On the (Rest of the) Net.

Language matters: Why we need to acknowledge that the Hunt family were “murdered” by the man they loved and trusted, not that the five “deaths” of the family were a “horrible tragedy”. [MamaMia]

Baltimore Ravens fans might not “believe in domestic violence” but they still wore Ray Rice jerseys to the team’s home game last week. [CBS New York]

The history of booty-eating (SFW). [Gawker]

The problem with our Jack the Ripper obsession. [New Republic]

Cosmopolitan and politics aren’t mutually exclusive. [Cosmopolitan]

Why did we forget about the anniversary of September 11 this year? [Daily Dot]

The women of Taylor Swift’s music. [Slate]

Dating within your class on Tinder. [Buzzfeed]

And online dating within your race. [Daily Life]

An ode to celebrity workout videos. [Rookie]

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.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same.

From “The Last Refuge of the Un-Australian” by Tony Birch:

“Recently, when a Pakistani migrant who had been granted permanent Australian residency in 1996 set himself on fire outside the federal parliament, as a result of his unsuccessful application to the Immigration Department to have his wife and child join him here, the Immigration Minister, Phillip Ruddock stated ‘it’s [self-immolation] not something we are used to or experienced with… sadly he sought to do so.’

“This man had done something that was very ‘un-Australian’. He had publicly expressed his grief and anguish at his treatment at the hands of Australian government officials. He had raised an issue that might tap away at all of those clichés of national foundation and celebration. It is not only ‘un-Australian’ to be, through experience, a whistle-blower against nation-building mythology. Simply ‘to be’ one of those who have been abused by the Australian nation is to be ‘un-Australian’.

“It is also ‘un-Australian’ to intern people without trial for up to four years, to subject people to months of isolation in solitary confinement. It is ‘un-Australian’ to remove those people to remote parts of the country where they cannot be visited by family or friends, to where the activities of the multi-national company that profits from their incarceration cannot be scrutinised by the media or the imprisoned’s legal representatives. It would be ‘un-Australian’ in the extreme to use water cannon, tear gas and truncheons against people imprisoned without trial, who are rightfully protesting about the abuse of their human rights.

“I cannot, as a trained historian, state this with empirical certainty, but it is a mathematical probability that it is ‘un-Australian’ to disparage and devalue the worth and lives of refugees by claiming, without evidence, that many of them ‘may be’ associated with ‘terrorists’. Likewise, the propagandist need to focus more closely on the supposed threat that the approximately 8,000 ‘illegal’ arrivals in the last ten years post to ‘our way of life’ rather than overturn a policy that contributed to more than 350 people drowning trying to get here in just one year (1999), is somewhat ‘un-Australian’ I would think.

“But of course the representatives of the Australian people, the federal government, engage in such behaviour on a daily basis. To ensure that such practices are not perceived as ‘un-Australian’ we not only transfer refugees to remote areas of the country, we un-people those who arrive here by reconfiguring them as ‘the ungrateful’, ‘the terrorist’, ‘the queue-jumper’ and legally as ‘the non-person’. ‘We’ can then protect Australia and ‘our way of life’ against the alien invader as ‘we’ did against ‘the Aborigines’ in the past, because they failed to adhere to the doctrine of terra nullius by unpatriotically refusing to reclassify themselves as ‘non-people’, in claiming their rights and identity as indigenous people.

“The Department of Immigration lists 37 countries that it regards as a threat to Australia, in that visitors who arrive from these countries, by boat or otherwise, are regarded as the most ‘at risk for overstaying their visa’. The countries listed include Bangladesh, Chile, India, Poland, Samoa and Vietnam. Most are non-white and none are Anglo or English speaking (as a first language). And yet approximately 20 per cent of arrivals to Australia who overstay their visas are British. There is no mention of Britain in the blacklisted countries. Nor do we see the fair skin of the backpacker behind the barbed-wire of the detention camps…

“We have a situation in Australia today where we are witnessing the human rights abuses of many people. Aboriginal people continue to be abused as a result of the crimes committed by white Australia both in the past and contemporary society. The abusive treatment of refugees is similar to the treatment of Aboriginal people in the country in that they pose a threat which, more than being based on any material manifestation, either real or imagined, is a threat to a way of life erected on xenophobia, selfishness and a fear of difference.

“We must transform the culture of Australian life by screaming to our politicians that such an idea is genuinely un-Australian and that we will not tolerate it. And we must do this beyond the act of the political gesture. Activism can be a loaded word, but still, to be active in some way, to speak, to write, to march, to protest, to be angry and to put that anger into expression and action is a suitably un-Australian idea at this time.”

This was written… wait for it… in April 2001. More than ten years ago and, indeed, before the September 11 attacks, and nothing has changed. Being young and naïve, I didn’t realise there was as strong an anti-Muslim culture as there is today, just over ten years on. And it’s appalling to have it made aware that Birch’s words are just as poignant today as they were a decade ago.

Related: Melbourne Writers’ Festival: Beyond White Guilt.

My Response: Go Back to Where You Came From.

September 11, 10 Years On.

Cowboys VS. Aliens & Indians… Does it Really Matter? They’re All the Same Anyway, According to the New Movie.

Elsewhere: [New York Magazine] 9/11 Encyclopedia: Xenophobia.

September 11, 10 Years On.

 

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 YEARS since two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre, the enduring image of the Twin Towers collapsing burned into our memories. Not to forget the additional two planes which crashed into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

I was 13 at the time of the attacks. I’ve grown up in the “age of terror”, where conspiracy theories, airport security, racism and top-television-moments countdowns are influenced by the event.

At the time, I couldn’t really care less. I was a teenager, consumed with adolescent angst and lost interest about five minutes after I first saw the shocking footage on TV. A testament to the desensitivity and limited attention span of my generation, I suppose.

We weren’t allowed morning television in our house at the time, so I’m pretty sure my parents were none the wiser as to the attacks the following day. My mum was telling me something about some environmental issue in California (a Google search for news results around that time produced little enlightenment).

I got on the school bus and someone said, “Did you hear what happened in America?” I was like, “yeah, totes, something environmental in California”, or something to that effect (and yes, I know “totes” wasn’t a word then. Some would say it isn’t even a word now.). I was received by puzzled looks.

That’s really all I remember from that time. Oh, that and the thing that consumed my life at that time, World Wrestling Entertainment (then World Wrestling Federation), was the first live televised event after the attacks. WWE SmackDown! was originally scheduled to be taped the night of September 11, however was postponed til the 13th, and was seen as somewhat of a patriotic (ST)FU to the terrorists. Below is a tear jerking clip from the opening scene of the show.

The following year, however, I was fully immersed in my love for the USA, and considered donning full Uncle Sam garb to school that day! Since September 11, I’d been known to bust out an American flag item of clothing here and there, and even had one made for my birthday that year.

Again, it’s just so hard to believe it’s been 10 years since then. In some ways, we’ve come so far, but in others (the fact that 20% of Americans believe, wrongfully, that Barack Obama is a Muslim, the violent disapproval of a mosque being built near the Ground Zero monument, the niggling feeling we get when we see Muslims at airports)… not so much.

Where were you on September 11, 2001, and what do you think has changed since then?

Below, some links published in tribute to the almost 3,000 people who died on that fateful day 10 years ago.

Elsewhere: [Washington Post] Poll Shows More Americans Think Obama is a Muslim.

[New York Magazine] The Encyclopedia of 9/11.

[New York Magazine] Day’s End.

[Time Magazine] Timeline.

[The New Yorkers] Video: The Skyline Redrawn.

Image via Yahoo News.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

Rachel Hills answers the age-old aspiring-freelance question: “When should I stop writing for free?” [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman]

Last week, I emailed Hills to get her thoughts on feminist author Erica Jong’s assertion that the “younger generation” (she references her daughter, who is in her thirties) isn’t interested in sex. [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman]

Also at Musings of an Inappropriate Woman, check out these reblogged images above.

Why is there such a big problem with porn? There’ll be more to come on this next week. [Jezebel, via The Scientific American]

Feminism, not enough sex, too much sex, and Muslims were the cause of the Norway terrorist, according to the Norway terrorist. [Jezebel]

Check me out: I’m Girls Are Made from Pepsi’s “Lady of the Week”!

Amy Winehouse VS. Norway: “On Caring About More Than One Thing at Once”:

“If the only world event worth commenting on is the most severe tragedy, then where does the pissing contest end? Yes, what happened in Norway was terrible, but what about what happened in Japan? What about what happened with the Asian tsunami? What about 9/11 here in the good ol’ US of A? (You said you’d never forget!) What about everything bad that has ever happened?” [Jezebel]

Girl with a Satchel’s Erica Bartle gets her faith on on MamaMia. You go, girl!

Also at MamaMia, Mia Freedman’s stirring the pot this week! She writes on Cadel Evans’ Tour de France win and if sportsmen should be considered heroes, the News of the World phone hacking scandal, and runs a guest post by Tony Abbott on why the carbon tax is a bad idea.

“What Your First Screen Crush Says About You.” [Jezebel]

Despite its misogyny, does hip hop actually promote lady love? [Jezebel, Autostraddle]

10 easy steps to radical self love. [Gala Darling]

Why rape cases don’t get prosecuted, parts one and two. [Jezebel]

“The 10 Coolest Witches in Pop Culture.” Where’s Teen Witch? And the Halliwell sisters? Disappointed. [Flavorwire]

“How Not to Propagate Bad News.” [Girl with a Satchel]

She’s out of your league. Kind of relates back to this article from a couple of weeks ago. [Jezebel]

I’ve just signed up to RSVP.com, so this article is kind of appropriate: “Questions We Wish Were Appropriate to Ask on a First Date.” [Jezebel]

Body image, burgers and the First Lady. [WSJ Speakeasy]

Four commentators, including a mum and a teen, weigh in on the Lady-Gaga-as-role-model debate. For more on this topic, check out this article. [Sydney Morning Herald, Girl with a Satchel]

Hugo Schwyzer in defence of talking to girls about beauty. [Healthy is the New Skinny]

“Does Free Birth Control Stand a Chance” in the USA? [Jezebel]

The problem with Black Swan. [Persephone Magazine]

What exactly is a “Mama Grizzly”? And no, I’m not talking about bears. [Newsweek]

“Born This Way” or choose to be gay? Does it really matter? [The Bilerico Project]

Do most men pay for sex in some way, whether it be porn or prostitutes? [Jezebel]

Images via Haley Tobey, Musings of an Inappropriate Woman.

Magazine Review: Time: The End of bin Laden, May 20, 2011.

I love a good Time cover, as the picture I used to have up in my loungeroom of Time’s 2008 Person of the Year, Barack Obama, would attest.

Needless to say, Time’s latest cover—of Osama bin Laden with a big red cross over his face—is a contender for cover of the year. (Stay tuned later on this week for another bin Laden-inspired contender.)

But this isn’t the only time in Time’s history that a dictator or human face of terror has been crossed out by the magazine. In managing editor Richard Stengel’s “Editor’s Desk” letter, he notes that the same was done for Adolf Hitler after his death in May, 1945, Saddam Hussein in April 2003, and Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, “the scourge of Iraq,” in June 2006.

The issue is a September 11-heavy one, with interviews with Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York City when that fateful day in 2001 occurred (p. 11) and CIA director Leon Panetta (p. 48–53).

In addition, there’s “Death Comes for the Terrorist” by David von Drehle, a detailed account of what went down the night of bin Laden’s death, and how his actions on 9/11 have affected the U.S.—and the world—between then and now (p. 12–25).

“Obama 1, Osama 0” (p. 26–31) is more about how Obama’s classy presidency brought down bin Laden instead of George W. Bush’s, which focused more on him making an ass(y?) out of himself. In the article, reporter Joe Klein calls Obama “discreet, precise, patient and willing to be lethal”, and wonders “whether Bush would have had the patience or subtlety to conduct this operation with the same thoroughness…”. He also addresses the President’s ability to laugh at himself (and his apparent 2012 presidential competition, Donald Trump), at the White House’s correspondents’ dinner 24 hours before the bin Laden announcement came, when he said deciding who to fire on The Apprentice is something that would keep him up at night. “… Two nights earlier Obama had been kept up trying to decide whether to launch the Seal team against bin Laden or take the stealth-bomber route,” Klein writes. That whole birther thing seems pretty trivial now, doesn’t it, Trump?

In Peter Bergen’s article, “A Long Time Going” (p. 38–41), he asserts that 9/11 was the beginning of the end for bin Laden’s “poisonous ideology”, and Aryn Baker asks “How Can We Trust Them?” (p. 54–57) of Pakistan, “the most dangerous country in the world”.

On a more lighthearted note, James Poniewozik compares “bin Laden’s bloody end” to “life imitating 24:

“The Twitter trending-topics list… filled up with references to OBL’s demise: ‘Navy Seals’, ‘Abbottabad’, ‘God Bless America’. And one more: ‘Jack Bauer’.”

I read an article on MamaMia the week the news of bin Laden’s death broke, where Mia Freedman recounted her life at the time of September 11, and recalls trying to protect her young son from the horrific images of the Twin Towers coming down. Fast forward almost ten years, and he’s studying it in history:

“I was jolted when he told me that. Partly, because I had tried so hard to shield him from the horror of 9/11 when it happened. But also by the fact he was studying it in ‘history’. In some ways, it seems so recent.”

But just how do you protect your kids from something like that?

Nancy Gibbs tells of this conversation between her 4- and 7-year-olds:

“‘They should have been more careful… They should have watched where they were going, the men flying the planes—they shouldn’t have knocked those buildings down.’

“‘… That wasn’t an accident. They meant to knock the buildings down.’

“Silence. Stubborn. ‘No, they didn’t.’

“‘Yes. They did. They wanted to kill those people. They were bad men.’”

But, Gibbs argues, children who grew up in the age of terror, “reached for their flags—the kids whose childhoods bin Laden had twisted, kids whose parents woke them up in the middle of the night to hear the President’s speech, kids who painted stars and striped on their cheeks as they danced off to school in the morning, kids who are more global, more diverse, more tolerant, more curious and more hopeful than ever before… Our kids learned early about evil. But they grew up learning how it is fought.”

Related: Osama bin Laden & Racism.

The Royal Wedding: The OtherEvent of the Decade?

Elsewhere: [Time] The Story of X.

[Time] 10 Questions for Rudy Giuliani.

[Time] A Revival in Langley.

[Time] Death Comes for the Terrorist: How the U.S. Finally Got Its Man.

[Time] Obama 1, Osama 0.

[Time] A Long Time Going.

[Time] How Can We Trust Them?

[Time] The 25th Hour.

[Time] Where Victory Lies.

[MamaMia] Osama bin Laden is Dead.

Osama bin Laden & Racism.

 

So, yay. Osama bin Laden is dead. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past week and a half, you would know that.

It’s very cut and dry: they captured bin Laden in a hideaway compound in Pakistan after months of observation, they shot him dead in the head and chest, did a DNA test against his dead sister’s genes, and buried him at sea once it was confirmed it was him.

But the emotions surrounding bin Laden are anything but cut and dry.

The news showed masses celebrating in the streets in the U.S., and his followers mourning him in the East.

But the mistake a lot of people make, I think, is thinking that everyone in the East holds bin Laden in high esteem.

I encountered such racism the day of the martyr’s death, when I sent the equivalent of an office email around my workplace when I heard the news in the mid-afternoon. At this point it wasn’t common knowledge, so I thought most people would like to know that the man who single-handedly changed the world on September 11, 2001, was dead.

A couple of hours later, a colleague approached me and said he thought my message was a bit inappropriate. I asked how, as it is not uncommon for the AFL grand final results or who won the Melbourne Cup to be broadcast around my workplace, as this was a news story just like them.

He said there are Muslims in our workplace and they might have found it offensive.

I told my colleague—and friend, might I add—that I was offended by his small-mindedness, and to get out of my face. In the nicest possible way, of course!

But, legitimately, I was offended by the fact that he thought all Muslims were proud to have bin Laden as their figurehead; the person who represents their religion and culture to the rest of the world. That’s like saying that someone like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin or—God forbid!—Adolf Hitler is adored by the white masses, not taking into account that these people are morons (the former two) who slaughtered millions of people (the latter). This is an abhorrent worldview that, unfortunately, a lot of people hold true.

I followed this altercation up with a friend who happens to be Muslim, just to be sure that I wasn’t overreacting, and he assured me I wasn’t.

There’s always going to be people who have a bigoted attitude to people and cultures they aren’t familiar with, but hopefully bin Laden’s death can be used as a stepping stone in the right direction.

(Note: in reference to a post on the day of the Royal Wedding where I hypothesised that the decade between 2001 and 2011 would be book ended by two of the most important events in our history—September 11 and the Royal Wedding—it looks like I was wrong. The decade has been defined by one horrible man who introduced us to “the age of terror”, and has now escaped it to “rot in hell”, as the headlines have espoused. Not to become a martyr and move on to paradise, or Jannah, as one simple television commentator argued as a reason why they should have captured, not killed, bin Laden. Oh, the ignorance.)

(Note #2: Also check out Mia Freedman’s latest Sunday Life article, in which she demystifies the niqab and addresses bigots.)

Related: The Royal Wedding: The Other Event of the Decade?

Back to the Draw-ing Board: Australia’s Year of Indecision.

Elsewhere: [MamaMia] A Normal Face.

Images via Huffington Post, Zimbio, Sydney Morning Herald.