Mid-week round up

// 13 July 2010

Dishonourable mention in today’s round-up has to go to the Daily Express, which has managed in the last few days to offend with not one but two incredibly awful covers.

The racism and ignorance of today’s Express headline, “One in 5 Britons will be ethnics”, is glaringly obvious. Tabloid Watch also posted the image the Express used to illustrate this vile story on their website – an image of Muslim women, one of whom is pushing a pram!

Somehow in all the post-election gloom, I managed to miss this: Nadine Dorries is on the Health Select Committee.

US environment site Grist has run a number of pieces calling for population control in recent times – in a welcome break, Fred Pearce argues access to family planning services must be led by a women’s rights agenda, not an environmental agenda. I could quibble with some of what he says, but I particularly appreciated his examples disrupting the stereotypes of women in poor countries not making active choices about how many children they might want.

whybeard.pngSatirising stereotypes of men used by companies to peddle shower products, this post by Hyperbole and a Half is fantastic. Click through for the whole series. (Via Sociological Images).

Jezebel’s regular editors recently took a holiday, and handed over the reigns to the editor of another Gawker blog – Deadspin. A barrage of posts ensued making fun of Jezebel’s standard fare – to give a taste, A.J. Daulerio’s intro post was headlined “Greetings, You Pretty Little Readers Of Jezebel Nation”. Anyway. Over at Subtext Magazine’s blog, Charlotte says:

Extra anger appears because not one of the big feminist blogs has come out with critique, the editors who returned on Monday have nothing to say about it and I feel like maybe I missed the memo when everyone decided it was OK to let this slide didn’t reach the Subtext inbox. In failing to say anything, Jezebel failed to fight for the readers and Gawker put visits ahead of reader loyalty. Fail.

Over at Obesity Timebomb, Charlotte Cooper considers a tactile sculpture sculpture of a fat, vaguely human shape, titled ‘venus’:

For me, a positive image of a fat woman might include some sense of autonomy. Ideally it would be produced by someone who has direct experience of a fat woman’s subject position. I don’t see any of that here. Instead, I look at venus and wonder: Where is her mouth? If she had a mouth, what would she say? “Get the fuck off me!” “Where are my rights?” Instead, a fat woman is diminished here through abstraction into little more than something passive, accommodating, squidgy and lovely – a magical fatty – and/or a disgusting blob. It’s so limited. We deserve better representations than this.

A short documentary made by school children in Brooklyn looks at gender stereotypes on the playground:

(Via Feministing).

PinkStinks looks at some of the sexist advertising that has sprung up thanks to the World Cup – there is even a hoary old tale of women not understanding the offside rule. (A piece of retrosexism that reminds me so much of secondary school, I almost thought for a second I’d been whisked back in time to the 1990s.)

Jezebel notes a fascinating disconnect between truth and reality. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a US supreme court judge, made some widely reported comments about abortion: the media glommed on to part of what she said: “We will never go back to the way it once was.” But apparently the rest of what she said went unreported.

Irin Carmon notes:

Her full remarks have not yet been put online by the Aspen Ideas Festival, her venue for making them, but judging from the Daily Beast account, Ginsburg actually wasn’t declaring that reproductive rights would remain protected for the foreseeable future — at least, not all women:

If the court were to change its mind, “there won’t be any real change for anyone in this audience or any daughters of anyone in this audience,” Ginsburg said. “The only women who would be truly affected are poor women. Because even at the time before Roe, women who wanted abortions could have a safe, legal abortion…Women could travel from one state to another and didn’t have to go to Japan or Cuba…Whatever the court may do, it’s only the poor women who will suffer. When people realize that, maybe they will have a different attitude.”

Maybe. Or maybe they don’t really care about what happens to poor women. Hopefully — with Ginsburg on board — we never have to find out.

Carolyn Gage highlights a horrifying action taken by New York University.

The University has bought a film by deceased artist Larry Rivers, which as Gage says is child pornography – she goes into the details a bit in her post, so click-through with caution:

Actually, the problem is that New York University seems unable to recognize that it’s child pornography, because it was made by a famous man using his two daughters as subjects. The problem is that New York University is denying the daughters’ request that the film be destroyed. NYU has agreed to restrict access to the film for the lifetime of the women, but that’s it… because, after all, this is the work of a great man.

The Sexademic has tips on how to tell if someone wants to fuck you.

Comments From You

Shea // Posted 13 July 2010 at 11:18 pm

Not Dorries, Jesus wept!

On a health select committee?!?!

She who believes that unborn babies can punch their way through uteri (it is a miracle how any babies are ever born really!). Good Christ- no!

Re: the Daily Express- yes stone anyone “ethnic” or “gay”! How is this hate filled rag even allowed to continue in a modern Britain? I suppose it does make good cat litter though, on the upside.

Laurel Dearing // Posted 14 July 2010 at 2:45 am

i love that kid. i hope his parents are proud. x

Jennifer Drew // Posted 14 July 2010 at 10:49 am

Excellent documentary on gender stereotypes – even better these two girls and boy ‘really understand the misogyny behind gender stereotypes.

But NYU clearly believes purchasing film of father committing sexual violence against his two daughters is ‘art.’ Of course we all know father-daughter incest is ‘rare’ which is why this vile man’s work is declared to be ‘art’ not filmed male sexual violence.

But then all forms of male sexual violence against women and girls are ‘rare’ are they not?

Hannah // Posted 14 July 2010 at 1:45 pm

I hadn’t heard of Grist before, but that was a good article and I’ll have to check out the rest of the site. If you’re interested in finding out more about the myth of overpopulation, you should check out PopDev, which has some good information on its site. http://popdev.hampshire.edu/

Re: Nadine Dorres, I read about that but have been trying not to think about it too much until she does something – I find that with this Government it’s almost better to avoid reading the news because it’s just too depressing. One Guardian blogger wrote that she’d barely turned up to the previous committees she was on, so we can hope she’ll do the same this time.

Thanks for lightening the post with the hyperbole and a half link!

polly // Posted 14 July 2010 at 7:24 pm

I don’t understand the offside rule, because football makes me go to sleep – I probably would understand it if I bothered to find out what it was, but frankly – like the rules of cricket – life’s just too short.

nick // Posted 15 July 2010 at 10:59 am

Polly — hope this helps with you …Rules of Cricket ..

The Rules of Cricket You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each player that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next player goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get players still in and not out. When a player goes out to go in, the players who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next player in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the players who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the palyers have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the players have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

Jess McCabe // Posted 15 July 2010 at 11:08 am

@nick LOL … I’m sure polly wasn’t looking for an explanation. The players and umpires don’t have to be men! In fact the English women’s cricket team have done pretty well in recent times!

Sheila // Posted 15 July 2010 at 12:52 pm

On sport, I was so proud of my daughter the other week. She was telling her grandfather she’d spent the weekend watching Wimbledon on the television. So he says, “who won?” and instantly I thought Nadal but without pausing she said “Williams”. Then he says, “what about the men’s?” and she says, with a yawn and a smirk (normally in my generationgiven to women’s sports), “Oh yeah, that was Nadal”. I was as proud of her attitude as I was ashamed of my own ingrained sexism.

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