Jan. 4th, 2013

clevermynnie: (mask)
Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy. Let’s Unpack That. "It’s about history, and this notion that History Is Authentically Sexist... History is not a long series of centuries in which men did all the interesting/important things and women stayed home and twiddled their thumbs in between pushing out babies, making soup and dying in childbirth. History is actually a long series of centuries of men writing down what they thought was important and interesting, and FORGETTING TO WRITE ABOUT WOMEN. It’s also a long series of centuries of women’s work and women’s writing being actively denigrated by men."

Helpful Hints for Dudes, part 7: "That reflexive assumption, casually and incessantly expressed, that feminists are hostile (and violently so!) is one of the reasons I inserted the "no bad faith" clause into Shakesville's commenting policy. If someone can't approach me, or another contributor, or a fellow commenter, without the implication that feminists are violent tyrants who react vengefully to any expression of disagreement, that is not engaging with good faith. To put it politely."

Today In Projection: "To hear Fox News and the GOP and the conservative evangelical crowd... American Christians are the most persecuted people on the planet. Yeah. Not so much. The report details the ways in which atheists are charged with crimes in countries where atheist or humanist views on religion are banned outright; in which atheists are compelled to lie about their beliefs in countries compelling identification with state-recognized religions; in which atheists are denied access and privileges that religious believers are not. And though many USians might imagine this happens only in "those countries, over there," the report notes that legal and cultural discrimination against atheists exists in the US, as well."

Black meteorologist fired for responding to negative comments about her hair: "Despite the fact that there is no cited policy that Lee violated, she was fired from her job. Her boss reports that the policy was not written down but was mentioned in a meeting that Lee did not attend... This story breaks just months after a white news anchor was championed for speaking out, on air, against an online bully who made insensitive and fat-shaming comments about her weight. She had the full support of her job, coworkers (which included her husband), and the general public."

Just Shut Up: "But consuming media critically is a skill, and in an age where media is more prevalent than ever before, it’s a skill worth having. It’s a skill worth having because you are going to continue to be exposed to media, and it is going to continue to attempt to manipulate you. It’s a skill worth having because it makes it less difficult to see people talking shit about things you like, not more. It’s a skill worth having because some of the shit being taught en masse by media is horrible scary damaging shit, and maybe you don’t think you’ve learned that horrible scary damaging shit, and maybe you don’t think you’re susceptible to that horrible scary damaging shit, and honestly? Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’re not. I don’t know you. But I know that a classroom full of average southern Ohio state school students went silent in horror at the full realization of what Beauty and the Beast teaches kids too young to know better."

Why Talking About Character Gender Still Matters (Even Though It Shouldn't): "If you have an egalitarian view of gender but still find yourself surprised to see women portrayed as more than tokens or eye candy, this begs the question of why. If society has reached a point where gender doesn’t matter, as the aforementioned comments suggest, then why am I surprised by such scenes? The answer is that regardless of what I believe about gender (namely that we all deserve equal respect and opportunities, and that the notion of “boys versus girls” needs to die already), popular culture is telling me something different. It’s a bothersome dissonance, and the only way I know how to grok it is by putting narratives under the microscope. That’s not to say that the problem is with individual stories. On paper, there’s nothing wrong with an all-male cast, or a story that lacks prominent female characters. As isolated storytelling possibilities, those are perfectly valid. But in the context of a dominant trend that spans across media (that is, more than one medium) and genres, they warrant dissection. Nothing will change if we just ignore it and hope that the imbalance will correct itself. When has that ever worked?"

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