On the (Rest of the) Net.

Short and sweet this week.

Rape as a plot device. I’m reading Stephen King’s Under the Dome at the moment, in preparation to delve into the series which Clementine Ford cites in her article, and let me tell you, it is rife with unnecessary and gratuitous rape and violence against women. Even the characters’ inner monologues reek of misogyny. It should be interesting to see if the TV show is as heavily drenched in it as the print version. Judging by Ford’s article, it is. [Daily Life]

The racial politics of Beyonce’s hair. [Daily Beast]

Lady Gaga and cultural appropriation. [Jezebel]

Why do we care so much about other people’s sex lives, or lack thereof? [Jezebel]

On the (Rest of the) Net.

beyonce superbowl

What was so great about Beyonce’s SuperBowl performance, anyway? In fact, the article could be titled, “What’s so good about Beyonce, period?” Don’t get me wrong, she’s an incredible performer with an amazing voice and I love pretty well all of her songs, but she does push a pretty conservative message (“Independent Women” really just want to “Cater 2 U” and “Put a Ring On It”) and is blandly uncontroversial. Her most scandalous moments are the rumoured fake baby bump and lip synching at the Inauguration. What do you think? Is Beyonce a positive black female role model, another pop star pandering to the patriarchy or do you just not care that much about her? [TheVine]

A 5-year-old girl was caught with her mouth on a 5-year-old boy’s penis: cue outrage. This article brilliantly highlights the importance of letting kids be kids, and that sometimes means “playing doctor”, playing “the sex game” and mucking around pretending to be “sexy” and “do sex” when they have no idea what those words mean.

“Kids aren’t gonna stop rubbing themselves, each other, and tetherball poles, so what’s the point of making it a scary, bad thing? Besides, this isn’t really about sex, so let’s not make it about sex. It’s learning about our bodies and the bodies of other kids, and doing things that feel good.

“You have to wonder how a big hubbub over truly normal shit can affect a kid in the long run. Will they eventually develop a sex-negative attitude? Will developing a happy, healthy sexuality be more difficult for them? As many of us know, childhood scars run deep.” [Jezebel]

Iron Man 3 is just the latest in a long line of films (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Last Airbender, The Lone Ranger, and Snow White & the Huntsman when it comes to able-bodied actors playing the seven dwarves) to use a white actor portraying a character of colour. [Kotaku]

In a similar vein, whitewashing non-white stories in Hollywood. [Daily Life]

The conundrum of being sexy but not sexual in the Japanese pop world. [Daily Life]

Reexamining Paris Hilton as a cultural icon. [Thought Catalog]

In praise of Liz Lemon. [Jezebel]

Image via Buzzfeed.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

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To pay tribute to the emergency and service personnel who helped in Hurricane Sandy, Vogue does a fashion spread inspired by the superstorm. Naturally. [Daily Life]

Apparently young Australians just aren’t into protesting the injustices we face today. Um, hello? Reclaim the Night, the Occupy movement, SlutWalk, the Arab Spring… all activist events started by Gen Y on social media which encouraged Time magazine to name the Protestor as its 2011 Person of the Year. Writer Alecia Simmonds does make a fair point that Aussies are particularly apathetic towards causes, but her assertion that online petitioning, blogging and social media doesn’t compare to on-the-ground activism kind of undercuts fellow Daily Life columnist Kasey Edwards’ argument last week that “Big social changes don’t just happen… Social and cultural change evolves out of a meandering path of small victories. Seeds need to be planted and ground needs to be fertilised.”

The latest trend in labiaplasty: the Barbie, in which the entire labia minora is cut out. [Jezebel]

And, in an attempt to counteract the alarming trend of wanting your vulva to look like a plastic doll’s, check out this (NSFW) Tumblr, Show Your Vagina.

What is it about our twenties that make us who we are? [Slate]

Miss America and race. [NYTimes]

Is freedom of speech overrated? Personally, I think so, as it allows those with abhorrently narrow-minded views to spill hate speech. This article makes the observation that free speech only seems to be defended when people like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt put their foot in their mouth. [Daily Life]

Lena Dunham thinks that perhaps Rihanna should have been the one to sing “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” to Chris Brown. [TheVine]

American Horror Story: feminist or anti-feminist? [Jezebel]

Jane Roe—of Roe v. Wade fame, which had its 40th anniversary this week—ain’t what she used to be: now she’s an anti-choicer. [Vanity Fair]

Glee‘s Puck is a rapist, allegedly. [TheVine]

Nine of the ugliest feminists. [Return of Kings]

Breast feeding-shaming. [Daily Life]

A photojournalist documents an abusive relationship. Should she have stood by and photographed an incident of domestic violence or does her work portray an important aspect of lower socio-economic partnerships “unflinchingly”? [Fotovisura, Kiwiana (Inked)]

Image via Daily Life.

TV: Has Smash Jumped The Shark With This Bollywood Number?

This post was originally published earlier in the year when Smash first aired on Foxtel’s W, now SoHo.

My reaction to the above scene is equal parts cringe and intrigue. While it could be seen to be pushing the boundaries, and it does tie in with Dev’s Indian heritage and movie star Rebecca Duvall’s racial ignorance, it could also very well be the moment when Smash jumped the shark. What do you think?

Related: Has Smash Jumped the Shark with this Bollywood Number?

The Problem with Smash.

TV: Has Smash Jumped the Shark with This Bollywood Number?

My reaction to the above scene is equal parts cringe and intrigue. While it could be seen to be pushing the boundaries, and it does tie in with Dev’s Indian heritage and movie star Rebecca Duvall’s racial ignorance, it could also very well be the moment when Smash jumped the shark. What do you think?

Related: The Problem with Smash.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

In praise of Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” music video fashion. Takes me right back to grade six… [XOJane]

Rachel Hills laments the lustre of the It Girl. [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman]

Should recreational drugs be decriminalised? [MamaMia]

Consent, ignorance and “The Unintentional Rapist”. [Persephone Magazine]

Charlie Fine: boy wonder. I hope my future 11-year-old is a switched on as this kid. [MamaMia]

“Your pussy isn’t pretty enough” and other vulva-shaming myths. [Rachel Rabbit White]

The perils of being a black woman dating. [Jezebel]

Feminism is NOT a dirty word, Beyonce. [Jezebel]

The feminine girl geek mystique. [Persephone Magazine]

New show The Playboy Club as feminist text? [Jezebel, via NPR]

“When The Rapist is a She.” [Salon]

“Lest we forget” about asylum seekers? [MamaMia]

Muslim Americans: they’re just like other Americans! [Salon]

Mitt Romney’s abortion history. [Salon]

On Generation X nostalgia. [The New York Times]

Breastfeeding: a feminist issue. [Persephone Magazine]

In defence of Rihanna’s “Man Down” video. [Persephone Magazine]

“What Happened to Obama’s Passion?” [The New York Times]

Does “sport get way too much attention in Australia to the detriment of other national heroes?” [BBC News]

Clark Gable’s old Hollywood “Scandal that Wasn’t”:

“But the studio didn’t quite have a handle on his [Gable's] image, casting him as an unrepentant villain and a laundryman. This was akin to casting Channing Tatum as a bad guy or smart person, when everyone knows he should only be taking off his shirt and/or doing dance moves, preferably while in the rain. Even cast in the wrong roles, Gable was remarkable. MGM’s head of publicity thus decided to further refine Gable’s image, capitalizing on his rural past and six-foot frame to create Clark Gable, The Lumberjack in Evening Clothes.” [The Hairpin]

How to be a dead body on TV. [The Wall Street Journal]

Fashion’s next big thing: a 10-year-old French girl. [Jezebel]

Image via XOJane.