6 versions of delicate stockings by Erwin Blumenfeld, Vogue US 1954
this is why im done with politics.
Fred McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003)
can we stop referring to all sex that could possibly result in pregnancy as “heterosexual reproduction” now
Is this real
Is this really appearing before my eyes
can it be true
a cutesy cartoon about gender and sexuality that is not cissexist and degendering toward trans people (who get to wear clothes just like cis people)??????????
mind is blown.
Ahh so much exciteeeee!
Accessibility isn’t just about having a ramp,” Garaghty said. “Accessibility is about living in a barrier-free environment, and that means living in an environment where people don’t stare at you, where people treat you respectfully.
John Barrowman you so SASSY
Twenty-three years ago today, December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine murdered fourteen women and wounded ten women. He entered École Polytechnique de Montréal with a Ruger Mini-14 and a hunting knife for the purpose of “fighting feminism” by murdering the female engineering students there. He began his violence in a classroom where first he ordered the students to separate into men and women. He asked the female students in French if they knew why he had singled them out. One student answered no, and Lépine explained, “I am fighting feminism.” Nathalie Provost attempted to defuse the situation: “Look, we are just women studying engineering, not necessarily feminists ready to march on the streets to shout we are against men, just students intent on leading a normal life.” Lépine replied, “You’re women, you’re going to be engineers. You’re all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists.” He opened fire and killed six women. Lépine continued through the school, committing more murders and assaults (with gun and knife). Finally he killed himself. Contained in his suicide note was a hit list of nineteen more Quebec women whom he considered feminist figures.
On December 6, we remember the women whom Marc Lépine killed:
Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student
and the women who lived who suffered from his violence.
In response to the École Polytechnique massacre, Canada designated December 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On this day we also remember all violence against women: we call attention to partner abuse and violence against women which is especially disregarded, like the violence so many Aboriginal women face.
- Aboriginal women are almost three times more likely than non-Aboriginal women to report being the victim of a violent crime, including spousal violence.
- In 2009, close to two-thirds of Aboriginal female victims were aged 15 to 34. This age group accounted for just under half of the total female Aboriginal population over age 15 living in the 10 provinces.
- Among victims of spousal violence, six in 10 Aboriginal women reported being injured in the five years preceding the survey; the proportion was four in 10 among non-Aboriginal women.
- Over three-quarters of non-spousal incidents of violence against Aboriginal women are not reported to police.
Rashida Jones and the Problem with Talking About Women’s Sexuality
This past October, Rashida Jones posted a series of tweets in response to the Miley Cyrus VMA debacle. The first tweet (which the subsequent tweets tried to backtrack and clarify) is below:
Now, Rashida is back at it again with an article in Glamour magazine titled 'Why Is Everyone Getting Naked? Rashida Jones on the Pornification of Everything’, in which she tries to explain her tweet and the opinion behind it.Here’s a cross section of the article where Rashida makes most of her main points:
I’m not gonna lie. The fact that I was accused of “slut-shaming,” being anti-woman, and judging women’s sex lives crushed me. I consider myself a feminist. I would never point a finger at a woman for her actual sexual behavior, and I think all women have the right to express their desires. But I will look at women with influence—millionaire women who use their “sexiness” to make money—and ask some questions. There is a difference, a key one, between “shaming” and “holding someone accountable.”
So back to the word whore. My hashtag was “stopactinglikewhores.” Key word, acting. Like I said, I’m not criticizing anyone’s real sex life; as George Michael tells us, “Sex is natural, sex is fun.” But the poles, the pasties, the gyrating: This isn’t showing female sexuality; this is showing what it looks like when women sell sex. (Also, let’s be real. Every woman’s sexuality is different. Can all of us really be into stripper moves? The truth is, for every woman who loves the pole, there’s another who likes her feet rubbed. But in pop culture there’s just one way to be. And so much of it feels staged for men, not for our own pleasure.)
I understand that owning and expressing our sexuality is a huge step forward for women. But, in my opinion, we are at a point of oversaturation. It’s like when TV network censors evaluate a show’s content. Instead of doing a detailed report of dirty jokes or offensive words, they will simply say, “It’s a tonnage issue.” One or two swear words might be fine; 10 is too many. Three sexual innuendos is OK; eight is overkill. When it comes to porn imagery and pop culture, we have a tonnage issue.
And then there’s this: What else ties these pop stars together besides, perhaps, their entangled G-strings? Their millions of teen-girl fans. Even if adult Miley and Nicki have ownership of their bodies, do the girls imitating them have the same agency? Where do we draw the line between teaching them freedom of sexual expression and pride in who they are on the inside? Are we even allowed to draw a line?
I want to start off by saying that I don’t think all of Rashida’s points in this article are bad ones, or that the problem she’s hinting at is one that doesn’t actually exist. That being said, I really feel like Rashida’s criticism misses the mark.
Firstly, it’s REALLY hard to backtrack from calling women whores. I get that she’s sorry and she didn’t mean to offend anyone, but beginning a conversation about women’s sexuality by slut shaming women is generally NOT a good way to start. Secondly, Rashida’s argument hinges on two points that I think contradict each other:
Point 1: Female pop-stars are not selling true female sexuality, but a manufactured sexuality that is geared for men’s enjoyment.
Point 2: It’s not women being sexy that’s the problem, but the fact that there are too many women being sexy - we’re over-saturated by it.
So - which is it? Is it women being sexy in ways that Rashida doesn’t like? Or the fact that there’s simply too much of it? Because you can’t have it both ways. Would Rashida be perfectly content with the actions of Miley and Lady Gaga and Katy Perry et all if there were just fewer of them? She seems to suggest that very thing here:
Yes, we had Madonna testing the boundaries of appropriateness, but then we also had Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Cyndi Lauper, women who played with sexuality but didn’t make it their calling card. And for every 2 Live Crew “Me So Horny” video girl, there was Susanna Hoffs singing tenderly about her eternal flame.
Rashida writes that she understands that “owning and expressing our sexuality is a huge step forward for women,” but at the same time argues that women need to be held accountable for the ways that they choose to express their sexuality in public. At the same time that she writes it’s okay to be sexy (just with a balance of it in our media) she polices the ways that women should be allowed to express it. I found her assertion that “the poles, the pasties, the gyrating: This isn’t showing female sexuality; this is showing what it looks like when women sell sex” to be simultaneously offensive (shaming sex workers much?) and inadvertently illuminating. By illuminating, I mean that it really speaks to the problem of trying to talk about this issue: there is such a fine line between expressing sexuality and objectification. We live in a culture that expects women to be sexual beings for male consumption, but at the same time denigrates our desires to showcase and express our sexuality for ourselves. How are we supposed to be able to tell whether a pop star is expressing her sexuality for herself, or whether that expression is a byproduct of the patriarchy and she is being objectified? How can we determine whether or not there is agency behind these actions? How can we determine whether a pop star is being duped or forced into showing skin, or whether she is fully on board and in the driver’s seat? Who are we to say that certain kinds of female sexuality - involving poles and pasties, for example - are wrong?
Rashida wonders, “Where do we draw the line between teaching them freedom of sexual expression and pride in who they are on the inside? Are we even allowed to draw a line?” I wonder, why does it need to be one or the other? By making these two ideals (inner pride and freedom of sexual expression) mutually exclusive, we’re setting ourselves up for sex lives full of guilt and shame. Rashida signs off with a message specifically to women:
Women: Let’s at least try to discuss the larger implications of female sexuality on pop culture without shaming each other. There’s more than one way to be a good feminist. Personally, I loved the Lily Allen “Hard Out Here” video—a controversial send-up of tits-and-ass culture. She helped start a conversation. Let’s continue it.
Considering that her article continues to shame women for certain expressions of sexuality that she deems inappropriate, I’d say that she hasn’t gone a long way towards continuing that conversation in a positive, constructive way. Her muddled ‘sex is okay, but only if there’s not too much of it, and only certain kinds of sex!’ argument doesn’t add much to the discussion except for more confusion and shame. Again, I’m not saying that problems don’t exist here - we need to make our young women aware of the social politics of patriarchy and the expectations that our society has of them to be bodies instead of people with sexual desires of their own. We need to teach them that exploring and expressing their sexuality is okay, REGARDLESS of what it looks like. And we need to try and and continue to have critical discussions about objectification and agency. I’m not saying that we all need to have the same opinion, or that there is an easy answer out there to these questions. What I am saying is that it matters *how* we talk about these issues. In “Hard Out Here,” Lily Allen sings:
If I told you about my sex life
You’d call me a slut
Them boys be talking ’bout their bitches
No one’s making a fuss
There’s a glass ceiling to break, uh huh
There’s money to make…it’s hard out here for a bitch.
The reason this song has resonated with women is because it exposes the double standard of female and male sexuality and the impossible demands that our media makes of the women who make a living within it. However, it does so WITHOUT setting limits on what acceptable female sexuality is. In contrast, Rashida’s article skips critiquing the system and places all the judgement on the shoulders of individual women: she denies the possibility of agency within any of the expressions of female sexuality that she discusses. I thought Jessica at the Frisky said it extremely well:
There are ways to critique “raunch culture” — a term coined by The New Yorker writer Ariel Levy in her book, Female Chauvinist Pigs — which don’t shame and blame women’s sexuality. Shame, blame and punishment should be the province of old, white Christian Republican men who want to contain women’s power so they can add to their own power, not feminists.
Rashida gets some things right here, but overall her message is muddled by a confusing and contradictory argument, a lack of ANY background material that could have bolstered her argument and given it some more direction, and the unfortunate presence of (seemingly unintentional and unacknowledged) continued slut-shaming.
Cultural Appropriation, Star Wars and the Myths of White Supremacy
“Look, without our stories, without the true nature and reality of who we are as People of Color, nothing about fanboy or fangirl culture would make sense. What I mean by that is: if it wasn’t for race, X-Men doesn’t sense. If it wasn’t for the history of breeding human beings in the New World through chattel slavery, Dune doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the history of colonialism and imperialism, Star Wars doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the extermination of so many Indigenous First Nations, most of what we call science fiction’s contact stories doesn’t make sense. Without us as the secret sauce, none of this works, and it is about time that we understood that we are the Force that holds the Star Wars universe together. We’re the Prime Directive that makes Star Trek possible, yeah. In the Green Lantern Corps, we are the oath. We are all of these things—erased, and yet without us—we are essential.” — Junot DíazEver since I saw this quote I’ve been thinking about my favorite fantasy franchises like Star Wars, and how they function in entirely white worlds while depending on racial tropes and stereotypes in order to build that world. For example, the Jedi Knights very clearly draw from Buddhist philosophies, and yet they are almost all played by white men.Another striking example though is the costuming of Padme, played by Natalie Portman, in the newer SW movies.For example:
This exquisite and elaborate regalia is based directly off off Mongolian royal attire, pictured below:
I mean they weren’t really trying to be subtle about it. They just assumed, as most white people do, that nobody watching Star Wars would care or know enough about Asian cultures to notice.
This exquisite hairstyle is also borrowed from a POC culture, specifically an NDN one.
The above image is titled simply “Hopi Girl” and was taken by a white male photographer named Edward S. Curtis who obviously didn’t care to differentiate his subjects with names. The Hopi nation is based in the Southwestern United States.
Dear Isaac: Or, How to Deal with Men’s Rights Activists
On the Inherent Privilege of White Culture: an examination of cultural appropriation
Looking Critically at Eugene Kanin’s Study Of False Rape Reportse
Supernatural and Queer Love: Destiel, Queer Baiting, and homophobia
The Scarlet Woman’s Sexposé #3: The Cat Food Conspiracy
Pacific Rim’s Mako Mori: Or, How to Write a Female Character