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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 37,133

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Beyoncé Doesn’t Perform for the Male Gaze

A disclaimer, while I love what she did at the VMA awards, I don't listen to her music or watch her videos. I keep meaning to. What I thought, was this was a well written, thought- provoking article.

Shortly after the United Nations speech that made her a feminist icon, Emma Watson, inevitably, weighed in on that other feminist icon, Beyoncé. “I felt [Beyoncé's] message felt very conflicted,” Watson said, “in the sense that on the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, you know this very strong woman and she has that beautiful speech in one of her songs ["Flawless"] but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her.”

Watson’s comments echo a consistent feminist criticism of Beyoncé, who has often been accused of being too sexual and too eager to perform for the male gaze. This criticism has continued even though Beyoncé has recently emphatically claimed the feminist label, sampling Nigerian feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech “We Should All Be Feminists” and appearing at the Video Music Awards in front of a giant sign reading “FEMINIST.” Nonetheless, Annie Lennox recently called Beyoncé “feminism lite” and added, “I think what she does with [sex] is cheap….” Janell Hobson, an associate professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York, told me that following her Beyoncé cover story for Ms. magazine, she received a ton of pushback from feminists who felt that, in Hobson’s words, Beyoncé was “too sexy to be the ‘perfect feminist.'”

Again, Watson’s assumption, and the general assumption of critics, is that Beyoncé’s sexual performance is a display for men. She’s seen as anti-feminist because she plays into a “male voyeuristic experience.” Beyoncé’s audience, however, is, for the most part, not composed of male voyeurs. It’s overwhelmingly female.

Marcus sees Beyoncé through the historical lens of feminist performance art, which is not staged for the male gaze, but rather attempts to explore the relationship between that gaze, female bodies, and female fantasies.
A study from February ranked artists on a music-listening service based on the gender of their listeners. Beyoncé was the third most popular artist for women; for men, she was 24th. Rihanna, another artist known for her sexualized performances, was first among women and only eighth among men. Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Lady Gaga also ranked higher among women than among men. This ranking dovetails with anecdotal observations: Sharon Marcus, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University and a self-declared Beyoncé fan, told me that in her experience, “the straight men I know have no interest in Beyoncé whatever, and even seem to be averse to her…. Beyoncé’s fanbase is primarily women and gay men.”


Researchers Have Identified The Origin Of The AIDS Pandemic

Research findings published in the latest issue of Science trace the origins of the outbreak to Kinshasa in the 1920s, where epidemiologists believe it emerged from a "perfect storm" of explosive population growth, a booming sex industry, burgeoning public transportation networks, and the use of unsterilized needles in health clinics. Here's The Guardian's Ian Sample:

An international team of scientists led by the universities of Oxford in Britain and Leuven in Belgium reconstructed the history of the HIV pandemic using historical records and DNA samples of the virus dating back to the late 1950s. The DNA allowed them to draw up a family tree of the virus that traced its ancestry through time and space. Using statistical models they could push farther back than the 1950s and locate the origin of the pandemic in 1920s Kinshasa.

People with HIV in central Africa at the time did not have specific symptoms that would have been written down in their medical records. The virus causes the immune system to collapse, leaving people open to all manner of infections. "For an epidemic like HIV where we're trying to track back to before it was even discovered, genetics is the only source of information we have," said Oliver Pybus, an evolutionary biologist at Oxford University and senior author on the study.

The genetic data suggests that pandemic HIV spread rapidly through the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country the size of western Europe. From the late 1930s to the early 1950s, the virus spread by rail and river to Mbuji-Mayi and Lubumbashi in the south and Kisangani in the north. There the virus took hold and formed secondary reservoirs from where it spread to countries in southern and eastern Africa.


Hey you guys want to read some 'critical thinking' from a Reddtter?

Don't go any further if you have no time for that trash, or if you've just eaten, but we have in this one little essay Sooo many arguments we've heard right here at DU. I often cruise the MRA sites, or dumbass articles like this-- I like to know how people think, and if I can get some background (rare) WHY they think so screwy.

I am for equality for women, but i am against Sarkeesian and Alexander and Quinn... My take on why many of us fall into this category. Maybe a post for women to read? (self.KotakuInAction)
submitted 8 hours ago by GOU_NoMoreMrNiceGuy
raise of hands among the men here - who is against equality for women?
i would imagine that the crickets have become quite loud and there's not a hand to be seen.
so why would i be against the women in this #gamergate dustup? how could i take sides against them?
imo, because they are not worthy of support... and they're actually not worthy of feminism - and they're giving it a bad name. they're certainly making ME dislike the term.
speaking of terms, i've only recently encountered 'Social Justice Warrior'. LOL. are they serious? that's like a pastiche of a caricature. and as far as i can see, their stock in trade is just being loud and obnoxious. In flying the banner and hiding behind the cover of feminism while basically just attacking men and what they like and how they are. That's pretty much their WHOLE shtick... interestingly, they are surprised then when men actually push back.

her critical thinking skills and her arguments are atrocious. basically, she manipulates and cherry picks to make an argument that she intended to argue... it is less about reporting on the reality of what she has discovered and more about just having an agenda and arguing it hell or high water.
her biggest flaw is attributing everything to the malice of men. that all the problematic issues in games she sees is due to the innate sexism among the game creator men. but there are lots of other explanations that explain certain phenomena in games as well as books or films and other narrative based experiences... she picks at the fact that women frequently lack agency but in most popcorn fiction, almost every character that is NOT THE PROTAGONIST lacks agency - and in actual fact, the "tightest" stories are those in which EVERY THING in the story is a reflection of the main character... that's the "hero's journey" paradigm that's so popular in the west. the RIGHT thing to argue is that there should be more female protagonists... that is defensible. but to say that because a secondary female character lacks agency and that that is reflective of some sexist viewpoint is just absurd.
essentially, she twists and reaches to make EVERYTHING about sexism when there are simpler, better and more true answers.

And this---oh my fucking God

and finally, perhaps the thing that encompasses all of the above:
as evidenced in those three as well as websites like jezebel... there's a LOT not right about them... so i'll pick out a few issues that i have.
the objectification of women. they've got to get over it. this is what men do. PERIOD. tits and ass will ALWAYS be important to men. that is never going away. and the odd thing is that while complaining about such objectification, they PLAY INTO it with their blood engorged vagina analog lipsticks and pushup bras and etc etc etc. fucking have some goddamn consistency with your positions eh ladies?
you can't attack this without it being an attack on men. this is SIMPLY OUR NATURE. and if the media out there is filled to the brim with that kind of stuff you should address it as an issue of REPRESENTATION - that the male pov is ubiquitous and there should be more perspectives from females... that's FINE to fight for. but to say that all this objectification is somehow WRONG... that is an attack on men.
also, people in GENERAL objectify others. this is NOT just a male thing. it's a human thing. when's the last time that you thought about a cashier at the grocery story or mcdonald's as a human being with a family and feelings and maybe a parent that depends on them etc etc etc? we objectify the people in our day to day lives who are not important to us according to their significance in our lives... they are THE WAITRESS, THE CASHIER, THE CABLE MAN, etc. all we want out of them, the aspect of their lives that we are concerned with is that they fulfill their function! without this kind of heuristic, we would be UNABLE TO FUNCTION IN THE WORLD for fuck's sake!
rape culture. i don't know what this is. my group of board gaming, videogame playing, comic book reading fellows don't approve of rape. are there a bunch of you guys out there that think it's peachy keen? is there a "murder culture" too? or a "culture of mugging"? criminals always have and always will exist in the world. people we pass by every day are perpetrators of all kinds of crimes including rape, assault with a deadly weapon, drunk driving, etc. doesn't mean there's a "culture" of it.
i have plenty of female friends. none of them have been raped. but when this discussion comes around, feminists freely throw out crazy numbers like "1 in 4 women"... wtf?? is that including or excluding third world nations with genocidal civil wars going on??? Are they including when guys check them out???
And HOLY SHIT - IF IT IS TRUE THAT WOMEN ARE GETTING RAPED EVERY OTHER TIME THEY LEAVE THE HOUSE GET A FUCKING GUN!!! get two! get titanium chastity belts and electrified bras and don't leave the house without covering fire and a bowie knife in your teeth! I WOULD!


Boobs on the Ground? Pissed some veterans off

Tumblr Penalizes Woman for Doxxing Creep Who Issued Rape Threat NSFW

Since I just hid an irony impaired thread about misandry ( when are these guys going to get it? They're losing)

Thought I'd post this

Isn't that interesting.

Tumblr emailed me to tell me they deleted my post calling out the dude who sent me a rape threat.

But hasn't banned the dude who sent me a rape threat, even though I reported him.

I guess Tumblr just wants to make their site safer for people who send rape threats than those who receive them.

I guess it's not considered harassment to send rape threats, but if you name the person who sends you rape threats, you are harassing them.

Misandry Mermaid also had her account temporarily suspended by Tumblr, though for a time, she thought she'd been permanently removed from the platform. The original harassing message sent to her was:

Misandry Mermaid's original post doxxing her harasser is still down, but it has been stored on Google cache. With the help of her followers, she managed to get ahold of and post a number of salient details about her anonymous harasser: a photo of him, his name, his birthday, his address, a picture of his house, his phone number and the names of his parents. (At least one person apparently called his parents and spoke to them about his messages.) She asked them to report him for harassment, and a Tumblr was started in the actual name of this 17-year-old from Wisconsin. The blurb on it read:

I send women rape threats on the internet...I live with my parents...They defend my rape threats, saying I only do it because I have autism. I sure hope I'll never need to go to college or get a job someday, otherwise these rape threats I send people might come back to bite my misogynistic, rape-threat-loving ass. Welcome to my blog.

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