All Posts Tagged With: "sexism"
Emma Teitel on why this may be the worst film she’s seenThis post originally appeared at Teitel Page.
I know I’m a few days late to the party, but if spring break is forever, as James Franco’s “Alien” reminds us every 15 seconds in
Skrillex’s 92-minute music video Harmony Korine’s latest think piece, then I have plenty of time to kill. I never intended to write about Spring Breakers, until I saw it on Saturday night and have since felt worse than Stan and Kenny post Passion of the Christ. I want my money back. I want to round up my best girlfriends, invest in some pink balaclavas, day glo bikinis, and squirt guns, and hold up Harmony Korine’s house like it’s the chicken shack and I need to get myself to Florida, stat.
For some reason I find myself almost entirely alone in this sentiment, which leads me to believe that either the film’s greatness was lost on me (I am a boring nube and just don’t get it) or perhaps, Spring Breakers is the Emperor’s New Clothes of our day: a nude spectacle critics are falling over themselves to endorse. Sure it lags a bit, they say, but in a self conscious way. Can’t you see? It’s laughing at itself. It’s ironic. It’s rebellious. It’s a searing indictment of Western hedonism and materialism. It’s the only American movie that matters right now.
Find a husband on campus before I graduate? No thanks.
When Anne-Marie Slaughter spoke at the Women and Leadership conference at Princeton University in February, there was at least one person in the packed audience who did not agree with her call for the “next wave of an equal rights revolution.”
That person was the now infamous Susan A. Patton, who spoke at one of the breakout sessions afterward and then wrote a letter to the editor of The Daily Princetonian dismissing both Slaughter’s discussion of whether women can have it all and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg’s suggestion that women “lean in” to advance their careers.
According to Patton, instead of worrying about their future work-life balance, university women’s priority should be this: “Find a husband on campus before you graduate.”
What students are talking about today (February 6th)
1. Olympic gold medal swimmer and dimwit Ryan Lochte has recreated Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover for ESPN The Magazine and everyone’s making the same joke about Kurt Cobain rolling over in his grave. Lochte subs in for the baby in the photo. He told ESPN that, “if you look at the baby, he’s definitely happy in the water. And that’s what I am.” He also noted, “he’s chasing after a dollar bill. So he’s always on the grind.”
2. Eight years after same-sex marriage became legal in Canada, Britain’s House of Commons on Tuesday approved a proposal that will allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The vote was 400 to 175. On the topic of gay rights, a photo has emerged of an unnamed West Point cadet escorting his boyfriend to a winter formal. The photo appeared on the Facebook page of Knights Out, the West Point alumni support group for GLBTQ soldiers. If gay couples can be accepted at the most prestigious military academy in America, it seems only a matter of time until the entire country follows.
3. Queen’s University held its first ever Black History Month opening ceremony last week. “I hope [what] Queen’s students take away from this is that there is a big Afro-Caribe culture here at Queen’s,” organizer Stephanie Jackson told The Queen’s Journal. Black History Month, originally “Negro History Week” when it was started in 1926 by black historian Carter G. Woodson, is held each February in honour of President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and Frederick Douglass, the famous anti-slavery activist. Queen’s president Daniel Woolf told the opening ceremony crowd that Black History Month won’t always be needed, but that it is today. Federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney honoured black law enforcement officers on Tuesday. Among the participants were Devon Clunis, Canada’s first black Chief of Police (in Winnipeg) and Lori Seale-Irving, the first black commissioned officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The government also drew attention in a press release to the Black History Virtual Museum.
4. “Good men are hard to find—at least on television,” writes Angela Johnston of MacEwan University’s The Griff. “The archetypes of bumbling doofus (for example, Melissa McCarthy’s counterpart in Mike and Molly) and sociopathic jerk (see Alex Karev in Grey’s Anatomy) have been abundant for decades, with few alternatives.” She notes a recent article in the The Atlantic explored this phenomenon and she’s been watching shows that don’t stereotype men, like Parenthood.
5. After a long delay, Concordia University has announced Canada’s first Major in Canadian Irish Studies will go ahead this fall. The bachelor’s degree will allow students to explore the history, literatures and cultures of Ireland and the Irish Diaspora. Courses include James Joyce, Irish Traditional Music: A Global Soundscape, The Irish in Montreal, Irish Mythology and Folklore, Field Studies in Ireland and Cinema in Quebec and Ireland. Michael Kenneally, director of the Centre for Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia, told Maclean’s in 2011 why interest in Ireland is so high in Quebec. “If you’re interested in cultural nationalism, colonialism, post-imperial identities, partition and decolonization, rebellion and independence, Ireland is a case study for all of that.”
Bully arrests, a sexist scientist, Bob Rae & The Bachelor
1. Eight girls in London, Ont. have been arrested over allegations of bullying at a high school.
2. This comes on the same day that more than 40 vigils are expected around the world to honour Amanda Todd, the B.C. teen who committed suicide after struggling with years of bullying.
3. A scientist from the University of Chicago posted a really dumb statement on Facebook after the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience: “There are thousands of people at the conference and an unusually high concentration of unattractive women. The super model types are completely absent. What is going on? Are unattractive women particularly attracted to neuroscience? Are beautiful women particularly uninterested in the brain? No offense to anyone..” Suffice it to say that offense was taken.
4. The dreaded premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may be a myth, according to University of Toronto researchers. They say that although the cramping, bloating and headaches are real, society overemphasizes the relationship between mood swings and menstrual cycles. (Maybe those perceived bad moods instead have something to do with male scientists’ Facebook posts?)
London shooting, Regina theft and Toronto mega-project
1. Students at Western University in London, Ont. had their homecoming weekend marred by the shooting death of 21-year-old Terrell Johnson off-campus early Sunday. A 28-year-old man was also taken to hospital. Joshua Carter, 22, is charged with second-degree murder.
2. Hannim Nur, the student who resigned from her post as president of the University of Regina’s Students’ Union (URSU), did so because she stole $700 of student money from the Canadian Federation of Students Saskatchewan by forging signatures on cheques when she was Chair. A statement from CFS-S says that the money was repaid and that they’ve updated procedures to reduce the chance of it happening again. Questions remain as to why Nur continued to work at URSU after she admitted the forgery to CFS.
3. A proposed mega-development on King Street in Toronto will house a whole lot of people in three 80-story condo towers. It will also include two museums and facilities for nearby OCAD University. The design is by Frank Gehry and the funding is from theatre king David Mirvish. Tweeters have compared the design to a tipped-over recycling bin, but Edward Keenan of The Grid points out that Gehry’s early sketch of the now-loved Art Gallery of Ontario once raised eyebrows too.
Female gamers face harassment and contempt online
Republished from Macleans.ca.
When Lianne Papp started playing shooter games like Counter-Strike online 12 years ago with complete strangers, she noticed something immediately: not only were the majority of those strangers men, but they really didn’t like playing with women. The 27-year-old game developer from Edmonton lists “Show me your t–s,” “I’ve got something for you to sit on” and the more traditional “Make me a sandwich” among the sexist remarks and obscenities she’s received as she played on the web. “Online gaming is plagued with juvenile gamers who sling insults at everyone they can,” she says, “but the harassment women have to deal with is seemingly worse.”
Ski and Board Club admits mistake
The Ski and Board Club at the University of British Columbia has received a warning after advertising of a prehistoric-themed beer garden called “Cavesluts and Dinowhores” offended a student union staff member, who then complained. Posters pinned up around the Student Union Building showed “busty, scantily clad woman leaning against a dinosaur skull,” according to The Ubyssey, which has a photo. Ski and Board Club president Charlott Johansen addressed it. “It wasn’t meant to be at all degrading, but I guess we didn’t think it through enough,” she said. The posters appear to have been effective nonetheless—300 attended the Feb. 3 event.
And it’s a haven for racist, sexist trolls
Facebook. Twitter. MSN. Google Plus. There’s no shortage of places for students to chat, opine, or procrastinate during finals. Yet there’s a new digital obsession spreading across Canadian campuses. It’s called OMG and it’s simple. Students submit short “Oh My Gods” about anything. Then, they’re posted to the site.
As a Waterloo student who found myself distracted by OMGUW far too often in December, I got thinking about what makes it so hard to look away. I wanted to know what makes it so enticing that it has spread from Waterloo to Guelph, Saskatchewan and Toronto, with tens of thousands of views.
Distributed sexually offensive pamphlets
Queen’s University’s bands were suspended yesterday after distributing offensive pamphlets.
The pamphlets contained phrases that made light of rape, lewd photos and nods to bestiality, according to the Queen’s Journal. Entitled “The Banner,” versions of the mock song-books have been distributed to band members for years. The Queen’s Bands Executive sent an email Wednesday to bands members ordering them to destroy all hard copy or digital versions.
But it was too late. They were asked to meet with the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, Anne Tierney, who suspended the club. Band members have developed an action plan that could allow them to be reinstated next year. It includes human rights training.
The media frenzy around the pamphlets comes at a bad time for Queen’s officials. Yesterday, they distanced itself from a fake ad that plays up Queen’s stereotypes—sexual proclivity included.
Adults of legal age have a right to be served: expert
Young adults, especially men, are being barred from entering drinking establishments in Canada based solely on their age — and these are men who are have reached the provincially-mandated minimum age for drinking. Many clubs are restricting entry to those over the age of 21. Women often get a free pass if they’re of legal age.
But the practice may be a Human Rights Code violation, Raj Anand, former commissioner of Ontario’s Human Rights Commission told The Globe and Mail. “There are certain circumstances in which the stereotype of irresponsibility that attaches to young, unmarried men is sanctioned by law –– see their car insurance rates –– but visiting a bar or nightclub is not one of them. In my view, exclusion of an adult of drinking age is a violation of the Human Rights Code.”
Club owners and event planners defend the practice, suggesting that younger men are more likely to arrive drunk and spend less money.
But the rules are the rules. So young men, the next time a bouncer looks at your ID and tells you scram, just point out that it’s a human rights code violation. That ought to get you in, right?
Former student accused of bizarre e-mail and postering campaign
Waterloo Police have charged a 34-year-old former University of Waterloo student who they believe distributed bizarre anti-female posters and e-mails across campus this spring, reports The Waterloo Region Record. An e-mail claiming to be from the university’s president was circulated with an image of a nuclear bomb and French scientist Marie Curie, who discovered radium, along with a message that implied that women shouldn’t hold positions of power. “THE TRUTH. The brightest Woman this Earth ever created was Marie Curie, The mother of the Nuclear Bomb. You tell me if the plan of Women leading Men is still a good idea,” it read. Similar posters were then pasted over the campaign posters of female candidates during an student election. Many female students reported feeling uneasy about incidents. Zamir Nathoo of Kitchener, Ont. is charged with criminal harassment, personation with intent and mischief to property.
Another song ruined by actually listening to the words.
Earlier this year, I wrote a post about how the critical thinking engendered in higher education can be a curse. Being trained to read deeply into texts — as we English profs are — is a variation on that same curse, and one that I noticed recently as I listened to a holiday standard playing on a TV music station.
Most of you are probably familiar with “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” In case, you aren’t, here is a recent version by Lady Antebellum.
A quick trip to Wikipedia (hey, they should call it “Quick-a-pedia”!) tells me that the song was penned in 1944 and became a huge hit (for numerous artists!) in 1949. The first time I remember hearing it was in the 2003 movie Elf, and its enduring popularity was shown (or perhaps guaranteed) by the fact that it was recently featured in the Christmas episode of Glee.
I’m the first to admit that this little ditty is as clever as they come with its elegantly overlapping melodies. Plus, I love duets. But I really have a problem with the values implied in the lyrics. In case you haven’t heard it (didn’t you click on the link provided? Sheesh…), the premise of the song is that a woman wants to go home but her male date wants her to stay — presumably to have sex — and makes the excuse that the weather outside is too frightful for her to leave. So why not stay (and, again, presumably do it while she’s there)? No matter how many times she insists that she has to go — she refuses sixteen times by my count of the Dean Martin version, but the exact number is a matter of interpretation — he insists that she stay. That her whole family is waiting for her at home is of no consequence, nor is her reputation, nor, for that matter, her own choice. Come on, baby, it’s cold outside!
The more you listen, the harder it is to believe what you’re hearing. Whether she is interested in his advances or not, he keeps after her, plying her with alcohol, moving “in closer,” insisting that she not “hold out” because it will hurt his male ego: “what’s the point in hurtin’ my pride? he asks, and “how can you do this thing to me?” He won’t even lend her a coat!
Even if we set aside the possibility that the man has slipped her a mickey (“what’s in this drink?” she asks and then claims to be under a “spell”), the whole song is based on an out-dated and very sexist notion that if a woman refuses a man’s sexual advances, she cannot possibly mean it. To be sure, her part in the song indicates that she may be willing to be persuaded, but that’s just the point: no really means yes. The sexism might be excused by the period in which the song was written, but the song is not quite old enough to seem like a period piece, and the never-ending parade of modern versions (see above and add James Taylor, Jessica Simpson, Vanessa Williams…) only increases the feeling that this is a modern song.
Of course, songs are just songs, and people can listen to what they want. I just wish these date rape carols weren’t so catchy.
UWinnipeg course will focus on myths, theories and images of men in popular culture
Starting in the winter 2010 term, the University of Winnipeg will be offering its first-ever men’s studies course.
According to the school, the discipline has been around as early as the 1970s, with the intention of filling the gap left between women’s studies, which didn’t engage with “the gendered construction of masculinity,” and the men’s rights movement, which “failed to recognize masculinity’s complex relation to power.”
The full-credit course, titled “Boys, Men, and Popular Culture: Filmed Genders,” will examine myths, theories, and images of boys and men that shape how they are represented and how they represent themselves in popular culture, particularly in movies.
“When Women’s Studies became Women’s and Gender Studies several years ago, we incorporated perspectives from men’s studies into our courses, but this is the first time we have devoted a course specifically to the area,” says professor Pauline Greenhill, who will teaching the course.
Students will also be taught by guest lecturers from a variety of disciplines, from peace and conflict studies, to economics, to criminal justice, along with experts from the Winnipeg community. Topics addressed are set to include work, relationships, boyhood and violence.