Another round-up!

// 27 May 2009

California’s Supreme Court has upheld Prop 8, meaning that the ban on same-sex marriage stands. The only good news is that 18,000 same-sex couples who married before the referendum in November will not be forcibly divorced. Bilerico has a full round-up of what happened and responses.

Sonia Sotomayor has been picked as US president Obama’s nominee for the US Supreme Court – the first Latin@ woman to be nominated. Latoya at Racialicious has an open thread to discuss some of the nonsense that has been said about Sotomayor as a pick. Sunny at Pickled Politics adds:

The most important issue is whether Ms Sotomayor is suitable for the post. Obama thinks she is, and that’s good enough for me. But there’s also no doubt that her identity matters – mostly because it points to the fact that America’s ruling class is finally becoming more diverse in race and gender and reflecting the society it serves.

This isn’t always necessary, but it’s important to understand that for many minorities who don’t feel connected to ‘the establishment’ or feel they have a stake in the country, representation from those groups does go some way in making them feel that they do have some sort of a stake.

Fatemah at Muslimah Media Watch looks at the coverage of Mukhtar Mai’s wedding to her security guard – Mai, you remember, made global headlines in her fight for justice after she was gang raped:

These are the facts that the media agrees on. By most accounts, this seems like a measured, deliberate marriage, even if an unwanted one. But reading most media analyses, one would think either that Mai was as giddy as a school girl or a traitor to women’s rights.

The AFP article that I pulled all these facts from also paints Mai as a “gushing” bride who is living the “happily ever after” storyline: “Seven years after her ordeal, she may still be a pariah among illiterate and older women but her transformation from victim to queen of her own destiny is complete since becoming the second wife of Nasir Abbas Gabol.”

This completely contradicts an interview she gave to Mag The Weekly, an online Pakistani magazine, in which she said of Gabol’s proposals:

“I knew that Nasir Abbas is a married man with five children. I was concerned about his wife and children and I kept arguing with my family members about the proposal. Then one day, Nasir sent his wife and children to our house. His wife forced me to marry her husband. Her behaviour was very strange to me. My siblings also forced me to accept the proposal. I finally gave up.”

Melissa at Shakesville considers the response to Eric Patten’s trial for hate crimes – in particular “for attacking two lesbians while spewing homophobic slurs and shoving one of them through a window”. Why is the response “he’s such a good kid, he would never do that”?

I’m not sure how many times we, as a culture, are going to have to do the shock-that-a-good-white-boy*-could-do-a-bad-thing before we finally lay in its grave at long last the idea that a characteristic we privilege (including being a Christian) confers an inherent goodness upon the people who exhibit it.

The Daily Mail has been forced to apologise and pay £10k damages to three women, after it falsely claimed they’d made the decision to adopt rather than having their own children because they rated their careers and figures more highly than having children. As Rhetorically Speaking says:

There’s one particular detail of the Mail’s editorial process to read alongside Paul Dacre’s recent defence of his paper’s ethical standards:

“The Mail blamed the offending elements on an unnamed executive who controlled a rewrite of the story, the statement from Carter-Ruck said, rather than the journalists who interviewed the women.”

So a senior member of staff inserted lies into the story to fit the Mail’s moral posturing about working women. For details of just how mendacious the original story was, read the Mail’s extensive correction, which admits to assigning false motives, inventing opinions and fabricating direct quotes.

Will that executive be disciplined or fired? Or are we just hoping – following Dacre’s theory of self-regulation – that the “shame” of going.. uh.. un-named.. in front of his or her peers will be enough?

Racialicious has a post about Xiu Ping Jiang, a 35-year-old Chinese woman suffering from mental illness, who is currently fighting deportation from the US. She fled to the US after being forcibly sterilised. It includes this shocking excerpt from a NYT story:

Twice the immigration judge asked the woman’s name. Twice she gave it: Xiu Ping Jiang. But he chided her, a Chinese New Yorker, for answering his question before the court interpreter had translated it into Mandarin.

“Ma’am, we’re going to do this one more time, and then I’m going to treat you as though you were not here,” the immigration judge, Rex J. Ford, warned the woman last year at her first hearing in Pompano Beach, Fla. He threatened to issue an order of deportation that would say she had failed to show up.

She was a waitress with no criminal record, no lawyer and a history of attempted suicide. Her reply to the judge’s threat, captured by the court transcript, was in imperfect English. “Sir, I not — cannot go home,” she said, referring to China, which her family says she fled in 1995 after being forcibly sterilized at 20. “If I die, I die America.”

The judge moved on. “The respondent, after proper notice, has failed to appear,” he said for the record. And as she declared, “I’m going to die now,” he entered an order deporting her to China, and sent her back to the Glades County immigration jail.

Centre Pompidou in France will be hosting a year-long exhibition displaying only the work of female artists, reports Bitch:

“In France, nobody counts the number of men and women in exhibitions. Very few people notice that sometimes there are no women,” says Camille Morineau, the curator of elles@centrepompidou exhibition, to the LA Times. “Excluding men and showing only women is a revolutionary gesture of affirmative action.”

Sociological Images considers how an ad for Tropicana orange juice constructs girls.

This discussion at BFP’s place about “what is butch?” has spun out into this and this post about how butch and femme identities intersect with disability:

In each vignette, I really think that the question of whether you see me as butch or femme doesn’t really happen unless you integrate or get past the disability question. And what about my choices and my perspectives?

Melissa again at Shakesville, on teaspoon-by-teaspoon progress.

And, finally, Madam Miaow posts about a theatre production at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston, where white actors don yellowface:

Here we are, rendered invisible yet again in a story about, ha!, get this, the burial of Chinese women.

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