Just over a year out from the so-called “Divas Revolution”, I examine the state of women’s wrestling. [SBS Zela]
Hollywood hates queer girls. [Buzzfeed]
Just over a year out from the so-called “Divas Revolution”, I examine the state of women’s wrestling. [SBS Zela]
Hollywood hates queer girls. [Buzzfeed]
I wrote about Oprah’s docuseries being bad for Lindsay Lohan’s career. At least before her lacklustre reputation could be boiled down to “Rumours”. Now, despite her addiction and various other mental and physical issues, we’ve see just how unprofessional she really is. [Junkee]
Jill Meagher’s widower Tom on the “Monster Myth”, rape as punishment, and as an inevitability for certain types of women by certain types of men who don’t understand “the rules”:
“The idea of the lurking monster is no doubt a useful myth, one we can use to defuse any fear of the women we love being hurt, without the need to examine ourselves or our male-dominated society. It is also an excuse to implement a set of rules on women on ‘how not to get raped’, which is a strange cocktail of naiveté and cynicism. It is naïve because it views rapists as a monolithic group of thigh-rubbing predators with a checklist rather than the bloke you just passed in the office, pub or gym, cynical because these rules allow us to classify victims. If the victim was wearing x or drinking y well then of course the monster is going to attack—didn’t she read the rules? I have often come up against people on this point who claim that they’re just being ‘realistic’. While it may come from a place of concern, if we’re being realistic we need to look at how and where rape and violence actually occur, and how troubling it is that we use a nebulous term like ‘reality’ to condone the imposition of dress codes, acceptable behaviours, and living spaces on women to avoid a mythical rape-monster. Okay, this rape-monster did exist in the form of Adrian Bayley, but no amount of adherence to these ill-conceived rules could have stopped him from raping somebody that night.” [White Ribbon Australia]
Can you be a feminist and…? [Another Angry Woman]
James Franco, teen girls and “Humbert Humbert culture”. [The Style Con]
On TV, troubled women are better off dead than being helped. [The New Republic]
Still with TV, rape in the golden age of it. Notice how most of these shows centre around men while raped women are in the periphery. [Washington Post]
And further to this, isn’t it about time straight, white men on TV stopped being represented above all other possibilities? [SBS News]
Battling street harassment with street art. [New York Times]
The science of promiscuity. [The Wheeler Centre]
Image via Junkee.
“Single Ladies”, “Blurred Lines”, “Tunnel Vision”… The evolution of the threefold female body in modern pop videos. [TheVine]
Why are there no Asian rom-com leads? [Daily Life]
Sex and gender in horror movies. [Bitch]
My sister was always the O.C.-obsessed one, so the show was always on on Tuesday nights in our house, but I could never really get into it. (In fact, the only season I really liked was the final one, after the death of the bland Marissa Cooper.) But here are ten little-known facts about one of my generation’s most-loved shows. [TheVine]
The Canyons director Paul Schrader compares Lindsay Lohan to Marilyn Monroe. [Film Comment]
Benjamin Law thinks all gay men should be feminists. Nay, all HUMANS should be feminists! [Daily Life]
When your mum has bad body image. This piece hits home because my mum is insecure about the way she looks and has transferred that onto my sister. [Daily Life]
Unfortunately, all my flights for my U.S. trip coming up at the end of the year are with Virgin, so hopefully their new “Get Lucky at 35,000 Feet” campaign doesn’t mean sexual harassment at 35,000 feet. [Make Me a Sammich]
“The worse the stories get, the stronger [Olivia Benson] becomes; it’s the show’s unspoken dialectic…
“For all SVU’s excesses, we expect it to keep one promise: no matter how bad things get, the story will end.” [The New Yorker]
“Is she at fault for the fact that all of her swooning suitors idealise and project upon her? Should we pity her, even a little, for not having had the courage or desire to break free of her social caste and love whomever she pleased?” [Women in the World]
Discussing street harassment. [Jezebel]
Why the most recent viral Dove ads are bull: lots of people envision themselves as attractive or more attractive than they are. [Jezebel]
Tyler the Creator’s misogyny and homophobia isn’t “just about the music”, and nor is it edgy. It’s disgusting. [Tiger Beatdown]
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding this piece: it’s natural to lust after randoms passing you in the street, brewing your coffee, or hanging at the bar, but this guy wonders if his perving is more of a compulsion. [Slate]
What murdered teen Trayvon Martin and Justin Bieber have in common. [This Week in Blackness]
Do you keep a “list”? You know the one… [Jezebel]
For the perils of Disney princesses; let’s examine the damaging notion of the Disney Prince. [allisms]
How about instead of responding to rape culture with the view that women should be more careful, what can men do to make our society safer from sexual violence? [Wronging Rights]
Gender disparity and front page news. [The King’s Tribune]
In defence of Girls’ “ugly sex”. [Daily Life]
Dissecting Beyonce’s interview with GQ in which she admonishes the gender pay gap and the fact that men determine what’s feminine and sexy, but is posing in a decidedly male-gazey, feminine and sexual way on its cover. Hmm… [Daily Life]
Are you sick of the lack of books published and reviewed by women? Then enter the Australian Women Writers Challenge in a bid to make a difference.
Well here’s a convoluted catfight between Kelly Osbourne and Lady Gaga: Gaga’s Little Monsters have apparently been cyberbullying Kelly, which she mentioned in an interview, which prompted Gaga to write an open letter to Kelly. Then Sharon Osbourne got involved… [LittleMonsters, Facebook]
Image via E! Online.
What it’s like to be an empowered sex worker. Yes, they exist. [MamaMia]
A recent altercation with a friend over something I wrote about them on this here blog has formed the basis for an “Ask Rachel” post. [Musings of an Inappropriate Woman]
The opinion piece in last Saturday’s Good Weekend by food critic AA Gill about how men think women should dress was one I skipped over—I don’t really need to read yet another article about what men think women should do. Lindy Alexander takes Gill to task for it, though, saving me from having to rummage through the newspaper stack in my pantry to retrieve said article and get all riled up about it. [Daily Life]
Leave Lindsay Lohan alone! [TheVine]
“The A to Z of Freelancing.” [The Loop]
On the older virgin. [Daily Beast]
So the interwebs were all aflutter last week with talk of Chris Brown’s Grammy performance, nomination and subsequent win, starting with a Tweet (or several, as the screenshots will attest) from a young girl who didn’t know what Rihanna was complaining about: she’d love it if Brown punched her.
Wow, just wow.
Following on from this, I read this fabulous post from Sasha Pasulka on HelloGiggles on why she wasn’t okay with Brown performing at the Grammys and why you shouldn’t be either, and another great blog post in which Michael Fassbender was vilified for allegedly beating his girlfriend whilst simultaneously being lauded for his acting skills in the media.
Now, I’ve never seen anything Fassbender’s been in, but my housemate is (or was, until I linked him to this story about the assault) a fan, so I’m familiar with his work.
I linked the above news story (is TMZ considered news?!) on Facebook admonishing Fassbender, and a friend asked me if I was going to boycott everything anyone with a dubious personal life has been in, like David Boreanaz, for example. I replied that cheating may be immoral, but it’s not illegal, whereas Brown and Fassbender (along with my favourite, Charlie Sheen) are accused of intimate partner violence, which is never okay.
Now, I’m not really a fan of forgiveness and second chances, personally, but I do agree that Brown and Fassbender should be given second chances so that we can say they have when they inevitably fuck up again and then expunge them from society. Some could argue that Brown had his when he trashed a dressing room on Good Morning America and threw a chair out of a window. From experience, I know that violent men hardly ever only hit once and will always revert to their old ways.
The abovementioned friend who asked me if I will boycott all Brown, Fassbender, Sheen et al. projects (and so far I have successfully done so) said, after reading the TMZ piece, that Fassbender’s girlfriend should have left after he dragged her from a moving vehicle causing injuries to her knee, ankle and a blown ovarian cyst.
Sure, to anyone safely removed from that situation and reading about it from the comfort of their own home, the seemingly logical thing to do would be to leave after the first push, slap or abusive comment. But that reeks of victim blaming; abusers are highly skilled in manipulation and will make you feel like you have no other option but to stay. That it’s your fault. That they only hurt you because they love you so much. That they promise they’ll never do it again.
And, in the case of Brown, to allege that Rihanna deserved it because she sings about “S&M” and “Breaking Dishes” (more on this to come next week) is abhorrent! Those songs are what Rihanna does for a job. Furthermore, S&M is a consensual sexual act with “safe words and boundaries”, as one commenter on this MamaMia thread put it. Intimate partner violence is not consensual and there are no safe words. “Stop!” “You’re hurting me!” and “I can’t breathe!” are not enough to stop those who are mentally predisposed to hurting their lover with violence.
I thoroughly urge you to read the HelloGiggles piece if you haven’t already. In it, Pasulka uses quotes from the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Carrie Underwood, who said what a tragedy it was for both parties involved in the assault at the time. Oh yeah, it’s really tragic for Brown to have his name dragged through the dirt for a crime he actually committed. I guess it’s kinda tragic for Rihanna, too, as she was beaten to a bloody pulp by the man she loved and trusted and was then disparaged for it by the public.
Pasulka also cites the statement from the producers of the Grammys in which they insinuate that Brown’s attack on Rihanna the night before the awards three years ago was an inconvenience to them. Yeah, I’d say it was pretty inconvenient for Rihanna, too.
Also troublingly, going through the screenshots of all the Chris-Brown-can-beat-me-all-night-long-if-he-wants Tweets, they are primarily from young, white girls. To me, that signifies the trope of black-man-as-predator. Yes, this probably didn’t even cross the girls’ minds, but that they’re seemingly willing to be with someone who is a known wifebeater because he is attractive (personally, I find him ugly, but then I’m biased) not because of his race is a problem within itself.
In the comments thread on HelloGiggles some commenters raised the question of why is Brown being so vigorously vilified while other known/alleged wifebeaters such as Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson go by unscathed. Is it because he’s black?
And they raise a good point. Personally, I don’t think it is, but it baffles me as to why people jumped at the chance to follow Sheen on Twitter, get tickets to his My Violent Torpedo of Truth tour and lament the fact that Two and a Half Men is apparently now less funny with fellow douchebag Ashton Kutcher at the helm. (Gibson suffered considerably more public scrutiny for his racist and anti-Semitic vitriol, but was still cast alongside one of his defenders, Jodie Foster, in The Beaver. That he was replaced in The Hangover with Mike Tyson is just as bad: substituting one violent racist, sexist alcoholic for a convicted rapist. Nice.)
Brown responded to his haters after winning a Grammy with the above Tweet. Take from that what you will but, to me, that doesn’t sound like a man who’s remorseful for physically assaulting his girlfriend and deserving of a second chance.
*Trigger Warning: This post deals with domestic violence and may be upsetting to some.
Outrage has ensued after 17-year-old Dakota Fanning appeared on the cover of US Cosmo as their Fun, Fearless Female of the Year, which echoes the reaction to Lea Michele’s plunging neckline cover from the same time last year.
The difference is, though, that Michele is a 25-year-old and Fanning is 17. I’ve written before on letting grown women get their sexy on to their heart’s content, and I’m going to say the same thing here about Fanning.
While I do agree that her Marc Jacobs Lola perfume ad should have been banned (it was probably shot when she was younger than her 17 years, makes her look a lot younger, too, and suggestively places an oversized perfume bottle between her legs), Fanning looks no sexier on the Cosmo cover than she does on the red carpet. And did anyone see The Runaways?
As a 17-year-old young woman, she’s around the age a lot of teens start becoming sexually active. I was 15 when I started reading Cosmo (albeit the far more well-rounded Australian version) and became sexually active soon after. I’m not saying the two go hand in hand, but teens Fanning’s age are naturally sexually curious.
As some commentators have added, magazines buy images and interviews of stars from photo agencies, and very often the celebrities haven’t approved and have no idea they’re featured in certain mags. Fanning’s reps haven’t commented on the Cosmo cover, leading us to draw our own conclusions as to what she thinks of this hullabaloo.
Furthermore, Fanning’s a child star; how many fellow graduates have made a seamless transition into adulthood and being taken seriously as an adult performer? Lindsay Lohan? Britney Spears? The Coreys? Mischa Barton?
Considering Fanning’s—to my mind—tame outing on a young women’s magazine cover compared with, say, Nikki Webster’s attempt to be seen as an adult, I’d say she’s doing pretty well. No need to start panicking yet.
Related: Is Lea Michele Too Sexy?
Images via Eonline, CocoPerez.
How to make friends and not alienate people whilst working at the morgue, Lindsay Lohan-style. [Gawker]
South African Marie Claire attempts to draw attention to body image with their most recent campaign, to lukewarm effect. My pick for the most hard hitting design is the one above. What’s yours? [MamaMia]
E-book VS. real book. [MamaMia]
It’s all about me, I mean you, I mean me. [Already Pretty]
“While the legal standard of rape is increasingly well-defined… common sense suggests that at its most basic, rape is nonconsensual sex. Too many of us, men and women alike, define consent as the absence of a clear ‘no,’ rather than the presence of a clear, unmistakable, eager ‘yes.’ The opposite of rape, in other words, is mutual enthusiasm.
“The root of consent is the Latin consentire, which means ‘with feeling.’ Consent is not just about words ‘no’ or ‘yes’—it’s about the unambiguous presence of desire.”
[The Good Men Project, via MamaMia]
The case for vaccination Barbie! [Washington Post]
A history of slutty Halloween costumes. [Jezebel]
Still with Halloween: costumes and racism:
“Halloween was the day where women could bring out their inner sluts… Halloween is also the day where people can bring out their inner… racism…” [Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind]
“Who Cares About Amber Cole?” the black teenage girl who was caught on camera by two male friends giving her boyfriend a blowjob, which subsequently got circulated around the internet, thus distributing child porn. [Jezebel]
Images via Gawker, MamaMia, Gala Darling, High Snobiety, Toys R Us, Clutch Magazine.
From “For Amy” by Russell Brand on his website:
“Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent. Or Kurt’s or Jimi’s or Janis’s, some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but a disease that will kill.”
Of course, Brand has a unique insight into Winehouse’s condition, as he used to be an addict himself.
He’s definitely right in saying society should not be romanticising drug addiction and death. And it’s certainly sad that she died so young, but I’m a bit conflicted about the whole situation.
She was ridiculed in the press and the butt of jokes, especially after her most recent attempt at a comeback, in Serbia, where she appeared to be drunk or high, or both, and addressed the audience as Athenians, I believe. And now that she’s dead, everyone wants to remark on what a fine young talent we’ve lost. The same thing happened with Michael Jackson. No one gave a rats ass about these people until it was too late.
But, on the other hand, if an addict can’t get clean, and doesn’t want to get clean, it’s no one’s responsibility but theirs, at the end of the day.
How many chances did Winehouse have to get clean? How many chances has Lindsay Lohan had? Corey Haim? Courtney Love? Pete Doherty? Anna Nicole Smith? The list goes on.
Yes, I understand that addiction is a disease, and we should try to help people afflicted with it like we would those afflicted with diabetes or schizophrenia. After all, addiction is a mental illness of sorts, and the two often go hand in hand.
And Brand writes that making drug addiction a crime is the wrong answer. “It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalisation doesn’t even make economic sense,” he writes.
But we’ve all read the literature: drugs cause addiction. So why take them in the first place? To be cool? To cope? ’Cause you’re bored?
I can’t pretend to understand, as I have smoked less than five whole cigarettes in my lifetime, I’ve never been drunk, and I’ve never taken drugs (except for an accidental bite of a hash brownie, but that’s another story!). I have people in my life who are recreational drug users (some are very long-term recreational drug users), but I don’t approve and I can’t pretend to understand. Why would you knowingly do something that could—and probably will—kill you?
I’m not really sure where I stand on the issue: my gut reaction is to say that Winehouse has got no one to blame but herself, but my compassion for people with mental illness other than addiction, and those who have slipped through the cracks, makes me feel like this is not just a black and white issue. Can you feel sorry for some people, but not for others?
Maybe those reading this could shed some light on this issue? Have you had experience with addiction or are close to someone who has, and what are your views on the issue?
Elsewhere: [Russell Brand.TV] For Amy.
Image via Amy Winehouse Picz.