Category Archives: Things Found on the Web

Mad Max Love

Charlize Theron - photo from Vanity Fair

The other week I went to see Mad Max; if I am being honest, I went opening night and squeezed into the very packed theater, and left feeling as though this was one of the better movies I have seen in a very long time (sorry Lego Movie; I still love you though).

I was excited to the see the movie, and had been eagerly waiting to see it since what I will call early April. I was not surprised to see it, but there were/are some grumpy men claiming that the movie is feminist propaganda. To that I say, too bad! But if you are curious, you can read their complaints here.

Charlize Theron was phenomenal, and I was thoroughly in love with her as Furiosa. In fact I just loved the women in this film. They felt real to me, and I became invested in them. These felt like women I could know, not the typical flat characters that I find in other films and books. They were more than glorified eye candy. I won’t give away too much for those who have not seen it, but like my beloved comic Rat Queens, (check that out, if you haven’t) there is something very refreshing about seeing women being portrayed as women. Despite that these women who were slaves and represented these idealized versions of women, there is a fight against this. I think this is why I am so amused by the complaints about this movie being feminist propaganda, or how there are too many women in this film. Their attitudes and the way women are represented in media, is exactly why this film is being celebrated. The women in this film dare to defy being decoration or set pieces within this post apocalyptic world and the film. I would argue that if the women were just sex slaves in the background, there would not be an uproar about how there are too many women in the movie. As a friend of mine jokingly said in response to the complaints, “How dare you ladies go around having thoughts and opinions and things?” He jokes, but it certainly rings true, at least whenever women cross that line into “the man realm.” Gamergate anyone?

More from Vanity Fair

Also, there were some pretty sweet, real explosions that occur in the movie. So go see it!

Hello Giggles also pointed out Tom Hardy, and the amazing faces he makes when people ask him ignorant questions:
Tom Hardy

That face is priceless, and can people please stop asking about why there are women here and there, in supposedly “male” things. Just no.

(images from Vanity Fair)

A Little Bit of Hope

The news is often filled with terrible, awful things, which to be fair these things are going on in the world, but it gets a little depressing at times.

So today, I just wanted to share some things with you, some people rather, that have turned some rather horrific and unfortunate situations into opportunities to fight for not only themselves, but for others who may not have found their voices yet.

Hope is a powerful thing:

The Hunting Ground

Some Things You Might have Missed on Our Facebook and Around the Internet

There is this great infographic on intimate partner violence statistics:

http://www.upworthy.com/heres-what-it-looks-like-when-a-normal-relationship-descends-into-an-abusive-nightmare?c=tpstream

If you are not following Chescaleigh, just watch some of her videos. She addresses a lot of socioeconomic issues that continue to be both prevalent and problematic today. She is also hilarious! Here is her video on being an ally:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dg86g-QlM0&feature=youtu.be

Here is a post about a study done that allows people to experience what it is like living with another skin color in virtual environments:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/15/virtual-body-swapping-racism_n_6328654.html?ir=Black+Voices&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000047

I find this one particularly interesting due to the fact that people of color who play games are often faced with playing a character that does not reflect their color, so it is fascinating for scientists to look at this from the other end of the spectrum.

Yes Means Yes

The internet is buzzing about California passing the Affirmative Consent Law.   There are high emotions on either side, some feeling as though this is long overdue, while others feel as though the government is overstepping.

In California, the Senator Kevin de Leon introduced the Affirmative Consent Law that was recently passed by Governor Jerry Brown. This law is applicable to any higher education institution that receives state funding.  The law tries to better outline what  kind of protocols that should be in place,  as well as what programs and support need to be in place for survivors of sexual violence.

I am curious to see the effectiveness of this bill, and what, if anything happens to institutions who do not comply with this law.  There is a need for more resources available for survivors, and it is important to have a support network,  hopefully this law provides the push needed to get campuses into action and providing these much needed spaces.

It will be interesting to see how other states react to this, especially states with institutions that have higher rates of sexual violence.

There is a lot of back and forth going on about what the law is and isn’t, here is a link Affirmative Consent , where you  can take a look at the points, and what the campuses will have to do in order to comply.

One thing I have noticed in looking through comments, is that people are complaining that this places too much responsibility on the alleged attacker. In most cases the responsibility is on the victim of an attack, where there is the need to justify what they were doing, how much they were drinking, their sexual history, did they do anything to maybe give the faintest whiff of interest, etc.  I think it is alright if there is more responsibility placed on the person being accused, instead of someone trying justify why it was horrible for them to be attacked.

Good News!

There has been a  lot of debate across the country about women’s bodies, and what everyone else thinks women should or should not be doing with them. In some cases this has resulted in states implementing laws that have limited the access to clinics that provide abortions. This is particularly a struggle for women with low-income, who have not been cut off from affordable female health care.

This is why it is good to see that one clinic is up in running again. According to an article on usnews.com , a Texas judge ruled against a piece of a  legislature that would make access to abortion clinics nearly impossible for women in southern Texas.

I realize there is a lot of focus on the fact that this a clinic that does abortion procedures, which is a hot button issue, but I think what people are missing at the heart of this, is that women have more access to  female healthcare.  Yes, women get abortions, but women also get pelvic exams, pap smears, birth control, and various other things on a more frequent basis. These things are rather important, and can be crucial in preventing serious problems later down the road.  It is also an important way that women can be aware of their bodies, and how different things function.

Ultimately, women should have the right to make the choice to do what they will with their bodies, but with laws like these popping up, that is becoming even more of an issue, and it is threatening basic women’s health as a result.  This is a step in the right direction, hopefully these women continue to have access to this clinic.

Street Harassment

I recently read an article about this site Cards Against Harassment  (neat little play off the game) which can be found here, about this woman who is both addressing and recording street harassment that happens to her.  This is only her experience, but  many people have been on the unhappy end of street harassment. It usually starts with you minding your business,  doing some activity whether it is walking to work, riding the subway, or trying to get some coffee, when someone decides they have a right to make a comment about your sexual appeal, sexual orientation, weight, etc.

Her cards are rather amazing and the fact that she hands them out to people who make comments to her is even better. Regardless of the excuses they make, she is setting up a boundary that lets them know she is not alright with their actions, and neither are many other people who may not speak up.

Check out the website and see what she is up to!

Victimhood: A Coveted Status

Recently George Will wrote about the stance that Washington has decided to take when it comes colleges/universities in regard to sexual assaults and rapes on campuses.   The proposed changes will hopefully educate colleges on how to handle  sexual violence, and how to better provide prevent and provide support within their institutions. It is also an attempt to keep these institutions from overlooking them, sweeping them under the rug, or outright dissuading victims from reporting to police.  That is quite a general explanation, and this post provides more information and links to what is going on.

To many these changes sound great and long overdue, but Mr. Will feels quite differently. He writes, “They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate. ”   If he sat down and talked with victims, I highly doubt that they feel privileged or as though they are in a coveted status. It is not as though there are unreasonable requests being made, most people who have been victims of sexual of violence would benefit from having safe places, and environment where they are not being shamed for being a victim. 

This kind of mentality just reinforces #yesallwomen, and how it is normalized in our society.  He calls them “micro-aggressions”, and I call them those moments where I would feel the need to say something or just leave because it is not worth it for me to stay in an environment where I feel uncomfortable or potentially unsafe. He can call the whatever he likes,  but that does not make them any less valid, nor does it minimize how it ties into the overarching issue of sexual violence.

Leslie Jones SNL Skit

This past weekend on SNL, comedian Leslie Jones managed to offend viewers with her jokes referring “to how both her sex life and dating options would have been much better if it was back in slave times.” There also was reference to “producing super babies” due to being paired with the strongest, most capable black male slave on the plantation.

You can catch the segment below.

Leslie Jones SNL Skit

It is fairly obvious why folks were upset by this, but despite her casual tone, she did manage to kind of point out how strong black males that are built to be able to either perform well in the field,  court, or playing field is something that was desired long ago, and is still today. While people seem to think that she is condoning systematic,  I think the suggestion that she would have been paired with the best male slave indicates that lack of consent, as well as that  slaves were viewed as a product.  Slavery is always going to be hard to talk about, especially with how deeply entrenched it is in today’s ongoing racial tensions and systemic issues.

SNL was probably not the best venue to deliver those jokes, but either way, her comments are not any less false, that she would have been prized for her size and strength.  This reminds me of Kara Walker’s exhibit which was quite controversial, but addressed this romanticized notion of slavery and how able bodies were such an appealing commodity.   The installation surrounded you, so there was the force of it weighing down on you. I think she has captured the perverse nature of it, better than anyone else.

Kara Walker

I have mixed feelings about the skit, but I like that she is getting people to talk about it. I think she is bringing more light to a bigger issue.