On the (Rest of the) Net.

The iconic photograph of “The Kissing Sailor” may actually be an image of sexual assault. [Crates & Ribbons]

Let’s put more nudity on Page 3, not ban it:

“… I say the answer is more nudity in newspapers, not less. Put more boobs on Page 3, and add some cocks too. Show people of every size, shape, colour, gender and sexuality; let them speak in their own voice, and celebrate them all. That, rather than self-censorship of adult-oriented content, would be a progressive tabloid revolution worth fighting for.” [New Statesman]

While I don’t agree with most of her sentiments, Clem Bastow makes some interesting points about the inclusion of men in feminism. This was also a topic that came up during the abovementioned “who’s-a-feminist” debate with my friends. [Daily Life]

Let’s stop debating the “culture wars”: people deserve rights. The end. [Jezebel]

Julia Gillard’s Question Time smackdown against Tony Abbott and the liberal party’s sexism and misogyny primarily against her gets the New Yorker treatment. In a nutshell, maybe Obama could take a page out of her book?

Michelle Smith’s Wheeler Centre Lunchbox/Soapbox address on girls in culture, both now and in the Victorian era. Wait, they’re not the same thing?!

I’ve been embroiled in a “I-don’t-believe-in-feminism-I-believe-in-equality” debate this week but, as Ben Pobjie rightly points out, when it comes to Kate Ellis being talked over and shouted down on Q&A, it’s about human decency, not feminism. [MamaMia]

Jill Meagher and safety on the streets from a disability point of view. [ABC Ramp Up]

The case against condom use in porn. [Jezebel]

In defence of Mean Girls‘ Janis Ian. [Rookie]

Brave isn’t “Just Another Princess Movie”. [The New Inquiry]

Image via Tumblr.

TV: New Girl—Manic Pixie Dream Girly Girls & Not-So-Girly Girls.

I was pleasantly surprised to see New Girl seemingly dealing with the hullabaloo surrounding Zooey Deschanel’s manic pixie dream girl status and the feminist media uproar that occurred late last year.

Now, New Girl has touched on some pertinent issues in its past episodes, but I’m wondering if this was done intentionally. Writer Liz Meriwether is part of the feminist writing “fempire”, so who knows if this was something she incorporated into the show consciously, or if it’s just a meditation on “how girls can be”.

Nick’s new girlfriend Julia, played by Mean Girls alum Lizzy Caplan, can’t stand Jess and makes it very clear when she criticises her “blankie”, the (manic pixie dream girl) “thing” Jess has going on, and the cupcakes Jess bakes, saying she’s “not a dessert person”. Jess takes issue with this, finding it hard to believe that anyone (much less a woman!) “isn’t a dessert person” and doesn’t like her ribbon hats. I have to say I don’t find it that hard to believe…

When Jess brings up Julia’s dislike of her to Nick, he rationalises it by saying Julia’s never had many girl friends and she’s not really a “girly girl”. Jess’ girl friends, CeCe and June, whom we’ve never met up til now, get on the defensive, marveling at how she couldn’t like Jess (again, not that hard to believe…).

By episode’s end, Julia has come around (both literally and figuratively) and joins Jess et al in a yarn group, lamenting how she’s never been good with girls. CeCe says her and Jess used to hide in the bathroom throughout high school because “girls can be so mean to each other”. Um, wasn’t it CeCe who just five minutes before was saying Julia was a bitch for not liking Jess?

Just because someone doesn’t like someone else doesn’t make them a bitch. It makes the two non-compatible. Isn’t it bitchier of CeCe to say things behind Julia’s back and then welcome her into the fold when Julia changes her opinion of Jess? I’m all for loyalty, but…

So, did you watch New Girl? What did you think about Jess’ struggle to find acceptance from Julia as a metaphor for Deschanel to find acceptance in the feminist blogosphere? Or don’t you think that’s what the episode was trying to get across?

Related: Manic Pixie Dream Girl Bitch.

New Girl Should Attend a SlutWalk Sometime…

Body Acceptance on New Girl.

Who’s That Girl? It’s The New Girl.

Image via Wet Paint.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

How much is that doggy in the window?

Toddlers & Tiaras dog with its “pageant mom”.

New York City’s M23 bus.

We are the 99%!

Gala Darling and Jezebel have some fab pics up from the Tompkins Square Park Halloween dog parade. Squee!

Still with Halloween, how can we de-gender and -sexualise children’s costumes? [Miss Representation]

And for those of us who’ve moved on from childhood, some more “sexy” costume alternatives. My costume for this year is in there (albeit with the slut-factor turned up), and I was inspired for next year’s costume, too. [Jezebel]

Rihanna as the scapegoat for raunch culture:

“… For real, quality disapproval, it has to be Rihanna. We love to disapprove of her. We love to disapprove of her cute, pert bottom; we love to disapprove of her luscious breasts and smooth skin, barely covered by those disgustingly small leather thongs she likes to wear, the hussy. Look at her sexualising our children. Look at her, sexualising away in those horrifyingly sexualised sexy pants. We disapprove of those, too…

“I’m not saying that there aren’t big, big problems with the kind of raunch culture that has made Rihanna rich. What I am saying is that perhaps, just perhaps, the best way to address those problems might not be to applaud a religious fundamentalist for telling a young woman to cover herself up in his presence.” [New Statesman]

Sesame Street’s new character: the “food-insecure” Lily, whose family can’t always afford to put food on the table. [Think Progress]

A tale of two protests: SlutWalk and Occupy Wall Street. [Rabbit Write]

Speaking of the Occupy protests, it’s all about how hot its women are, apparently. [Jezebel]

Girl-on-girl friendships: passive-aggressive undermining or a true sisterhood? Kate Carraway goes with the former. [Vice]

From poignant porn insights a few weeks ago back to this: Bettina Arndt on how Julia Gillard is bucking the system when it comes to traditional relationships and whether she’s setting a good example. Who cares? [Sydney Morning Herald]

A new collector’s edition Barbie, complete with pink hair and tattoos, has a certain Gala Darling quality to her, wouldn’t you say? But while parents are lamenting the bad influence of the doll, they could only hope their children turn to Gala Darling as a role model, with her “radical self-love” message and what not. [Jezebel]

Weight VS. health. [Jezebel]

Why is there such an absence of female sports—and female sporting role models—in the media? [MamaMia]

Porn, what is it good for? Girl with a Satchel weighs in on the great porn debate.

Images via Jezebel, Celebuzz, FanPop.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

Street harassment in pictures. [Sociological Images]

There may be a link between professional athletes and domestic violence. [Jezebel]

Gay men have body angst, too. [MamaMia]

Naked children: pornography or art?:

“It would be more dangerous and damaging to tell this child that it’s not okay for her mum to photograph her naked, that she should be afraid [of] a loving parent who finds her body beautiful and artistic and that she should avoid being naked with any audience because of the potential to arouse someone predatory.” [Feminaust]

On girl love:

“Don’t be a hater. Try girl-love for a change.  It doesn’t mean you have to hug women with your legs, but try dedicating less of your energy to shit feelings of self-hatred and jealousy, and more towards being supportive of your fellow sistahs.” [Girls Are Made From Pepsi]

Yet another reason not to become a teacher! Parental disrespect. [MamaMia]

Julia Gillard on women’s rights. [MamaMia]

Also at MamaMia, “how women bond by bitching about their looks.”

Erotic capital. Very thought provoking, and something I might return to on this here blog at a later date. [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman]

The aftermath of 9/11 for an Australian kid aged 10 when the World Trade Centre came down. [The Punch]

Some more 9/11 “perspective” from The Punch.

Lady Gaga justifies her love of Madonna, YSL’s “Mondrian” dress, and Salvador Dali, amongst others, in her “Born This Way” video. [V Magazine]

“The Time I Became Hated on the Internet” for being a feminist. [Air or Fire or Pizza]

To trust or not to trust when it comes to birth control. [HuffPo]

Image via YouTube, Sociological Images.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

The difference between truly Mean Girls and the just plain Clueless:

“In the end, Cher’s altruism may be what saves her reign, for unlike Regina, Cher tries to live up to her end of the social contract. If Regina can’t rule, she decides that no one can. She hurts her society by pulling a wiki-leaks and releasing the contents of the Burn Book, thereby causing complete anarchy…

“In essence, the reason Regina was overthrown is the same reason any dictator is eventually overthrown: the monarch breaks the social contract with his or her people and those people have been prepped by cultural illuminati with new ideas about government rule.”

“Fashion’s Fascists.”

And, in the same vein:

“Fashion people everywhere rushed to check their hair before joining the chorus of dismay, almost as if racism and sexism were not the stock-in-trade of their industry. In fact, it is an open secret in high fashion that black and minority ethnic faces… are not welcome.”

When having “a great personality” is code for “fat” and/or “ugly”.

It’s taken me a little while to get around to reading this, but check out Girl with a Satchel’s Erica Bartle in “JC & the Cool Gang”.

“How Rachel Zoe Became Hollywood’s Most Powerful Fashion Player.”

Glee’s Lauren Zizes: badass or fat bitch?

The myth of Bart Simpson’s birthday.

Jihad Cosmo:

“We had been thinking that what Cosmo was really missing was a healthy dose of religious fanaticism and a few passionate exhortations to violence, so we can’t wait to read the article ‘that urges readers to give their lives for the Islamist cause.’”

UK sculptor Jamie McCartney’s “Great Wall of Vagina” (semi-NSFW).

How to be a mermaid.

Elective C-section or vaginal birth?

How to move to New York City, according to Gala Darling.

Images via Overthinking It, The Hollywood Reporter, YouTube.

Magazines: Independent Zine Zinm Preview.

 

Last week I was lucky enough to be featured in a friend of a friend’s Melbourne-based zine, Zinm by Marc Bonnici.

Our mutual friend Anthony had been urging me to check out his self-titled blog for the better part of a year, until I happened upon last month’s copy of Zinm that he’d brought to a get-together.

I was instantly drawn in as I briefly flicked through the pages, a picture from Mean Girls staying most clearly in my mind. (“Burn Book” is a regular feature of Zinm.)

Try as I might, I was never able to get my mitts on a copy of last month’s edition, but better still, I was able to be featured in this month.

As Australia Day rolls around again, guest contributors Anita Calavetta, Marc Bergmann, Dodie Smith, and Muriel Barbery, as well as Marc himself, muse about what Australia means to us. Yours truly continues on her plight to get the safety net for footballers behaving badly removed, as I feel that is a strong part of Aussie culture.

Unfortunately there are not any copies of the latest edition available, as there is a limited print run. But the title has doubled in demand since its inception three issues ago. If you are interested in bagging a copy, I suggest you check out Marc’s blog and drop him a line.

Us independent writers have got to stick together.

Related: Beauty & the Bestiality.

Why Are Famous Men Forgiven for Their Wrongdoings, While Women Are Vilified for Much Less?

Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do? Host a Seven Family Show.

Elsewhere: [Marc Bonnici] Homepage.

Movies: The Best Movies I’ve Seen This Year.

 

Tomorrow, When the War Began. Check out my review to see how strongly I feel about it.

Desk Set. This 1957 romantic comedy starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy takes place in a reference library, and deals with the incorporation of computers to help the ladies in their cataloguing. With a healthy dose of the trademark ’50s slapstick rom-com dynamic and TDF fashion, I loved this one.

Easy A. Again, another I’ve done a review on. While I had high hopes for this one, it didn’t live up to them fully, but it is one of the smarter teen movies in recent memory. On par with Mean Girls, perhaps?

Rear Window. What took me so long, right? I watched this one for the first time last Christmas, and continued the tradition again this holiday season. Grace Kelly is luminous as “his girl Friday” to James Stewart’s L.B. Jeffries, who is the ultimate leading man. Hitchcock at his best.

Toy Story 3. It is unanimous that Toy Story 3 is one of the best movies released in 2010. Perhaps the best of the Toy Story franchise? Nah, my money’s on the first instalment.

Desperately Seeking Susan. So bad it’s good. The fashion is fabulous (on Madonna’s part, anyway) and Her Madgesty is surprisingly likable in it.

Sorry about the dismal effort in this post, but seriously; there were no good movies this year! You only have to look at Sex & the City 2 (which I quite liked, but will admit was baaad), The Expendables and Killers for proof of that.

That’s why I spent a lot of my cinema-going money on the classics, such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Beauty & the Beast in 3D. That counts as a movie I haven’t seen before this year, right? Right…?

Related: Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden Review.

Easy A Review.

Sex & the City 2 Review.

The Expendables Review.

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Is Easy A The Next Mean Girls?

[Jezebel] I Went to See Killers & It’s All Your Fault.

It’s All About Popular… Lar, Lar, Lar, Lar!

From this weekend’s Good Weekend in The Age, in an article by Tom Ballard entitled “Too Cool for School”:

“If Footyheads are the oafish kings of high school, Popular Girls are assuredly the vapid queens. Deemed ‘The Plastics’ in the 2004 film Mean Girls, this clique is made up of attractive females who are attractive and wear make-up and are attractive and giggle and are attractive and fully hot.

“The members of this group are often the first among their peers to produce any inkling of breast and to discover foundation. Their classroom catch cry“So, like… what are we doing?”is well known and feared.

“Popular Girls enjoy chewing gum, looking vacant and protesting about the confiscation of jewellery. They feed on expensive formal dresses. They’re really, really popular.”

Examples of the Popular Girl in Popular Culture include, as Ballard mentioned, the Plastics in Mean Girls; Cher Horowitz of Clueless, who sees the light in the end; Louise from ’80s cheese fest Teen Witch, who gains popularity from a supernatural amulet; and “good” witch Galinda from Wicked, who tries to make over the self-conscious and “green” Elphaba during the musical’s “Popular” tune, from which the title of this post was derived.

Related: Women in Fiction: My Favourite Fictional Females.

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

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

I’ve been wanting to write a post on Overthinking It’s “Female Character Flowchart” since I saw it on both Jezebel and Musings of an Inappropriate Woman about two weeks ago, and the time has finally come I’ve finally gotten around to compiling a list of my favourite fictional female characters and whether they qualify as “strong” ones.

Without compromising the quality of the image, I wasn’t able to enlarge the chart, nor add my own annotations as per the below characters of my choosing. Instead, I’ve reproduced their equations below, as well as Mean Girls’ Regina George, who appears on the chart, and Blair Waldorf, whom Rachel Hills believes is a “girl Hitler”, but who I find to be much more of a genuine strong female character.

Regina George (Mean Girls): Can she carry her own story? YES. Is she three dimensional? NO. Villain? YES. Sexualised? NO. (I would argue yes. Hello? Have you seen her Halloween getup?) Over 35? NO. Is the protagonist male or female? FEMALE. Is this a rom/com? NO=Mean Girl.

Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl): Can she carry her own story? YES. Is she three dimensional? YES. Does she represent an idea? NO. Does she have any flaws? YES. Is she killed before the third act? NO=Strong female character.

Belle (Beauty & the Beast): Can she carry her own story? YES. Is she three dimensional? NO. Villain? NO. Is she mainly a love interest? YES. Do they get together? YES. Is she only interested in her man? NO. Is she in a committed relationship with a protagonist? NO. Changes her man or is changed? CHANGES. Are they from different cultures? YES=Nobel Squan, whatever the hell that is! (Looks like something out of Avatar, though.)

Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird): Can she carry her own story? YES. Is she three dimensional? YES. Does she represent an idea? YES. Villain? NO. Is she mainly a love interest? NO. Is she part of a team/family? YES. What is her main role? LEADER. How does she feel about babies? NOT RIGHT NOW. Does she get pregnant? NO. Is she in a horror story? NO. Is she violent? NO. Is she nearly perfect? NO. What is her flaw?=sassmouth, which I guess is true, but Scout is so much more.

Elphaba (Wicked): Can she carry her own story? YES. Is she three dimensional? YES. Does she represent an idea? YES, many. Villain? NO. Is she mainly a love interest? NO. Is she part of a team/family? YES. What is her main role? ROGUE=wildcard.

Elle Woods (Legally Blonde): Can she carry her own story? YES. Is she three dimensional? YES. Does she represent an idea? YES. Villain? NO. Is she mainly a love interest? NO. Is she part of a team/family? YES. What is her main role? LEADER. How does she feel about babies? NOT RIGHT NOW. Does she get pregnant? NO. Is she in a horror story? NO. Is she violent? NO. Is she nearly perfect? YES. Is she older? NO. Should the audience like her? YES. Who likes her more? WOMEN=Mary Sue.

Related:  Women in Fiction: My Favourite Fictional Females.

Elsewhere: [Overthinking It] The Female Character Flowchart.

[Overthinking It] Why Strong Female Characters Are Bad for Women.

[Jezebel] Flowchart: Know Your Female Character Stereotypes.

[Musings of an Inappropriate Woman] Flowchart: Know Your Female Character Stereotypes.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

After my Mick Foley rant last week, I’ve started reading his blog, Countdown to Lockdown, and I’m loving it. Here are some choice articles:

Remembering female pro-wrestling pioneer, Luna Vachon, who passed away on August 27 this year.

“That Time I Met… Tina Fey… and Alec Baldwin!”

“That Time I Met… President William Jefferson Clinton!” (I really love this one; some heart-warming stuff.)

“Mick’s Favourite Things: Top Ten Matches”, three of whichCactus Jack VS. Randy Orton at Backlash 2004 (above), Mankind VS. The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell in June, 1998, and Mick Foley VS. Edge in a Hardcore Match at WrestleMania XXII (that’s WrestleMania 22 in 2006 for you wrestling laymen)I 100% agree with.

In defence of Buffy’s whining.

“To the Teenage Boy in Your Life”:

“An important thing to remember is that girls are not from a different planet, nor are they even a different species. They’re just people, they’re just like boys, except with vulvas instead of penises.

“Mainly you need to remember this when you’re trying to figure out what a girl is thinking. See, if you didn’t know what a BOY was thinking, how would you go about finding out? You might ask him, right? The same goes for girls.”

I’m a bit behind the eight-ball on this one, as No Make-Up Week was a month ago, but Alle Malice’s guest post on Rabbit Write goes over the reasons “Why We Wear Make-Up”. I especially like this one:

“It makes me look good in photos. Almost everything we do now is documented by someone and posted in Facebook albums for the world to see, because if you aren’t having fun on Facebook, you aren’t really having fun. And if you aren’t pretty on the internet, you aren’t pretty in real life. Enter makeup.”

Nick Sylvester, on Riff City, discusses “How Kanye West’s Online Triumphs Have Eclipsed Kanye West”:

“Maybe there are people working with him… but I get the sense that Kanye is generating the [sic] lot of these ideas. I imagine he likes being in control of every aspect of the production, the medium being the message and so on. Online he is a wise fool, first playing into people’s perceptions of ‘Kanye West’, then off those very perceptions, sending himself up, pulling back his own veil… Despite many attempts, Kanye West is incapable of being parodied, largely because Kanye West has already figured out a way to be a parody of Kanye West.”

Much like Megan Fox in this New York Times Magazine article. Could I even go as far as to say that blonde bombshell Pamela Anderson has employed this strategy? I believe I could. And for that matter, Lindsay Lohan sending herself up on Funny or Die and promos for the MTV VMAs are along the same lines.

Sylvester goes on to say that “artists like Kanye West have to be ‘good at Twitter’ in order to put a dent in the zeitgeist.”

Furthermore,

“‘Nowadays rappers, they like bloggers,’ is what Swizz Beatz says… Slowly the work itself becomes secondary, less ambitious; slowly people becomes ‘really proud of their tweets’.”

Is it “The End of Men”?

Disney’s latest offering, Tangled, based on the story of Rapunzel, takes us back to a time when the Disney Princess reigned supreme, according to io9.

Feminist Themes examines Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” clip:

“… the objectification, glamorising of lesbian fetishism, and excessive girl-on-girl violence… [are aspects of the video that] feminist Gaga fans can try to justify… as another example of how she subversively turns what we usually find hot into something that leaves a nasty taste in our mouths and therefore makes a statement, but if any other artist (particularly any male artist) incorporated this much objectification and violence against women we would be outraged. Is it any different just because it’s a woman, or because it’s specifically Gaga?

“… What sets Gaga apart from other sexpot pop stars for me is that I just can’t imagine men being honestly turned on by hernot because she isn’t gorgeous (she is), but because she is so avant-garde, aggressive and self-driven which takes that arousal and turns it into something atypical, uncomfortable, and threatening.”

Also at Feminist Themes, the cause of the she-blogger in “Why I Blog”.

In other Gaga news, The Cavalier Daily reports that the University of Virginia is now running Lady Gaga classes! This sooo makes me want to re-enrol in university in a post-grad, transfer to UV, and take this kick-ass class!

The Daily Beast puts forth two differing opinions on Glee’s stereotypes: Andy Dehnart discusses the show’s “Harmful Simplicity”, while Thaddeus Russell applauds the walking stereotype that is Kurt Hummel, as “history tells us that those unafraid to be ‘too gay’ won far more freedomsfor all of usthan those who dressed the part of straights.”

Beautifully satiric The Frenemy reveals the recipe to “The Teen Romantic Comedy”, which “does not work for Mean Girls, 10 Things I Hate About You, or John Hughes films”, unfortunately. The truth about Disney Princes is also profiled, in which Eric from The Little Mermaid “wanted to kiss a girl who doesn’t speak words and doesn’t know how to use a fork. What the hell are you, caveman?”, while Mulan’s Captain Shang is in truth, a “gay liar” who made young, susceptible viewers the girls who have “crushes on a lot of her gay friends. [A] big Will & Grace fan.” Hey, that’s me!

Rachel Hills discusses intersectionality in feminism:

“For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, ‘intersectionality’ is a way of talking about power and privilege that recognises that recognises that these things operate on multiple axes. People aren’t just female, or Black, or Asian, or straight, or working class, or trans, or a parent, or prone to depressioneveryone falls into a number of different categories that colours their experience of the world in specific ways. In the feminist context, it serves as a useful reminder that not all women have the same experiences, and calls into question the still dominant notion that the neutral ‘female’ experience is one that is white, heterosexual and middle-class.

“I’m also a fan because it just makes feminism a whole lot more interesting.”

Girl with a Satchel profiles Melissa Hoyer’s media career, which is a must-read for any budding wordsmith.

I am staunchly pro-choice when it comes to the abortion debate. In fact, I lean so far to the left that I’m borderline pro-abortion. (I’m sure that’ll ruffle some feathers!) But no matter what your feelings on the subject, MamaMia’s post, “The Couple Facing Jail Because They Tried To ‘Procure an Abortion’. Hello, Queensland? It’s 2010” is worth checking out.

Jezebel’s “5 Worst Mean (Little) Girls of All Time” includes Willy Wonka’s Veruca Salt and, from one of the most heart wrenching films of all time, A Little Princess, Lavinia, who looks a lot like modern-day mean girl, Angelina Pivarnick, from Jersey Shore.

“Why Strawberry Shortcake Was a Progressive Pioneer.”