“…she stopped paying close attention to his words and when at red lights, examined the rain drops spattering on the windshield so intently that she almost stared right through them. Each drop seemed stuck on the glass, until another drop landed on it and they rolled down the window together, ending in a climactic splash.”
Sara: College class of 2012 (English major, Gender and Sexuality Studies minor), looking for work/applying to grad school, writer, clarinetist.
I post and reblog: things I think are pretty, things that intrigue me, things I'm a fan of, and things I care about.
Common themes include: books, writing, movies, more books, cozy beds, breakfasts, Doctor Who, Sherlock, feminist issues, and occasional pieces of my life.
Wallpaper adapted from here.
In all seriousness Idris Elba as the 12th Doctor would be a great casting choice because he’d kill it and we’d get to find out just exactly how many anglophiles are also gigantic racists
Or as James Bond.
That would work, too.
First, I love Tumblr and want to keep loving it. And yes, it is immediately terrifying to hear that Yahoo (which, from a lot of our perspectives, is a laughably backwards and culturally irrelevant company) is going to own Tumblr. I sympathize.
But there are a number of circumstances in which this will not be a disaster. Let’s think:
WHY TO NOT BE TERRIFIED
- David Karp is being kept on as CEO for at least 4 years. Karp’s policies made Tumblr what it is.
- Tumblr is only as good as we (its creators) are. The idea that the cultural identity and creations we’ve fostered here have become worth a billion dollars is both inspiring and worrisome. But nevertheless, since we hold the value, we hold the power.
- Tumblr is being kept as a separate company. This is what Google did with YouTube and significant changes were very slow to come to YouTube (though they eventually came, and are still coming). My guess is there will be no significant changes to Tumblr for at least 12 months.
- They’re buying it to become more culturally relevant. They know that controlling the platform will reduce or even remove that relevance, so they would be idiots to do it.
WHEN TO ABANDON SHIP
- If Tumblr requires an account somehow linked to Yahoo.
- If David Karp steps down, no matter what the reasons are.
- If you have to pay to reach all of your followers (FACEBOOK!)
- If Yahoo begins censoring legal images and videos.
- If your dashboard becomes three columns by default.
- If more than 10% of the dashboard is taken up by advertising.
ADVICE TO YAHOO! PEOPLE
- Don’t do any of the above things or we will leave and you will own a billion dollar hole in the internet.
- Drop the exclamation point for chrissake…it’s gaudy and grammatically confusing.
Yes, I do wish that Tumblr (being a more interesting kind of company) could have found a more interesting kind of exit for its founders and investors than the old standby of selling to a floundering company trying to revitalize itself. But I think Yahoo and Marissa Mayer are intelligent enough to not totally fuck it up. Here’s hoping.
First of all, the whole entire world is critical of the way women look. Whether you are a supermodel, a teenager or even Secretary of State, if you’re a female, there are people all around you ready to tell you how bad your body looks. Secondly, the idea that women are valuable only for their their beauty permeates nearly every facet of modern society, from the billboards we walk past to the social media we use daily. And this idea that women should be reduced to their appearance originated almost entirely in the minds and actions of men. And it is still largely perpetuated today by men – who run over 90% of our media.
So to say women are their own “worst critics” when it comes to beauty puts the blame on women for a beauty-obsessed, body-shaming and misogynistic world created and maintained largely by dudes.
This Dove campaign did not sit right with me from the very beginning. Thank you Miss Representation for putting the words to it.
AHH THAT LAST PART. That’s exactly what’s been bothering me about the video.
I swear a lot. In writing, if not so much in speech (but, fuck it, also a lot of times in speech). Swearing is awesome, because it adds a little extra punch to your sentence that lets people know you mean business! Or, at least, I guess that’s how most people characterize the function of swearing. Personally, I don’t really give a shit. That “punch” is meaningless—it’s a construct—I swear this much because I like to push back against outdated, constrictive, distracting forms of propriety that I don’t believe in. When people bitch at me about swearing in articles about grievous, mind-boggling, viscerally enraging hypocrisies and human rights violations—that’s what’s interesting to me. That tension, that decision to prioritize meaningless bullshit over tangible real-world harm. Fuck you, and fuck your delicate sensibilities.
Also have this interesting tidbit she quotes from another piece, for free:
When swearwords don’t become more equal-opportunity, they often begin to be used solely for women — Geoffrey Hughes calls this the “feminization of ambisexual terms.” Words such as scold, shrew, termagent, witch, harlot, bawd, and tramp were all at one point in their histories terms for men; furthermore, the terms were usually neutral and sometimes even adulatory. Scold, for example, comes from the Old Norse word for “poet.” When these terms were feminized, they perjorated, going from neutral or positive to insulting. Bugger bucks this trend, too, going from a word used of men and women equally to an insulting term reserved almost exclusively for men.
All bolding added by me.
This post is kind of long, but IT IS WAY SHORTER THAN THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE! And even though I think the original article is so, SO worth reading in its entirety, I’m only putting forth the parts that especially stood out to me, and this shit is so. freaking. important.
Plus, I promise to break things up with awesome gifs, ok?
…Even just presuming we can talk about comedy gets women ripped to shreds by territorial dudes desperate to defend their authority over what’s funny. “Jokes” about rape and gendered violence are treated like an inevitability instead of a choice; like they’re beyond questioning; like they’re somehow equally sacred alongside women’s actual humanity and physical sanctity. When women complain,however civilly, they’re met with condescension, dismissal, and the tacit (or, often, explicit) message that this is not yours, you are not welcome here. It’s fucked up, you guys. And I’m saying that as a friend with the best intentions.
And I want to try and convey to you, broadly, how you are hurting women and hurting your own art form, and how easy it would be to stop. Because right now you’re coming across like a bunch of entitled babies terrified of a few girls in your clubhouse—demanding that women be thick-skinned about their own rapes while you’re too thin-skinned to handle even mild criticism. It’s embarrassing.
Molly Knefel has an impeccable piece in Salon today about the disparity between male comics’ reactions to rape and their reactions to other types of violence…Knefel, of course, is currently being lambasted by aggrieved male comedians. So aggrieved, you guys! Always so aggrieved! But why? What did she really say that’s so outrageous? That the oft-silenced victims of sexual assault and domestic violence (which includes men and boys, by the way) deserve as much respect and care as the victims of gun violence? If basic compassion is such anathema to you, but only when it comes to “women’s issues”—if you’re determined to go down with the Good Ship Rape—then you have issues with women. And that’s not women’s fault—it’s yours.
If you just don’t care, that’s fine—that’s your choice—but understand this: I know you think you’re being transgressive and edgy and bad-in-the-cool-way when you are careless with the trauma of strangers, but you’re not. You are being conservative. You are a conservative comedian. You are moving your art form backwards, you are a bully (a bully who has likely experienced bullying himself, which is the worst kind), and you are propping up the status quo in the most boring way possible. If that’s what you want, at least have the grace to own it.
But you do have to live with the consequences of what you say, and how your words color people’s perceptions of what kind of human being you are. If you do nothing but shower your audiences with hate and garbage, they’re going to start thinking of you as a hate and garbage machine.
Now. You can talk about controversial subjects—in fact, you should talk about controversial subjects, because comedy is an incredibly powerful subversive tool—but if you want people like me to stop bitching at you (a dream we share, I promise!), you need to stop using your comedy to make those things worse. You don’t have to make things better—you are under no obligation to save the world—but if you are actively making things worse for people, especially when you are not a member of the group whose existence you are worsening, don’t be surprised when people complain.
[listing common counterarguments]
3. But it’s just a joke. Calm down.
Yeah, dude, but this shit isn’t magic. It’s not a game. It’s not like you get to declare the comedy stage “base” and the rest of the world “hot lava” (spewing from the vaginas of feminazi gargoyles, I’m sure) and everything you say on the stage exists in some sacred loophole that’s exempt from criticism and the expectation of hard work. Rape, domestic violence, brutalization, marginalization, the struggle to make yourself heard—all of this shit is REAL to a lot of people. They’re not cute little thought experiments for you to mess around with without pushback. You can lie to yourself all you want, but if you say something awful to somebody in the course of your regular day, it is exactly the same as if you say it on stage. If anything, its emotional impact is magnified.
And anyway, anyone who says “but it’s just a joke” has never had their life profoundly changed by a joke.
7. Stop silencing me.
Please. You are not being silenced. There is no “thought police.” Your freedom of speech is firmly intact. You are a member of the single most powerful political bloc on earth. Your voices and your perspectives saturate nearly all media. You are fine. We are just having a conversation about your art, and your art is what you care about the most, right? Right?
I know I just wrote 8 trillion fucking words about it, but really, this whole mess is simple. You get to choose what kind of a person you want to be. Do you want to cause pain or release tension? Do you want to be careful or careless? Do you want to confront hard things or take easy outs? Do you want to connect with other human beings about the shared horrors of the world or do you want to feed into a culture that perpetuates those horrors? You can do whatever you want, but you can’t stop me and everyone else who hears you from telling you when you’re full of shit. Comedy isn’t yours. It’s ours.
I walk into a room, and for this industry, I’m impossibly tall. When they find it hard to pair you up with the opposite sex, then what’s left for a woman? Either you’re the ball-buster or the not-so-attractive girlfriend standing by the lead. I mean, traditionally not so attractive. Because you have your starlets and then you have their best friends who are these character actresses. When you fall within the cracks, you thank God for sci-fi, because they’ll give you a gun, and they’ll say, ‘Go over there and conquer that world. You kick some ass, girl!’
Gina Torres for ANY AND EVERY FUCKING ROLE SHE WANTS
“As I left the hotel and my husband went to the ballroom for the dinner, I realized he still had my keys. I approached the escalators that led down to the ballroom and asked the externally contracted security representatives if I could go down. They abruptly responded, ‘You can’t go down without a ticket.’ I explained my situation and that I just wanted my keys from my husband in the foyer and that I wouldn’t need to enter in the ballroom. They refused to let me through. For the next half hour, they watched as I frantically called my husband but was unable to reach him.
Then something remarkable happened. I watched as they let countless other women through — all Caucasian — without even asking to see their tickets. I asked why they were allowing them to go freely when they had just told me that I needed a ticket. Their response? ‘Well, now we are checking tickets.’ He rolled his eyes and let another woman through, this time actually checking her ticket. His smug tone, enveloped in condescension, taunted, ‘See? That’s what a ticket looks like.’
When I asked ‘Why did you lie to me, sir?’ they threatened to have the Secret Service throw me out of the building — me, a 4’11” young woman who weighs 100 pounds soaking wet, who was all prettied up in elegant formal dress, who was simply trying to reach her husband. The only thing on me that could possibly inflict harm were my dainty silver stilettos, and they were too busy inflicting pain on my feet at the moment. My suspicion was confirmed when I saw the men ask a blonde woman for her ticket and she replied, ‘I lost it.’ The snickering tough-guy responded, ‘I’d be happy to personally escort you down the escalators ma’am.’
Like a malignancy, it had crept in when I least expected it — this repugnant, infectious bigotry we have become so accustomed to. ‘White privilege’ was on display, palpable to passersby who consoled me. I’ve come to expect this repulsive racism in many aspects of my life, but when I find it entrenched in these smaller encounters is when salt is sprinkled deep into the wounds. In these crystallizing moments it is clear that while I might see myself as just another all-American gal who has great affection for this country, others see me as something less than human, more now than ever before.
When I asked why the security representatives offered to personally escort white women without tickets downstairs while they watched me flounder, why they threatened to call the Secret Service on me, I was told, ‘We have to be extra careful with you all after the Boston bombings.’”
- Seema Jilani: My Racist Encounter at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner [emphasis added]
- Role models are important. This isn’t even a remotely controversial fact, just a conveniently ignored one. In terms of leadership, a study released, also this month, documented how significant even just seeing a woman in power is to inspiring self-confidence in other women. Our traditions, media, education system and language, if left unexamined and unchanged, will continue to teach our children that only men, usually straight, white ones, can lead and make decisions on behalf of everyone else. That’s who “gets” to lead.
- Take public life alone: in the U.S., there are 5,193 public, outdoor statues. Guess how many of those are of men? 4,799. We have no women on our everyday currency, no public holidays marking any significant effort made by any woman in this country. We have no visible, national, public acknowledgement of the fight for women’s rights, equality, parity, liberation — name your term. In schools, women’s activist and feminist movements are briefly mentioned in core curricula, marginalized in “women’s history months” and usually framed along the lines of “the vote was given to women,” like a nicely wrapped gift instead of something they marched, starved and went to jail fighting to get.
- Soraya Chemaly: In a Meritocracy, Sexism Is Shocking and Hard to Believe (emphasis added) [four/four]
- The question posed by the young man above was a good one, but it needs tweaking. “Am I doing an injustice to all the members of my community?” is the question we should be asking, because, without a doubt, the gross underrepresentation of women in leadership — whether in government or business or religious life, negatively affects us all. It is revelatory though. His question shows a laudable concern with others as individuals. It also demonstrates his grappling as an individual with how to manage privilege. But, it highlights a serious and recurring problem: when people talk about systemic injustice — which is what feminism’s fight against sexism and misogyny are — those who benefit from that injustice often feel that are being blamed as individuals. As one student interviewed in the Times said, some boys “felt attacked for simply being boys.” Instead of hearing, “Our systems are prejudiced,” people hear, “You are prejudiced.”
- Soraya Chemaly: In a Meritocracy, Sexism Is Shocking and Hard to Believe (emphasis added) [three/four]
- Earlier today, writing in Foreign Policy Magazine, David Rothkopf described sexism as civilization’s greatest shame: “The underrepresentation of women in positions of power is proof not so much that men still dominate the top of the pyramid as it is of a system of the most egregious, widespread, pernicious, destructive pattern of human rights abuses in the history of civilization.”
- And Rothkopf and Buffet are talking about the obvious things, not the insidious marginalization and small violences that permeate life. According to Miss Representation, 61 percent of students surveyed report seeing or hearing derogratory [sic] comments or images of women. In the one year since its inception, the Everyday Sexism Project has been flooded with women’s stories describing daily encounters with sexism. More than 85 percent of women globally report street harassment that inhibits their movement in public space.
- Soraya Chemaly: In a Meritocracy, Sexism Is Shocking and Hard to Believe (emphasis added) [two/four]