Newspaper Clipping(s) of the Week: Feminism, Jackie O & C*nts.

 

The weekend newspapers really produced their fair share of thought provoking articles, with Jacqueline Maley’s exposé on the word c*nt, and Jackie O’s anti-feminist and pro-Kyle Sandilands outing in new-look Sunday Life.

The first article was an entertaining read, detailing the historical responses to the word c*nt which, when it was a street name in London in the 13th century (albeit in the red light district), suggested a sort of acceptance in the old world. PC run wild in the modern day one, perhaps?

Maley also writes of the feminist connotations of c*nt, and why it’s deemed acceptable in some circles (“Hey, c*nt!” as a term of endearment) and not in others.

Personally, it’s just a word to me, like “fuck”, “slut” and a plethora of other expletives that can be used to offend. While the article insists on writing it “c…”, as per The Sydney Morning Herald’s editorial guidelines, I guess I’m doing the word no favours in its quest to become destigmatised: even though I use it quite often and in affection, I still asterisked the “u” out.

*

On to the apparent “Better Half” of Kyle Sandilands, Jackie “O” Henderson, who unshockingly somewhat excuses Sandilands treatment of women on his show. In last year’s “fat slag” journalist controversy, Henderson stayed mum, saying in the article that, “I wasn’t about to beat up on my friend when the rest of the country was, just to save my behind. So I did keep quiet.”

So it doesn’t surprise me when Henderson say she’s not a feminist:

“Does she consider herself a feminist? ‘No,’ she says, with a shy smile.

““Why?’ I cry in disappointed tones. ‘You’re a woman.’

“‘I know,’ she says, laughing. ‘I know. I do feel like I have achieved so much, in radio especially. But I’ve never considered myself a feminist. I’m just, you know, I’m doing what I love. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. But … you know.’”

Yeah, we do. You’re embarrassed about the stigma being a feminist has, much like the connotations of c*nt. But someone who’s best friends and business partners with a man who uses his platform and influence to berate women on air for all manner of things—their appearance, their sexuality, their opinions—is not someone I want standing under the feminist umbrella.

Related: Who Thinks Jackie O’s Parenting Style is Beautiful?

I Think I’m Beginning to Understand This #MenCallMeThings Thing. Except It’s Not Just Men & It’s Not Really Me.

Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Break My Slutty Stride.

Elsewhere: [Sydney Morning Herald] The Incredible Explosive Word.

[Sydney Morning Herald] What Jackie O Really Thinks About Kyle Sandilands.

[MamaMia] A Letter to Jackei O & All the Other Non-Feminists.

Image via Facebook.

Magazines: People’s Sexiest Man as Relationship Counselling Tool?

In this weekend’s Sunday Life, Clem Bastow writes about Ryan Gosling and celebrity crushes as being good for a relationship.

The article got me thinking about how Ryan Gosling—who’s held a soft spot in most women’s hearts since The Notebook, but has really launched himself into the ideal man stratosphere in 2011, with his “Photoshopped abs” and busting up fights in the streetlost out to People’s Sexiest Man Alive Bradley Cooper in this year’s contest.

Bastow’s article heavily focuses on the (imaginary?) war between these two, which I find quite interesting. In my mind, Cooper has remained irrelevant this year, bar The Hangover Part II and his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it alleged fling with a newly single Jennifer Lopez. Perhaps if this was 2009, Cooper would have rightly won the competition. But how can you compete with Feminist Ryan Gosling, rescue dogs, faux tattoos, Emma Stone and that drawling, brooding thing Gosling has going on?

I’m not even a Ryan fan, per se, but I can see People made the wrong choice.

What do you think? Cooper or Gosling? Or someone else? Should we even be celebrating the rating of a man’s sexiness? (If it’s based on looks alone, which I believe Cooper’s win is, then perhaps it’s not such a good idea. But sexiness encompasses a whole host of qualities other than how a man looks out of his shirt, and Gosling certainly possesses said qualities.)

Elsewhere: [Sydney Morning Herald] Can a Crush Be Good for You?

[Feminist Ryan Gosling] Homepage.

[Jezebel] Watch Ryan Gosling, Hero, Break Up a Random Street Fight.

[Jezebel] Heroes Protest Ryan Gosling Losing “Sexiest Man Alive” Title Outside People Offices.

Image via Feminist Ryan Gosling.

Newspaper Clipping of the Week: Gender Bending Babies.

Gender-neutral baby Storm, son/daughter of Canadian couple Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, who have two other children whose genders are known, is the subject of Good Weekend’s “Newspaper Clipping of the Week”.

The article is a very interesting one, for those who have and haven’t heard of the baby whose gender has been kept a secret from the rest of the world in a bid to let Storm grow up making choices about who he/she wants to be without the confines of gender.

While I think gender-neutral parenting is a good idea, to an extent—letting your child choose whatever they want from the toy store, as opposed to letting them choose whatever they want from the boys/girls section—one has to wonder what effect being genderless will have on Storm as he/she grows older. It’s hard not to think that this is just a social experiment on the part of the parents, with no regard for the child.

What do you think? Would you ever consider keeping your child genderless to the outside world?

Newspaper Clipping(s) of the Week: Conservativism Reigns Supreme in The Sunday Age’s Opinion Section.

I was pleasantly surprised to see an article on Chris Lilley’s Angry Boys juxtaposed against one on the SlutWalk in The Sunday Age’s Opinion columns this past weekend.

What I wasn’t so pleasantly surprised to find was that they were both championing the censorship of a show “many critics and some intellectuals have applauded… for [its] brave comedy” and of women’s rights to wear what we want when we want where we want without the risk of sexual assault.

On that, Nicole Brady, author of “It Makes Sense to Be Aware of What You Wear” actually sides with the Toronto policeman, Michael Sanguinetti, writing, “The word ‘slut’ was probably overkill, but that policeman was onto something… Boiled down, and stripped of the inflammatory ‘slut’, his argument was ‘be careful about what you wear’. Advice as dull as your mother telling you to wear a coat on a cold morning.”

I don’t want to go into why what the cop said was wrong and why Brady’s likening of “not dressing like a slut” to wearing “a coat on a dull morning” is an archaic way of thinking (for that, you can go here).

In the article to the left of Brady’s, Bruce Guthrie continues in his argument against the ABC/HBO partnership, saying that the ABC’s charter may be in conflict with the success of and American market for the show. “I’m not sure if the cable network has a charter, but if it did it would probably say this: ‘Our goal is to make as much money from our programming as possible’,” he writes. Guthrie specifically takes issue with Lilley’s portrayal of rapper S.Mouse, a role for which the actor and creator appears in blackface. “Why is it okay for Lilley to wear blackface, but the guys from Hey, Hey, It’s Saturday are vilified for it?” I’ve heard it asked.

Unlike Brady’s, I can see Guthrie’s point. I think Angry Boys has a lot of potential, and it is damn funny, but I feel that it has gone a bit downhill from the first episode, which focused heavily on the Sims twins, Daniel and Nathan, and their Gran’s workplace, a juvenile detention centre, to last week’s third, which “explained—and showed, needlessly and graphically—how surfer Blake Oldfield became a eunuch.”

But it does portray Australian “bogan” life to a tee, and I think if the show focused a bit more on the juvenile detention centre, and the classism and racism that surrounds it, Angry Boys would not only be a funny show, it would also be an apt dialogue on Australian society.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Break My Slutty Stride.

Newspaper Clipping of the Week.

 

The Age’s A2 supplement’s writer, Adam Carey, seems to have picked up on the “porn-chic” movement that’s sweeping the fashion industry, and thus, popular culture.

Following on from Monday’s “Disturbing Behaviour” post about Terry Richardson’s take on Glee, Carey profiles Acclaim magazine’s latest cover, which features porn stars Justine Joli and Ryan Kelly, as well as Oyster’s Faye Reagan (FYI, also a porn star).

Porn is the new black, it seems, with everyone from Naomi Wolf to the arty, high-fashion mags throwing their two cents in. That means one thing’s for sure: “In the end, sex sells. But only for as long as we’re all buying.”

And I don’t see that coming to an end anytime soon. So, porn it is!

Related: Disturbing Behaviour: Terry Richardson Does Glee.

Is There Really A Beauty Myth?

Drug of Choice: The Disney Heroine.

Last weekend’s The Age supplement, A2, was jammed packed full of goodness , including a feature on the recent spate of fairytale-inspired exhibitions.

One of the exhibitions talked about in the article is the Bendigo Art Gallery’s “Looking for Faeries: The Victorian Tradition”, which I saw yesterday, and ACMI’s “Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney’s Classic Fairy Tales”, about the fairytales adapted for the screen by Walt Disney, with the groundbreaking (for the time) Snow White & the Seven Dwarves being a key component.

As you know, I can’t get enough of my Disney princesses, especially the constant discourse surrounding their affect on young girls, so this passage from the article took my fancy:

“In the past, and particularly in the 1950s, Disney fairytale heroes and, above all, heroines, were insubstantial figures, despite their predicaments, and energy and comedy were provided by the sidekicksthe dwarves in Snow White, for example. You can see a change in 1991’s witty, thoroughly engaging Beauty & the Beast: Belle was a more dynamic heroine than Snow White, and there was a character in the film who thought he was a handsome prince, but definitely wasn’tthe vain and vicious Gaston.

“[Tangled producer Roy] Conli credits John Lasseter, producer, director and chief creative officer at Disney/Pixar, for an insistence that central characters have to be the emotional and the comic core of a film. So, Rapunzel, the girl with 20 metres of blonde hairwho has been shut up in a tower her whole life, or, “like, grounded, like, forever”isn’t simply set free, end of story. In Tangled, she has a male counterpart, a foil, he says, a worldly, dashing thief called Flynn Rider whose adventure of discovery takes place alongside hers.

“… Whatever we make of these new fairytale dynamics, whether we regard them as retrograde or progressive, misguided or inventive… fairytales are often more appealing to adults than children.”

Perhaps that’s why I still can’t get enough of Belle… and it’s nice to see a modern-day Rapunzel adopting, like, a modern-day vernacular.

Related: Women in Fiction: Are Our Favourite Fictional Females Actually Strong, or Stereotypes?

Elsewhere: [Bendigo Art Gallery] Looking for Faeries: The Victorian Tradition.

[Australian Centre for the Moving Image] Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney’s Classic Fairy Tales.

Newspaper Clipping of the Week.

 

In Sunday Life’sStyle Issue, new editor Sarah Oakes’ Midas touch is already evident.

Especially in commissioning the piece “Fashion Goes Gaga” by Polly Vernon, in which Vernon argues that “pop music has always been sexually charged”, referencing Rihanna’s “Te Amo” and Gaga wannabe (which I don’t agree with) Christina Aguilera, just not in the way that Lady Gaga has revolutionised it. Vernon says, “To dismiss Lady Gagaand her visual spawnas salaciously, gratuitously, unnecessarily sexual is… just plain wrong.”

True, because “Gaga’s version of sexuality is extraordinary from an aesthetic perspective. She makes fashion statements out of gimp masks and gaffer tape, and orgies out of vast synchronised dance segments. She turns sex into camp theatre, and the result is challenging, alarming, powerful and exciting”: a far cry from “the cynical, soulless titillation of your average Britney Spears video.”

But with the mention of gaffer tape and gimp masks, it sounds more like a certain Aguilera effort than Britney, doesn’t it? ;)

Related: Everything They Touch Turns to Gold.

Newspaper Clipping of LAST Week.

So I’ve been a bit behind the eight ball this week, what with moving to my new digs in Richmond and all. But I thought the time had come to stop staring out the window at my fabulous view of the city and catch up on some work.

This last week’s newspaper clipping comes from Sarah Wilson’s Sunday Life column. In it, she discusses the perils of sitting down with a good book and actually reading it, as opposed to skimming, which the internet has taught us, what with emails, blogs and the infinite amount of useless information out in cyberspace.

In the vein of “slow cooking”, “slow reading” doesn’t involve “reading words at a snail’s pace with a ruler”, but “reading fully… and allowing time for dissecting arguments and reflective response”.

This is something I sometimes struggle with, as I feel there is just so much knowledge to be absorbed, and I’m never going to take it all in. Recently, I had so much on my mind (read: moving house) I managed to read the whole of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest without actually comprehending any of it. Dismal review pending.

In other clippings news, I loved The Age’s resident “Bookmarks”compiler Jason Steger’s take on Bret Easton Ellis’ talk in Melbourne recently. Instead of asking about the “inspiration” behind is disturbed characters, which he famously prefers not to divulge, audience members asked such off-beat questions as, “Who… would win in a tag team wrestling match between Christian Bale and Patrick… Bateman [of American Psycho] and Ellis and James van der Beek, the actor who played Patrick’s brother in the film of Ellis’ novel, The Rules of Attraction.”

No wonder tickets sold out in seven minutes!

Newspaper Clipping(s) of the Week.

This week’s choice newspaper clippings come from The Age‘s Sunday Life supplement (Eye of the Beholder, August 8, 2010) and Good Weekend (Calendar Girl, August 7, 2010), respectively.

Calendar Girl, written by Virginia Heffernan, deals with hard-copy diaries like Filofax and the like versus the iPhone and Blackberry’s digitised versions. This is something I struggle to consolidate in my life, as I am an über-fan of stationary, but I just don’t have room in my life for physical lists, schedules etc., when the digital option is right there.

Sometimes I get a bit sick of talking about body image (what with the multitude of blogs, magazines and articles I read each week, as well as the issue being a common theme in my blog posts), but William Leith’s article, Eye of the Beholder, looks at it from a different angle. Why do women look “at a model and fall apart”, while men “shrug off [their] own belly”? Thought provoking stuff.

(Sorry about the crappy formatting—my scanner prefers A4 sized documents.)