Andreana Clay @ The Crunk Feminist Collective | Man or Beast?: Revisiting the White Male Gaze:
Benh Zeitlin is a white male filmmaker–as are most that gain attention–and I don’t fault him for that. He (and Alibar) have created one of the most beautiful Black characters to come along in a while. However, the portrayal of white people in the film represents a distancing between his whiteness and theirs that allows his privilege, his gaze to remain invisible. He is not a part of them. It’s not like the white people are racist in the film, which we collectively assume to be true when we view white + Southern, they’re just poor. And poverty, as a state, is something that it looks like he knows little about. Or he has constructed it in some way that he hopes filmgoers will go along with. But, it’s a representation that strips them of their humanity. And how is stripping the white people of their humanity when you’re trying demonstrate the super humanity of a Black girl whose mother deserted her and her father (which felt very Disney/Pixar, I must say and whose truncated body was sexualized in ways that didn’t go outside of the gaze whatsoever)? What does it say when the only other white people in the film are officials who force their way into people’s homes, try to break up families, and hold down the violent Black male body?
Jennifer Pozner @ Fem2.0 | Surfing the Rape Wave: What Tosh Teaches About Humor, Power and Privilege:
Hecklers should expect instant, pounding ridicule. Case study: Louis CK demolishing a chatty jerk in this Louie sketch on FX, calling her “the worst thing that ever happened in America” who “wouldn’t even exist if your mom hadn’t raped that homeless Chinese guy.” (See? Offensive can be funny, when it’s an absurd misdirect.)
But they should never expect vindictive, thinly veiled threats of sexual assault for daring not to keep their mouths shut. Yet that’s exactly what Tosh hurled at this young woman by shooting back, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”
. . . It’s safe to assume [Tosh] didn’t actually want five men in his audience to show him how hilarious it would be if they took him up on his gang-bang challenge. Yet even with that benefit of the doubt it wouldn’t have been completely unpredictable if one or more of them had taken him up on his suggestion. This is hardly hyperbole: Tosh enjoys a weekly cause-and-effect relationship with his fans. On “Tosh.0” he regularly encourages his millions of young male viewers to film themselves doing all manner of stupid, silly, embarrassing things – and they dutifully upload the results on YouTube in the hope that he’ll play their clips on air.
PSA: If you read one thing about the whole Tosh/rape joke/comedy/angry feminists shitstorm, read this piece. It’s a smart analysis of not only the rape culture context of the “joke” but also of why it failed as comedy.
Molly @ first the egg | book review: Elisabeth Badinter’s The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women:
Elisabeth Badinter’s book The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women sorta kinda almost raises these deeply important questions . . . But it asks most of them badly, and answers them in such a tone of disgust and sarcasm that it–an explicitly feminist book–often seems to be participating in a mother-bashing party. It feels like it’s fighting in rather than against the ‘mommy wars.’
Part two can be found here.
Anna Lekas Miller @ Feministe | Millennials and Economic Justice:
I’m a recent college graduate—no matter how much more established colleagues in their late twenties and early thirties say, “I know how hard it is to be a recent grad” or an MSNBC (or any other news network) panel of non-millennials (read: older white dudes who seem to be the sole media mouthpieces of the economy) discussing student debt blindly compare it with their generation, as if this is going to advance the conversation on how to solve this problem further, they have no idea what it is like to come of age and into adulthood during a triple dip recession in a country and culture that keeps being gnawed away by privatization and crisis capitalism.
s.e. smith @ this ain’t livin’ | Is It Safe to Come Out Yet?:
Coming out is dangerous. There’s a reason a large production is made out of it, and it’s because there are serious risks involved in coming out; risks of being outcast by your community, cut off from family and friends. Unemployed and homeless, kept out of some housing markets and potential jobs. Limited in terms of the relationships you can pursue. Coming out comes with inherent dangers and everyone needs to weigh the risks and benefits for themselves without the added social pressure of being informed that they are letting down the team if they don’t expose themselves in that way. It’s hard enough to make a coherent decision about such a personal matter when you know you will probably be supported and helped through the process; even worse when you live in a dangerous climate and know that coming out could be fatal.
The responsibility here lies on society to make itself more accepting, not on individuals to risk everything by coming out. Yes, coming out can certainly help make society more welcoming, but we come back here again to the need to justify people’s existence in order to support and accept them. Pressuring people to come out reinforces the attitude that it’s necessary for society in general to ‘get them’ before society can accept them or handle their existence.
Miriam Perez @ RhRealityCheck | Is It Safe? Asking the Wrong Question in the Home Birth Debate:
I don’t hide the fact that I’m a supporter of the midwifery model of care. I do think home births can be a safe and viable option, given adequately trained providers and a relationship with emergency back up services if necessary (something that because of the history of hostility between midwifery and obstetrics is hard to come by). But I’m interested in seeing our energy and scrutiny focused on the vastly dominant portion of our maternity care system: hospitals. While some people know well what challenges arise in that environment, the stories of parents who’ve lost children or mothers in hospital aren’t often publicized in the same way as are those of that small share of home births. We know they happen — mothers and babies are dying from childbirth-related causes in our hospital system. Malpractice rates for OB-GYNs may be high, but the stories of what sometimes happens under their care doesn’t get the same level attention. Why? Because doctors practicing in hospitals have an army of institutional supporters that protect them legally, financially, and in the media.
Cassandra Avenatti @ In Our Words | On the Straight and Narrow: The Need for Anti-Oppressive Sexuality Education in Schools:
I believe that principles of social justice education should be applied to sexuality education in schools. This kind of critical education could have positive outcomes for youth related to attitudes and behaviors toward sexual and gender minority students. Additionally, social justice-focused sexuality education has the potential to deepen youth understanding of the relationship between race, class, gender, ability and sexuality, and to increase feelings of sexual agency. Educators need to address the diversity of experiences of youth, be affirming of youth identities, and acknowledge the inequities that exist in society.
What have you been reading/writing Harpies? Leave your links in comments!
*Image Credit: Minerva Holmes @ Instagram