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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 37,159

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George Takei Saying 'Assholes' in Gay Marriage PSA Will Make Your Day

From ginger king Jesse Tyler Ferguson's non-profit Tie the Knot, an organization supporting same-sex marriage and the proper tying of bow ties on owls, comes this PSA starring the ever delightful George Takei.

The PSA itself isn't too mind blowing, but the very end with George Takei saying, "The most important thing to remember when dealing with people who don't support marriage equality is to be kind. They are most likely hiding their own sexuality. Besides, these people don't know, they're being assholes," is wonderful. If we could bottle the magic of Mr. Takei saying "assholes", I'm pretty sure we could solve all the problems of humanity. Get on it, internet.


Lost In Angel Haze (interview with female hip-hop artist)

"I sucked for the first three years," she said of her first steps into music. "I liked the idea of hip-hop and rap because it was challenging - it's tough to talk about subjects that are diverse and meaningful. I love to push boundaries. There aren't that many female rappers and it's amazing to have the opportunity to do this."

Her music is brutal, personal, intelligent and honest. The powerful and evocative Suicide was written as a letter to those suffering from dark thoughts, its YouTube video prompting a host of heartbreakingly thankful comments from people who feel that her music talks directly to them. Her adaptation of Eminem's Cleaning Out My Closet references her difficult upbringing at rapid fire pace, with jaw-dropping graphic frankness. Her most recent tracks, Werkin' Girls and New York, have cumulatively been watched by over a million people, proving her a rap force to be reckoned with.

"In certain ways, I am a feminist, in others I am a radical," she said. "It's important for women to feel empowered - no woman should ever feel lesser than a man. I have a little sister who I would kill for. I do everything to make her feel strong. I still feel this weird stigma with male rappers. They say to me, 'Wow, I didn't expect you to be so good.' And I think, 'What you're surprised because I'm a girl? Well, thanks very much.'"


Air Force Brochure Tells Sexual Assault Victims to ‘Submit’

All this comes as the Air Force, and the U.S. military more broadly, deals with the fallout of the service’s sexual-assault prevention and response chief, Lt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski, getting arrested on sexual-battery charges on Sunday. During a Senate hearing today, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), grilled Air Force officials on how Krusinski was placed in his post. “His record is very good,” Gen. Mark Welsh III, the Air Force’s chief of staff, said, citing a lack of warning signs in Krusinski’s prior service.
Welsh said he and outgoing Air Force Secretary Michael Donley were “appalled” to hear of Krusinski’s arrest. “We will not quit working this problem,” Welsh continued.

Pages from the brochure were provided to Danger Room by Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group that raises awareness of sexual assault within the military. The organization’s spokesman, Brian Purchia, described it as an example of the military’s myopia about a problem that top leaders like Welsh have sworn to take seriously.

The brochure is “an affront to victims”, Purchia told Danger Room. “The Air Force should be passing out pamphlets to our men and women in uniform on how not to commit sexual assault. … This brochure is just the latest in a long history of failed programs and policies. The military’s sexual assault prevention campaigns are rooted in a wrong headed 1950′s paradigm.”

The military does some of that — not without controversy. An improv group called “Sex Signals” has performed for airmen to teach scenarios about sexual assault in what an official Air Force release called “a ‘lively and humorous’ way.” The Army has a video game designed to instruct soldiers about the dangers of “alcohol-induced date rape.” The military has also come under criticism for a poster advising servicemembers to “Ask When She’s Sober,” which the New York Times blasted as a “grotesque parody of an etiquette poster.”


“Gatsby” Gets Flappers Wrong

Have you heard? There’s a new swell in town named Gatsby, and he’s bringing flapper flair back into fashion. Baz Luhrmann’s latest cinematic spectacle—his take on The Great Gatsby—promises to be a sensational commercial for Prada and Brooks Brothers, who partnered with Luhrmann’s wife, costume designer Catherine Martin, on the film’s clothing.

But if you think flappers were only about drop-waist dresses, fox furs, cloche hats and excessive celebration, you’re missing the point. The trouble with Gatsby is, as beautifully as F. Scott Fitzgerald describes the opulent world of 1920s high society in his novel, he gets flappers all wrong. That’s because he portrays this liberated “New Woman” through the eyes of men.

Through their writings, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald—the young, glamorous literary couple du jour—defined the Jazz Age as we know it. Scott declared his Southern belle wife, whom he married in 1920, “the first American flapper.” The inspiration for Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, Zelda was known for her wild antics, like drunkenly jumping, fully clothed, into the fountain at New York’s Plaza Hotel.

In her June 1922 piece for Metropolitan Magazine called “Eulogy on the Flapper,” 22-year-old Zelda only hints at the radical edge of the flapper movement:
The Flapper awoke from her lethargy of sub-deb-ism, bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge and went into the battle. She flirted because it was fun to flirt and wore a one-piece bathing suit because she had a good figure, she covered her face with powder and paint because she didn’t need it and she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring. She was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted to do.
But in the 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, Scott depicted a more dire view of flappers. Narrated by a man, the cautionary tale seems to warn against the wiles of The New Woman—the feminist ideal of an educated and sexually liberated woman that emerged in the 1900s. So instead of intelligent, independent women telling their own stories of rebelling and rejecting their mother’s values, you have male war buddies sharing how vapid, spoiled socialites carelessly wrecked their lives. In “A Feminist Reading of the Great Gatsby,” Soheila Pirhadi Tavandashti points out the pattern:



Here’s “The Ex” shooting target that Zombie Industries sells (trigger warning)

At the National Rifle Association convention this past weekend, vendor Zombie Industries was asked to remove a shooting target that looks like President Obama. The company sells more than a dozen mannequins that “bleed” when shot, and as it states on its website, “to discriminate against Women by not having them represented in our product selection would be just plain sexist.” So here’s the the one female mannequin they sell: It is called “The Ex.”

Between 30 and 40 percent of women murdered in the US each year are killed by a current or former intimate partner. In over half of these cases, the perpetrator used a gun. Put another way: Of women killed with guns, almost two-thirds are killed by their intimate partners.

Given that they are apparently so concerned with “sexism,” I wonder if Zombie Industries knows just how closely their product mirrors this reality. You can ask them here.


Another One Bites the Dust: Inaccurate Rape Beliefs Take Another Republican Down

I pointed out when Greig first stumbled over her wildly inaccurate rape comments in early March of this year that she also admitted that she did not know the actual numbers. This didn’t stop her belief:

Ronald Reagan called the California Republican Assembly “the conscience of the Republican Party”. The President of that conscience, Celeste Greig, told Mercury News that the percentage of pregnancies by rape is small, “Granted, the percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized. I don’t know what percentage of pregnancies are due to the violence of rape.”
Studies have shown time and time again that a the science behind pregnancy does not discriminate when it sees a rapist coming, nor does the “violence” of rape shut down the female body. Women get pregnant from rape. In some states, the rapist is granted parental rights over the child resulting from their criminal act.

The California Republican Assembly doesn’t believe in federal taxes, believes in “traditional families”, the “preborn” and national defense. Apparently they don’t believe in science, medicine, facts or numbers either. They don’t care about women being raped, obviously. But they do believe in having power. And that is what led to a narrow outing of the rape pregnancy denier who was foolish enough to say on the record what the majority of conservatives believe in secret.


Yellow Fever: The Exotification of Asian Women

(Only a mag like psychology today would come up with a word like "exotification"--and that term "rice picking"? OMFG.)

Filmmaker Debbie Lum describes a long history of being approached by white men with “yellow fever”. What, you might ask, is wrong with being attracted to certain ‘looks’? After all, some men are attracted to blondes, redheads or Swedes. And women have their preferences as well. But this particular brand of attraction leaves many Asian and Asian American women uncomfortable – and angry. The syndrome of Yellow Fever can range from mild preference to outright vulgarity, and is worthy of examination. (There is a related syndrome among gays and lesbians also known as “Rice Picking”.)

Most men with Yellow Fever – know they have Yellow Fever. They know they are more attracted to women of Asian ethnicity, but they are often unclear why. They might casually attribute it to looks, but when you probe more deeply, many can admit fascinations with Asian culture, or that they harbor stereotypes about Asian women, stereotypes which are blatantly racist, misogynist, and devaluing. As this article by Goal Auzeen Saedi, Ph.D. points out, women of Asian ancestry are frequently exotified and stereotyped. They are “submissive, man-pleasing ‘sex kittens’”, or in a more palatable phrase I’ve heard “have great personalities.” What does that mean, exactly? Usually, it means that Asian women are perceived to be less aggressive, more docile and self-sacrificing – more obedient, in other words. They are perceived as less likely to challenge their partners and be compliant. (Saedi has another nice article on how exotification is a microaggression.)

Stereotypes are projections made in an attempt to organize the mind, exert power, and cope with and control a world that feels threatening or is not fully understood. They distort reality and create an environment of misunderstanding and even oppression. As Anais Nin wrote, “we see the world not as it is, but as we are.” Any person projecting the stereotypes of submissiveness, etc. onto an Asian female is likely to get a sound rebuke. Racist and polarizing assumptions limit possibilities and invite backlash. Why would the person with Yellow Fever need to project limiting stereotypes onto their partner? First, the stereotype becomes the object of desire. Why is that? Everyone’s different, but suspects include a consuming need for control, an inability to integrate one’s own feminine capacity, an immature or wounded masculinity, and outright racist attitudes and even a thirst for exploitation of “the other”. Stereotypes are held steadfastly in ignorance of reality, and the worst culprits manifest in creepishness, perversion and sociopathy.

Debbie Lum’s award-winning film “Seeking Asian Female” will air on PBS’s Independent Lens on May 6th. She is ramping up to that debut with a series of webisodes exploring the issues involved in interracial relationship and attraction at http://www.theyreallsobeautiful.com. I sat down with Debbie during the recent 2013 CAAMFest (formerly known as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival), where she won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature. That interview is here:


Feminazis stole my ice cream!

A quick editorial cartoon about the intersection of self-pity, entitlement, rape, territoriality, misogyny and fear of women. You see it all over the place online in the form of Men’s Rights Activists (of whom there are a few reasonable non-misogynists), Men Going Their Own Way, Pick Up Artists, and dudes touting the “Red Pill”, because The Matrix is a good movie. Look any of these up if you have the stomach for it. These are extreme examples, but watered-down forms of these ideas are everywhere.
In lurking their blogs and youtube channels for a while, I’ve noticed that beyond the standard patriarchal chauvinism there is this deep fear of women – what they will do to me, how they will reject me, how they will use me, how they are changing society in a way that does not favor me, how they are making men into something I don’t like, how they are making themselves into something I don’t like, that they won’t give me what I want, and that they won’t give me what I think is rightfully mine. This goes beyond fear of feminism- this is fear of women at its purest. And that, to quote a puppet, leads to anger and hate. It’s sad.
I am a feminist. I think there’s enough ice cream to go around, but it does mean those of us with 3 scoops might have to give one or two up. Also, The Matrix is a fun movie but probably not anything you should be basing a philosophy on.


Farrell’s notorious comments on date rape: Not any more defensible in context than out of it

NOTE: This is the second installment of The Myth of Warren Farrell, a continuing series examining Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power, the most influential book in the Men’s Rights canon. You can see the first post here.

Men’s Rights elder Warren Farrell has been accused of being a “rape apologist,” largely because of one now-notorious sentence he wrote in The Myth of Male Power:

We have forgotten that before we began calling this date rape and date fraud, we called it exciting.

This sentence is at least as puzzling as it is disturbing. Calling date rape “exciting” is pretty foul. But what on earth is “date fraud?”

To find out, let’s do what Farrell’s supporters insist we always do with his more troubling remarks: look at it in context to see if it is somehow more defensible – or, at the very least, to see if we can discern what exactly is is he even meant.

Looking at the sentence in context in The Myth of Male Power, we find that it appears in the midst of a long discussion not only of date rape but also of a number of other dating-related behaviors that Farrell claims traumatize men in the same way date rape traumatizes women. So let’s back up a bit to let him spell out his basic premises — and define what “date fraud” is in the first place:

While the label “date rape” has helped women articulate the most dramatic aspect of dating from women’s perspective, men have no labels to help them articulate the most traumatic aspects of dating from their perspective. Now, of course, the most traumatic aspect is the possibility of being accused of date rape by a woman to whom he thought he was making love. If men did label the worst aspects of the traditional male role, though, they might label them “date robbery,” “date rejection,” “date responsibility,” “date fraud,” and “date lying.” (p.313, The Myth of Male Power, 1993 hardcover edition)


The New Misogyny: “bro-culture” pastors, sexist Christian comedians

(This is a still-Christian women who details her "recovery" from a Christian fundamentalist church on her blog)

The New Misogyny: “bro-culture” pastors, sexist Christian comedians and abuse apologetics disguised as female empowerment

When I was growing up, the Christian misogynist wore a suit and tie, poured on enough cologne to slay an elephant and toted a Bible the size of an encyclopedia. This pastor boomed Biblical pronouncements from the pulpit and quoted lots of Scripture to defend his abusive, anti-woman teachings.

You know, I kinda miss the Old School Misogynist. At least he was obvious. At least he didn’t pretend to be all pro-woman.

These days, the Christian misogynist is far more subtle. He probably wears hip clothing and may even use feminist jargon to disguise his underlying sexism.

These are the pastors who tweet and talk endlessly about their smokin’ hot wives. These are the “Christian comedians” who write dating manifestos about why Christian “girls” don’t have boyfriends. Apparently, reading your Bible at Starbucks is NOT attractive to these men. Maybe you should try wearing white shorts to a prayer meeting.

What makes me ill is that these are men are my peers. These guys are not my Dad’s age. These guys are not my grandfather. These men should know better.

It’s even more discouraging when you call their views offensive only to be told by their yes-men, “Hey, can’t you take a joke?”


Sound familiar?
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