Was Kristen Stewart’s Public Apology Really Necessary?

 

In what was revealed to be a Mini Cooper romp between Kristen Stewart and her Snow White & the Huntsman director with over fifty photos as proof of the affair (according to Famous, at least. Have you seen the photos? They look completely staged for someone as notoriously private and publicity-shunning as Stewart. Rupert Sanders even seems to be looking at the camera in several shots.), I’m puzzled as to why Stewart felt the need to issue a public apology about something so intimately private.

I’ve never been cheated on nor been a cheater, but I imagine it’s an intense situation to find yourself in. Should your dirty deeds come out, there’d be a lot of apology-making and trust-proving to be had between all parties, assuming it was a “momentary indiscretion”, as Stewart claims her dalliance with Sanders was. But those parties do not include the masses, no matter how public your persona may be. You should be groveling to your partner if you want to make amends and perhaps even seeking out the other party’s other party, but really, Kristen has no obligation to do so: Sanders was just as attached as Stewart, if not more so, with a wife and two children. He’s responsible for the trust he breaks within his own family, not his mistress. That Stewart had to apologise for the “hurt and embarrassment I’ve cause to… everyone this has affected” is accepting a blame that is not hers and, quite frankly, out of character for her.

The Kristen Stewart we know and mostly hate is one who doesn’t give a fuck and blatantly says so in interviews and whose attitude at events and towards the paparazzi demonstrates this. For her to have been in a relationship with Robert Pattinson for the past three and a half years means she obviously cares about him, but no matter how sorry she is, publicly apologising for a private transgression is not something I can see her doing willingly: chances are her Twilight bosses demanded she do so at the risk of tainting the final instalment of the movies that made her and, arguably, her relationship.

The Kristen Stewart I know (y’know, cos reading gossip magazines and snippets of some interviews she’s done makes me the authority on her personal life) and kinda like would have flipped the bird at press releases stating her “hurt” and “embarrassment” at what transpired, and I think the few fans she still has would love her more for it. Let’s face it, she didn’t really have that many to begin with for whom a public admission of guilt is going to make much difference.

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Kristen Stewart’s Apology is Totally Unnecessary.

Image via Famous.

TV: Are We Dumb, Drunk & Racist? Yeah, We Kinda Are.

 

I’m loving all the independent Australian programming that attempts to show how racist we really are.

Last year, it was Go Back to Where You Came From (which is apparently airing a “celebrity” version soon!) which drew on our contempt for “boat people” and this year it’s Joe Hildebrand’s Dumb, Drunk & Racist, not only about Australia’s racism, but our drinking and thought habits.

Hildebrand introduces four Indian expats to the world of sun, surf and skin, but which could more accurately be described as “Dumb, Drunk & Racist”. Can you blame the Indians for having such a closed-minded view of the land down under when their students are constantly bashed and their call-centre workers denigrated for doing an honest day’s work? I think it was Radhika who asked, “Why Indians, not Bangladeshi or Pakistani [people who are bashed]?” To be honest, I don’t think racists are that savvy: they see someone who doesn’t look like them and it’s on. I think it’s pure coincidence that a lot of the student bashings that go on in Australia, and particularly Melbourne, are of predominantly Indian students.

And there’s an insidious kind of racism that’s embedded in a lot of cultures, not just Australia’s. Amer contends that sometimes a fight is just a fight, and sometimes there’s no racial undertone but people want to put the racism sticker on it because it helps explain what we can’t:

“Two white guys fighting is just a fight; a black guy and a white guy fighting is ‘racially motivated’.”

In the show, which aired its last episode last Wednesday, Amer, Gurmeet, Mahima and Radhika go to the outback, hospital rooms, Cronulla beach and Melbourne’s train lines after dark in an attempt to work through our apparent inherent racism, alcoholism and unintelligence. I hate to say it, but by and large, Australia is a Dumb, Drunk and Racist country. That’s not to say that all Australian citizens abide by these lifestyle rules, but as a whole, the quintessential Aussie does.

Having said that, though, the Indian’s weren’t exactly open to some of our ways of life. While racism is bad, so is homophobia, but Gurmeet had no problem frowning upon a lesbian couple they met a few weeks ago.

And I hate the notion of reverse racism, but Gurmeet was guilty of it when he said that we’re Dumb, Drunk and Racist because of our “criminal DNA”: “It’s in the mind of the Australian people.” So I suppose that means that oppression of women, arranged marriages, extreme poverty and third world living standards are in the “DNA” of Indians? (To be clear, I don’t actually believe this.)

In one of the episodes, when India was being compared to Australia and the different standards and living conditions of each country, Hildebrand scoffed, “Why should we compare our statistics to those of a developing country?” Here, here.

The most sympathetic of the bunch is Radikha who, when faced with the plight of Indigenous Australians who are so marginalised they often don’t warrant a mention when talking about racism, said:

“When there is a community which feels so hurt, so wronged, so scarred, so alienated there will be a hesitancy to come forward. Even if they have any kind of motivation, there are a million things to quell that motivation.”

What did you think of Dumb, Drunk & Racist? Do you think we are?

Related: My Response—Go Back to Where You Came From.

Image via Xceler8.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

Zoo Weekly, what will you think of next? Australia’s hottest asylum seekers, it would appear. [Daily Life]

The dearth of protected sexytimes on TV and in movies lead young people to have more unprotected sexytimes. [Jezebel]

Twitter: humanising the porn star. [Jezebel]

To bleed or not to bleed, that is the question most doctors should be asking their female patients interested in hormonal birth control. [AlterNet]

Apparently, six-year-olds want to be “sexy”. Cue outrage. While some points of the argument are valid, children are naturally sexually curious beings. I remember all my prep friends and I wanted to be “strippers” when we grew up, we thought Salt-N-Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex” was the coolest thing going, and we used to play the “sex game” regularly. Kids just want to do what they think adults do, which they emulate in make-believe. I think it starts to become a problem if these ideals are still being expressed come the onset of puberty when the body is physically ready for what typically accompanies “sexiness”, but certainly not mentally. [Jezebel]

Image via The Hoopla.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Thinks Hot Chicks Aren’t Funny.

 

Another arguably funny guy has contributed to the patriarchal gospel that women, and especially hot ones, aren’t funny.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom I’ve always liked, and whom a lot of women rank second only to Ryan Gosling, is the culprit this time around, saying that his co-star in the upcoming movie, Looper, Emily Blunt, is a funny girl, which is a rarity because most hot women aren’t funny.

Sigh.

I’m sure your past co-stars, like noted funny women and hot chicks Kristen Johnson, Ellen Page and Zooey Deschanel (whom I just don’t get, but each to their own), would have something to say about that.

When I posted the Jezebel article to a Gordon-Levitt fans’ Facebook, I was expecting her to be disappointed in his generalisation. Instead, she defended his stance and agreed with him that not a lot of conventionally attractive women are funny. She said the women Jezebel lists as funny and hot (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman and Ellie Kemper, to name just a few) she finds neither. I see your argument, and I raise you Olivia Munn, Kristen Wiig, Anna Faris, Lucille Ball, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Chelsea Handler and Ellen DeGeneres.

My friend then went on to say that she has yet to see a female comedian who is “intelligent enough in her humour to make me laugh without cringing”. This may be true, but has anyone stopped to wonder why there aren’t many female comedians out there, and the ones that are are relegated to talking about periods?

The patriarchy, my friends.

Comedy, like most creative callings and occupations, is a male-dominated world. I have a female friend who is a comedian, and she could go on for hours about the shit she’s had to deal with. Just look at the Daniel Tosh debacle, which involved female audience members, not comedians. When I’ve gone to see her perform live, she’s often the only woman on the card. It’s not that there aren’t any funny and sexy (and some would say you can’t have one without the other: I personally find a not-conventionally attractive man who’s funny sexier than a conventionally attractive one who’s behind the eight-ball when it comes to humour) women out there, it’s that they aren’t able to break into the boys club that is comedy, or they’re too disillusioned by it to even try.

Another friend jumped into the Facebook discussion here, and said that comedy is about poking fun at society’s ills and, from my point of view, who better to do that than a group that has historically been socially marginalised: women! This might be why “unattractive” males seem to rise to the top of the comedy scene (look at guys like Hughsey, Pete Hellier [Friend #2’s cousin!] and Hamish Blake, who dominate the Aussie comedic TV scene. On the other hand, there’s Blake’s partner Andy Lee, Jon Hamm, Andy Samberg, Ryan Reynolds, Russell Brand and Dane Cook, so go figure), but at the end of the day it just goes to show that men have many different currencies that show their worth, whereas women only have their looks.

Having said that, I’m sure many will disagree with the hot and funny people I’ve listed here (sound off in the comments!), but I think we can all agree that beauty—and humour—is in the eye of the beholder.

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Joseph Gordon-Levitt Says Most Pretty Girls Aren’t Funny; Our Vaginas Sigh with Disappointment.

[Cookies for Breakfast] So a Girl Walks Into a Comedy Club…

Image via Fanpop.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

Disney’s least to most feminist princesses. [Nerve]

A hilarious guide to how to take the best bikini body photos. [Jezebel]

Is the reason not many women hunt because their menstruation stench wards off wild animals? [Scientific American]

A deluge of complaints have come in about Carefree’s latest panty liner ad, saying that the use of the words “discharge” and “vagina” are offensive. When I first watched the ad, brought to my attention from a friend via Facebook, I was shocked: you just don’t hear the word “vagina” in advertisements. But good on you, Carefree, for finally bringing to the mainstream’s attention that most women have vaginas, menstruate and experience discharge. [Jezebel]

On the other hand, do we really need a product to mop up discharge if it’s “normal”? Is this just another misogynistic feminine hygiene product we’re being sold to make our vaginas less “dirty”? [TheVine]

When it comes to the Mooncup, preparation is key. [Feminaust]

O.M.G. Who knew all the boundaries and defences we put up when we’re “… Walking While Female” aren’t enough when you’re ambushed from behind by a guy on a bike. Scary stuff. [Collective Action for Safe Spaces]

The psychology of the compliment.

Interestingly, I had to unpack the psychology—and misogyny—of a compliment paid to me last week.

A male co-worker whom I hadn’t seen in a while complimented me on my hair. I said thanks, but I was thinking of changing it (appointment booked for next week!). He said I should keep it how it is because a lot of men would like it that way. I, tongue-in-cheek, said I definitely wouldn’t change it then because my mission in life is to wear my hair how men like it. He exclaimed that he can never give me a compliment without me taking it the wrong way. I said I take compliments fine, just not from him because there’s always a backstory laced with misogyny.

Earlier that day he’d also been talking about which celebrities he finds hot, and that he used to think Katy Perry was the bomb til Russell Brand posted that unflattering, make-up free shot of her on Twitter. After this, it was the final straw. I asked him to please stop talking about the way people look as if it’s the only worth they have. He said I was overreacting (ahh, the catchcry of gaslighters everywhere), and at that point I started to raise my voice. Two of my supervisors came into the office to ask if everything was okay, and I told them that my colleague was being misogynistic, offensive and inappropriate. He claimed I was the one being inappropriate, and my supervisor told him that if I’ve said something offends me and asked for it to be stopped, he has to stop. “No means no,” effectively. He started to sulk and said he would just stop speaking to me altogether (this would not be the first time he’s ostracised himself from fellow co-workers), and my boss said that wouldn’t be necessary; that he could just speak to me about other things.

This kind of behaviour has been going on with this guy since I met him three years ago; colleagues who’ve been there longer than that claim it’s been since day one. He says inappropriate things about peoples’ appearance, whether it be related to their sexuality or perceived sexiness, their race, etc. He has also been known to touch women’s hair and he comments on how I apparently look like Anne Hathaway, Natalie Wood and/or Kat Dennings and how hot he finds them in comparison. I’ve also called him out on defending rapists and saying that lesbians are gross. Obviously, he’s an abhorrent human being, one that until last week I avoided telling that his attitude is disgusting and would he please stop it.

My supervisor later told me that he would respect me more for calling him out; I’m sad to say that his misogyny is too deeply ingrained for what I said to make a difference. No doubt he’ll tell our co-workers that I’m “hysterical”, “overreacting” and “can’t take a compliment”. [Jezebel]

How to tell a rape joke. Daniel Tosh: take note. [Jezebel, Cookies for Breakfast]

Bettina Arndt’s at it again, this time telling women not to overreact to workplace sexual harassment, which is essentially just flirting. [MamaMia]

*Eye roll* Yet another successful, trailblazing female who “isn’t a feminist”: new Yahoo! CEO, Marissa Mayer.[Jezebel]

Image source unknown.

TV: Being Bogan Bingle in the Shire.

 

I read a comment on MamaMia after the airing of The Shire on Monday night that asserted with Cronulla girl Lara Bingle and now The Shire, someone from Sutherland is calling the shots on Ten.

Last night on Being Lara Bingle, Lara’s brother Josh let his quintessential Cronulla bogan come through when he pleaded guilty in court to assaulting a fellow racegoer at Melbourne Cup three years ago. In the wake of Lara’s Famous cover, he admonished his sister for being fat. Can we get over this already? As Lara tells Erin McNaught in an interview for MTV, she’s a normal sized girl, so what are the magazines trying to tell women who might be bigger than average?

Lara, Josh and Lara’s friend, Cara, discuss her weight gain after her breakup with Michael Clarke, and Josh says most girls get skinny with stress, but Lara got fat. Lara tells him that most men don’t like anorexic girls like he does, and Josh defends himself, saying he just doesn’t like girls who are “fat”.

Lara tells the pair that if she was that fat when she broke up with Clarke, they should have said something to her. Josh tells her he told her she was fat every single day. Jeez, this guy sounds like a stand-up brother, amiright?

Just like on The Shire, a person’s primary value seems to be placed on their looks. It’s not about a woman’s “brains” or “ability”, as McNaught contends, just as long as they’re skinny.

Related: The Dire Shire.

Shaming Lara Bingle.

Who the Bloody Hell is Body-Bullying Lara Bingle?

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] The Shire: Did You Watch?

Image via Herald Sun.

TV: The Dire Shire.

 

There is no hope left for Australian TV if The Shire is airing on Ten, screamed my Facebook newsfeed last night. My question is: if you hate it, then why are you watching it?

Hypocritical, I know, as I watched the show that’s been dubbed Australia’s version of Jersey Shore but is closer to The Hills or Laguna Beach and it physically pained me. But it’s for research purposes, okay, like Being Lara Bingle and the upcoming Brynne Edelsten show!

Seriously, though, at least the cast of The Hills and Jersey Shore actually had lives, things going for them, and talked about stuff other than the way they look. Snooki was a vet technician before she went to Seaside Heights. Lauren Conrad agreed to have her life documented, with the “dramality” turned up to ten, in a bid to further her fashion career. Even after Heidi Montag underwent her physical transformation, she had other things to worry about: namely, Spencer. Her family and friends were shocked with her surgical enhancement; they didn’t encourage it as a way of life like The Shire cast does.

I’m not going to comment on whether Vernessa, Sophie and Beckaa look good, as there are thousands of online comments trolling their physical appearance to more than make up for my opinion. What bothers me, though, is that all they talk about is their looks. I wish my lips were bigger. I love my boob job. Let me suck the fat out of your thighs. Would you rather your children be pretty or smart? Gag me. At least Beckaa talks about money and shopping to break up the monotony of her recent Dubai nose job and whether she should get a breast augmentation.

The other “characters” whose looks aren’t their primary focus can’t act for shit. At least Lara Bingle feigns shock at her bestie and brother hooking up well. Former lovers Mitch and Gabrielle just widen their eyes and wiggle their foreheads up and down at each other. Which is more than Sophie and Vernessa can say…

But with all the backlash and pure virtriol being spewed on social media—and at water coolers today, no doubt—you have to wonder if Ten is taking the mickey. Of course they would have to know the dire lack of entertainment The Shire provides and are poking fun at the fact that these people exist, that they can make a show out of it, and that people will watch. The Shire might be getting attention for all the wrong reasons, but Ten’s the one who’s having the last laugh.

Related: Shaming Lara Bingle.

Brynne Edelsten’s “No Barbie”, But Should She Aspire to Be?

Image via Ten.