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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 40,100

About Me

Whiteness is a scourge on humanity. Voting for Obama that one time is not a get out of being a racist card

Journal Archives

That Time Nazis Marched for Washington's All-White Football Team

Currently, Washington, DC's pro football team, the [Redacted], has the distinction of being the only team in the NFL whose name is a racial slur. A little more than 50 years ago, it had another unfortunate distinction: It was the last remaining all-white team in the league.

The struggle to integrate Washington's football team is recounted in Thomas G. Smith's 2012 book, Showdown: JFK and the Integration of the Washington Redskins. As Smith tells it, the showdown began in 1961, when John F. Kennedy's interior secretary, Stewart Udall, who'd committed to ending segregation anywhere in his sphere of influence, declared his intent to break pro football's last color bar. Udall later recalled, "I considered it outrageous that the Redskins were the last team in the NFL to have a lily-white policy."

The call for integration was met with opposition, most notably from the team's owner, George Preston Marshall, a laundromat magnate turned NFL bigwig who had held firm for years. As legendary Washington Post columnist Shirley Povich wrote:

For the 24 years when he was identified as the leading racist in the NFL, he simply stared down the criticism of his refusal to sign a black player. It was the only subject on which the voluble Marshall never expressed a public opinion, never resorted to a quip. But he bristled when this columnist reminded him in print that "the Redskins colors are burgundy, gold and Caucasian."

Marshall appeared as outraged by federal interference as he was by the prospect of diversity. "Why Negroes particularly?" he asked. "Why not make us hire a player from another race? In fact, why not a woman? Of course, we have had players who played like girls, but never an actual girl player." The controversy drew out assorted bigots, including neo-Nazis (above), who protested on Marshall's behalf to "Keep [the] Redskins White."


A quick factchecking of yet another list of “misandrist” quotes reveals the same old MRA sloppiness

The MRAs have a new list! A list of evil, man-hating quotations, that is. This list, put together by A Voice for Male Students, has a rather pretentious title: “The language of misandry in academia: a collection of quotes by faculty members, students, and administrators.”

And it comes with a rather high-minded introduction by list-collator Jonathan Taylor, declaring that

misandry in academia is not merely a collection of infrequent and disassociated anomalies arising from individuals uninfluenced by supportive or acquiescent peer groups. On the contrary, it is culturally pervasive in academia in a way that cannot be reasonably characterized as incidental or coincidental.

Indeed, Taylor hopes that his list will be a useful resource for those new to men’s issues in academia. It should also be useful to advocates as a “go-to” resource for identifying and referring others the kind of hostile learning environment that has become pervasive in certain academic circles.

Given all this, you might expect his list of quotes to be a little more carefully vetted than the typical cut-and-pasted lists of Terrible Feminist Quotes that are passed around on the internet by antifeminists. You may recall that when I and a few others fact-checked one of these lists a while back we discovered that many of the quotes were either taken out of context in a misleading way, or made up, or taken from fictional works. Or were from people no one had ever heard of an who might not have been feminists at all.

Even a quick glance at Taylor’s list reveals that it has a lot in common with these lists: alongside a number of quotations from well-known radical feminists like Catharine MacKinnon and Mary Daly, he includes quotes from little-known academics and an assortment of random student activists, one of them identified only as “Ginny.” How typical are any of these views in academia? Taylor makes no attempt to find out.


Where do all the angry white men come from?

His latest work strokes a broad, acerbic brush over the white supremacists of the Mason-Dixon line, the NRA and Tea Party stalwarts of the Bible Belt, the men's rights activists of cyberspace and the high school spree shooters of parental nightmares. The common feature, he argues, is their shared belief that certain degrees of status, privilege and social advantage, perceived to be their natural or god-given rights, have been snatched away by sudden social change. The resulting anger is targeted not at a globalised neoliberal economic system that has declared ordinary people expendable – irrespective of their race, class or gender – but immigration, civil rights and feminism. In a sense Kimmel is describing the irrational emotional fallout of the economic gender revolution detailed in books like Stiffed and The End of Men.

The thesis can only really be made to work by means of tortuous logic which excludes all expressions of violence and anger from non-whites, non-males or those, like Anders Breivik, who were forged in a very different cultural furnace. Kimmel also glosses over alternative explanations, most notably in his case studies of high school spree shooters, which quite clearly point to aggressive bullying and emotional abuse as the principal cause of the switch being flipped to overload.

Nonetheless there is more than a jingling ring of truth to his argument. When one looks at the horrific abuse meted out to feminist campaigners such as Caroline Criado-Perez for having the temerity to ask that a woman should feature on British banknotes, to Laura Bates for fighting back against street harassment and everyday sexism, or to Anita Sarkeesian for highlighting sexist tropes in video games, it is hard to see it as anything but aggrieved entitlement. The hate campaigns seem firmly rooted in outrage that uppity girls should be intruding upon men's inalienable right to behave how they like, harass who they want, control culture as they wish and shape society in their own image. Like: "You'll prise Lara Croft's skimpy shorts from my cold, dead hands."

It is easy, and indeed essential, to condemn such misogynistic hate campaigns. However if those attitudes are at least partially stoked by very real and profound economic and social changes that have left some men feeling disempowered, marginalised, maligned and neglected, is it enough to simply demand that they suck it up and deal with it? I'm not sure.


Notable American Jews And Their Amazing Contributions

(I liked this for the great Irving Berlin intro and then some awesome pictures in the slide show, while I, ahem, strongly suspect members of this group are far more familiar with some of the names, or fact that said names were/are Jewish than I, I also thought this might be enjoyable)

A recent Pew Survey investigated the current state of Jewish life in America with some surprising findings . However, what is clear is that American Jews have an inspiring history of contributions in music, politics, science, law business, and many other areas.

Meet some of the people whose work has affected your life, from Jonas Salk's polio vaccine to Levi Strauss' blue jeans.


Sweden Introduces New Movie Rating System Based on the Bechdel Test

OH MY GOD, SWEDEN. Staaaaaaahhp!!! Fresh on the heels of codifying their new gender-neutral pronoun, those plucky Swedes are getting even more proactive in their attempts to turn mommies into people. Unafraid to incorporate feminist thought (i.e. basic fucking equality) into official policy—can you imagine!?—some Swedish movie theaters are introducing a new rating system based on feminist theory's beloved Bechdel Test. Consumers will now be able to select what entertainment they consume based on how successfully it treats women like human beings.

In case you're not familiar with the Bechdel Test, it's a kind of yardstick of female humanity, originally designed to assess whether or not a film treats its female characters like people or props, or even bothers with women at all. It's very simple. When you watch a movie, ask yourself: Does this film contain two or more female characters...who have names...and have a conversation with one another...about something other than a man? You'll be surprised at how many of your favorite films fail.

Clearly, with this step, Sweden isn't going to magically eradicate gender bias in movies, but spreading awareness about shallow female characterization is the first step toward alleviating that problem. The best way to change destructive, oppressive behaviors isn't to MAKE BEING A MAN ILLEGAL, it's to incrementally change people's minds through, you know, letting them know about stuff. Nothing scary. Nothing complicated. It'll be okay, little alpha male.


Makes me proud to be half Swedish.

The Blood of Carrie: A Feminist Review of the Re-Make of Stephen King's Classic

An interesting analysis, although I've never considered "Carrie" to be feminist anything, either book or original movie. It is notable for mentioning menstruation as a body process and not something to make unholy hosts for devil worship. Kings wife was a feminist and feminism threads itself in the most patriartical of his works, such as "The Gunslinger". While this is a over analysis, it's kind of fun, and hits a couple of high notes

“Carrie is largely about how women find their own channels of power, but also what men fear about women and women’s sexuality. Writing the book in 1973 and only three years out of college, I was fully aware of what Women’s Liberation implied for me and others of my sex. Carrie is woman feeling her powers for the first time and, like Samson, pulling down the temple on everyone in sight at the end of the book.”
—Stephen King, Danse Macabre
Most feminist criticism of Stephen King’s Carrie has focused on the male fear of powerful women that the author said inspired the film, with the anti-Carrie camp finding her death at the end to signify the defeat of the “monstrous feminine” and therefore a triumph of sexism. But Stephen King’s honesty about what inspired his 1973 book notwithstanding, Carrie is as much an articulation of a feminist nightmare as it is of a patriarchal one, with neither party coming out on top.
The rise of Second Wave feminism in the ’70s posed serious threats to the patriarchal order—as well it should have. But even for those who think change is not only necessary but good, change can be pretty scary. This, with a hat tip to the universality of being bullied, is one of the reasons Carrie scares everyone.
While men in the ’70s felt threatened by the unprecedented numbers of women standing up for themselves and attempting such radical social changes as being recognized as equal under the law, women themselves must have felt some anxiety that the obstacles to fully realizing themselves might be too big to conquer. The story therefore resonates with men in terms of the fear of (metaphorical) castration prompted by changing gender roles, and with women in terms of the fear that no matter how powerful we become, social forces are still so aligned against us that fighting back might destroy not just the patriarchy but ourselves.


Helping the People Beyond the Pain

Donna Ferrato started out photographing pleasure. She ended up confronting pain.

While following the story of sexual adventurers, she stood stunned in the bathroom doorway of a New Jersey mansion while a man screamed at his wife. As he pulled back his right arm, Ms. Ferrato raised her camera and took a picture. As he slapped his wife in the face, she closed her eyes — and took another frame.

She saw herself in the mirrors as she kept photographing. But when he hauled off to strike her again, Ms. Ferrato grabbed the man’s arm and told him to stop.

“I said: ‘What are you doing? You are really going to hurt her,’ ” she said. “He threw me down and said: ‘I’m not going to hurt her — she’s my wife. I know what my strength is but I have to teach her that she can’t lie to me.’ ”

That moment changed Ms. Ferrato’s life, leading to a decade photographing domestic violence and culminating in the book “Living With the Enemy.” Equally important, it set her on a long career as an advocate for battered women, helping to change how abuse is viewed and how it is handled by doctors and law enforcement officers.


Just in case, just in case

Are You a F*cking Feminist? [Lady Bits]

The above quote is the one that got passed around after her interview, inciting a whole lot of criticism. But while this is the quote that TIME printed, if you watch the video of Kelly’s interview, you’ll see that it’s not her full statement. After citing the misconception that being a feminist means not “need[ing] anyone,” Kelly says:

“And I think that’s bad, because actually I don’t believe that’s what the word feminism stands for, but that’s how people kind of relate to that word.”

So TIME sensationalized the interview. No big surprise there. But what’s even more important about this statement is that Kelly clearly knows what she has just said about feminism isn’t true. But instead of claiming the label, she shies away from it precisely because of the misconception she has just identified. By acknowledging that lots of people have the wrong idea about feminism, and then backing away from word, Kelly reinforces all that misinformation.

I’m pretty sure Kelly Clarkson would be pissed if she found out she were getting a smaller cut of her record sales than the male musicians on her label. I’m pretty sure she’d be pissed if someone told her that a singing career isn’t appropriate for a woman.

In the past, we’ve celebrated celebs who aren’t afraid to use the “f word.” But for every proud feminist like Meryl Streep or Kerry Washington, there are famous women like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry saying really uninformed things about feminism.


Sorry, America, You’re Wrong, the Jews Did Not Kill Jesus

I thought this was an interesting read, as this lie has been used for anti-semitism for, well millennia

A poll released last week by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports that twenty-six percent of the American public continues to believe that “Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.” Although the number has dropped from 31% in 2011, the ADL described it as “surprisingly large.”

For all of the surprise over the results of the poll, there’s no real mystery about the origins of this idea. The claim that Jews were responsible for Jesus’s death is in the New Testament.

In all four of the canonical gospels a (presumably) Jewish crowd calls for the death of Jesus, and Jewish authorities spearhead efforts to arrest and convict him. The Gospels of Matthew and John, in particular, emphasize the role that “the people” and “the Jews” played in orchestrating Jesus’s death. In Matthew, the Roman governor, Pilate, asks the people whom they want to see released: Jesus or a common criminal. When they call for the criminal, Pilate washes his hands of responsibility for the death of Jesus in a basin of water. The crowd responds in unison, “His blood be on our hands and on the hands of our children” (Matthew 25:27).

This is pretty damning stuff, but when it comes to anti-Jewish sentiment in the Gospels, it gets even worse. In John, “the Jews” are repeatedly identified as the opponents of Jesus. Not some group of Jews, not some fringe group, but “the Jews.” In John 8:44, Jesus even accuses “the Jews” of being “from [their] father the Devil.” In religious terms, there’s no worse form of slander.


This virtual 10-year-old-girl just outed 1,000 sexual predators

A Dutch organization called Terre des Hommes has identified some 1,000 alleged child-sex predators by luring them in with a computer-animated prepubescent Philippine girl on Internet chat rooms. The online victimization of children, it would appear, is far worse than imagined.

The virtual girl, named Sweetie, was created by TDH Netherlands to notify the public — and police organizations — about how frequently children in developing countries are being victimized online.

For a period of 10 weeks, Sweetie existed only in Internet chat rooms, during which time the bot was approached by more than 20,000 online predators from 71 countries. That amounts to the distressing figure of 285 attempts per day.

The chats took place around the clock in order to cover several time zones. No hacking or back-channel methods were used during the operation — all the information was volunteered by the offenders; Sweetie never made first contact in the chat rooms, instead waiting for predators to initiate the conversation.


"Far worse than imagined? Not at all far worse that talked about or admitted to.

Please sign the Petition: (you need to sign up for Avaaz, as this is not American in origin)

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