake: If he does not turn to God and does not turn his life around, I am asking God to enforce imprecatory prayers that are through out the scripture, that would cause him death that is correct.

Regarding Dr. Tiller’s murder, Drake basically says that even though Tiller’s death was an answer to his prayers, he did not explicitly pray for Tiller to be murdered and therefore has no fault.  He argues that the murder was an inconvenient setback to the anti-choice (“pro-life”) movement and claims that Tiller’s killer was not in fact a “pro-life” Christian, but instead that “somebody in the Obama camp had this guy killed.”

He also says that Tiller went to Hell when he died but that he himself, on the other hand is guaranteed admittance to heaven.  Drake calmly states that he talks to God all the time and that God wanted Tiller dead and now wants President Obama to die.

Drake says he is using “imprecatory prayer,” a type of prayer in which words of judgements in the Psalms are prayed back to God.  He therefore argues that if anyone has problems with what he is saying, they should take it up with God because he is only echoing God’s word.

Although this guy is obviously a nutjob, it is infuriating that he can get away with openly promoting death for both Dr. Tiller and the President of the United States.  It is disgusting that he is using religion to condone violence and murder.  Drake seems to think that his opinion of God’s wishes is the only correct opinion, and he blatantly ignores all aspects of his religion that advocate peace and love.  Disguising his own hate and bigotry as religion is appalling and insulting.

Of course, it is Fox where we once again find this idiocy being broadcast.  Why is it that Fox News continues to give these people a platform to spread hate?

Wishing for someone’s death and preaching this hate to others IS a form of violence. Drake’s words fuel the fires of hate in this country and help give his fellow wackos a disguise for their actions behind religion and patriotism.  Absolutely infuriating.  And the fact that Drake was given a platform at Fox to spread this hate is not unexpected, but is infuriating as well.





Monday Blogaround

8 06 2009

Here’s what my feminist radar picked up today:

Harvard to Endow Chair in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies

Republicans Regain Control of New York State Senate

Back to the Future in Torture Policy

15-Year-Old Victim Will Not See Her Rapists Prosecuted

Can a Speech Change the World?

More Bellyachin’ about Sluts!

Pink Sheep Of The Family

To Whom You Are Accountable

Model Choi Jin-Sil sued – for being beaten

Frat Boy Culture, Gender Identity, and Rape

Systemic Racism in Banking: The Wells-Fargo Case





Weekend Reads

6 06 2009

It’s the first weekend of June…my, does time fly!  Here are good posts to check out this weekend:

The mainstream media has covered the opting out debate a whole lot.  But what’s missing from this coverage is that opting out, leaving one’s professional career to raise a family, is something that only women with privilege can truly do.  Ann Friedman has a piece out called  When Opting Out Isn’t an Option that discusses the need to shift the conversation about women and work.  She includes women who don’t have the luxury to opt out, the majority of women in this country, in the picture and discusses how the recession can be an opportunity to reframe the opting out debate.

There’s a great op-ed in the New York Times today about Ann Lohman, an English midwife who emigrated to New York and committed suicide in 1878 after years and years of anti-choice harassment.  She called herself Madame Restell, sold herbs and pills designed to end pregnancies, performed abortions if the herbs and pills did not work which she charged on a sliding scale depending on her patient’s ability to pay, taught sex education classes, provided shelter for pregnant women, delivered babies and set up an adoption service.  The op-ed examines Lohman’s legacy as a a champion for reproductive rights and illustrates how anti-choice violence continues to threaten those who do dedicate their lives to defending reproductive rights.

One of the reasons why people reject feminism is because it historically, and continues to, exclude certain marginalized bodies like the LGBTQ community and people of color.  Racism Review tackles this issue in Gloria Steinem, Where Are You Now? During Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign feminist activist Gloria Steinem wrote a piece in the NYTimes condemning the mainstream media’s sexist treatment of Clinton.  However, Sonia Sotomayor has been the target of countless racist and sexist attacks ever since her nomination but prominent white feminists who have publicly condemned sexism before, like Steinem, have been silent.  Why have none of them spoken up for Sotomayor?

Transphobia and violence against the trans community remains persistent throughout the world.  There have been many recent violent hate crimes against trans people in various countries: the U.S., Honduras, the Dominican Republic, India, Turkey, Canada, Serbia, Peru and Venezuela.  Bird of paradox reports that this year alone in Venezuela, there have been more than 20 trans people murdered so far.  This is deeply saddening and upsetting – launching violent assaults and murdering people are not appropriate or acceptable ways to treat the trans community.

Privilege is something that we continually think and write about.  But what exactly is privilege?  One way that people think of privilege is “You haven’t thought of these issues in the same way that I have because they don’t affect you in the same way.”  Another way to think about privilege is “You don’t have to think of these issues because they don’t affect you.”  Echidne of the Snakes has a post titled Thoughts on privilege (by Suzie) in which she discusses privilege and how it plays into our lives.

There’s a post on Womanist Musings about how an eight year old girl from Winnipeg showed up at school with her arms covered with white supremacist markings like swatstikas (which were “sun wheels that represented peace and love”) and “H.H.” for “Heil Hitler”.  Her parents taught her that Hitler was a “good man ‘for killing lots of people that didn’t belong there’”.  When a detective asked her for her parents’ thoughts on ethnic minorities, she responded that they felt that ethnic minorities “‘should be killed or go back to their country’”.  She also said “Some people from Pakistan carry AIDS and they could kill you”.  Remember that these insidious words are coming from the mouth of an eight year old.  Her parents clearly are not setting a good example in perpetuating their bigotry.





Latina, South Asian, Whatever – They’re all the same, aren’t they?

5 06 2009

Ever since Sotomayor’s nomination, she has been under attack by so many insensitive, ignorant assholes.  The latest ridiculous OMG! WTF?!! head-banging-against-desk bullshit:

national review

So… Sotomayor is South Asian?  She’s dressed up in South Asian attire, seated in front of what seems to be the Himalayan Mountains, has very slanted (and therefore obviously Asian) eyes.  First she was a Mexican, and now she is the wise, all-knowing Buddha.

Women of color are all the same.   It doesn’t matter what their ethnic identity/background really is.  The bottom line is that because they are not white men, their ethnic identity clearly isn’t important.  They are just otherized and dismissed as the insignificant (non white male) OTHER.  Renee has a great analysis:

The very normalization of whiteness is what allows these kinds of images to exist.  These cartoons scream DIFFERNT, DIFFERENT, DIFFERENT…without acknowledging that the issue is not really difference but the value that has been applied to difference.  As Sotomayor goes through the confirmation process we will probably see more attacks of this nature.  Though whiteness is under no great attack from invading Puerto Rican women seeking to rule, the idea that  one could possibly sit on what has been commonly a throne to white men is threatening because it suggests that white men do not have a monopoly on intelligence.

This is also a stereotypical caricature of Buddhism.  While Buddhism did originate in India, Buddhists exist throughout the world.  Not all Buddhists are Asian.  Not all Buddhists seclude themselves in the Himalayan mountains meditating for days and days.  And of course, because Sotomayor is an intelligent, hard-working and successful woman with credentials, she must be Asian because they’re the smart ones.  No other people of color are wise!  Gotta use the Asian stereotype!





Abu Ghraib photos reportedly depict rape and sexual abuse

29 05 2009

[trigger warning]

A report in The Daily Telegraph has emerged claiming that the Abu Ghraib photos which President Obama is refusing to release graphically depict rape and sexual abuse.

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq, has reported the existence of such photographs to The Daily Telegraph. Although the allegations of rape and sexual abuse had previously existed, the existence of photos of the acts had not previously been revealed.

Read the rest of this entry »





Friday Blogaround

29 05 2009

Happy Friday everyone!  Here are some must-reads:

Higher Ground, Not Common Ground by Merle Hoffman in On the Issues magazine:

As a person who feels that war should be the strategy of last resort, I still like to read military history. I find myself going back to the wisdom of Sun Tzu who wrote in “The Art of War” in the 6th century BC: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

As feminists who fight battles against those who would deny women’s freedom and equality, we know the mettle of our enemies. They are relentless, committed beyond secular principles, willing to look at things in the very long term, absolutely sure of their righteousness and totally determined.

They have one solid line, which they define and defend. Those who stand on their side are with the angels; those who stand on the other are misguided, at best, and sinners, at worst.

Educating Ourselves to Oblivion by William Astore:

Can there be any doubt that education matters not just in how we view the world, but in what kind of world we create — or simply accept? And can there be any doubt that, despite a massive educational infrastructure (admittedly now fraying badly), Americans remain remarkably poorly informed about the world? Last year, Rick Shenkman, the editor of the History News Network website, published a book (now out in paperback), Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter, excerpted at this site. Stupid enough (or ill-informed) was the answer.

Cheney’s Bunker Mentality by James Ridgeway:

Say what you will about Dick Cheney, at least he’s consistent. While he was in office, the Vice President made a practice of exploiting the fear and loss wrought by the 9/11 attacks to advance his own political agenda—and he’s still doing it now. During his speech at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday, according to Dana Milbank’s calculations in the Washington Post, “Cheney used the word ‘attack’ 19 times, ‘danger’ and ‘threat’ six times apiece, and 9/11 an impressive 27 times.”

When Systems of Oppression Intersect: Mental Health and the Immigration System by Thea Lim:

Angry Asian Man reports on the story of Xiu Ping Jiang, a 35 year-old Chinese illegal immigrant diagnosed with a mental illness who has been stuck in immigration limbo for over a year.

Detainee Abuse: New Details Reported by Melissa McEwan:

[Strong trigger warning.]

My heart went into my throat as I read the headline in the Telegraph this morning: “Abu Ghraib abuse photos ‘show rape’: Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.”

Oh god. Oh god.

The images, according to the story, show one male American soldier raping a female prisoner, a male American translator raping a male prisoner, someone else forcibly removing a female prisoner’s clothes to expose her naked breasts, and other sexual assaults being committed on prisoners “with objects including a truncheon, wire, and a phosphorescent tube.”

Infant Formula Product Placement in Chemistry Matric Exam by Lauredhel:

School and university exam writers often invent scenarios. They play with made-up names for people, they dream up companies, they have fun devising original scenarios and puns to spice up their questions.

But what happens when they get bored doing that, or don’t have time, or when an alternative is shoved under their noses?

There is a national government Senior High school examination for 18-year-olds in the Netherlands. The chemistry exam is a 3 hour exam consisting of four questions, each with a series of sub-questions. This year’s exam has just taken place, on May 26. You can download and read the exam questions and the technical appendix.

Nine Simple Ways to Scare Your Date by Sarah.of.a.lesser.god:

There are several advantages to being a content singleton, one of which is not having to deal with first dates and the thorny path known as flirtation. But I finally decided to just learn to flirt, and decided to take some cues from Marie-Claire’s nine steps to flirting like a pro, provided by a guy named Neil Strauss (he likes to be considered the world’s greatest pick-up artist). I got some amazing results and learned some valuable lessons!

“Mild Mannered” Grandfather Stabs Cheating Wife by Renee:

That is the “gentle” face of an aggrieved man.  Seldom had a read about a more sympathetic person.   This poor sweet grandfather was happily looking forward to his golden years with his wife of  35 years, when he experienced a totally understandable “moment  of madness .”  Brian Gibbs has admitted to wounding with intent and was jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Enjoy!





Happy Memorial Day weekend!

23 05 2009

It’s unofficially the start of summer.  Here are some good weekend reads for you to peruse as you enjoy the nice, sunny, warm weather (hopefully it won’t get too hot or humid).

The High Cost of Poverty: Why the Poor Pay More – This may not come as a surprise to many of us, but this is an excellent “primer on the economics of poverty”.

You have to be rich to be poor.

That’s what some people who have never lived below the poverty line don’t understand.

Put it another way: The poorer you are, the more things cost. More in money, time, hassle, exhaustion, menace. This is a fact of life that reality television and magazines don’t often explain.

Finish reading.

What has recognizing your male privilege done for you lately? – Twisty has a great post up about male privilege, which is infused with her usual wit, charm and general badass-ness.

It really clogs the Twisty lobes to consider that there are maybe six guys on the whole internet who don’t need need to be told, among about 894 other obvious things, that

a) the entirety of feminism is not invalidated by the fact of that they personally love their mom, and
b) freely expressing their fancy-free male privilege on heartwarming nature crap blogs is experienced by the heartwarming nature crappists as aggression.

Read the rest.

Why We Must Investigate Torture – Torture is not a debatable issue.  It is just plain wrong and should never happen.  PortlyDyke invites us to join her in a letter writing campaign to congressional reps, President Obama, and the UN.

So, this post is my first step. It presents the reasons I believe that we absolutely must investigate, and an invitation — because I want you to join me (action item at the bottom of the post).

As a citizen of the United States, I consider myself a “cell” in the body of this nation – a nation that I believe is very ill at this point. If I am to help my nation heal, I have to become an active agent in its healing. So, here are (some of) the reasons I believe that we must investigate Torture:

Reason #1 – Because There is a Festering Wound in My Nation’s Heart
Reason #2 – Because There Is an Enormous Log In My Nation’s Eye

Reason #3: Because We Said We Would, and then We Said We Would Again

Read the full piece.

What the Guantanamo Speech Means for Civil Liberties – an interview with Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, on his thoughts on the implications of Obama’s recent speech on Guantanamo.

Since Obama’s inauguration, the American Civil Liberties Union has been one of his most consistent critics. At every turn, the ACLU has challenged policies that it see as circumventing Constitutional protections. Anthony Romero, the organization’s executive director, shares his thoughts regarding the Barack Obama’s speech on Guantanamo yesterday. He also discusses the president’s proposed changes to national security policy, the difference between the current and prior administration, and the ACLU’s plan to challenge some of Obama’s stated policies through the court system.

Read the interview here.

$1 Trillion and Counting… – $1 Trillion is the monetary cost that we’ve spent on fighting wars since September 11th 2001.  This in itself is staggering, but factor in the human costs as well which are more difficult to measure.  Our national budget is a reflection of our nation’s morals and values.  What does it mean that we spend so much money on war?

On September 12, 2001, could we have predicted spending $1 trillion for wars allegedly fought in response to the tragedy gripping our nation? Could we have imagined the human as well as economic costs?

Today, US forces are profoundly engaged in both Iraq and Afghanistan, with approximately 200,000 troops in the two countries and more than 21,000 additional troops requested for Afghanistan by the Obama administration. US military and Afghan and Iraqi civilian casualties increase daily as the economic cost-of-war counters roll on.

Continue reading.

MRA, Feministing, and Racism – Feminism is still not fully as intersectional as it can/should be, and therefore angers and alienates many women of color.  Renee’s gotten a lot of shit thrown at her for calling out white privilege (very un-ally behavior) which is incredibly incensing, but I do applaud her for handling it gracefully and responding with such eloquence.

I’ll bet the above is a bit of a shocking title.  Here’s the background knowledge that you need to be aware of.  May 19th was Malcolm X’s birthday.   He is a man that I have a great deal of respect for.  I had intended to write a post regarding his work with the women of the Nation of Islam, however time got the better of me and I simply posted his eulogy which was written by Ossie Davis.  That day I roamed around the blogsphere and noted that he was not mentioned on either Feministing, Feministe, or Shakesville.   In my opinion this is not a small oversight.

The next day Samhita put up a post a feministing wishing Malcolm a happy belated birthday and as I read it, I became angry.  My issue is not that the post was poorly written but that it fell once again to Samhita to cover an issue that is important to POC and that the post was a day late.  The following is the initial comment I left on the thread.

Get the rest of the story here.

Damn Denny’s And “Errbody” Else, Let My People Pee – Monica writes about Denny’s and a racist policy they had in the 80s where managers were ordered to not permit “too many Blacks to congregate in their restaurants”.  This was so entrenched that in 1993, a federal court ordered Denny’s to end their discrimination against black customers.  She links this to the recent case involving Brianna Freeman:

I’m taking this trip down Moni Memory Lane again because those images of past discrimination were on my mind when I heard about the Maine Human Rights Commission case involving Brianna Freeman.

The commission ruled on Monday that an Augusta, ME Denny’s franchisee store was guilty of discrimination when it barred Ms. Freeman, a regular customer of the restaurant, from using the women’s restroom until she had surgery.

Okay, I and the rest of the transgender community are beyond sick and tired of this bull feces ‘bathroom predator’ meme the Forces of Intolerance and other ignorant folks who hate on transpeople are pimping these days because they have no logic based argument they can us to deny transgender people their civil rights.

Finish reading.

Missing the Point Awards, Manchester Poster Edition – An advertising poster (completely PG) featuring a little girl pretending to breastfeed a doll is criticized as “disgusting”, “highly offensive”, “the sort of picture that a paedophile would show a kid”, “wrong”, “depraved”, “inappropriate and  unnecessary”… WTF?!

Councillor Jean Ashworth, who is a healthcare assistant at Rochdale Infirmary, says she is offended by the image.

She said: “Promoting breastfeeding is fine, but this is just offensive. “I wonder where it will stop, if these are the lengths the Trust will go to. I am in no way against mums who want to breast feed at all, but I think to see such a disturbing image of a child like that is inappropriate and unnecessary.”

What are the other idiotic comments people have made?

Once Again: Rape is NOT Your Personal Metaphor – I’ve blogged about this time after time after time, but there are those out there who still don’t get it and constantly misuse the word “rape” and throw it around all the time.  Here’s Cara’s take on why it’s not an acceptable or appropriate analogy to compare rape to developing a television show:

So remember how we were having a conversation fairly recently about assholes who throw around the word “rape” to mean anything but? Well I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to know that not every person on the internet read that discussion about how horrifying, triggering, pointless, blatantly misogynistic and fucking stupid such a use of the word is.

Including, even more shockingly, the fine folks at that upstanding blog known as Gawker (which, I believe I was recently reading, doesn’t currently have a single regular female writer on staff?). Because this is how CajunBoy decided to describe the awful, no good, very bad experience of . . . wait for it . . . developing a TV show! (Below the fold, and again, Huge Trigger Warning)

Happy reading!





Fat Acceptance Ad Deemed Too Offensive for TV

16 05 2009

On an Australian show about advertising, The Gruen Transfer, advertising agencies were recently asked to make an anti fatism ad.  The show asked two advertising agencies to create ads to “end shape discrimination and make overweight Australians feel less humiliated by the constant public disapproval of anyone who isn’t a size 10 or under.”  But this ad, created by advertising agency The Foundry, was thought to be just too offensive to be shown on ABC television.    However, the ad was posted online along with a 15-minute panel discussion about the rationale behind the ad’s creation and why the ad may have not been successful.

The ad shows people telling startlingly offensive jokes.

“How do black women fight crime? They have abortions.”

“How do you stop a poofter from drowning? You take your foot off his head.”

“What’s the difference between Santa Claus and a Jew? Santa Claus goes down the chimney.”

“Why did God create alcohol? So fat chicks could get a root.”

The ad then flashes the following message across the screen:  

“Discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes.  FATPride.”

Although the ad was meant to be thought-provoking, not offensive, it seems to have missed the mark.  To me, the “jokes” are just so shocking and unacceptable that it is nearly impossible to appreciate the attempted point of the ad.  I’m also uncomfortable with the ad seeming to equate discriminations.  The point behind the ad is that all discriminations are unacceptable, but if the ad is interpreted to imply that all discriminations are the same, it is problematic.  I recommend you watch the discussion, though, to see the reasoning behind the ad’s creation and the points that the creators were trying to make.

Any thoughts?  Is this ad successful or too offensive to get the point across?  Should it have been aired on television?





Thursday Blogaround

14 05 2009

As always, there is a lot of interesting reading out there on the feminist and progressive blogosphere.

Who is going to replace Justice David Souter?

“Women dominate list for top court”:

President Obama is considering a list of more than six contenders for the Supreme Court that is dominated by women and Hispanics, one that includes judges and leaders from his administration who have never donned a judicial robe.

Monica at Transgriot weighs in and aptly points out:

Since the founding of the United States, there have been 118 people who have served as Supreme Court justices. Out of the 17 Supreme Court chief justices, all 17 have been white males.

In terms of the 188 past and present supreme court justices, only two, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor have been women. Only two have been non-white, African-Americans Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas*.

Jill shares her thoughts on RH Reality Check:

The general consensus that Obama’s choice is going to be a woman is not a bad gamble, since women make up more than half of the American public, one-third of all lawyers and thirty percent of lower federal court judges, but occupy only one seat on the current Supreme Court. Troublingly, though, there have been murmurings that this will be Obama’s “woman nomination,” and the “racial nomination” will be next – as if women can’t be both women and of color, and as if the nominees will be little more than tokens.

Thoughts on Gentrification:

In “Your Money or Your Life: A Lesson on the Front Stoop,” author Douglas Rushkoff writes of the time he was mugged in his own neighborhood and the following stream of thoughts he had.

“Saying ‘Hi’ in Bed-Stuy” has more on social interactions among residents in gentrified spaces. The author writes:

In my twenty interviews, one wish came through stronger than friendliness. People want diverse neighborhoods, including different races, ages, and sexual orientations, with an array of careers, representing different socioeconomic classes. Brooklyn native Tyrone Harris said, “The diversity in the neighborhood is so good, that we can learn about the whole world in just one neighborhood, because we have Chinese, African American, Latino, and White. We have everything here. Puerto Rican, Spanish—you name it, we got it. But the thing is, are we using our assets? Or are we just sitting back saying, ‘We don’t like this or we don’t like that.’ See, it’s easy to complain, but the question is: What do you want to do?”

A look at our education system -

We are teaching kids to otherize:

American high school students learn that people around the world with dark skin are violent, dirty, and poorly dressed.

No wonder American kids grow up to be American adults whose voting habits reflect the view that American foreign policy should be paternalistic.

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Harajuku Lovers and “Gwenihana”

14 05 2009

Every time I see those little (admittedly cute) perfume bottles and colorful outfits for sale, I have to say I’m a little bit put off.

gwen-fragrance

I don’t know if it’s the woman looking like a child thing, or the slanted eyes on the cartoon images, or just the ridiculous use of Asian stereotypes by white people as a marketing tool for a boring clothing and fragrance line that bothers me most.  Maybe it’s the nagging suspicion that “Harajuku lover” is really just a code name for “Asian lover” or maybe “racist and stereotypical version of Japanese culture lover.”  Maybe I’m just sick and tired of seeing Gwen Stefani parading around with a group of Japanese women dressed to look like schoolgirls in her shadow.

gwen

Since when does Gwen think that appropriating other cultures is so cool and so fun?  Since when is parading around with a group of identically dressed Japanese women who silently accompany her on photoshoots a good idea?  And as if the silencing isn’t enough when these four women are living in Gwen’s shadow, they are even contractually obligated to only speak Japanese even though all four of them are rumored to be Americans who speak perfect English.

Why is it that all these women are dressed the same?  Well, first of all, I’m assuming that Gwen wants to stand out.  She’s taller, she’s white, she’s blonde.  Isn’t it sending the wrong message that these women are dressed up to look the same, while the only white woman in the picture is dressed differently?  

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