When 'Feticide' Is Just Another Word For Unlawful Abortion

I can’t think of much that’s more dehumanizing of women than to charge one with feticide for attempting suicide during a bout of depression.

0 notes

Comments
California School Agrees To Change 'Arab' Mascot After Complaints

That’s a fairly restrained response. I’d have gone further, wanting the generic “Arab” replaced by something specific to Arab warriors, heroes, etc., like “Ghazi,” “Mamluk,” or “Scimitars.” But far be it for me to tell the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee that they are insufficiently protective of representations of Arabs.

And that’s basically where I stand on the Native American mascot issue. “Redskin” is and has always been a slur, in a way even “Red man” has never been. There is no good reason to name anything after a demeaning term. “Indians” seems too generic, being in many cases too vague and unconnected with a specific organization, but there are too many variables there for me to have an opinion on the ethics. Naming a team after a warrior of any ilk is perfectly within the bounds of reason, so “Chief” or “Brave” shouldn’t be objectionable in themselves. Finally, naming after a historical local tribe should be commemorative and respectful, though I could understand, too, how a Native American would feel trivialized by getting a high school basketball team named after their identity group after their ancestors had been driven from the area by the ancestors of the whites who then offered such meager honor.

But all too often, the problem isn’t in the name alone: it’s in the representation, the mascot, the logo. Any logo will be something of a caricature, but oftentimes they cross well past the line not just to kitschy pseudoappropriations (“War chants”) into insulting parody and mockery. And there’s just no defense for that, at all.

0 notes

Comments

theheirsofdurin:

cybersyncing said: ok but hear me out: The Hobbit where everything is the same except Bilbo has the personality of Martin Freeman

(via lalitrus)

55,094 notes

Comments

withagallifreyantwist:

americaninthedeerstalker:

Best. Cliffhanger. Resolution. Ever.

Eccleston did the coprophagic grin better than anyone.

(Source: fluffalos, via lalitrus)

236,448 notes

Comments
Israel Claims Nearly 1,000 Acres of West Bank Land Near Bethlehem

Do the Israelis want to spark another intifada and give the West Bank over entirely to militants? Because if they do, this is the way.

Oh, yeah; that’s exactly what Likud wants to do, regardless of how much blood, Israeli and Palestinian, is spilled.

Abbas, please get that UN recognition for Green Line Palestine soon. That may provide the only mechanism with the weight to force Israel to stop contributing to a crisis that will have disastrous consequences for both peoples.

0 notes

Comments
Comments

- We Need to Talk About Israel -

That’s pretty much what it’s like, and it serves only the worst of us well.

0 notes

Comments

(Source: soloeaux, via johnskylar)

1,547 notes

Comments
theroguefeminist:

elliedoh:

So when Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry bring black girls on stage, dance with them, acknowledge their figures- it’s offensive and appropriating. But, when Nicki Minaj makes an entire video focusing around black girl’s asses and asserts her power, reduces these women to objects and flaunts her authority it’s YAAASSSSS NICKI SERVE IT. Is that because she’s black? So it’s okay for people of the same race to dance with each other but someone who does not share the same levels of melanin enters the picture, they’re doing something wrong? …idgi 

You’re completely ignoring context. In Lily Allen’s Hard out Here video, she literally says, “I don’t shake my ass cause I have a brain” as Black women shake their asses in her video. She is literally degrading the Black women who shake their asses in the media. The song also uses references to Black rappers (i.e. the title of the song referencing the rap song “Hard out Here for a Pimp” and her lyric “bragging ‘bout my cars or talking ‘bout my chains”), suggesting that Black rappers are more sexist than white male musicians (which isn’t true, there’s lots of sexism in all music genres) and also suggest the source of sexism in the music industry is Black people (Black male rappers and twerking Black female dancers).
In contrast, Nicki Minaj is reclaiming a song (Baby Got Back) that was made by a Black male rapper who celebrated (but also objectified) Black female bodies. Throughout her song, Nicki raps like a man would, talking about her sexual conquests with men and the size of their dicks, almost as a way of doing to men what they have done to women (objectifying their dicks as Sir Mix A Lot objectified Black women’s asses and many other men objectify women’s vaginas). She also brags about her sexual prowess and stays in control and aggressive in the video (she goes as far as cutting a banana representing a dick and slapping Drake’s hand away—the video critiques the male gaze). The target of mockery and disparagement in Nicki’s video is men and the male gaze, and the video works to reclaim agency from it.
In what way is Nicki asserting power over her dancers? In her video, she twerks along side her back up dancers and dances with them and interacts with them on the same level. She is just as scantily clad as they are. Lily Allen, however, stays fully covered in her video, does not dance provocatively, and thus contrasts her own pure and respectable femininity with the Black women, using their twerking and scantily clad bodies as an example of “bad” female sexuality and femininity—of women “objectifying themselves.” This is racist because it frames Black female sexuality as lesser than white femininity and antithetical to feminism.
In summary: Nicki’s video is very much a celebration of female Black beauty and sexuality coming from a Black woman. Conversely, Lilly Allen’s is using Black women as props to frame them as a vile or bad form of sexuality or being too sexual to prop up her own feminism.
So you might say, “what about Miley Cyrus? she twerks along side her Black background dancers too!” But here’s the problem: Miley Cyrus continually appropriates Black culture and also uses Black women as props. It does matter that these artists are white because in these cases the point of including the Black women is either to, in Lily Allen’s case, offset Black sexuality/femininity as too sexual or bad in comparison with her white femininity/feminism, or, in the case of Miley Cyrus, to get “street cred” and exotify her own sexuality by appropriating Black culture and using Black people as props to do so. See this analysis of Lily Allen’s Hard Out Here video and this analysis of Miley Cyrus by Black people who know a lot more about this than I do.
I haven’t seen anything about Katy Perry using Black dancers. I’ve just seen criticisms of her appropriating AAVE and other PoC cultures. So I’m not sure why you brought her up, but maybe I just haven’t seen the videos in question.
Either way, it’s not like white artists having a diverse cast of back up dancers is a bad thing automatically. Here is an example of a white artist using back up dancers of other races without objectifying them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ilh1ewceco (notice this artist tackles the same issue as Lily Allen—sexism/objectification in the media—without being misogynist and racist toward other women). But the examples of Lily Allen and Miley Cyrus ARE racist and Nicki Minaj’s video isn’t the same as theirs.

There’s a lot of projection in this exegesis, and that concerns me, since such is increasingly the method used in both popular and academic cultural criticism. 
Ms. Cyrus’s unfortunate VMA performance was problematic, and more than a little racist, but not for the reasons delineated above. It took a style of dancing and subculture popular among African-Americans, and reduced it to something one-dimensional and superficial, leaving only the sexualization and butt-wagging, without any recognition of the actual techniques and talents necessary to twerk well. It was a caricature of ratchet culture, not an appropriation, the same way black women are so often caricatured as sexual props. Largely, the problems with Cyrus stemmed from the generic, obvious, simplistic qualities of her act, from the Kitsch of it.
But we aren’t privy to Cyrus’s motives. If we are to assume she sought “street cred” through the exoticization of her own sexuality, that is something that could only be gleaned through her own statements. It’s reasonable to assume it was something she wanted to do and enjoyed doing, but that’s about it. Was she externalizing her sexuality, giving herself license by donning the cultural equivalent to blackface? That’s certainly a trope of American culture, to associate blackness and the more frank sexuality of black culture with personal sexual permissiveness. But is that then scalable down to any one instance of a white woman getting turned on by an artifact of black culture? You could as easily and inaccurately make such a blanket statement of “jungle fever,” assuming a racist undercurrent in interracial romances. I’m sure in some that is the case. But I am not prepared to point an accusatory finger at any particular case.
Cyrus’s persona is as much “white trash” as “hip-hop appropriative.” That wouldn’t be a great stretch as a reference point for someone brought up in a Nashville circle. There is a great deal of shared material between “white trash” and “urban black” subcultures, reflecting the enormous cultural interchange between poor whites and blacks since colonial times. Each is highly syncretic with the other, even if the communities have historically perceived their political and economic interests to be in conflict (the whites far more so in that respect than blacks, obviously). Socially defined markers of “blackness” among whites were considered signs of poverty and/or “low breeding and birth.” Sometimes those markers are seen reclaimed as sources of pride, if often misattributed or recontextualized. Their expression, however, is an organic effect of proximity and the appropriation of them not inherently demeaning, even if the subsequent use proves to be so. 
Concerning, Lily Allen (congratulations, you got me to watch the video), I don’t think you could remotely suggest that she’s holding herself above the dancers. The line about ‘having a brain’ comes during the plastic surgery sequence, which is about the media objectification that dehumanizes both her and them. In the rest of the video she’s dancing about as suggestively as they (half of whom are not black). It would be just as possible to say that, dancing for one another rather than for the male gaze, they are all reclaiming for themselves the sexual agency robbed from them by pop culture (thus paralleling the analysis of Nicki Minaj) or defanging those pop cultural tropes by mocking them. That Allen is more fully covered is not framed in contrast to the dancers’ outfits, except in the context of discussing the hypocritical double-bind that sexualizes the female body, yet slut-shames any woman who expresses her sexuality, regardless of image or identity. Otherwise, she’s a partner in their act, joining them, not easily read to disdain them.
Is my reading correct? On an objective basis, there is little objective basis. Which is what’s so troubling to me when I read analyses that interpret the subjective, the arguable, the impression, as something that is, and represents the performer and not the review. It’s presumptuous to imagine we can enter the mind and divine the intentions of the author and actor. We have what we see, and that is valid, as what we see. But what we read in is not what was, and we must be very careful to show that humility in our work, especially when that lodges charges of bias, insensitivity, and malice. 

theroguefeminist:

elliedoh:

So when Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry bring black girls on stage, dance with them, acknowledge their figures- it’s offensive and appropriating. But, when Nicki Minaj makes an entire video focusing around black girl’s asses and asserts her power, reduces these women to objects and flaunts her authority it’s YAAASSSSS NICKI SERVE IT. Is that because she’s black? So it’s okay for people of the same race to dance with each other but someone who does not share the same levels of melanin enters the picture, they’re doing something wrong? …idgi 

You’re completely ignoring context. In Lily Allen’s Hard out Here video, she literally says, “I don’t shake my ass cause I have a brain” as Black women shake their asses in her video. She is literally degrading the Black women who shake their asses in the media. The song also uses references to Black rappers (i.e. the title of the song referencing the rap song “Hard out Here for a Pimp” and her lyric “bragging ‘bout my cars or talking ‘bout my chains”), suggesting that Black rappers are more sexist than white male musicians (which isn’t true, there’s lots of sexism in all music genres) and also suggest the source of sexism in the music industry is Black people (Black male rappers and twerking Black female dancers).

In contrast, Nicki Minaj is reclaiming a song (Baby Got Back) that was made by a Black male rapper who celebrated (but also objectified) Black female bodies. Throughout her song, Nicki raps like a man would, talking about her sexual conquests with men and the size of their dicks, almost as a way of doing to men what they have done to women (objectifying their dicks as Sir Mix A Lot objectified Black women’s asses and many other men objectify women’s vaginas). She also brags about her sexual prowess and stays in control and aggressive in the video (she goes as far as cutting a banana representing a dick and slapping Drake’s hand away—the video critiques the male gaze). The target of mockery and disparagement in Nicki’s video is men and the male gaze, and the video works to reclaim agency from it.

In what way is Nicki asserting power over her dancers? In her video, she twerks along side her back up dancers and dances with them and interacts with them on the same level. She is just as scantily clad as they are. Lily Allen, however, stays fully covered in her video, does not dance provocatively, and thus contrasts her own pure and respectable femininity with the Black women, using their twerking and scantily clad bodies as an example of “bad” female sexuality and femininity—of women “objectifying themselves.” This is racist because it frames Black female sexuality as lesser than white femininity and antithetical to feminism.

In summary: Nicki’s video is very much a celebration of female Black beauty and sexuality coming from a Black woman. Conversely, Lilly Allen’s is using Black women as props to frame them as a vile or bad form of sexuality or being too sexual to prop up her own feminism.

So you might say, “what about Miley Cyrus? she twerks along side her Black background dancers too!” But here’s the problem: Miley Cyrus continually appropriates Black culture and also uses Black women as props. It does matter that these artists are white because in these cases the point of including the Black women is either to, in Lily Allen’s case, offset Black sexuality/femininity as too sexual or bad in comparison with her white femininity/feminism, or, in the case of Miley Cyrus, to get “street cred” and exotify her own sexuality by appropriating Black culture and using Black people as props to do so. See this analysis of Lily Allen’s Hard Out Here video and this analysis of Miley Cyrus by Black people who know a lot more about this than I do.

I haven’t seen anything about Katy Perry using Black dancers. I’ve just seen criticisms of her appropriating AAVE and other PoC cultures. So I’m not sure why you brought her up, but maybe I just haven’t seen the videos in question.

Either way, it’s not like white artists having a diverse cast of back up dancers is a bad thing automatically. Here is an example of a white artist using back up dancers of other races without objectifying them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ilh1ewceco (notice this artist tackles the same issue as Lily Allen—sexism/objectification in the media—without being misogynist and racist toward other women). But the examples of Lily Allen and Miley Cyrus ARE racist and Nicki Minaj’s video isn’t the same as theirs.

There’s a lot of projection in this exegesis, and that concerns me, since such is increasingly the method used in both popular and academic cultural criticism. 

Ms. Cyrus’s unfortunate VMA performance was problematic, and more than a little racist, but not for the reasons delineated above. It took a style of dancing and subculture popular among African-Americans, and reduced it to something one-dimensional and superficial, leaving only the sexualization and butt-wagging, without any recognition of the actual techniques and talents necessary to twerk well. It was a caricature of ratchet culture, not an appropriation, the same way black women are so often caricatured as sexual props. Largely, the problems with Cyrus stemmed from the generic, obvious, simplistic qualities of her act, from the Kitsch of it.

But we aren’t privy to Cyrus’s motives. If we are to assume she sought “street cred” through the exoticization of her own sexuality, that is something that could only be gleaned through her own statements. It’s reasonable to assume it was something she wanted to do and enjoyed doing, but that’s about it. Was she externalizing her sexuality, giving herself license by donning the cultural equivalent to blackface? That’s certainly a trope of American culture, to associate blackness and the more frank sexuality of black culture with personal sexual permissiveness. But is that then scalable down to any one instance of a white woman getting turned on by an artifact of black culture? You could as easily and inaccurately make such a blanket statement of “jungle fever,” assuming a racist undercurrent in interracial romances. I’m sure in some that is the case. But I am not prepared to point an accusatory finger at any particular case.

Cyrus’s persona is as much “white trash” as “hip-hop appropriative.” That wouldn’t be a great stretch as a reference point for someone brought up in a Nashville circle. There is a great deal of shared material between “white trash” and “urban black” subcultures, reflecting the enormous cultural interchange between poor whites and blacks since colonial times. Each is highly syncretic with the other, even if the communities have historically perceived their political and economic interests to be in conflict (the whites far more so in that respect than blacks, obviously). Socially defined markers of “blackness” among whites were considered signs of poverty and/or “low breeding and birth.” Sometimes those markers are seen reclaimed as sources of pride, if often misattributed or recontextualized. Their expression, however, is an organic effect of proximity and the appropriation of them not inherently demeaning, even if the subsequent use proves to be so. 

Concerning, Lily Allen (congratulations, you got me to watch the video), I don’t think you could remotely suggest that she’s holding herself above the dancers. The line about ‘having a brain’ comes during the plastic surgery sequence, which is about the media objectification that dehumanizes both her and them. In the rest of the video she’s dancing about as suggestively as they (half of whom are not black). It would be just as possible to say that, dancing for one another rather than for the male gaze, they are all reclaiming for themselves the sexual agency robbed from them by pop culture (thus paralleling the analysis of Nicki Minaj) or defanging those pop cultural tropes by mocking them. That Allen is more fully covered is not framed in contrast to the dancers’ outfits, except in the context of discussing the hypocritical double-bind that sexualizes the female body, yet slut-shames any woman who expresses her sexuality, regardless of image or identity. Otherwise, she’s a partner in their act, joining them, not easily read to disdain them.

Is my reading correct? On an objective basis, there is little objective basis. Which is what’s so troubling to me when I read analyses that interpret the subjective, the arguable, the impression, as something that is, and represents the performer and not the review. It’s presumptuous to imagine we can enter the mind and divine the intentions of the author and actor. We have what we see, and that is valid, as what we see. But what we read in is not what was, and we must be very careful to show that humility in our work, especially when that lodges charges of bias, insensitivity, and malice. 

(via lalitrus)

57,446 notes

Comments
Police Are Using Military Weapons to Occupy Ferguson, Missouri

Just think of the sorts of people who would likely be attracted to policing thanks to ass-kicking, gun-shooting action movie recruitment videos, rather than a commitment to protect and serve their communities. They’re looking for opportunities to be Rambos and, as with hammers and nails, every situation comes to resemble a mortal threat.

0 notes

Comments
George Galloway, British Lawmaker, Is Released From Hospital After Attack

NOT how to deal with people like Galloway. This just distracts from the cravenness of his views. The man who loves brutal dictators until he loves them, and loves them until he hates them, who supports LGBT rights at home but defends their execution abroad, who toasted the “courage” of murderers of their own people like Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad, who very much profited from UN Oil-for-Food program corruption, should never be given the opportunity to be on the right side of anything.

That said, I’d love to see a large percentage of the earth’s surface declared a George Galloway-free zone.

0 notes

Comments

lostsplendor:

Visitors from the Other Side: Spirit Photography by William Hope c. 1920 via The National Media Museum on Flickr Commons

AKA fun with double exposures! I wish you could still do that with digital photography.

(via yawncity)

1,019 notes

Comments

- Queen & Annie Lennox & David Bowie - Under Pressure - HD -

Beautiful tribute, performed live at a concert honoring Mercury the year after his death. All proceeds went to AIDS research and awareness.

0 notes

Comments
Cop v. Black Guy

Pretty much.

0 notes

Comments
50 Days of War Leave Israelis and Palestinians Only More Entrenched

The widespread Palestinian calculus that 500 dead kids and decades of rebuilding are somehow offset by something so inconcrete as “political dignity” does not give me great hope for peace in the future.

0 notes

Comments