Monday, October 27, 2008

Boo-freaking-hoo.


Republicans in biz feel stifled, bullied, by Paul Bond, The Hollywood Reporter.

. . . there are many who are trying to make Hollywood more accommodating to political diversity. Andrew Breitbart is one. At his Breitbart.com, he's launching a "Big Hollywood" blog with 40 industry conservatives tasked with -- among other things -- highlighting liberal intolerance.

"There's an undeniably vicious attitude against those who dissent," Breitbart said. "Hollywood is the most predictable place on the planet, not exclusively because of politics but because of narrow-mindedness."

Breitbart maintains that liberals have pushed conservatives too hard in Hollywood and that Americans have noticed. His intent is "to stop the bullying."

One "Big Hollywood" blogger is Andrew Klavan, an accomplished novelist-screenwriter who made a splash with a Wall Street Journal article comparing Batman and the "The Dark Knight" to President Bush and the war on terror.

"It's not easy being different," he said. "The liberals aren't all that liberal. We think they're wrong, but they think we're evil, and they behave like it."

. . . If you lean right, pitch to those who are sympathetic, or at least tolerant of conservative viewpoints, Klavan said. Mel Gibson, Jerry Bruckheimer and Joel Surnow come to mind.


As white male writers in Hollywood, it must be difficult for Mr. Klavan and Mr. Breitbart to feel like they fit in. Oh, wait . . .

When you consider Mel Gibson as one of your sociopolitical peers, there is something wrong with you. Also, if we "liberals" think you conservatives are evil, well . . . All I can say is that these people aren't helping your cause.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

The one where Joanie's fiancé rapes her.



The scene below is from Designing Women, Season 3, Episode 20, “Stand and Fight”.


Mary Jo: If kicking a man is such great defense technique, how come you almost never see that on TV? I mean, you’re all the time seeing women get raped, but you almost never see a man get kicked there.

Charlene: Oh, I can answer that. Because the TV network censors won’t allow it. I mean, at least that’s the way it used to be.

Mary Jo: How do you know that?

Charlene: Well, because Rhonda Fay Knuckles, who graduated high school with me in Poplar Bluff, is in fact married to a network censor. Which in itself is incredible since Rhonda Fay had the filthiest mouth of anyone I ever knew. I mean, she would even answer roll call with, “None of your damn business.”

Mary Jo: That’s incredible.

Charlene: I know.

Mary Jo: No, no. That they can show a woman being raped on TV, but they can’t show woman defending herself by kicking a man in a certain . . . sensitive area. You know what gets me even more is that twisted ankle business. That is so annoying.

Suzanne: What twisted ankle business?

Mary Jo: Oh, you know how they always show some young, blond thing in high heels with her bosom popping out of the dress. You know, running away from some monster or killer or something. And she’s doing pretty good, she’s making pretty good time, until [Mary Jo snaps] she twists that ankle. And then she just lies there till the monster polishes her off. I mean, I guess that’s what you get for having big breasts and running around on three-inch stilts.

Suzanne: What do you want her to do, Mary Jo? Stand up and beat the tar out of Frankenstein?

Mary Jo: Yes! I want a movie where some woman stands up and beats the tar out of Frankenstein. Or Jason or Freddy Krueger or whatever, and does it before her friends get killed. I want a movie where a woman with a gun knows how to use it, and doesn’t let some man wrench it out of her wimpy little wrist. I want a movie where the hero is Charlene, not Charles Bronson.

[Applause]

Charlene: I kinda like that idea.


I really like that idea. I am tired of seeing women attacked in my media. I was so upset when I was watching Mad Men earlier this week. You can see clips from the episode, "The Mountain King", explained by Creator/Executive Producer Matthew Weiner here. Or, you can watch the entire episode here. The AMC website describes the scene as such:


In Don's office the same afternoon, [Joan's fiancé Greg] asks Joan to "pretend I'm your boss" and forces himself upon her despite her protest that "this isn't fun." He pins her to the floor, saying, "This is what you want, right?"


Way to euphemize, AMC. Apparently the network has no problem showing a rape on screen, but heaven forbid they put the word "rape" in print.

After the scene aired, I could barely finish my breakfast, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I quickly remembered the following study that I found earlier this year on Feministing:

A recent report by NOW-NYC's Women and Girls in the Media Committee (WAGM) uncovered the startling fact that a number of films in circulation today fail to accurately warn against the sexual content they contain. The Motion Picture Association of America is in charge of assigning detailed and precise ratings to films. And they are not doing their job.

In response, WAGM spearheaded a campaign aimed at the MPAA and its failure to include warnings of rape and/or sexually aggressive behavior in movies where these abominable acts are clearly depicted. The committee compiled a list of 144 films released between January 1996 and March 2006 that had received either an R or NC-17 rating with mention of sexual content, but no specific mention of rape or sexually aggressive behavior (which we have defined as any non-consensual sexual contact/behavior that does not result in sexual penetration). Of the 144 films screened, 31 depict rapes or attempted rapes, and 66 contain characters that are victims of sexually aggressive behavior.

I read the actual media report, and what troubled me was that many of the 31 films that depicted rapes or attempted rapes were mainstream R-rated films, like Con Air, The Good Girl, The Craft, and Disturbing Behavior. One could argue that these films reflect the American culture of rape. However, I am more concerned about these films--and television shows and videos and commercials and advertisements--normalizing rape and perpetuating the image of women as victims.

When I saw Joan's fiancé smashing her face into the carpet as he attacked her on screen, I felt demoralized. I saw the physical act of slut-shaming: Joan's fiancé was angered by 1) Joan's numerous past partners, and 2) the fact that she likes to be on top. So he attacked her.

I doubt that Matthew Weiner consciously knew he was doing this, but he effectively punished the show's strongest female character for owning her sexuality. In the process of attempting to elicit the viewers' sympathy for Joan's tragic situation, the show also reinforced the message that eventually, women who enjoy sex will always get what's coming to them. And not in a good way. :(

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"We cannot let Mickey Mouse vote."



So that's what the controversy is about. No need to fact-check; I trust Stephen's gut.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where was this guy in 2003?



Oh yeah, he was banging the drums for war.

Powell endorses Obama as 'transformational', by Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin, Politico via Yahoo! News and Meet the Press.


. . . Now, I understand what politics is all about. I know how you can go after one another, and that's good. But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for. And I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be looking at in a McCain administration. I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions . . .


Then came an exchange which irritated me, and also provided an excellent example of white privilege:

MR. [TOM] BROKAW: And you are fully aware that there will be some--how many, no one can say for sure--but there will be some who will say this is an African-American, distinguished American, supporting another African-American because of race.

GEN. POWELL: If I had only had that in mind, I could have done this six, eight, 10 months ago. I really have been going back and forth between somebody I have the highest respect and regard for, John McCain, and somebody I was getting to know, Barack Obama. And it was only in the last couple of months that I settled on this. And I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president. And should that happen, all Americans should be proud--not just African-Americans, but all Americans--that we have reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen. It will also not only electrify our country, I think it'll electrify the world.


I wish Mr. Brokaw would have asked me that question so I could have given him a good what-for on national TV. How dare he ask such a racist question? How many white men have endorsed other white male politicians throughout the history of the United States? Has anyone ever dared to ask people like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Joe Lieberman if they were endorsing someone like John McCain because they are all white men? No. I have never heard that. Ever. But let a retired General and former Secretary of State endorse a US Senator who is leading the polls in the Presidential race, and the question that pops into Tom Brokaw's mind is, "you're not doing this because you're both black, right?".

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That baby inside of Amy's tummy is having way too much fun already.



Poor moose.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

I guess it's just you and me, Panda.




Except I don't need any smokes. You can go get me a cookie.

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The only celebrity endorsement I trust:



Per the end of the video, I think a sizeable portion of my readership is special white women (maybe even more than five), and they already know how much I care. So, you're welcome. :)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Say hi to your mother for me, okay?"



Mark Wahlberg Slams "Saturday Night Live", The Huffington Post via Yahoo!.

Someone showed it to me on YouTube. It wasn't like Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin, that's for sure. And "Saturday Night Live" hasn't been funny for a long time. They've asked me to do the show a ton of times. I used to watch it when Eddie Murphy was there and Joe Piscopo and Bill Murray. I don't even know who's on the show now.


Admittedly, SNL has not been funny for a long time. However, I am still laughing at this sketch. Andy does a good Marky Mark. Mr. Wahlberg should be happy that someone thinks he is still relevant enough to mimic. I'd be honored if Andy Samberg wanted to do me. Wait a minute . . .

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Really!?!



(Skip to 2:16 for the reference. Darn you, AIG.)

This morning I clicked on the Shine link on left side of my Yahoo! front page. The About Us section of Shine includes the following:

When we started talking about creating a new website for women, we wanted to avoid all of the common categories that advertisers or marketers tend to put us in. We didn’t want to be a site just for moms or just for single women or working women, or any specific demo- or psychographic. We wanted to create a smart, dynamic place for women to gather, get info and to connect with each other and the world around them . . .

. . . We’ve got a woman campaigning for the top job in the country, female bloggers now outnumber men, and we’ve got Tina Fey writing a hit network show for goodness sakes. We no longer need to stand by passively as the media portrays us as fashion-obsessed diet victims. With the internet as our megaphone, we can now portray ourselves as funny, opinionated women who are in charge of our incomes, careers, families and happiness.

So what you won’t find on Shine: Advice on how to please your man and diets that urge you to "lose 10 pounds fast!" . . .


Coolness!

But then I scrolled down Shine's frontpage and found the following headlines under the love + sex section:

Is there such a thing as an "ugly vagina"?

and

I need advice: Spit or swallow?

I spent the next few minutes yelling at my computer screen. Then I wondered, Is this really "a smart, dynamic place for women"? I certainly have more pressing issues to ponder than "an ugly vage". For instance, the illegal occupation of Iraq, or the genocide in Darfur, or the 2008 US Presidential election. Shine does address our current political state with the following front and center article: Obama v. McCain: A fashion face-off, subtitled, "First Lady Fashion Smackdown".

Yeah.

I do some advice for Ms. Vajajay and the Concerned Spitter. If you are with a gentleman--and I use that term loosely--who insults your vagina or gets upset when you don't swallow his ejaculate, then kick him to the curb. Tell him "to the left", and keep it moving. Your partner should see you as more than an eager-to-please sperm receptacle. Moreover, you should see yourself as more than that. Stop trying to figure out what someone else might like. Figure out what you want and what makes you happy. Then go from there.

Those Shine people should hire me. I am an expert at giving advice about issues which I have no experience in.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Incredible Restraint



This is how the debate actually went! Joe Biden behaved himself well, considering he was up against the offspring of Gomer Pyle and Jed Clampett. However, no gay marriage? Still? Really? Joe Biden and Barack Obama, your bigotry continues to astound me.

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Two of my favorite things



Suze Orman and Stephen Colbert. Skip to 6:38 to watch the funny. Can Stephen afford it? Show me the money.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I take so much for granted.


Today I attended a women-in-business related meeting, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Afterwards, I invited myself into a conversation amongst women about how women in business are perceived, both by men and by other women. There was a consensus about the double standards, and the impossible standards, that women are held to. Some women were surprised that they would be treated differently simply because they were women, and they were not happy about it. If you are one of the women in question, Hello! Thanks for reading my blog! Please leave a comment. :)

As the conversation progressed, one of the women expressed disdain for the sexism involved in some men spreading rumors about women to undermine them. Then within her next sentences she said, "I am anti-feminist".

I don't understand how the words, "I am anti-feminist," could come out of a woman's mouth. I was offended both as a woman and as an out-and-proud feminist. It would be like Senator Obama saying, "I hate that Dr. King and his ilk. He and Malcolm X and Maya Angelou were always causing trouble. There was no need for all that rabble-rousing to make sure that people like me have equal rights. I didn't need any help to get where I am today, even though people still discriminate against me based on my color. Why should anyone fight for the rights of black people? Now I'm going to go deliver another speech that heavily borrows from 'I Have A Dream'. Check you later!"

Since I am young, educated and black, I never have the opportunity to forget where I come from and how hard millions of people before me have worked to allow me to get where I am, both as a black person and as a woman. I often forget that many nonblack women don't have that same awareness and historical perspective. I know who I am and how I am. I also know that other people think they know, but they have no idea. But many other women don't think about how they are perceived in the world until something happens to them. And even then, they don't always recognize it as sexism. Feminists have made it possible for women to live much of their lives without experiencing (relatively) overt sexism. Feminists worked to get women up to that 77 cents of the dollar that our male counterparts make. Feminists continue to fight for human rights every day, including the right for women to be in business in the first place.

To clarify about The F Word: If you believe women should have equal rights, you are a feminist. Period. End of story. Jam done. You can go home now.

You don't have to tell anyone that you're a feminist. You don't have to protest. You don't have to burn the MYTHICAL bra. You can keep it to yourself. You can enjoy professional sports. You can wear skirts. You can have sex with men. It's okay. Please realize that most if not all of the stuff that you have been taught about feminists and feminism is false. I will repeat: If you believe women should have equal rights, you are a feminist.

And, as I have said before, Men? You can be feminists, too. There is no vaginal requirement. For reference, here is my favorite famous feminist man. He's super cute, too!

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WTF, Puma and YouTube?


So I was trying to find a video on YouTube for the post that I am currently writing about sexism and feminism. And here's the Puma ad that greets me on the front page: Batty Shake. Please read the comments underneath the video as well, and remind yourself that it is 2008.

This is what I have to deal with every day of my life, because there is no other image to combat that. No wonder I'm so tired. There is no ad showing an educated black woman working at her computer minding her business. No. Instead there is a black woman's booty shaking in your face for the enjoyment of some random Jamaican male athlete. I don't even know who he is.

All I have to say is every day. In my face. I am livid.

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