On the (Rest of the) Net.

Yikes! Sesame Street gets the slutty Halloween costume treatment. [io9]

“Porn in China.” [Daily Life]

Mitt Romney’s history of flip-flopping on abortion. [Jezebel]

Plus-sized women may be getting more roles on TV and in movies and are topping the charts, but the emphasis is still on their weight rather than their talents. [Wall Street Journal]

Erin Handley interviews Clementine Ford on her feminism:

“A lot of people will only tolerate feminism if it doesn’t affect their lives in any way, at all. They will tolerate women’s quest for equality as long as it has no impact on them or their lives. And that is obviously not equality.” [Right Now]

Two Aussie feminists on why Tony Abbott can be one if he labels himself so, and why his anti-choice sentiments prove he most definitely isn’t. I tend to lean towards Monica Dux’s latter assertion: just because you say you are, doesn’t necessarily mean you are. You have to have the values to back it up, and Abbott’s coming out via his wife as a feminist is all about politics. Sarah Palin, anyone? [Crikey, ABC Unleashed]

Kate Waterhouse defends her “full-figured” question to Christina Hendricks. [The Age]

It’s unrealistic for ugly guys to get hot chicks and for hot chicks to have low self-esteem. Please. I know plenty of conventionally attractive women who have self-worth issues because self-esteem doesn’t just hinge on the way you look. Revolutionary, I know! I also know plenty of ordinary-looking guys who are a hit with the ladies. This is because personality trumps ease on the eye. And liking yourself trumps the way you look. [Daily Life]

Further to that (in fact, this article was quoted in the one above), why do conventionally attractive comediennes, like Tina Fey, play the ugly card? [New Inquiry]

Everyone should just get over nudity. After all, everyone has a naked body. [Jezebel]

It’s time to remove the stigma from STIs. [MamaMia]

Image via io9.

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.

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.

Where Have All the Good Men Gone?

 

From “Where Have the Good Men Gone” by Kay S. Hymowitz on The Wall Street Journal:

“What explains this puerile shallowness? I see it as an expression of our cultural uncertainty about the social role of men. It’s been an almost universal rule of civilization that girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, but boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess or mastery of the necessary skills. The goal was to prove their competence as protectors and providers. Today, however, with women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete, even a little embarrassing.

“Single men have never been civilization’s most responsible actors; they continue to be more troubled and less successful than men who deliberately choose to become husbands and fathers. So we can be disgusted if some of them continue to live in rooms decorated with Star Wars posters and crushed beer cans and to treat women like disposable estrogen toys, but we shouldn’t be surprised.”

Elsewhere: [Wall Street Journal] Where Have the Good Men Gone?

Images via The Frat Pack, Marshill Church, Zu Guide.

In Defence of To Kill A Mockingbird.

 

By now loyal Scarlett Woman readers will know my affection for To Kill A Mockingbird, so I couldn’t resist, after seeing a recap on Jezebel, responding to Allen Barra’s assertion in The Wall Street Journal that Harper Lee “doesn’t really measure up to the others in literary talent, but we like to pretend she does” and her Pulitzer-winning work is “virtuously dull”.

Well, I never!

Out of everyone I’ve ever spoken to about To Kill A Mockingbird, only one person said they didn’t like it, but she also didn’t finish the book, so she missed the part of the book I think is most poignant: the final paragraphs where Scout recounts the events of the summer from Boo Radley’s front porch, citing her father Atticus’ wise words that “you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes.” For Scout, “Just standing on the Radley porch was enough,” and I think that is one of the most beautiful pieces of imagery that brings the story full circle.

Atticus is the quintessential beloved father figure, and beacon of “all the best lines”, who, funnily enough, Lee crafted to oppose the attitudes of her own father, who allegedly “once remonstrated a preacher in the family’s hometown… for sermonising on racial justice”. Barra mocks Atticus’ juvenile explanation of the Ku Klux Klan (he is speaking to a CHILD, where a certain amount of sensitivity is required) and his dialogue, as seeming to have been written “to be quoted in high-school English papers”. God knows I had a field day with quotes from the book in my Year 11 English Literature essays, and perhaps the reason I feel so affectionately towards Atticus is that he reminds me of my grandfather, who passed away several days before I started Year 11. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that Atticus could be representative of the father figure I never had.

For Mockingbird’s haters, there is the defence that it is a novel for children (Barra quotes “fellow Southerner” and author Flannery O’Connor on her observation of To Kill A Mockingbird: “It’s interesting that all the folks that are buying it don’t know they are reading a children’s book.”) something that I was not aware of until reading the Jezebel article, which should say something about Lee’s writing skills (or my reading skills?).

Nonetheless, I stand by my belief that Mockingbird is one of the best books ever written. Barra might say that, “In all good novels there is some quality of moral ambiguity… There is no ambiguity… at the end of the book , we know exactly what we knew at the beginning: that Atticus Finch is a good man, that Tom Robinson was an innocent victim of racism, and that lynching is bad.” But I think there is some moral ambiguity: was it right of Atticus to “collaborate with the local sheriff to ‘obstruct justice in the name of saving their beloved neighbour…’”? And, as Jezebel asks, “Is Atticus’ evisceration of Mayella Ewell permissible because she is making a false rape claim in the knowledge that it will likely cost an innocent man his life? Is Mrs. Dubose a cranky old racist or ‘the bravest woman I have ever known,’ as Atticus says? Did Boo Radley truly kill Bob Ewell in self-defense? Are Atticus and the sheriff, in their willingness to protect the social status quo, contributing to the system of white male privilege that subjugates women and blacks—and the secrecy on which it depends?

And what did happen to Boo Radley, whom Scout “never saw again”?

Related: Taking a Leaf Out of Amazon’s Book: Bad Customer Reviews.

[Jezebel] Re-Evaluating To Kill a Mockingbird.

[Wall Street Journal] What To Kill a Mockingbird Isn’t.