I watched my favorite episode of Boondocks, "The Trial of R. Kelly" over a year ago. I watched Dave Chappelle's "Piss on You" parody four years ago. I never watched the actual R. Kelly tapes because that's not how I roll. Besides, other people had watched them, and many Comicview performers had entire acts based on them. So I could cobble together what was going on. R. Kelly performed sexual acts with minors on tape, peed on them, then clearly identified himself for the camera. That was nasty enough for me to imagine.
Then today, I read I thought we learned our lesson with R. Kelly? by Samhita on Feministing. I thought the video was going to be one of those shown on BET Uncut.
No. It was a video of Akon violently assaulting a teenage girl.
Just like when Dick Cheney shot that old man in the face, the victim is apologizing for the "one mistake that [she] made."
So far, Akon, the perpetrator of the crime has made no comment.
And why is this predator not in jail?
Friday, April 27, 2007
I watched my favorite episode of Boondocks, "The Trial of R. Kelly" over a year ago. I watched Dave Chappelle's "Piss on You" parody four years ago. I never watched the actual R. Kelly tapes because that's not how I roll. Besides, other people had watched them, and many Comicview performers had entire acts based on them. So I could cobble together what was going on. R. Kelly performed sexual acts with minors on tape, peed on them, then clearly identified himself for the camera. That was nasty enough for me to imagine.
What an entertaining week.
First, my personal business. I am no longer watching The Daily Show. (Yet I am still watching Entourage. Go figure.) No, it was not the John McCain "IED under the desk" interview earlier this week. Nor was it the "look at Senator Harry Reid squeezing Speaker Nancy Pelosi's breasts" PhotoShopped clip that Jon thought was hilarious. It was the Baghdad wall segment on Wednesday, where the show used Aasif Mandvi to assert that if you leave large slab of cement exposed long enough, it will get tagged by Latino heritage graffiti. What a crock.
I am so done with Jon Stewart's hypocrisy, his lecturing others about their intolerance, injustice and discrimination, while he seems unable to hire or invite anyone as a guest on the show who isn't a white male. And if he does encounter someone female or nonwhite--but never both--he goes out of his way to announce how hot they are, or only talk to them about racial issues. Or in the case of Mr. Mandvi, get one brown guy to tell the jokes about the other brown guys. Like Alberto Gonzales.
In happier news, I have found Designing Women again. It's back on Nick at Nite, every other day maybe, at 5:00 am. The other days Murphy Brown is on at 5:00 am. Apparently Nick at Nite has made a pact with Bill Cosby, Will Smith and the rest of the Black Crusaders, along with Roseanne, to play their hit shows ad nauseum. Now I love Fresh Prince as much as the next American. Although I do prefer the episodes before they got rid of Janet Hubert-Whitten. But must it be on all night every night?
Onto the articles I found this week.
For the love of Stars Hollow, will someone please cancel 'Gilmore Girls'? by Maureen Ryan, Chicago Tribune. Hear hear! There there! The last episode, "It's Just Like Riding a Bike," was so hetero. Must everything in every character's life revolve around hooking up with a member of the opposite sex? Yes, Seasons 2 and 3 were rooted in the Rory-Dean-Jess love triangle. But there was so much more going on.
Now I actually have to sit and watch Sookie accept that her husband deceitfully impregnated her, and forgive him for it just because he wants her to. Um, no, David Rosenthal. In the real world, if Sookie didn't want to have another baby, she would have explored all of her options. Lane would have, too. Even in Stars Hollow, sex has consequences. And not everyone is ready for a baby. Or two. Or three. If your husband lies to you about getting a vasectomy, and you know that at one point in time he wanted "four in four" i.e. four kids in four years, and you are now pregnant with his unplanned child, you have a right to be angry at him, for as long as you want. If Jackson can't deal with that, he can leave. It's not like he is giving birth to this baby.
Paparazzi on Camera, by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, on CollegeHumor, via Pajiba.
Even those Mr. G-L is not on camera, I still squee when I hear his voice. He's so cute! I hope he isn't a racist puppy-kicker. He probably smokes, though. Boo.
U.S. gender pay gap emerges early, study finds, by Ellen Wulfhorst, Reuters.
A dramatic pay gap emerges between women and men in America the year after they graduate from college and widens over the ensuing decade, according to research released on Monday.
One year out of college, women working full time earn 80 percent of what men earn, according to the study by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, based in Washington D.C.
Ten years later, women earn 69 percent as much as men earn, it said.
Even as the study accounted for such factors as the number of hours worked, occupations or parenthood, the gap persisted, researchers said.
"If a woman and a man make the same choices, will they receive the same pay?" the study asked. "The answer is no.
Oregon Governor Starts Week on Food Stamps, by Julia Silverman, ABC News, via Yahoo! News.
Accompanied by reporters and food stamp recipient Christina Sigman-Davenport, Kulongoski headed straight for a display of organic bananas, only to have Sigman-Davenport steer him toward the cheaper non-organic variety.
The governor pined wistfully for canned Progresso soups, but at $1.53 apiece, they would have blown the [$21 budget]. He settled instead for three packages of Cup O'Noodles for 33 cents apiece. Kulongoski also gave up his usual Adams natural, no-stir peanut butter for a generic store brand, but drew the line at saving money by buying peanut butter and jelly in the same jar.
"I don't much like the looks of that," said Kulongoski, 66, staring at the concoction.
I don't like the looks of that either. Ew. But I wouldn't pass up some food stamps. There are times I'd like some meat and potatoes. Vegetables, too.
...i didn’t expect the duke case to shake me so much. i feel like i hear about, talk about, read about, think about rape every day. i like to think i’ve built up some callous at this point, a tough, thick covering to take the edge off...
...now you hear the news, following “three boys innocent” with “she was never raped” and liar and whore. and no one seems to notice that the accused men’s innocence has nothing to do with whether or not she was raped, only that they didn’t do it. she called 911 for a reason, she went to the hospital afterwards, the examination supported her claims of sexual assault. we have no reason to think those results were wrong, no new information to contest it. perhaps she picked the wrong guys from the line-up, but that has little to do with what actually happened to her...
I could quote, quote, quote, but y'all should read the whole thing for yourselves.
The Indian-American poet Kazim Ali teaches at Shippensburg University, which is a little west of Harrisburg, PA (and not too far from where I myself teach).
On his website, he recently described how his “suspicious” behavior led to his entire campus being shut down. The behavior in question? Recycling. He was doing nothing other than dropping off a stack of printouts of poems to be recycled when someone from the campus ROTC called the police...
Lastly, in Hollywood news that's too vapid for the room, both from the LA Times, via Defamer:
Power plays -- for a food court table, by Nicole LaPorte.
Century City is under attack. In a "300"-like assault, two silk-shirted waves of flashy Hollywood agents have infiltrated the Westside's most famous — and famously nondescript — office-park neighborhood, hitherto best known for a mall (the Westfield) and a hotel (the Century Plaza).
The invaders consist of two rival armies. The Creative Artists Agency minions were the first to land, having moved into their gargantuan new headquarters at 2000 Avenue of the Stars in January. Then, on Feb. 20, International Creative Management staked its claim to the territory, moving into three floors of the MGM Tower...
...But that's small change compared with the tactical maneuvers required for eating lunch. Imagine, if you will, Armani-uniformed agents standing in line with soccer moms at the Westfield mall's food court or balancing plastic trays loaded up with beer-battered chicken or Fuddruckers fries. "With all the suits and sunglasses, it feels like "The Matrix: The Food Court," joked manager-producer J.C. Spink ("A History of Violence").
And with such brazenly public dining come perils. "You can't really talk business because you've got CAA right there. And they've got us," said an ICM agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity (silence is the agency policy when dealing with the press). "I've heard people at CAA having their conversations — you can hear everything."
Revenge of the Hollywood desk slaves, by Nick Confalone.
FOR FOUR weeks in April of 2006, I was an Internet celebrity. In one industry, in one city, I was a star. The blogs went crazy. Defamer was all over me. National Public Radio wanted an interview — but I turned them down. My site got more than a million hits in 24 hours.
It all started one morning the previous December, the same week the Hollywood Reporter listed the 100 most powerful women in Hollywood — the trade's equivalent of a swimsuit issue...
...Over the phone that morning, I gossiped about the list of 100 Powerful Women, women I'd never seen before. I didn't need to see them. The list said that looks don't matter, only power.
But because we have little or no actual power, the opposite must be true for assistants. If an agent gets a new assistant, the first thing my boss always wants to know is, "Is she hot?" I looked around our office and saw not a single unattractive assistant, and that's when it hit me: Don't the assistants deserve a list too?
I pulled out my credit card, registered a domain name, and Hottest Hollywood Assistants.com was born.
Ooh, one more video. Sen. Mike Gravel at SC Debates 04/26/07, via YouTube. He's telling like it t-i-s.
Put your hand down, Joe Biden. When Senator Gravel said "top tier," he did not mean you.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Nothing Meek In Her Voice, by namrata, at Sepia Mutiny. I would have titled the post, Another Book about Being Brown?
...I frequently bemoan the fact that minority writers feel the need to their minority’s themes while a white man has the freedom to write a Japanese story and gets the whole canvas to play on. I want the New Yorker to write a two-page review of a great American novel that’s deeply, equally relevant to the whole nation and have the desi name be almost an afterthought, as it is with so many of the other categories of accomplishment we celebrate here. I want my white or Asian or black or Hispanic friends to call me up and say, “You have to read this book,” where the book is by a desi author but that commonality between me and the author has nothing to do with their insistence. Why must we always be meekly constrained to the edges?
But who am I kidding? I want to write that book, and I want all my friends to rave to each other about it. But I can’t even write most of a blogpost in two whole weeks. [Rishi Reddi, author of Karma], on the other hand, is an environmental lawyer, is raising a daughter, and serves on the board of SAALT. Yet somehow she found the time to write story after story, one of which was even chosen by the illustrious Michael Chabon for a Best American Short Stories collection, and then get them published as a book...
It reminded me of that MadTV sketch (that I can't find on YouTube) with Debra Wilson and Aries Spears about how the romantic comedies starring black people are all the same. And it's true. I saw Brown Sugar, so I don't need to see Love and Basketball. I've seen Deliver Us from Eva many times--last time was on ABC Family, strangely enough--and I own the similarly themed Two Can Play that Game. I've seen The Best Man, so do I really need to finish watching The Wood? I also own Booty Call. No comparison there. I just wanted to announce that I have no shame.
Not only are the stories in these movies the same, but so are the characters and the actors who play them. Yes, Gabrielle Union is a talent. I didn't understand why she had to star in a DMX movie, but I'll overlook that. However, I don't understand why she, Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Meagan Good, Vivica A. Fox, Sanaa Lathan and Duane Martin have to be in every one of these movies. It really doesn't help the theory that all black people look alike.
Claire sounded like the perfect candidate for the position and I trusted my friend’s judgment, so I immediately passed her resume onto my boss, whom we’ll call Pat.
Then the following conversation happened.
Pat: So is Claire Jones also half Chinese?
Me: What? (Couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.)
Pat: Is Claire also half Chinese, like you and Tommy?
Me: Um… not that I know of.
Pat: Oh she’s not half Chinese?
Me: Like I said, not that I know of.
Pat: Oh so she’s an all-American girl then?
There were so many things wrong with this exchange I couldn’t even wrap my head around it. Did Pat think we were all in on a secret plot to sneak in as many down-low Asians as possible with European last names? And could she have made it any more obvious that to her, “half Chinese” and “all-American” were mutually exclusive categories?
This Blog is Not For Bigots [UPDATED], by anna at Sepia Mutiny. It's a response to this very recent Newsweek article, Braced for Backlash, which opened with the following paragraph:
The bodies had barely been removed when the racial epithets started pouring in. Cho Seung-Hui, the 23-year-old identified as the killer of 32 on the Virginia Tech campus, may have lived in the state since his elementary school days, but to the bigots in the blogosphere it was his origins in Korea that mattered most. "Koreans are the most hotheaded and macho of East Asians," wrote one unnamed commentator on the Sepia Mutiny blog. "They are also sick and tired of losing their Korean girlfriends to white men with an Asian fetish."
I always enjoy when irresponsible mainstream media outlets pit one persecuted group against another by using one unrepresentative example, then act like they did nothing wrong.
I hate Unions (but I’m trying to join one), from irwin's blog, From Studio Twelve A. Fight the power, bro. Yet another in a long line of arguments for universal health care in the U.S.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Look at this: Blog Love, by Dan Carlson, on SlowlyGoingBald.com.
How cool am I? Very!
So far that's two unsolicited blog mentions, including one calling me "funny and smart." If I have any more, please someone let me know. I love being appreciated.
Posted by Bianca Reagan at 11:01 PM
Stories I liked today:
From WireTap Magazine, A Big Tent With No One in It, by Ally Klimkoski:
In November of 2004 there was one age group that voted for John Kerry. Only one. One group decided that George Bush was an unequivocal moron and should not return to the White House. Only one. What we've now learned is that it's not only the standard to believe the president is a complete moron, it's actually quite fashionable.My favorite part of the article, under what the DNC can learn from the Calvin Klein IN2U campaign, targeted at the 18-30 demographic:
What is surprising is that this same age group is the one age group that is most often ignored by the Democratic Party, Democratic candidates and most political organizations.
That's right -- it's us. It's the 18- to 30-year-olds.
5. Listen -- don't lecture...I am holding out for the day I see a candidate begin a college lecture by walking up to the podium, grabbing the mic and saying "You know, I'm not going to sit here and lecture at you. You get that all day long. I'm curious in what you think and what you want out of me. And before I leave this lecture, I want to come out with some reasonable action items that I can work with you on."...
...7. Age doesn't equal issue. 23 isn't 18, and it's not 25, and it's not 28 and it's not 30. There is more diversion between the 18-30 age group than any other group because so many things change between those times. A new college freshman is nothing like a 21-year-old; being 21 is not the same as someone who has just graduated at 23; and someone who graduated at 23 is nothing like someone who's 25 or pushing 30. They each have different issues that concern them. Student loans will appeal more to the 23+ crowd, but kids who aren't paying them off yet aren't thinking about that yet.
8. Students are not the same as nonstudents. Targeting college students who are 18-25 is nowhere close to targeting working 18- to 25-year-olds. The issues are different; a few people target them differently. Similarly, the working college students who attend tech schools, community colleges or night four-year schools are also different than the regular 18- to 25-year-olds at regular four-year schools. Similarly, those who attended colleges are different than those who didn't yet fall in that demographic, and their issues aren't the same.
From WireTap Magazine, via Feministing, U.S., Denial and the Culture of Violence, by Samhita Mukhopadhyay.
What some are calling the worst shooting in United States history, the death of 32 Virginia Tech students was indeed deplorable. The media circus that followed was also deplorable. Shouldn't the families and victims be given some privacy to deal with the tragedy?
But also what is it about these isolated incidents that capture the national imagination? As other bloggers have noted, last weekend 65 Iraqis died and just yesterday another 183 in Baghdad alone. Why the hypocrisy? So far in 2007 there have been 27 deaths in Oakland County alone. Why have none of those deaths made headline news? Why does America only care about certain people's death? Do some people just deserve to die?
I also liked this article linked inside the previous one: "It's like when 9/11 happened", by Joe Eaton, on Salon.com...
Ko, a senior accounting major, said he and other South Korean students are afraid to stay on campus. Ko said many of their friends in a Korean Christian group were also planning to leave Blacksburg for Northern Virginia.
"It's like when 9/11 happened," Ko said. "Arab people are victims even though they didn't do anything wrong. It's just the same to me." Ko said Korean students have been e-mailing and calling each other since the release of Cho's name this morning. He said he wanted to attend today's convocation at 2 p.m., where President Bush was scheduled to speak, but friends warned him against it. "People said don't attend because it could be a bad situation," he said.
...as well as this student at Virginia Tech writing in his livejournal in real time about the event. It's a sensitive, human account of the tragedy, more so than the breaking stories from NBC and the other American "news" outlets, who have been plastering the killer's mugshot and gun porn photo on every show and website they own.
All of the above reminded me of this exchange featured in Bowling for Columbine:
Michael Moore: If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?
Marilyn Manson: I wouldn't say a single word to them, I would listen to what they have to say and that's what no one did.
Here's the article from Reuters that gave me a sardonic giggle: Catholic Church buries limbo after centuries. Sucks to be those people who believed in limbo for hundreds years. I wonder what will happen when the next Popes declare that gays are A-OK, women can join the priesthood, and contraception might be a good idea?
Even though I enjoyed the rerun of The Office last night, I would have appreciated a new episode. I totally related to 30 Rock, though. I don't think Bill Cosby and Oprah are coming after me, but I can understand feeling like a supermodel in Cleveland. "Well played, Garkel."
Though I don't see how Jack Donaghy can talk himself out of this one: Alec Baldwin calls Dora the Explorer.
Hey there, buddy. I love Dora the Explorer! All she said was, "Hola." There was no need to call her a "rude, thoughtless little pig." I guess once Mr. Baldwin's book is published, I will understand "the incredible strains created by parental alienation."
BTW, Jack's assistant Jonathan is my new TV crush. Move over Psych guys.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
From ColorLines, via Feministing, The Segregated Blogosphere, by Celina De León.
People of color make up 40 percent of bloggers, but only 26 percent of Internet users. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's "Blogger" report, which was based on findings from their February through April 2006 tracking surveys, 11 percent of bloggers are Black, 19 percent are English-speaking Hispanic and 10 percent are some other race or ethnicity.
There are no bloggers of color with the kind of exposure and influence of superstars Matt Stoller of mattstoller.com or Duncan Black of atrios.blogspot. The result, according to [blogger Chris Rabb], has been a typical white liberal/left dialogue in the political blogosphere.
"They won't talk about the racial element of anything that's been deracialized by mainstream media. They're not going to talk about affirmative action, about the racial element of the immigration issue," Rabb said. "Whenever issues of race come up, it's seen as a distraction."
From YouTube, via Feministing, Sexism in Reality TV:
From YouTube, after seeing it on TV last night, the MasterCard paypass Elephant commercial:
I need some elephant care, too. Someone should bring me soup and tuck me in. And was that Ernie Sabella from The Lion King and those beach club episodes of Saved by the Bell? Where has he been?
Stories I liked today, via Racialicious:
Let It Be Some 'Other' Asian, by Andrew Lam, New American Media.
All across America, no doubt, non-Korean Asian-Americans are now heaving a sigh of relief. “Asian,” after all, was the four-alarm-fire word we saw throughout the day after the shootings that took the lives of 33 people at Virginia Tech. The shooter was “Asian,” the news reports said. But who was this “Asian” exactly?
Before the news identified the killer as Cho Seung-hui, a 23-year-old English major from South Korea, all ethnic backgrounds were up for grabs. A Chinese friend from a small college town on the East Coast called to say: “Please, please let it be some other Asian. We’ll be in deep if it’s Chinese.”...
Covering Tragedy: Emerging lessons from the Virginia Tech Killings, by Kim Pearson, blogher.
3. Be careful about the "myths" that can become part of the narrative in a story like this one. Dave Cullen, a Dart Center Fellow, covered the 1999 Columbine shootings, and found that "nearly everything we know about it is wrong."...
...5.Try to stay independent of others' political, and personal agendas. Bernie at PopPolitics worries that the Jack Thompsons in this story will sway the debate away from the issue of guns in favor of scapegoating popular culture....
...7. Watch out for the rumor patrol. Joy Reid says the conspiracy theories are already circulating. Check out Snopes.com or other Urban Legends sites before passing along rumors. We've already seen how quickly speculation and rumor becomes news: remember those initial reports that the shooter was a Chinese graduate student? Don't be surprise if other "facts" from the early reporting in this story also turn out to be wrong.
8. Be thoughtful about stereotypes. When the initial reporting identified the suspect as an "Asian male," the Asian American Journalists Association felt compelled to remind journalists of the rule that race should only be included in a news story when it is clearly relevant...
Posted by Bianca Reagan at 11:15 AM
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
This is the worst season ever. I don't know of a show that has fallen so far so fast. I don't think Season 5 of The West Wing, after Sorkin left, was this bad.
These post-Palladino, Season 7 writers do not need the character to repeat every phrase two or three times. David Hasselhoff doesn't deserve to have his name dropped more than once an episode, much less in one scene.
Can Rory deal with an actual disappointment in her life? I mean, when she was actually working for stuff in high school, it was fulfilling when she earned something, like delivering a speech on C-SPAN, or getting into. Now when she gets this job in Providence that she doesn't even want, I feel like smacking her face. I'm sure real journalism majors share my sentiment. Holding out for a real newspaper? Please. As if The New York Times would really hire someone like Rory Gilmore.
I do not need anymore Logan on my screen ever. During Seasons 5 and 6, I was worried that I retroactively liked Jess because of how stupid Logan was. After the "you wrote a book" episode where Jess tangles with "the blond dick at Yale," I am now retroactively in love with Jess. Dean goes without saying. I'm not usually into adulterers, but I'll make an exception for the devoted Mr. Forester.
What is up with the, "Hi. How are you?" "Nice to see you again." and "This is a nice house." Is anyone at the show capable of constructing a meaningful line for a character? And how many times do I have to hear about the hay bale maze? Once! That's it. Everyone in town does not need to tell me about the things that I can see for myself happening on the screen. If I see the gazebo being lifted into the air by a crane at the end of one scene, then in the very next scene, Lorelai does not need to tell Rory that Taylor is "ripping out the gazebo with a crane." Hello, I was just there! I know that already!
I actually liked the April and Luke part. Hmm.
On to general CW issues. There's this new annoying segment called "C what's hip" with Mark McGrath. I think this was "hip" back in the mid-90s when it was called E! News Update with Steve Kmetko. And Mark McGrath, from Extra? The last time you were "hip" was when you were chanting "Fly" with Sugar Ray. If I want to "C what's happening," I'm not going to the lovechild of the WB and UPN--who brought us such gems as Pussycat Dolls: The Search for the Next Doll, and the final season of 7th Heaven--to find out what's going on in the world of celebrity.
Back to Gilmore Girls. Watching Season 7, and then watching Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD? The comparison makes me want to barf. Or maybe I ate too much for breakfast. My tummy is only so big inside.
I hope Jezebel James makes it to air.
End of kvetching.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
...Look, if you blog, and blog about controversial shit, you'll get idiotic emails. Most of the time, said "death threats" don't even exist -- evidenced by the fact that the crying bloggers and journalists always fail to produce said "death threats"...
...It's not as if those cowards will actually act on their threats...
...If they can't handle a little heat in their email inbox, then really, they should try another line of work...
- From Death threats and blogging, by Kos at Daily Kos, in response to Blog death threats spark debate, from BBC News.
I found this discussion via Feministing, in the post Kos: Getting harassed? Stop blogging., by Jessica, a valid reaction to uninformed statements quoted above. Read the linked articles--the BBC News one first--so you'll understand the context. Here's what Jessica had to say:
It's always nice to see our "progressive" brothers taking misogyny and violence against women seriously...
...So let me get this straight: blogging about the oh-so-controversial world of software development means you should expect to get death threats. After all, nothing brings out the crazies like tech-talk. And besides, she probably made it all up anyway...
...I mean come on, if you can't handle your address and social security number being published along with threats of rape, hanging, suffocation and death--you're a fucking lightweight...
As I was reading some of the linked response postings at Feministe and Shakesville, I was reminded of something I read last weekend in Souls Looking Back: Life Stories of Growing up Black. It was in an essay by a woman named Chantal, who was a junior in college at the time:
I knew that my view of the world was changing when a statement by a speaker at a conference I attended revived all of the analytical skills that I learned in my best classes at college. The speaker, an African American male, said that the black feminist movement was destructive to the African American struggle for equality and self-improvement. He said that because the black feminist movement is based on the white feminist movement, it is centered in the Eurocentric idea of individualism. In his opinion, black feminists were against the family and were most interested in themselves. I thought to myself, "In many cases, without us, the black family could not have survived!" He continued with the "fact" that the issues facing black women were nothing compared to those faced by black men (incarceration, murder, drug usage, etc.). I tried to argue with him, but I had no knowledge of black feminism, so I floundered in my words.
Progressive Black women, and other progressive non-white women, and progressive non-hetero women, have been struggling with this concept for years, decades, if not centuries. I personally was struck with this last year when I discovered The Michael Baisden Show on V100, after 100.3 The Beat disappeared from the LA radio airwaves. Most of the people who call in to Michael's show now are pretty stable individuals. But last year, when the show was just getting on its feet, there were some nutters (possibly off their meds) who liked to hear themselves on the radio. My point is, at least two black men called in saying that black women were the cause of not only the high incarceration rate of black males, but also the reason for the crack problem in the United States.
Then, less personally, was the "Love Taps" episode of A Different World, directed by Kadeem Hardison, where Gina gets beat up by her boyfriend, Dion. And Freddie, on her radio show, reads a poem that goes something like, "Brother, you always tell me about the man keeping you down. But the man you just hit me with was your fist." Don't quote me on that.
I was also reminded of this article on AfterElton: Crossing the Gay Color Lines, by James Hillis.
Isaiah Washington, an African American actor, uses the word "faggot" during an altercation on the set of ABC's Grey's Anatomy. Tim Hardaway, a black former NBA star, hears that another former NBA player is gay and responds: "I hate gay people. … I am homophobic. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."It can be awfully hard identifying with multiple oppressed groups and not being fully understood by any of them.
White gay men see these incidents as examples of a homophobic African American culture. Straight African Americans see a cynical media exploiting caricatures of the angry, ignorant black man. Neither appraisal reveals the more complex truths about why GLBT people and African Americans still eye each other suspiciously across the cultural divide.
Are the parallels that gays make between GLBT struggles and the civil-rights movement instructive or offensive? What is the deeper meaning behind the perceived homophobia in the African American community? And what about inclusiveness in the gay community? Do gays of all ethnicities live up to the ideal of the "rainbow" people?
Anyways. Markos Moulitsas Zúniga does not have the market cornered on being an insensitive, willfully ignorant "progressive." Just today I had to listen to Johnny Wendell on KTLK AM 1150, LA's progressive talk station, ranting about the greatness of this story, featured in this LA Times article: Santa Ana chamber pushing residents to learn English. I think English classes are a great idea, especially for those persons who butcher the language even though it's the only one they speak. However, Mr. Wendell's main argument was that people who come to the United States need to speak the language of the country (English), because he was here first. Unless Mr. Wendell is over 200 years old, I don't think he really was here first. And God forbid he learn another language in order to communicate with anyone else.
The LA Times article states, "More than half the city's employees speak Spanish, most Asian merchants have learned the language, and nearly every retail business has Spanish-speaking employees." The very next sentence is, "Business owners need employees who speak English, chamber officials said." If over half of the people working in Santa Ana are fluent in Spanish, then why don't the chamber officials encourage the rest of the residents, i.e. business owners, to learn Spanish?
Don't even get me started on Al Franken and Marc "Mr. K" Germain empathizing with Michael Richards as a fellow comedian. And Jon Stewart refusing to hire more than three correspondents at a time that aren't white males with short brown hair.
I'm getting off topic here, but what I'm trying to say is, for some self-appointed "progressive" leaders like Kos, special interests like women's rights, queer rights, and non-white people issues just don't register as things that relate to them, or even things they should be concerned about. And why should they worry about them? They are (usually) straight males. It's not like they'll ever interact with any women or gay people or non-white people, who might already have solutions to their true progressive issues.
No, forget about listening to women with demonstrable problems. Instead, these "progressive" leaders should continue to dismiss our concerns, if not ignore us completely. And if we do receive death threats because we've offended someone by simply being female, I guess we really "should try another line of work."
But if the death threats come true, and we women are all gone, I wonder who will be left to speak up for Kos.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
From Feministing, You will not shame me, by Samhita:
I have gotten email upon threatening email to rescind what I said last year about the Duke Women's Lacrosse Team and their uninformed support for the accused rapists in the Duke rape case. The case that was mishandled, manipulated and finally dropped on Wednesday...
...I just want to say first and foremost, I still stand by what I say and have said. It does look bad for people to support accused rapists, at that point we didn't know the facts either way. Furthermore, women of color are in fact OFTEN sexually assaulted and usually the criminal justice system and/or the media either overlook it or mishandle it. Women of color often have a higher burden of proof that they are not lying about rape. Case in point (as Amanda and others stated ): when the lack of DNA evidence was announced -- before we even knew whether the players were innocent or not -- people were quite quick to accuse the accuser of being guilty of lying...
...And what is the outcome of all of this? The general public now believes that black strippers ARE in fact lying whores and the worst thing that could happen to a strapping Duke lacrosse player is that his lily white reputation is marred by false accusations. Beyond this being a terrible precedent set for women that bring up rape accusations (still something underreported) to never ever report rape again, the racist and sexist reaction from the media and public have been to say the least profound...
I also liked this comment that followed by The Law Fairy, emphases and expletives hers:
...These guys were accused, potentially falsely. They got a lot of publicity for it, and now they're sobbing about their poor tattered reputations.
These guys all but BEGGED for the publicity they got. They did media interviews OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL. They whined and screamed the whole time that the simple existence of charges against them was itself discriminatory. And because they are rich and white, the [MainStream Media] ate it the fuck UP. Make no mistake: these assholes WANTED the publicity. They MADE the publicity happen. Their LAWYERS made the publicity happen. This was a calculated media attack meant to intimidate the DA into fucking up, and guess what -- he did. Now, instead of taking their victory and going home, they want to re-write history and pretend that the MSM was against them this whole time.
I don't think I've EVER read an MSM story where a stripper was believed over a rich white guy she claims raped her. I read a few blogs supporting the woman in this case. Please, if someone could point me to an MSM article that ACTIVELY SUPPORTED THE NOTION THAT THESE PRICKS WERE GUILTY, I would really appreciate it. I'm not talking balanced articles. I'm not talking articles reporting the facts. I'm talking articles that came out and said "these scumbags did it. Listen to the stripper." I mean, crazy I haven't seen one, I know, Time and Newsweek print stories like that all the time, right?...
Someday I'll write about happy things again, like this week's episodes of The Office and 30 Rock. I need to get my own Floyd, because this VapoRub isn't going get under my nose by itself.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
To the topics at hand. I've been studying for the GMAT, because someday I'll actually be going to business school. The GMAT is hard. Like, for reals. I'm a smart lady, but some of this stuff is ridiculous. Since I started my focused concentration a couple weeks ago, I've become less intimidated by test. I'm pretty good at Sentence Correction, since I was the freak who enjoyed my Grammar classes in Middle and Upper school. And my Problem Solving skills aren't so bad either. I have never liked Reading Comprehension, and the GMAT is only solidifying that opinion, but I'll muddle through that section. However, nothing can justify the existence of the Data Sufficiency portion of the exam. Oh my goodness. Here is a Sample Data Sufficiency Question, provided by the Graduate Management Admissions Council:
If a real estate agent received a commission of 6 percent of the selling price of a certain house, what was the selling price of the house?
(1) The selling price minus the real estate agent's commission was $84,600.
(2) The selling price was 250 percent of the original purchase price of $36,000.
(A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient.
(B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient.
(C) BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.
(D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.
(E) Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient.
Pencils down. The answer is (D).
FYI, no calculators are allowed. Also, you cannot skip any questions. They appear one at a time on the computer screen, and you must pick an answer before you can move on to the next one. And you have to do it quickly, because the GMAT is timed, and "there is a severe penalty for not completing" the test. Super!
Side note: one of my Sentence Correction questions today involved King Henry VII and Anne Boleyn. Ugh. I am so sick of The Tudors, and I haven't even seen a full episode. Although with all the multi-platform promotion thrown in my face, it feels like I've endured the entire series. Give it a rest, Showtime. Three straight months of commercials is not going to make me watch your "historical" (as if), oversexed, misogynist, Eurocentric, war-mongering, patriarchal crap, no matter how many times Jonathan Rhys-Meyers screeches, "I'm the king of England!"
Second part. I went to the Post Office to buy stamps earlier this week, and that is always a to-do with me. I am very picky about the stamps that I like, for various reasons. I was running out of the Longfellow stamps that I had purchased last month, and I liked those. They have pretty shades of blue around the old man's face. So I planned to buy more of them. I waited in the line, and it moved relatively quickly, by Post Office standards. The woman behind the counter showed me collage of the colorful choices available, even though half of them were Xed out.
I selected the Longfellow again, along with DC Comics Super Heroes, With Love and Kisses, Lunar New Year, and Crops of the Americas. Altogether, it was about 100 stamps. The woman asked me if that was all I needed, and I said, Yes. I didn't need any more Post Office paraphernalia. Then she asked me, "Are you sure? What about the Ella Fitzgerald stamps?"
What about them?! I had just picked out almost $40 worth of stamps. I didn't need anymore. Was I supposed to buy them because they have BLACK HERITAGE in bold caps at the top? As if Ella Fitzgerald was only significant to black people, and not to American History in general.
I simply told the woman, No, paid for my stamps, and didn't make a stink. Luckily the woman was black, so I didn't feel the need to scowl at her or make a snippy remark. Though I did wonder, if I had been East Asian, would she have pushed even more Lunar New Year stamps on me? And what if she assumed I was Jewish? Should I have bought the Hanukkah stamps? There weren't any timely Passover ones on display.
I know the woman was probably just being nice, and I was being overly sensitive as usual. But this isn't the only time I've felt obligated to support something because I was black. I don't have any other pertinent examples at the moment. I'm sure I'll think of something later. Ooh, Soul Plane. That was just an embarrassment to everyone involved. More realistically though, Malcolm X. I was being pressured into going to see this movie by some adults in my life when it came out in St. Thomas. I don't have an excuse for not seeing it now. But at the time, I was 10 years old, and the movie was over three hours long. And to my knowledge, Malcolm X did not involve any singing crabs, dancing teapots, or wisecracking genies. So why would I have wanted to see it?
I did watch Kevin Hill, despite critics assuming that black people don't watch black dramas. I'm still not over that show being cancelled. Nor am I over the end of Everwood. I don't care that the series' respective networks technically no longer exist, or that their respective stars Taye Diggs and Treat Williams are both headlining new series that should be airing sometime this year. Strangely enough, Taye and Treat will both be playing doctors in dramatic situations. Because we don't have enough of them on the TV already.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
More articles I found and liked today, emphases mine:
From The New York Times, Trash Talk Radio, by Gwen Ifill.
I was covering the White House for this newspaper in 1993, when Mr. Imus’s producer began calling to invite me on his radio program. I didn’t return his calls. I had my hands plenty full covering Bill Clinton.
Soon enough, the phone calls stopped. Then quizzical colleagues began asking me why Don Imus seemed to have a problem with me. I had no idea what they were talking about because I never listened to the program.
It was not until five years later, when Mr. Imus and I were both working under the NBC News umbrella — his show was being simulcast on MSNBC; I was a Capitol Hill correspondent for the network — that I discovered why people were asking those questions. It took Lars-Erik Nelson, a columnist for The New York Daily News, to finally explain what no one else had wanted to repeat.
“Isn’t The Times wonderful,” Mr. Nelson quoted Mr. Imus as saying on the radio. “It lets the cleaning lady cover the White House.”
From The Huffington Post, Fearless Voices: The Feminine Mistake, by Leslie Bennetts.
...sociologists have spent decades comparing the kids of working moms with those of full-time homemakers, consistently failing to prove that the latter do better. "The research on the impact of working mothers on kids shows that there isn't any," reported sociologist Pamela Stone. And when the kids grow up, the futures of working mothers are usually brighter than those of the homemakers, who often find themselves financially stranded and bereft of viable opportunities for employment.
And yet millions of women continue to be misled by the fairy-tale version of life, in which Prince Charming comes along and takes care of you forever. Our culture programs women to believe that they can depend on a man to support them -- the classic feminine mistake -- and fails to explain how often that alluring promise is betrayed, whether by a change of heart or a heartless fate.Naively, I assumed that once women were offered more accurate information, they would be eager to get it...Wouldn't they want to protect their own interests by educating themselves about the dangers that lie ahead -- and to plan accordingly?...
...It shouldn't be news that educating ourselves can help us to make smarter choices...why would you make a major life choice that could jeopardize your future without informing yourself about the risks -- and the alternatives?
And yet many stay-at-home mothers seem unwilling to do so. In my interviews, most said they didn't want to think about the problems they might encounter in the future, let alone to do any contingency planning. When I asked about the dangers of economic dependency, they bristled and insisted that bad things would never happen to them, only to other people.
Race to Our Credit, by Tim Wise.
Sometimes it can be difficult, having a conversation with those whose political views are so diametrically opposed to one's own.
But even more challenging, is having a discussion with someone who simply refuses to accept even the most basic elements of your worldview. At that point, disagreement is less about the specifics of one or another policy option, and more about the nature of social reality itself.
This is what it can be like sometimes, when trying to discuss the issue of white privilege with white people. Despite being an obvious institutionalized phenomenon to people of color and even some of us white folks, white privilege is typically denied, and strongly, by most of us.
Monday, April 09, 2007
There’s growing evidence that American Idol sensation Sanjaya Malakar and Decision 2008 sensation Barry Hussein Obama are the same person.
I wonder what Mr. Macaca Goldstein, who thankfully lost his his Senate seat in Virginia last year, would have to say about that.
The story that's still going strong: Imus called women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos", from Media Matters, which has quite a collection of articles on Don Imus. And the latest from Yahoo! News, CBS radio, MSNBC to suspend Imus 2 weeks.
How The Gawker Stalker Map Works: A Guide for Dummies, Outraged Famous People And Old Folk, from Gawker. It's a response to last Friday's Larry King Live, where the host of The Man Show (Jimmy Kimmel), Michael Jackson's attorney (Mark Geragos) and Isaiah Washington's publicist (Howard Bragman) ganged up on Gawker editor Emily Gould to lecture her about the evils of gossiping about celebrities, i.e. the same people they interview and represent for a living, respectively. You can watch the video here, courtesy of Jossip.
For some reason, I thought I would revisit Penelope Trunk's blog since I hadn't read it in a few months. Yes, that Penelope Trunk. I scrolled down and found a post called This is a replacement for the post that used to be here. I read the comments that followed, but I couldn't figure out what had happened exactly to warrant such a retraction. So I did a Google search and found these articles: Tories sack woman for having breast cancer, from the f-word (scroll down for relevant topic); When Career Expert Rivalries Turn Ugly, from mediabistro.com; and Jennifer Weiner's latest post on her blog, SnarkSpot. I then came to the conclusion that in her orginal post, Ms. Trunk had called Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake, "SO INCREDIBLY FAT!!!", capital letters and exclamation points by Ms. Trunk. She also linked to a picture of Ms. Bennetts to emphasize her assertion. Ms. Trunk then dismissed the thrust of Ms. Bennetts' novel--that mothers and other women should have careers and take care of themselves, instead of depending on a man for financial security--based on the assumption that Ms. Bennetts is not following her own advice and taking care of herself...because she is "fat."
After reading that, you know I had to find that original post. I'm no expert on the interwebs. (Obviously. I still can't figure out how to change my blog's color from pink to purple.) But I knew that if Pajiba could rebuild its entire website from cached searches after the Department of Homeland Security snatched their server, I could find one embarrassing blog post. And I did.
Wow. I'm not posting it or linking to it here, but I'm sure you clever readers can Google cache the horror for yourselves.
Look out, Don Imus. If only there were an Al Sharpton of fat people that Penelope could apologize to.
Speaking of which, who elected Mr. Sharpton as the spokesperson for the "nappy-headed hos," "hardcore hos," "rough girls," Rutgers basketball players, or for the black population in general? I don't listen to Al's radio show. I don't know any black people who do. And even if I did, who said that Al Sharpton represents all of us? I know Al does not speak for me as a black person, nor as a woman who grows nappy hair.
Don needs to get himself over to Oprah. Two birds, one stone. Maybe have Sheryl Swoopes on the show at the same time to cover the basketball angle.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I got my hair straightened this afternoon. Now I can scratch my head again after a week of only being able to pat at itchy spots. I don't think I got burned, but my head did ache from the parting of my 1-2 inches natural growth. Yikes. My scalp was not happy with the comb pulling through the jungle that is my hair. I'm okay now, though. The relaxer took, and my hair is all shiny. Enjoy while you can, people; I'm getting it braided tout de suite. Meaning, next weekend, I hope.
While I was sitting under the dryer for the two hours it takes for my hair not to be wet anymore, I was reading Souls Looking Back: Life Stories of Growing Up Black. I borrowed it from the lovely and modern Santa Monica Library, along The Color of Our Future: Race in the 21st Century, which I haven't begun reading yet. I had spent much of Friday afternoon in the library reading Coal to Cream: A Black Man's Journey Beyond Color to an Affirmation of Race. It was mostly about the author's enchantment with, then disillusionment of, the race and color structure in Brazil and other South American countries, as compared to his experience growing up as a black man in the United States.
As I was reading these stories, I thought about many of these people's struggles in relation to my own upbringing. Growing up in St. Thomas wasn't perfect, and spending four years at LMU had its own frustrations. But for the most part, life was very good. Very good. Much of that was a function of my middle class background, my well-meaning parents, my intelligence, and my drive to succeed. I had never thought that because I was black I couldn't do something. I had never thought that because I was a woman I couldn't do something. Not doing something was not an option, not in my Middle and Upper School, and not in my home. None of my teachers thought I was doing well for a black student, or for a girl. They thought I was excelling for a student in my class.
The only times during high school when I felt like something was off was when I went away to summer programs at university. During the summer after ninth grade, I went to Exploration at Wellesley. At the time, I didn't think anything was weird. I learned about making videos, gender roles in American society, and discrimination against gay people. Oh, and the Summer Olympics. What I didn't realize until later was that almost all of the black kids at Explo were hanging out together exclusively. Meaning, sans moi. I just thought they all knew each other. All the friends that I made at Explo were white or Asian. And I never thought about that fact until I was in college. I never noticed that they were white or Asian. I just thought they were nice people.
The following summer, I went to the Institute of Television, Radio and Film Production at Boston University. Out of 54 people, three of us were black. We were also all girls. The rest of the people were mostly white, except for one of my friends who was an Asian guy. He carried around a small cow whom he called Le Moo. That's not relevant to the story, but it's true. Oh, and another of my friends was an Asian girl, who I think was a transcultural/transracial adoptee, because her parents came to Family Day, and they were white.
Anyway, there were a few other high school student programs going on at Boston University at the same time that shared a dorm with us. One was maybe music related, one was science related, one was drama related. And then there was Upward Bound. Or Outward Bound. One of the two. It involved taking inner-city youths, i.e. mostly black folks, and putting them in classes at the university for six weeks. I didn't really interact with any of them outside of the mandatory group activities provided for all the programs. But the two other black girls in ITRP did. Again, I had thought, maybe they know them. At one point, one of my tablemates in the cafeteria, who was in either the science or drama program, was surprised that I was in ITRP. He thought I was in...something else. He didn't specify what, and I didn't ask, but I'm sure he had assumed that I was their for Upward/Outward Bound. Why? I wondered to myself. The only people I was hanging out with that summer were all sitting at the table with me, and they were all from ITRP. It was glaringly obvious that I was in ITRP, yet he thought I was in some other program because I was black.
The icing on the cake was when the programs had the final dance before we all went home. All the ITRP, science and drama people had a dance together. But the Upward/Outward Bound people had a separate dance on a different night. What? That was the most bizarre thing to me. When I came home at the end of my summer, I mentioned this to my Mummy. First, she told me that I had gained weight. Hmph. The food was good. Well..it was plentiful and paid for. Again, not related. Then she expressed her understanding for separate dances and that Upward/Outward Bound people probably preferred it that way. What? That's not cool. We didn't have separate "ethnic" people dances at my school. Not like we could; there weren't enough people for that. I guess the people who ran the programs acknowledge that different people, i.e. white people and black people, liked different music, and having separate dances would make more people happy. But it didn't make me happy. Yes, I did have a good time at the white people dance. Yet I am still disturbed to this day that there was so much silently acknowledged racial division amongst these Boston University programs that our last events celebrating our summer of collegiate level learning had to be officially segregated.
Back to today. After my hair was done, I went to the Fox Hills mall to look for jeans on sale at Lane Bryant. My bum-bum has now expanded to size 16, and my old favorite jeans no longer fit comfortably. It's always a time at Fox Hills. Some of my friends prefer not to go there because it's too "ghetto" for them. Hmph. Yes, Fox Hills does cater to its black and Latino patrons. Meaning, there are multiple venues for purchasing athletic gear, "ethnic" hair care products, and baby clothes, just like the "mall" I grew up with in St. Thomas. But now that Fox Hills has an Old Navy, in addition to the Victoria's Secret, Macy's and Bath and Body Works that have always been there, shouldn't the disdain for the edifice decrease? Jeez. If only they had a Gap and an Ann Taylor Loft, I'd be set. I will admit that when I do see white people at Fox Hills, without at black or Latino friend, I wonder if they're lost. I'm such a racist.
I don't have anymore black experiences from today. I do have one from Wednesday. I found this article via Racialicious: The helplessness of white people. If you're reading this and you're my friend and you're white, I'm sure this doesn't apply to you. It's about those other white people (and some nonwhite people) who aren't as cultured and aware as you are.
Recently I attended a workshop about race and racism primarily attended by white people. And I was really struck by the expressions of helplessness with regard to dealing with racism: “We can’t do it by ourselves,” “We need people of color to help us,” “How can we make friends with people of color who can help us?” “We have no way of understanding race and racism.”
It was stunning to hear a bunch of well-educated people make so many statements about their inability to deal with the subject on their own. And it occurred to me that racism is still portrayed as the problem of people of color, to be solved by people of color. If white people are to work on anti-racism, we must carry them on our backs. Then we are expected to be grateful that they did any work at all. Yet this replicates long-held patterns of privileged behavior and denies primary responsibility.
This was my favorite part, emphasis mine:
There are many issues that concern me about transracial adoption...I think one of the most troublesome aspects of transracial adoption is the way it illustrates for me how white people are able to confer or deny visibility to people of color. In many situations, I’m aware of my invisibility. I know white adoptive parents who can’t pick me out of a room of same-race people even though they’ve “known” me for four or five years. And even in my community, they speak only to each other. What a way to teach your kid.
I couldn't imagine someone who has known me for any length of time not being able to pick me out of a room. I get picked out of rooms immediately. Mostly because I am never in a room with that many black people any more. Not by choice. I just no longer have the opportunity. :( I have seen that phenomena happen before, though. And it's so sad, because it says so much about the person who can't recognize their colleague of color.
Someone named Wendi then left a comment about how "people" and "person" usually stands for "white people" and "white person" in American media, while nonwhite people have to be described primarily by their color or ethnicity. For example, to paraphrase Wanda Sykes, if Tiger Woods committed a crime, the headline would read, "Black Golfer Arrested." I left a comment, too:
Wordy McWord, Wendi. That concept of “white” being the default and ethnic people being the “other” is something I come across in most books and almost every screenplay I have ever read. As if “black” can fully describe a character, considering the ever-persistent one-drop rule.
I used to be apologetic when I tried to explain my frustration with this my associates, as if I was the one with the problem. Well, no more! It is insulting to think that white people are the default and that non-white people must be described primarily by their race, color or ethnicity, especially when it has nothing to with the context.
That is all.
In woman experiences, I also left a witty comment on Pajiba, in response to The Daily Trade Round-Up on Thursday, called He's Just Not That Into Your Pajiba. I got a couple of good responses, too, including one calling me eloquent. So cool! You can scroll down and find it near the bottom, so you can read it in context. Or you can read it out of context here:
Word to Big Bird, molly and Jorden. Pajiba definitely needs more strong, talented female voices. It would only make your website stronger.
I read Pajiba religiously, but if you boys don't get something that is targeted at women, do not immediately write it off just because you don't have a vagina. I don't have a penis, but I can write coherently on why I won't be seeing Blades of Glory, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm not its target demographic.
I could go on for days about why I hate the book He's Just Not That Into You and the subsequent fame that it has brought Mr. Behrendt. I also hated half of the Traveling Pants movie because it ruined the stories of Lena and Bee, mostly with Alexis Bledel's bad acting. But, I loved the first and second Traveling Pants books, and I own all six seasons of Sex and the City. Daniel, I'm a Miranda, and I'm very of proud of that.
No matter how cute I think Adam Brody is, I won't be watching In the Land of Women, because the movie looks stupid. And if and when one of you writes a review of the movie for this site, please don't make the theme of your article, "I didn't understand this movie because I'm a guy." You can do better than that.
P.S. I liked Dunston Checks In. Mostly because I thought Graham Sack was cute. But Faye Dunaway was funny, too.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I'd like to know why.
I don't think "you should kill yourself," even though Margaret Cho thinks you should. I'd rather you read this article, You might be a feminist if... from the April 5, 2006 edition of The Daily Vidette, which I'm guessing is the Illinois State University newspaper:
...anyone who opposes an injustice based on gender - whether they're male or female - is a feminist, or at least, they can be said to hold some feminist views.
Despite what backlash has claimed, feminism is nothing more than the powerful notion that women and men deserve to be treated equally...
...If you think it's unfair for a rape victim to be asked if she's a virgin at her rapist's trial, you might be a feminist....
...If you want to be paid the same wage as a man who does the same work as you...Who are you kidding? You're a feminist...
I thought about writing my own list for people who say, "I'm not a feminist, but..." But what? What is stopping you from calling yourself a feminist? Do you think people will buy into the myth that feminists burn their bras? Or the myth that feminists hate men? Or the myth that all feminists are lesbians?
All those statements are untrue for a variety of reasons. So now what's stopping you? Really, I want to know. Please leave comments!
I'm not usually into labels myself, because one word or phrase cannot fully describe a person, especially not a complicated individual like myself. However, feminist is a label that I have worn proudly since I was 14 years old. I would have called myself one sooner--as I have stood up for women's rights since I was in kindergarten--but I didn't know there was a word for that. At the time, I also had no idea that so many people all over the world didn't want women to have equal rights, or any rights at all. I couldn't fathom why anyone would want to keep me down just because I am female. Of course, now I know that's only one of the many reasons mean people will actively dislike me. I'm a nice girl, but I can't stop all the haters out there with my wit and charm.
Oh, and menfolk? You can be feminists, too. There is no vaginal requirement.