Archive for the ‘pop culture’ Category

Sarah Haskins on lessons for women in 2009

December 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Another great Target Women!

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A White-Saviour movie: The Blind Side

December 2, 2009 1 comment

I really couldn’t resist putting that picture up instead of the movie poster…I think it just makes my point come across better!

So anyway, by now, if you watch any TV, you have probably seen the advertisements for The Blind Side. I rarely watch TV and I have seen it a million times over. At first, I thought it looked like this wonderful, heartwarming, based on a true story type movie. However, the more I saw the previews for it, the more worried I got about this movie. I haven’t seen this movie, so I can’t speak on everything…but it just kind of irks me the wrong way.

I definitely have racial issues with this movie. I know it’s based on a true story, but I don’t really care. The fact remains that someone thought that this particular story was compelling enough to re-tell. But why was it compelling to re-tell? I absolutely have no doubt that this reason has to do with the fact that a white family is “saving” an African-American teenage boy. People think that this kind of shit is great. They eat this up. Because, “Ohhhh…that poor Black child! We need to help them! They can’t do anything themselves! There’s no hope for them! Our white privilege and resources is the only thing that will help all the Black babies and youth in the world!”

Of course, some white people, like the family in The Blind Side, feel sorry for minorities when they really just seem down on their luck. But a lot of these white people feel like this to make themselves feel better. I do not want to get down on white people for realizing that minorities are oppressed in many ways, but in so many of these cases, white people victimize the minorities without even considering how that person feels. That in and of itself is oppression. And what happens in this movie, is that this family takes in this African-American teenager and he just becomes soooooo great. All because of this white family.

The other thing that worries me is how this movie is being promoted. Generally, from what I’ve heard, it’s all about how the white family take him in. And how the white family helps him accomplish these football dreams. It seems to be focusing on what this white family is doing more than anything. I haven’t heard about his choices, his capabilities, his initiative, his determination, etc. It’s all about these white saviours.

If you aren’t one to believe that this movie brings up racial issues in the White-Saviour department, I want to ask you this question. Would the film studios ever make a movie where another African-American family “saves” another African-American child or teenager? Think about it, and get back to me!

Also, just want to point you to a much more articulate discussion about this White-Saviourness at Black Youth Project. It’s an awesome read.

Violence against women has doubled on TV

November 30, 2009 1 comment

Apparently, violence against women has doubled on TV within the last 5 years. This is kind of worrisome, isn’t it? What may even be more worrying is that there is increasing violence against teenage girls. Hmm…I wonder what this says the people (especially men/teenage boys) that are watching? The article explains:

For years, media critics have described television as a cultural legitimizer. At some point, what is seen on television becomes normative. Studies consistently show that media consumers who view televised violence become desensitized to it. This trend is particularly evident for younger viewers.(emphasis mine)

However, no one seems to be concerned about this. TV Watch, a lobbying organization funded by big media corporations, isn’t taking any responsibility for this and says that these stories “provide cautionary lessons”. Suuuuure. Truthfully, some people might take it as a “cautionary lesson”, but you can’t rely on all people to view things that way. It is true that we become very desensitized to things we see on a regular basis. Even as a feminist, I catch myself missing a lot of sexist things, because I’ve been watching or hearing these things my whole life. To view these things as actual wrong actions, we need to learn de-socialize ourselves. But first, we must realize that we even need that de-socialization.

If this is something you are concerned about, please contact the major broadcasting corporations. Click here for ABC, CBS and NBC (the worst of them all!)

Masculinity in Disney films

November 30, 2009 1 comment

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, especially for the Americans that celebrated Thanksgiving this past weekend!

We all know about Disney films and how awful they are in terms of sexism. However, most of the conversation I see about Disney films is about how this affects females (rightfully so), but there does need to be conversation about how Disney films affects little boys that watch them. This video below describes the pervasive strength, sexism, and dominance that encompasses most, if not all Disney films. Great little video!

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All this Adam Lambert controversy (and a little #ShameOnYouABC)

November 24, 2009 2 comments

Well, about everyone in the whole universe knows by now that Adam Lambert shared a kiss with one of his male bandmates, as well as simulated fellatio with a male dancer. I wanted to put up the video, but it seems as though the video has been taken down everywhere…so I will share a picture instead!

Needless to say, this shocked most of the population and over 1,500 people formally complained about this. Clearly, homophobia is rampant (not that you needed to remind me, but maybe some other people needed reminding?) Is what Lambert decided to do in his performance really threatening? Does it really do any harm? No. Actually, it doesn’t at all. And I can say without any doubt, that if a woman had been in Lambert’s place, no one would really care. Even if it were only women taking part in this performance, therefore it still being all same-sex, people wouldn’t have cared as much. But men aren’t supposed to act the way that Lambert did. He doesn’t fit the mold of hegemonic masculinity, so people are freaking out.

However, because of all this shock and all the complaints, ABC canceled Lambert’s spot on Good Morning America. People are pretty up in roar about it and this issue is taking over Twitter (hence the #ShameOnYouABC). Instead, he’s going to be appearing on The Early Show on CBS. The good thing about all of this is that Lambert is standing by his performance.

“You know honestly, if I offended some people… it’s apples and oranges. I’m not an artist that does things for every single person,” he told Access Hollywood after the show Sunday night. “I believe in artistic freedom and expression, I believe in honoring the lyrics of a song, and those lyrics aren’t really for everybody either.”

I’m glad he’s sticking to his guns, because we alllll know this is actually about his sexual orientation, as opposed to his actual performance.

Hayden Panettiere gets, uh, dirty?

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

First off – **NSFW**

I came across this Hayden Panettiere stuff while doing my weekly search of horrible, trashy, gossip blogs. Don’t judge me!

So, she participated in a photoshoot with Tyler Shields, who is creating a book called “The Dirty Side of Glamour“. Here, we first see a picture of her, obviously naked, licking a machine gun.

Hmm…sex and violence. What a great combination! And how awesome is it that the machine gun is obviously this phallic image and she’s going to lick it. Wonderful. Juuuuust wonderful. This isn’t objectifying at all, right? And I mean, the sensationalized and glamourized concept of sex and violence? That’s not harmful at all, right? Oh, just wait for it. It gets better! Below is the video that Tyler Shields shot along with the photoshoot. You’ll love it. Watch it. Seriously.

Do I even have to explain myself? I hope I don’t, but I will. This video clearly has a huge sexual image. I mean, “champagne” (I know it is champagne, but come on), being sprayed all over Hayden’s face/body? And her looking very sexual about the whole thing? And drinking it? And possibly enjoying it? I mean, fine, I’ll be honest, I don’t know exactly what is being tried to get across here, but either way, even if some people think it’s art, it’s still objectifying. It shows that women are only sexual beings for men to mess around with. Nothing more, nothing less. Now, before I go further, I will say that something similar was done with Zachary Quinto, but you will clearly see that his video with milk does not seem to be an overtly sexual thing. He’s not opening his mouth or drinking the milk; and in fact, he remains fairly stoic during the whole thing. But you can judge that for yourself, I guess.

And you know, I know the book is called “The Dirty Side of Glamour“. I get it. It’s supposed to be dirty. But why does it have to be dirty at the expense of women? If you go to Tyler Shields website, you will see that there are many more photos that are complete, disgusting, objectification of women, which involves a combination of sex and violence. Like I said, just wonderful! In fact, click here, here, here and here. You will see what I mean! (Seriously, click there NOW – despite me not wanting to give him more traffic). But hey, it’s just art, right?

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Music Hit: The Plastiscines

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve decided to start a new weekly post to showcase some awesome female musical talent. The music world is still quite a man’s world, and a lot of wicked female artists/bands don’t get showcased.

Image via Sugarscape

The Plastiscines are an all female rock group (although, on their Myspace, they describe themselves as “disco house/thrash/glam – which makes them even rock more) from Paris. They do most of their songs in English though, but their French stuff is equally as enjoyable. Then again, I’ve always had a thing for all French music.

I admit that I was watching the last half of Gossip Girl (my guilty pleasure, which is quickly transforming into a no pleasure thing), so I checked out some more of their stuff. My personal favourite song is “Bitch”. I don’t know what they were wanting to get across here…but I personally see it as an awesome song to reclaim the word “bitch” itself.

As far as being an all female band, they say, “Being girls, we naturally get to hear things that, most probably, a guy band wouldn’t hear.” They have some other kick-ass statements as well:

The second album was a real challenge, we wanted it to be great, to show people we were not just a girl band with pretty faces. We wanted to show to the people who used to say we were just ‘dolls’ that we were actually a fucking rock band writing good songs and rockin’ out ah ah!

In the end, this all female rock band is strong, fierce and ass kicking. I put this music on, and I feel freaking awesome.