Round-up: the UN, Jade Goody, Sleater-Kinney, iron collars, WoW and Repo Chick

// 12 December 2008

Next week the UN will vote on a declaration decriminalising homosexuality.

Jade Goody’s at it again:

The reality TV star is talking on her latest show Jade on Living TV, which follows the star as she battles cervical cancer and is broadcast for the first time tonight.

Talking to the camera as she drives in her car, Jade jokes that she’s not being homophobic as her mum Jackiey Budden thought the same and she was a lesbian herself.

Jade says: “I think I’m going to look alright with a bald head. If you’ve got really short har, if you’re not an absolutely stunning bird, it’s really hard to pull it off, which is why I struggle.

“And you can take the risk of looking like a lesbian. Mum even told me that and she’s a lesbian.”

She then compounds the lesbian stereotype by saying: “I don’t want to be wearing Timberlands, baggy jeans, and a big shirt with short hair or a bald head, ‘cos people will be like…(pulls disgusted face)”


Five of the top all-female bands from the last five decades, over at Dollymix. Includes a Sleater-Kinney video, should you need an incentive :-) – it’s also my friend Laura’s last post Dollymix. She has this to say:

If a girl gets on stage to play a rock instrument, you can guarantee at least some of the boys in the audience will stand right in front of her, head cocked to one side and arms crossed, staring right at the fretboard to see what she’s playing. It’s happened to me loads of times – sometimes I wonder if people are staring to check if I’m playing at all!

Abortion should be a human right under EU law, according to the Feminist Initiative party in Sweden – see womensphere for more.

Some things have improved since 1961 – women are not expected to wear magnetic iron collars to “dissipate wrinkles” – see Boing Boing for the disturbing photo.

Ampersand demolishes a ridiculous survey on obesity and Chinese restaurants.

Rhetorically Speaking revives a story from the press coverage of the passage of the Human Rights Act, back in 2000:

Under article 10 of the act – freedom of expression – it said pupils could challenge the rules on school uniform and even insist on cross-dressing.

92% of women masturbate, according to a study posted about over by Tracie, over at Jezebel. I love her break-down of the percentage of her week she spends masturbating!!

bfp on decolonizing creativity.

World of Warcraft now offers players a function which allows players to re-customise their avatars, changing their face, hair, skin colour and, prompting lots of attention and silly headlines, sex.

Make a pact with a woman you know to always be honest and open about your salary, urges Courtney at Feministing.

Fans of the ’80s movie Repo Man – director Alex Cox is planning a sequel, set in the credit crunch, with a female lead! Question 1) will the soundtrack be as good? Question 2) Is it a bad sign it’s going to be called ‘Repo Chick’? (My guess: no, and yes).

Cripchick posts about a homophobic incident that occured at a screening of black./womyn.:conversations

Suzie wants some perks.

And, finally, quench zine is posting some great stuff which hasn’t made it into the printed zine. Like this.

Photo by gaelx, shared under a Creative Commons license

Comments From You

polly styrene // Posted 12 December 2008 at 9:27 pm

So is it insulting to imply that lesbians have short hair then? Because quite a lot of lesbians do actually, (like me) and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Is there something wrong with not looking “feminine”?

Jade Goody’s remarks are (mildly) offensive in that she seems to think there’s something bad about “looking like a lesbian”.

But it’s equally offensive to suggest that lesbians who actually dare to look the ‘stereotype’ you describe are somehow inferior to feminine looking lesbians. Because some of us DO look like that stereotype. And we’re not ashamed.

Yes Goody’s remarks are unfortunate to say the least. But she is describing a very real phenomenon, where women who don’t look “feminine” get shit. So she probably does (given that she’s already got potentially terminal cancer, is the single parent of two children and is under extreme stress) worry that she’ll get even more abuse than she does already (and a lot of it is both misogynist and classist) for ‘looking like a lesbian’. Because I’ve had it said to me, and it generally isn’t meant as a compliment.

Jess McCabe // Posted 12 December 2008 at 10:02 pm

Polly, I don’t think we disagree on any of this?!

It was the “(pulls disgusted face)” bit that I found offensive enough to post about (although, granted, that’s their description – I haven’t seen the clip), along with her implication that there’s something wrong with being lesbian or unfeminine.

She does have cancer, is under a hell of a lot of stress, and so on. But she’s still a public figure putting herself out there, and I don’t think it’s inappropriate to point out that what she said is offensive. But that’s why I left it at “…!”

Anj Green // Posted 13 December 2008 at 10:44 am

Being a player of WoW like… it’s heroin or something, the sex-changes are kind of interesting. Every world, real or virtual, needs transsexuals, even if only for diversity. ;)

My night elf hunter even has the “Tomboy” cropped, side-parted haircut and she’s pretty cool-lookin’, certainly nothing to go pulling any kind of disgusted face about.

Saranga // Posted 14 December 2008 at 11:41 pm

I read the ‘pulls disgusted face’ part of Jade’s comments as a description of how other people will react, indicating that she doesn’t want the negative reactions she things steretypically butch lesbians receive.

That in itself isn’t homophobic, thats’ describing other’s reactions, and (in the text above at least) she hasn’t put a judgement on whether other people’s reactions are justified or not.

Of course, implying that looking like a lesbian is bad probably is homophobic, unless you argue that actually it’s not the lesbian part she objects to, but is instead just a matter of taste in clothes and style, in which case Jade is just not being very articulate when using lesbian to describe the look, and therefore is feeding into societal wide homophobia.

Lastly, justifying your words by saying that your *close personal relation/friend of specific sub group being referred to* agrees with your (possibly) inflammatory statements really winds me up. if you think what you are saying is homophobic, don’t say it. If you don’t think it is, have faith in your views and don’t use token friend/relation to make your view acceptable. It doesn’t work that way! Gay people can be homophobic too! Gay people don’t have a hive mind!

Jess McCabe // Posted 14 December 2008 at 11:45 pm

@Saranga Hmmm, maybe you’re right, actually. Reading it back again, it could have been that she was articulating what *other people’s* reactions might be, not what *she* thinks…

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