Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jamie Oliver (health and fat acceptance)

I thought this video of Jamie Oliver talking about food and health was interesting:



I have to say I really like Oliver’s approach for the most part. Instead of fat shaming people, Oliver seems to genuinely want to change the way people look at food (though in all fairness Meme Roth has that covered pretty well). I feel like dieting and eating has become really clinical in the last few years and I like the idea of good tasting fresh food (vs. points or strict measuring). It amazes me when I think of how little my mom and aunt cooked that was actually fresh. I’m sure everyone has known someone, or was raised by someone, who essentially cooks out of boxes. And while there is nothing wrong with that, it definitely does not promote healthy eating or a balanced diet. The idea that vegetables are “gross” and “nasty” is outdated and based on ignorance. The problem isn’t that celery tastes bad, but that people don’t know how to make it taste good. (At least not without covering vegetables in heavy sauces and tons of butter; which kind of defeats the point.)

All of this is making me think about where fat acceptance and health overlap. Sometimes, out the constant bombardment of fat-shaming, I think people are too quick to dismiss any conversations about health. Promoting healthy living is not the same thing as fat-shaming. Just like revering thinness is not the same thing as promoting healthy living (though people still try to pretend like it is) and I worry that we may be shutting down the dialog needlessly sometimes. (I think it’s interesting how this conversation is similar with the issues surrounding victim-blaming and promoting precaution that I talked about the other day.) I want to make it very clear that I don’t think health has anything to do with being comfortable with who you are and your body. I just think that looking at this issue as something black and white is not going to help solve the problem.

The only thing I don’t like about Oliver’s speech is the emphasis on how much money we’re spending on diet based health problems. I understand Oliver is trying to make the issue appeal to pragmatic people who may not be sympathetic towards individual overweight people (I did the same thing when talking about “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”), but I feel like the numbers may not be an honest reflection of the problem. Even though being overweight and having health problems are related, not all people who have health problems are overweight and not all overweight people have health problems. There was also a recent study showing overweight people are discriminated against by doctors so sub par preventative care may also be an issue here. Again, I’m not saying there are no health risks with being overweight. I just think the numbers might be misleading and should be looked at closer.

But the amount of extra sugar in kid's milk is frightening.

-via Swissmiss

We Need to Stop Circumcision

I just read a really great post about male circumcision over at The Huffington Post called "We Need To Stop Circumcision" (via Britni). I've talked about my decision not to circumcise Holden a little before, but this is by far one the most informative but easy to read articles I've read on the subject.
In the weeks ahead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are likely to publish a recommendation that all infant boys undergo circumcision. This is a huge mistake. Circumcision is an unnecessary procedure that is painful and can lead to complications, including death. No organization in the world currently recommends this. Why should we routinely remove normal, functioning tissue from the genitals of little boys within days of their birth?
The author then goes on to talk about some of the misconceptions surrounding circumcision, like hygiene and HIV issues. I definitely recommend reading the whole article.

Whole article can be found here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Johnny Wier and Rigid Gender Expectations

I had no idea who Johnny Weir was until the whole fur brouhaha occurred, but I'm really glad he caught my eye. I can still remember my grandma watching figure skating for hours on end when I was a kid. I was immensely impressed with Scott Hamilton's back flips at the time, but beyond that I was never really interested.

When the fur issue did catch my attention though, beyond my general thoughts that wearing real fur is completely unnecessary and barbaric (though vintage fur and fake fur are all good), I didn't really give Weir any extra thought. It did make me interested in him enough to read a post on some comments two Canadian broadcasters made some pretty fucked up comments during his Olympic performance though.

From NY Daily News:
"This may not be politically correct, but do you think he lost points due to his costume and his body language?" Mailhot said.

Goldberg responded that Weir's graceful mannerisms take the muscle out of male figure skating and damage the sport.

"They'll think all the boys who skate will end up like him," he said. "It sets a bad example."
...

The men suggested that Weir, a three-time U.S. national figure skating champ, should take a gender test — and that he should skate against women.
Seriously, wtf? Unfortunately these comments aren’t really that surprising and are a perfect example of how two-dimensional our gender is seen by a lot of people. Anything remotely “flamboyant” is feminine and anything “aggressive” male.

Weir’s comments were pretty much all I could hope for though:


It makes me wonder what it says about our society when a male figure skater isn’t even allowed to wear sequins without his gender being called into question.

Holden, I promise we'll love you even if you grow up to wear sparkly hot pink leotards and dance to pop music. In fact, I think I'd love you more. Just kidding. Mostly...

And just cause it's too awesome not to post, here's Weir skating to Lady Gaga's Poker Face:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ghosts that broke my heart before I met you

I'm obsessed with this song today.

Ghosts by Laura Marling:


He walked down a busy street
Staring solely at his feet
Clutching pictures of past lovers at his side
Stood at the table where she sat
And removed his hat
In respect of her presence
Presents her with the pictures and says
‘These are just ghosts that broke my heart before I met you.
These are just ghosts that broke my heart before I met you’

Opened up his little heart
Unlocked the lock that kept it dark
And read a written warning
Saying ‘I’m still mourning
Over ghosts
Over ghosts
Over ghosts
Over ghosts that broke my heart before I met you’

Lover, please do not
Fall to your knees
It’s not
Like I believe in
Everlasting love

He went crazy at nineteen
Said he’d lost all his self esteem
And couldn’t understand why he was crying

He would stare at empty chairs
Think of the ghosts that once sat there
The ghosts who broke his heart.
All the ghosts that broke my heart
The ghosts that broke his heart
All the ghosts that broke my heart
the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts the ghosts
The ghosts that broke my heart before I met you

Lover, please do not
Fall to your knees
It’s not
Like I believe in
Everlasting love

He says ‘I’m so lost,
Not at all well’
Do is done there is nothing left to be
Turned out I’d been following him and he’d been following me
Do is done after it was over
We were just two lovers crying on each others shoulders
And i said

Lover please do not
Fall to your knees
It’s not
Like I believe in
Everlasting love

Lover please do not
Fall to your knees
It’s not
Like I believe in
Everlasting love

Her voice is so lovely.

Rape Victims "Asking For It?" and Youtube Inanity

*I want to point out that some of the comments made in these videos may be triggering for some people.

I saw an interesting video when I logged onto youtube yesterday titled “Asking For It? NO!!!," and I don’t think anyone would be surprised at this point that it grabbed my attention. It turns out that the video was actually a response to a video posted by the youtube user Thoughtful Atheist regarding rape and whether or not a woman, who knowingly drinks and walks home in the dark, is partially responsible for putting herself in danger.

Prepare to be pissed the fuck off:



As expected, quite a few people found TA's video to be inflammatory and wrong on many different levels. It got to the point where TS even made the above video private to try and diffuse the situation. (At the time I first posted this blog post that was the case, but I've updated the post to include the video now that it's available to highlight TA's general attitude toward his "friend" that had been raped.) TA then made a new video in order to try and prove to the world he’s not a horrible human being. Watching it will give you a clearer view of his opinion, since he clears up some misconceptions he feels people have about his original video, but it’s not necessary to understand the problem with general his assertions. I just don't want to misrepresent his views.



First of all, I have to wonder why Thoughtful Atheist even made this video. I just can’t seem to find what the point is. Does he want to have a genuine conversation about how we can make women safer? Calling someone a slut and criticizing the victim in this situation doesn’t seem to be the best way to go about it. Does he want the world to collectively berate women for being raped? (I would argue they already do for the most part.) Even if a woman bears responsibility for not taking the “proper precautions” in the moments that lead up to being sexually assaulted, according to TA's personal standards of course, I still don’t see how that has any bearing on the decision of the rapist to commit the raping.

I can't be the only one who feels like TA didn't really have the well being of women in mind when he made these videos.

I wanted to include this responses, because the poster is so full of win:



As usual, this conversation once again conflates lack of precaution (in the eyes of Thoughtful Atheist in this case) with responsibility (or blame) for being violated. They are not the same thing and I think this is one of the unfortunate side effects of rape culture. We should be able to have an honest and open dialog about how to make women safer, but too often it turns into the thinly veiled victim blaming or slut shaming we see in Thoughtful Atheist's video.

I also don't like how this whole conversation hinges on the victim actions and victims decisions. While a lot of people point out that the "friend" Thoughtful Atheist talks about could have been raped whether she had been drinking or not, no one points out the fact that the rapists rape. (TA completely ignores the reality that 73% of rape victims know their rapists.)

I don’t know. The whole thing just seems murky and I think this is a good example of why some of us humorless feminists get defensive whenever someone wants to focus on the victims actions rather then the rapists. And that sucks because I think a lot of people who want to have these sorts of conversations are genuinely concerned.

I know I posted a lot of videos, but I want to leave you with this response since it’s the one that spoke to me the most:



Trivializing indeed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

N.K. Jemisin and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

I am lusting something fierce after the book The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Maybe it's because this is the first book in a long time that I've really wanted that the library didn't have, but I seriously can't wait to get my hands on this book.

I also think I've fallen in love with the author N.K. Jemisin. Listen to part of her answer when asked on whether or not gender or race should be considered when compiling "best of" lists:
The problem that I see with a lot of these “best of” lists — and anthologies, and so on — is that many editors are quick to claim they’ve looked at a representative sample when they really haven’t. They haven’t stepped outside their comfort zone, so what they’re really presenting is just their favorites from within a biased sample set. And in a lot of cases, they don’t even realize they’re biased. Part of the problem is history. You say that we shouldn’t consider race or gender; I say that’s impossible, given that we live in a society that has been so shaped by racism and sexism (and other “isms”) over generations. We’re already thinking about race and gender, because we’ve been trained to think of whiteness and maleness as “neutral”, when they’re not. White is a race; male is a gender. Most of the time when people say they want to be “colorblind” and “gender-neutral,” what they really mean is that they want to be free to ignore PoC and women and focus on white men, without guilt. That’s not neutrality.
Talk about major swoonage.

I'm not usually too interested in author interviews since they tend to be kind of boring, but this is the best interview I've ever read. Check it out here.

Update: Ha! My local library does have the book now and I just put it on hold. I'm totally doing my happy dance right now.

Miscarriages and Utah

I know Utah isn't really considered the land of the lefties, but the attempt to charge women with homicide if they miscarry is infuriating to me. This is one reason why the Republican claim that they want "smaller government" is bullshit. They only want smaller government when it comes to having to part with any of their precious money in order to have roads paved, teachers hired, or any of the other hundreds of things taxes pay for.

These people don't really care about "life." If they did, they would be picketing infertility clinics rather then abortion clinics (since I bet more fertilized eggs are wasted in IFV clinics than single abortions). All this bill is attempting to do is punish women and will end up costing tax payers in order to defend this bullshit in court. (But who cares? We can just eliminate the twelfth grade to save money!)


I love this quote by Dan Savage since it highlights the inanity of such a law:
If every miscarriage is a potential homicide, how does Utah avoid launching a criminal investigation every time a woman has a miscarriage? [...] And how is Utah supposed to know when a pregnant woman has had a miscarriage? You're going to have to create some sort of pregnancy registry to keep track of all those fetuses, Utah. Perhaps you could start issuing "conception certificates" to women who get pregnant? And then, if there isn't a baby within nine months of the issuance of a conception certificate, the woman could be hauled in for questioning and she could be indicted for criminal homicide if it's determined that she intentionally or accidentally induced a miscarriage.
Do the crazy Utards realize how prolific miscarriage is? It's estimated that 30 to 50 percent of fertilized eggs are lost before a woman finds out she's pregnant and another 15 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. You want to blame someone for all those miscarriages? Blame god. Blame biology. Shit blame women. But don't punish them.

Oh and since the tea bag people get to say what their tax dollars go to, I'd like to make it known that I don't want any of my dollars going towards putting women in jail. Thanks.

-via Jezebel

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Post-Apocalyptic 80s Toys' Rebellion

I saw these on Jezebel and I'm totally smitten. The idea, by Tom Kyzivat, is a "post-Apocalyptic story pitting characters from 1980s shows against each other."

Two of my favs:


Shortcake's the humorless leader of the Rebellion against Brainy Smurf. Never far from her is Kit, a strange, cat-like child found near her dead twin brother after the war. She's emotionless and mute, but follows Shortcake everywhere she goes.


Rainbow Brite is part of the rag-tag rebellion against the industrial dictatorship of Brainy Smurf (aka "The Brain"), and aside from being the obligatory Tank Girl look-alike, she serves as their demolitions expert. She's wild and care-free, and her involvement stems more from her love of blowing shit up than her loyalty to the cause.

I've always loved Strawberry Shortcake for her red hair and Rainbow Brite just speaks to my inner candy kid. I also have a major soft spot for post-apocalyptic books.

You can see the rest of Kyzivat's work here. Hopefully some posters will be in the near future.

Everyone is Racist in a Racist Society

Due to some misunderstandings people have had about what I mean in this post, I want to clarify that when I use the word "racist" I am not talking about individual people's racial prejudices. I am using the word "racist" to describe the inequities in our society surrounding race. (None of this means I think white people are bad or need to apologize.) If you don't agree with me then that's fine. A lot of people don't. But instead of getting defensive or arguing semantics try to understand the underlining message I am making. (And to counter my argument you need to prove that there are no racial inequalities on a systematic level in which white people profit on the whole. Just because it makes you uncomfortable doesn't mean I don't make a valid point.)

As some of you know, there was a pretty ugly debate about what privilege is and whether or not it should even be talked about. There were so many other great responses written that I decided not to post on the subject (“beating a dead horse” as they say). I was also way too angry to even begin. Like with the “every man is a potential rapist” hoopla, I found myself getting too emotionally invested in the argument and getting quite drained afterwards. How people deal with commenters arguing every single point they post I have no idea.

The thing is, I feel like this whole conversation is based on a general lack of information by the side claiming privilege is bullshit. I know this is not a surprising thing to say when one is having an argument, but I truly believe it in this situation. There were just so many faulty criticisms about the concept of privilege and an almost appalling amount of misunderstandings regarding the entire premise of privilege. The entire argument furthered my belief that a Race, Class and Gender psychology class should be a college requirement. I really think it would make a huge difference in the way people look at things (because even the people who didn’t become flaming liberals by the end of the semester still made significant strides in my class).

I’m getting off track; my point is that there is one glaringly obvious incorrect claim a few people keep making that really bothers me whenever this argument arises. I don’t want to get into the whole argument again (because really what difference will it ever make?), but I want to point out the reason why the concept of privilege is relevant to everyone and not just the sexist or racist in our society.

The main problem with this claim is that it narrows the discussion to only individual acts of blatant racism while ignoring systematic racism. We cannot have an open discussion about racism (or any “ism”) if we only look at individual acts or people. It is not encompassing enough and is therefore disingenuous. When will the issue of whites earning more than blacks ever be brought up? It won’t. When will the system that puts black men in prisons at an extraordinary rate for drug offenses, even though five times as many whites than blacks are drug users ever be questioned? The answer is never. We must move past an individual focus in order to look at the whole otherwise the conversation is pointless.

Racism is not just some jackass in a white hood, but also a system of advantage based on race. I touched on this the other day and here is the point I’m trying to reiterate:

Racism is a system of inequality in which one race dominates over another race (or races) in order to benefit from it. The reason people are uncomfortable with this definition is because it basically means that all white people benefit from a racist system. This is not the same thing as saying all white people are racists or all white people are bad people. It just means that if you’re white, you are probably going to make more money at your job then someone who is equally qualified but black. Because of gender inequality, it also means that a white man will earn more than a white woman. (And that unearned benefit is part of what makes up that white person’s privilege.) Racism is not just something that puts some people at a disadvantage, but also puts some people at an advantage.
The best way I’ve ever heard of looking at systematic racism in America is the moving sidewalk analogy by Beverly Tatum:

“I sometimes visualize the ongoing cycle of racism as a moving walkway at the airport. Active racist behavior is equivalent to walking fast on the conveyor belt. The person engaged in active racist behavior has identified with the ideology of our White supremacist system and is moving with it. Passive racist behavior is equivalent to standing still on the walkway. No overt effort is being made, but the conveyor belt moves the bystanders along to the same destination as those who are actively walking. But unless they are walking actively in the opposite direction at a speed faster than the conveyor belt - unless they are actively anti-racist - they will find themselves carried along with the others.”
Now I simply don’t understand how people don’t understand this. When someone talks about privilege, they are talking about the conveyor belt itself. If you’re white, in America, then you benefit from the direction the conveyor belt is moving and therefore gain the privilege of the conveyor belt. This works for a bunch of different things in our society as well (gender, sexual orientation, religion, income, education, etc.) And, just in case you’re sensitive and think I’m being a big meanie, I want to point out that having that privilege doesn’t make you a bad person. But denying you have that privilege doesn’t exactly make you a hero either.

Now, there are obviously some disadvantages to looking at the situation as a whole. The claim the other side usually brings up, along with the one I mentioned above, is the idea that privilege is too generalized. They feel as though all their accomplishments or hardships are ignored in the light of privilege and this is a very valid concern. No one wants to feel like the two jobs they worked while going to school and raising a family means nothing since they’re white or male (or god forbid both). The problem with this thinking, besides a general misunderstanding of privilege, is the fact the claim is once again narrowing the conversation. See how both these ideas go hand in hand? People need to realize that when we talk about privilege we are not talking about you specifically (unless someone calls you out on your privilege but I’ll get to that).

The truth is if you are white you are going to earn more money at your job generally (and more likely to have a job). Privilege doesn't deny that maybe you won’t. Maybe you won’t fit into the statistics all nice and neat and you had to bust your ass to earn your wages. Fine. I acknowledge your effort (is that what people have been waiting to hear?). But that doesn’t change the fact that generally, just being white will be all the edge you need when compared to someone of equal qualifications but with a different skin color. (Gender is another huge issue in the workplace as well as economic background which doesn’t seem to get as much attention.) And if you don't make more money, then you are still very unlikely to have to wonder whether your race played a part in that decision (and that in and of itself is a form of privilege).

Is talking about systematic racism as a whole perfect? No. But talking about only malicious outspoken racism is ignoring the culture that nurtures that racism in the first place. (None of this means you have to apologize for being born white or male. The main premise that privilege is questioning is the idea that we have a meritocracy.) But by forcing the conversation on your specific situation you are silencing the voices of people who do make less because of their race in my opinion.

Now, one point the other side made that I actually agree with is the idea that calling someone out on their privilege is too often used as an insult. I agree with this. But at the same time, how does one point out another person’s ignorance without sounding a little snarky? Will some people call you on your privilege just because they don’t like what you’re saying? Of course (have you ever been to Shakesville?). But that doesn’t mean that they’re always in the wrong. Maybe some self reflection would be more beneficial in these cases rather then complete disregard.

I do want to acknowledge that not all people agree with the idea that racism is a system and that’s fine. Thinking of racism as a system where whites benefit is ugly and uncomfortable. It also places responsibility on the shoulders of those who benefit from that system and a lot of people don’t want that responsibility. I totally get it. But let’s not pretend that the only problem in our society is the outspoken racists as long as wage gaps and education disparities exist.

Otherwise how can we ever work on true equality? Denying privilege denies systematic racism and that hurts all of us (white people too).

Some links:
On Privilege
Why I Think the Concept of Privilege is Not “Bullshit”

White Liberals Have White Privilege Too!
White Anti-Racist
Transcending Race…A History Lesson
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
How Prejudice and Bias works
A Concise History of Black-White Relations In The USA (a cartoon)
Privilege Is Driving a Smooth Road And Not Even Knowing It

Monday, February 22, 2010

Maybe if I sell a kidney I can afford my photography class

Sometimes I can't believe how much money I am spending to take my photography class. I know some of you are probably thinking "duh," but I got to admit to being constantly surprised at how many things I need to buy. There's always one thing or another I need for the next assignment, plus the cost to have 36 pictures developed every week adds up pretty quickly.

In a previous post I talked about buying a Canon Digital SLR which, while I think it was definitely worth it, wasn't a small expenditure for this broke ass unemployed loser student.


Well, it turns out I also need a film camera (of course). Luckily I was able to find a Canon rebel Xi that has the same ef lens mount as the Digital XSi for only $35 bucks in the classifieds.



The problem? The lens that comes with my digital camera is actually an ef-s lens and is not compatible with the 35mm Ti. Seriously, wtf? I know it's my fault for paying attention to the lens mounts instead of both the mount and the lens, but I didn't realize there would be a difference. The guy who sold me the camera bosy is also selling a lens but it's $130 dollars.

So now I have a camera without a lens and an assignment due tomorrow that involves developing a roll of film ourselves. Just peachy.

American Healthcare Myths and Dick Armey

I love when politicians say things that are completely out of touch with reality. For me it's a reminder that politicians, on both sides, have no freggin clue for the most part. Most politicians are wealthy and will never have to worry about the compromises that have to be made when a person can't afford insurance.

Leave it to Dick Armey to sum up the idiocy I'm referring to:



Does America have the best health care system in the word? In my view the entire question is irrelevant since I cannot afford coverage (though I would still say no). And until health care insurance is readily available for all Americans, I think the question is too narrow and pretty much useless.

There was a link to this video in the middle of the video above that I also wanted to include because it talks about some of the myths regarding health care in America and around the world:



You can read the entire article Cenk is referring to here.
The key difference is that foreign health insurance plans exist only to pay people's medical bills, not to make a profit. The United States is the only developed country that lets insurance companies profit from basic health coverage.
I highly recommend checking the article out. It rocks. (And by rocks, I mean it confirms your worst fears and makes you hope you never get sick again.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Legends (Scandinavian mythology)

I came across this 2002 Absolut Legends Collection, by Jean Baptiste Mondino, when I was looking for fairy tale inspired ads for Fairy Tale Week. It contains ads inspired by the myth stories of Old Sweden and since I feel pretty uninspired today I thought I would share them.


Valborg - The fire that chases evil spirits away


Viking - Conqueror of the seven seas


Valkyria - The beautiful godess of the battlefields


Oxdan - The fighter of the matting bulls


Nacken - Virtuoso violinist and stealer of souls


Midsommar - The pagan mistress of Swedish Summer Nights


Lucia - Brings light to the darkest night


Ava - The enchanting dancer in the mist


I tried to look up more information about each myth featured, but I actually had a really hard time finding anything. Something else to add to my list of things I'd like to know more about I suppose.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment About Race

I thought this was poignant:



I know I've been posting a lot of videos lately, but I just don't have much to talk about.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Random Doodle

Here’s a picture I made in my computer class (seriously the most boring class ever).

From me to you:



You're welcome. Now I'm off to study...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blizzards In Washington Do Not Equal No Global Warming

I saw this the other night and I thought it was brilliant (not that I expect anything else from Rachel maddow). Also, Bill Nye I love you.


And here are some political cartoons that highlight the inanity that Maddow and Nye are talking about:


I think these two pretty much sum up the point:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Operation Ignore John Mayer

I thought this video was fitting since I posted about race earlier today. Plus Jay Smooth is always full of win.

New Hampshire State Rep. Nancy Elliott and Anal Sex

This is just ridiculous:


"We’re talking about taking the penis of a man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wriggling it around in excrement. And you have to think, would I want that to be done to me?"
Wow.

This is a pretty good example how same-sex relationships are always portrayed in only sexual terms though. I guess wiggling things around in excrement is easier to talk about then the love and respect that goes into all meaningful relationships.

Imagine a Country (Racism in America)

As some of you know, I grew up in San Diego. Growing up in southern California gave me the opportunity to be surrounded by plenty of different types of people and races (even though whites actually made up 74% of the population of the city I lived in). I never really thought of racism or anything along those lines since I wasn’t raised in a manner in which it ever mattered.
To be honest, I think this has more to do with being poor then anything else though. When you’re poor you just don’t have the option to seclude yourself from certain races or refuse much needed employment. When I think back to my old apartments, there was a kind of camaraderie amongst most of us who lived there. When everyone’s just trying to get by, the other things seem to fade away. (Of course this is only my perspective on my experiences. I’m sure in other places the daily grind actually inflames racial tension.)

The reason I’m bringing this is up is because I want to make it perfectly clear that when someone claims that they don’t need to be concerned with race because they live in a “melting pot” where everyone is judged for the value of their character rather then the color of their skin and blah bah blah, that I actually know what I’m talking about when I call them on their bullshit. I don’t think anyone would argue San Diego isn’t a melting pot and there are definitely some racist asshats there (not that this is ultimately my point as you'll see).

Here’s the thing some people are ignoring though, racism is not just calling another person a slur or refusing to give minorities a job. If it was those simple things, then political correctness and non-discrimination laws would have essentially eradicated the problem. But it’s not just those things. Racism is a system of inequality in which one race dominates over another race (or races) in order to benefit from it. The reason people are uncomfortable with this definition is because it basically means that all white people benefit from a racist system. This is not the same thing as saying all white people are racists or all white people are bad people. It just means that if you’re white, you are probably going to make more money at your job then someone who is equally qualified but black. Because of gender inequality, it also means that a white man will earn more than a white woman. (And that unearned benefit is part of what makes up that white person’s privilege.) Racism is not just something that puts some people at a disadvantage, but also puts some people at an advantage.

The greatest privilege of being white is to never have to think about one's own privilege in my opinion.

Now in my mind, pay inequity alone clearly shows that there is a problem in this country. But in case that’s not enough, I also wanted to share part of this article titled “Imagine a Country” by Holly Sklar. This was one of my required readings in my Race, Class and Gender psychology class and it really made me see things in a different light. We do have to keep in mind that this was published in 1997 and therefore the facts may not be completely accurate. I also had to shorten the text since it is quite long, but you can find the full text here.

Imagine a country where one out of four children is born into poverty, and wealth is being redistributed upward. Since the 1970s, the top 1 percent of families have doubled their share of the nation's wealth-while the percentage of children living in extreme poverty has also doubled.

Imagine a country where the top 1 percent of families have about the same amount of wealth as the bottom 95 percent. Where the poor and middle class are told to tighten their belts to balance a national budget bloated with bailouts and subsidies for the well-off.

Imagine a country where for more and more people a job is not a ticket out of poverty, but into the ranks of the working poor. Between 1979 and 1992, the proportion of full-time workers paid low wages jumped from 12 percent to 18 percent-nearly one in every five full-time workers.

How do workers increasingly forced to migrate from job to job, at low and variable wage rates, without health insurance or paid vacation, much less a pension, care for themselves and their families, own a home, pay for college, save for retirement, plan a future, build strong communities? Imagine a country where after mass layoffs and union-busting, less than 15 percent of workers are unionized. One out of three workers were union members in 1955.

It's not Canada.

Imagine a country where more than half of all women with children under age 6, and three-fourths of women with children ages 6-17, are in the paid workforce, but affordable child care and after-school programs are scarce. (Families with incomes below the poverty line spend nearly one-fifth of their in comes on child care.) Apparently, kids are expected to have three parents: Two parents with jobs to pay the bills, and another parent to be home in mid-after noon when school lets out-as well as all summer.
Imagine a country where women working year round, full time earn 71 cents for every dollar men earn. Women don't pay 71 cents on a man's dollar for their college degrees or 71 percent as much to feed or house their children.

Imagine a country where instead of rooting out discrimination, many policy makers are busily blaming women for their disproportionate poverty. Back in 1977, a labor department study found that if working women were paid what similarly qualified men earn, the number of poor families would decrease by half. A 1991 government study found that even "if all poor single mothers obtained [full-time] jobs at their potential wage rates," given their educational and employment background and prevailing wages, "the percentage not earning enough to escape from poverty would be 35 percent." Two out of three workers who earn the miserly minimum wage are women. Full-time work at minimum wage pays below the official poverty line for a family of two.

Imagine a country where discrimination against women is pervasive from the bottom to the top of the payscale, and it's not because women are on the "mommy track." In the words of a leading business magazine, "at the same level of management, the typical woman's pay is lower than her male colleague's-even when she has the exact same qualifications, works just as many years, relocates just as often, provides the main financial support for her family, takes no time off for personal reasons, and wins the same number of promotions to comparable jobs. "

It's not Japan.

Imagine a country where violence against women is so epidemic it is their leading cause of injury. So-called "domestic violence' accounts for more visits to hospital emergency departments than car crashes, muggings, and rapes combined. About a third of all murdered women are killed by husbands, boy friends and ex-partners (less than a tenth are killed by strangers). Researchers say that "men commonly kill their female partners in response to the woman' s at tempt to leave an abusive relationship. " The country has no equal rights amendment.

It's not Algeria.

Imagine a country where homicide is the second-largest killer of young people, ages 15-24; "accidents,” many of them drunk-driving fatalities, are first. Increasingly lethal weapons designed for hunting people are produced for profit by major manufacturers and proudly defended by a politically powerful national rifle association. Half the homes in the country contain firearms, and guns in the home greatly increase the risk of murder and suicide for family members and close acquaintances.

Informational material from a national shooting sports foundation asks, "How old is old enough?" to have a gun, and advises parents: "Age is not the major yardstick. Some youngsters are ready to start at 10, others at 14. The only real measures are those of maturity and individual responsibility. Does your youngster follow directions well? Would you leave him alone in the house for two or three hours? Is he conscientious and reliable? Would you send him to the grocery store with a list and a $20 bill? If the answer to these questions or similar ones are yes then the answer can also be yes when your child asks for his first gun."

It's not Australia.

Imagine a country whose school system is rigged in favor of the already-privileged, with lower caste children tracked by race and income into the most deficient and demoralizing schools and classrooms. Public school budgets are heavily determined by private property taxes, allowing higher income districts to spend much more than poor ones. In one large state in 1991-92, spending per pupil ranged from $2,337 in the poorest district to $56,791 in the wealthiest.

In rich districts kids take well-stocked libraries, laboratories, and state-of-the-art computers for granted. In poor schools they are rationing out-of date textbooks and toilet paper. Rich schools often look like country clubs-with manicured sports fields and swimming pools. Poor schools often look more like jails-with concrete grounds and grated windows. College prep courses, art, music, physical education, field trips, and foreign languages are often considered necessities for the affluent, luxuries for the poor.
Wealthier citizens argue that lack of money isn't the problem in poorer schools-family values are-until proposals are made to make school spending more equitable. Then money matters greatly for those who already have more.

It's not India.

Imagine a country where Black unemployment and infant mortality is more than twice that of whites, and Black life expectancy is seven years less. The government subsidized decades of segregated suburbanization for whites while the inner cities left to people of color were treated as outsider cities-separate, unequal, and disposable. Recent studies have documented continuing discrimination in employment, banking, and housing.
Imagine a country whose constitution once defined Black slaves as worth three-fifths of whites. Today, median Black per capita income is three-fifths of whites.
It's not South Africa.

Imagine a country which pretends that anyone who needs a job can find one, while its federal reserve board enforces slow growth economic policies that keep millions of people unemployed, underemployed, and underpaid.

Imagine a country with full prisons instead of full employment. The prison population has more than doubled since 1980. The nation is Number One in the world when it comes to locking up its own people. The bureau of justice statistics reports that in 1985, 1 in every 320 of the nation's residents were incarcerated. By the end of 1995, the figure had in creased to 1 in every 167.

Imagine a country where prison labor is a growth industry and so-called "corrections" spending is the fastest growing part of state budgets. Apparently, the government would rather spend $25,000 a year to keep someone in prison than on cost-effective pro grams of education, community development, addiction treatment, and employment to keep them out. In the words of a national center on institutions and alternatives, this nation has "replaced the social safety net with a dragnet." Imagine a country that has been criticized by human rights organizations for expanding rather than abolishing use of the death penalty-despite documented racial bias and numerous cases of innocents being put to death.

It's not China.

Imagine a country that imprisons Black men at a rate nearly five times more than apartheid South Africa. One out of three Black men in their twenties are either in jail, on probation or on parole. Meanwhile, one out of three Black men and women ages 16-19 are officially unemployed, as are nearly one out of five ages 20-24. Remember, to be counted in the official unemployment rate you must be actively looking for a job and not finding one. "Surplus" workers are increasingly being criminalized.

Imagine a country waging a racially biased "War on Drugs." More than three out of four drug users are white, but Blacks and Latinos are much more likely to be arrested and convicted for drug offenses and receive much harsher sentences. Almost 90 percent of those sentenced to state prison for drug possession in 1992 were Black and Latino.
A study in a prominent medical journal found that drug and alcohol rates were slightly higher for pregnant white women than pregnant Black women, but Black women were about ten times more likely to be reported to authorities by private doctors and public health clinics-under a mandatory reporting law. Poor women were also more likely to be reported.

It is said that truth is the first casualty in war, and the "War on Drugs" is no exception. Contrary to stereotype, the typical cocaine user is white, male, a high school graduate employed full time and living in a small metropolitan area or suburb," says the nation's former drug czar. A leading newspaper reports that law officers and judges say, "Although it is clear that whites sell most of the nation's cocaine and account for 80 percent of its consumers, it is blacks and other minorities who continue to fill up [the] courtrooms and jails, largely because, in a political climate that demands that something be done, they are the easiest people to arrest."

Imagine a country which intervenes in other nations in the name of the "War on Drugs," while it is the number one exporter of addictive, life-shortening tobacco. It is also number four in the world in alcohol consumption-the drug most associated in reality with violence and death-and number one in drunk driving fatalities per capita. Those arrested for drunk driving are overwhelmingly white and male and typically treated much more leniently than illicit drug of fenders.

It's not France.

Imagine a country abolishing aid to families with dependent children while maintaining aid for dependent corporations.

Imagine a country slashing assistance to its poorest people, disabled children, and elderly refugees to close a budget deficit produced by excessive military spending and tax cuts for corporations and the rich. Wealthy people-whose tax rates are among the lowest in the world-not only benefited from deficit spending and tax breaks, they earn interest on the debt as government bond holders. Imagine a country with a greed surplus and justice deficit. According to a former secretary of labor, "were the tax code as progressive as it was even as late as 1977," the top 10 percent of income earners would have paid approximately $93 billion more in taxes" than they paid in 1989. How much is $93 billion? About the same amount as the combined 1989 government budget for all these programs for low-income persons: aid to families with dependent children, supplemental security income, general assistance, food and nutrition benefits, housing, jobs and employment training, and education aid from preschool to college loans.


Imagine a country that ranks first in the world in wealth and military power, and 26th in child mortality (under five). If the government were a parent it would be guilty of child abuse. Thousands of children die preventable deaths.

Imagine a country where health care is managed for healthy profit. In many countries health care is a right, but in this one 42 million people have no health insurance and another 29 million are underinsured, according to the nation's college of physicians. Lack of health insurance is associated with a 25 per cent higher risk of death.

Imagine a country where descendants of its first inhabitants live on reservations strip-mined of natural resources. Life expectancy averages in the 1940s-not the 1970s. Infant mortality is seven times higher than the national average and a higher proportion of people live in poverty than any other ethnic group. An Indian leader is the country's best known political prisoner.

Imagine a country which has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but uses 25 percent of the world's oil resources. Only 3 percent of the public's trips are made by public transportation. It has felled more trees since 1978 than any other country. It is the number one contributor to acid rain and global warming.

It's not Brazil.

Imagine a country where half the eligible voters don't vote. The nation's house of representatives is not representative of the nation. It is overwhelmingly male and disproportionately white. The senate is representative of millionaires.

Imagine a country where white men who are "falling down" the economic ladder are being encouraged to believe they are falling because women and people of color are climbing over them to the top or dragging them down from the bottom. That way, they will blame women and people of color rather than the system. They will buy the myth of "reverse discrimination." Never mind that white males hold 95 percent of senior management positions (vice president and above).

Imagine a country where on top of discrimination comes insult. It's common for people of color to get none of the credit when they succeed-portrayed as undeserving beneficiaries of affirmative action and "reverse discrimination"-and all of the blame when they fail. A study of the views of 15-to-24-year-olds found that 49 percent of whites believe that it is more likely that qualified whites lose out on scholarships, jobs, and promotions because minorities get special preferences" than "qualified minorities are denied scholarships, jobs, and promotions because of racial prejudice." Only 34 percent believed that minorities are more likely to lose out.

Imagine a country where scapegoating thrives on misinformation. The majority of whites in a national 1995 survey said that average Blacks held equal or better jobs than average whites. Survey respondents also wrongly estimated the white share of the population to be under 50 percent-rather than 74 percent.

Imagine a country where a former presidential press secretary boasted to reporters: "You can say anything you want in a debate, and 80 million people hear it. If reporters then document that a candidate spoke untruthfully, so what? Maybe 200 people read it, or 2,000 or 20,000."

It's not Germany.

It's the dis-United States.
Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Some links:
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
How Prejudice and Bias works
A Concise History of Black-White Relations In The USA (a cartoon)
Privilege Is Driving a Smooth Road And Not Even Knowing It

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What can I say? I'm in love.

It's been five years and I couldn't be more in love with Ryan. I hate to be a sap, but I can't help but feel immense awe for the connection I feel with this particular person.

At our baby shower

This one's for you babe:



Happy Valentines Day everyone.

-Picture Source

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A New Look…Yet Again

I’m pretty sure everything is working smoothly on this new template now. I know it’s always a pain in the ass to get used to something like this, but the other template had been bothering me and there were some glitches in it yesterday that forced me to finally make a change. I know it probably seems silly to change my template now since I installed the previous one only a few months ago, but I was really annoyed with the way I couldn’t fit my whole title on the page without shifting everything down. Even though I didn’t mind using the header the way I did, it still bugged me that me blog was technically called “Random Thoughts of a…”

Anyhoo, after I get used to it I think I’ll really like this template. It’s been a major pain in my ass but so far things are working out alright. I’d really like to figure out how to make “Crazy Liberal” a different color in the title, but I’m not gonna stress on that today.

Please let me know if anything isn’t working for you and lets hope this is it for a long long time. HTML is the devil.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Please Excuse the Mess

As you can see there are a few changes going on around these parts. Don't be surprised if all the kinks aren't worked out, but I'm tired of dealing with it for today.

Hopefully everything I will get everything running smoothly tomorrow. (Feel free to let me know if anything is broken.)

We're All Mad Here

FYI: I am cross-posting this.

I know some people are butt-hurt about the new Alice in Wonderland adaptation by Tim Burton, but I am looking forward to seeing it. I actually like Burton. And in a world full of directors I couldn’t care less about that’s actually quite a feat(what can I say? I liked Pee-wee’s Big Adventure).

Photobucket

So how could I pass up this cute Cheshire Cat papercraft when I saw it over at Once Upon a Blog?

picture source

Isn't it adorable? You can download your own for free (and get directions) here if you're interested.

I am very much interested.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taylor Swift and some Feminist Ire

I must be really bored today 'cause I’ve just read more articles about Taylor Swift than I'd ever admit to. Ironically, I don’t even listen to Swift’s music. In fact, I had never even heard her sing until today. (Actually I take that back; I’ve been in a Forever 21 recently and since it seems to be the place where horrible music goes to die, I’ve probably been subjected to some of Swift’s songs without even knowing it. Damn Southtown Mall.)

Anyhoo, the reason I got interested was because of this picture that I saw on tumblr:

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It should be no surprise that this pic made me sit up and go, “hmmmm…I wonder what this is about.” The picture lead me to a post by Riese from Autostraddle that claimed Swift is a "feminist’s nightmare."

Favorite quote from the post:

Listen up; if I ever get my life together enough to reproduce other life forms, they will not be joining Taylor Nation – they will be brave, creative, inventive, envelope-pushing little monsters who will find a pretty, skinny white blonde girl in a white peasant shirt strolling through nature-themed screensaver-esque fantasylands singing about how “when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them” not only sappy, but also insulting to their inevitable brilliance.

I don’t want my unborn grandchildren to listen to the story of how Taylor Swift won a Grammy she hadn’t earned. I want them to set pianos on fire.
I definitely agree with this sort of thinking (no pressure Holden), but I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say Swift is a feminist nightmare. I’d much rather cast people like the Palin’s (both Sarah and Bristol) or Laura Ingram as feminist nightmares rather than a woman who sings songs about the same old shit thousands of other artists have sung about.

I also read a post about Swift over at Bitch that was interesting but also quite scathing. Couple that with the post over at Jezebel and it does seem a bit like people are harping on Swift out of annoyance that she won a Grammy over Lady Gaga. While it’s all well and good to question someone’s merits or ponder over whether or not they should have won an award, it kind of seems like people are using feminism as an excuse to bash on Swift (even if that bashing is limited to her public persona only).

Unlike some people (who are getting quite Palin-esque by claiming Swift is somehow above reproach because she’s a delicate young flower and blah blah blah), I think it’s great we are questioning the way Swift is or isn’t perpetuating the Madonna/whore dichotomy. I’m just not sure how comfortable I am with the anger that seems to be focused so pointedly at her. Shouldn’t the anger be directed at the patriarchy? I’m not saying that should excuse Swift’s role or anything, but even if Swift is reinforcing that false dichotomy (which not everyone agrees about) I still we should be talking about the cause of that sort of thinking instead of the effect it’s had on Swift.

The idea that a woman’s value lies in her sexuality is not some new or radical thought drummed up by people like Taylor Swift and I can’t help that think that the patriarchy is actually winning when we keep our focus on one individual woman instead of the system as a whole. Does that make the objections to her message wrong or misplaced? No. But I don’t see how it helps things either.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Transgender Basics

Britni had a post the other day (yesterday I think actually) that highlighted some insensitivity regarding transgendered people. I'm not gonna get into the post itself (just follow the link if you're interested), but it did make think about what a tricky subject gender and gender identity is.

Like a lot of people, gender wasn’t something I thought about for most of my life. This is where I am extremely privileged. Coming to the realization that sex and gender are not synonyms was a long process of reading/learning and because of that it’s only realistic that I will make some mistakes or slip ups a long the way. All people do. The point isn’t that we must never inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings or be insensitive, but that when we do make those mistakes we are willing to rectify them. This is our responsibility because we're privileged (in this case I'm talking about gender specifically, but this is true true for all the different ways a person can be privileged.) It's also a good way not to be a shitty person.

Because of that, I wanted to share this video I found over at Feminist Teacher (which I found through Jezebel):



I know the video is a little cheesy, but I think it clearly explains a lot of the terms that fall under the transgendered umbrella. As a cisgendered woman I often feel like I am not the right person to talk about transgendered issues (it can be difficult sometimes to make sure you're not trying to speak for other people), but I thought this video was too good to pass up since it gives people a clear and simple place to start. I'd also recommend checking out this post regarding exactly how cisgendered people are privileged and this post on how to be a good ally (seriously check it out).

Ileana Jiménez also linked to the Equality 101 blog which I think is brilliant. Even though Equality 101 is a group blog for teachers, I still really enjoy it and recommend everyone stop by.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Comment regarding a “nice guy’s” perspective on sexism

I read a really great response regarding whether or not this commercial is sexist on tumblr and I wanted to post it here.



Some basic background: feedmeastraycat doesn’t think the commercial is sexist and posted a response to the people who disagreed with him. This is part of Above the Fold’s response to that response. I don't want to post the whole conversation, but if you follow the first link you can read feedmeastraycat's whole argument as to why this isn't sexist. Even though I am only interested in Above the fold's response, I don't want to misrepresent what anyone is saying so I thought I should include exactly what Above the fold is responding too.

I really hope that all made sense. (None of the emphasis is mine.)

feedmeastraycat: To say that you’re against sexism, only to follow it by questioning my character and respect towards women solely because I’m a man is a prime example of sexism. Before you try to define my life and views any further, let me tell you a little about myself as a man. I’ve never hit a woman, I’ve never degraded or assaulted a woman, I’ve never condoned either of those things and I’ve made an effort to encourage people to learn more about the sickness of sexism and what they can do to stop it. I’m not an ape, I have the same brain and heart that a female has, and I haven’t watched or cared about a sports game since I was a child.

Above the Fold: Seriously guy? This is bullshit. Let me tell you something, man-to-man. The fact that you or I haven’t beat a woman? That counts for nothing. The fact that you and I have even been so good as to be nice to a woman when it wasn’t strictly called for? That’s not enough to qualify you (or me, or anyone) as a non-arsehole. You know why? Because women get that stuff for free. It’s a matter of course. It’s not something that requires a special effort and a pat on the back for us, every time we do it. “You know what, I have been on the road dozens of times, and I never once deliberately tail-ended someone, and even when someone else blew their horn when they got cut off, I totally agreed with a nod and sympathetic look”. The whole problem that feminism looks at is that the experience of being a woman just isn’t judged as being important or noteworthy. But hey, us guys, look at us, right? We’re nice to people for no reason! Doesn’t that make us great!

Here’s the dirty secret: nice, polite, friendly, politically progressive guys like you and me can reinforce and perpetuate sexism, in fact we often do. So let’s stop pretending that we have some sort of free pass because of our inherent niceness and instead when a woman says “you are behaving in a way that supports sexism” respect her perspective. Because your perspective on sexism? My perspective on feminism? Feminists don’t have to respect it. That’s not how it works because, uhh, we’re not women. So talking about how important it is that feminists “respect” our ‘oh, but as a really nice man I think sexism is bad’ perspective is just bullshit.
I know that was a lot of effort to post a comment some random guy made on the interwebs, but I thought it was perfectly summed up. Many men are quick to dismiss complaints about sexism from women without realizing that that easy dismissal is part of the very problem feminists are fighting to change. I’ve also noticed that some men are bothered by the idea that they are not in a position of authority on this subject. (It’s similar to how white people are quick to say racism is dead or some other nonsense about how talking about racism only perpetuates racism.) Because of that, I am always happy when I read an eloquent response from men to that very line of thought (that men’s opinions about sexism are somehow more valid then women’s).

Update: I just had to add this youtube comment by Haloofculrs regarding the video:

“I will get up an hour earlier than you so I can shower, make breakfast and get the kids ready before you even get up, I will make some fruit for your breakfast so you can stay healthy and alive, I will shave almost my entire body for you and pay someone to rip hairs out of my most sensitive parts, I will work 24 hours a day, every day, I will sit through 2-hour midnight feedings, I will let it roll off my back when I’m treated differently in my workplace. I will work just as hard as my colleagues but make much less than half of them, I will say yes (most of the time) even when I don’t feel like it, I will take your call, I will listen to your mindless chattering about sports, I will listen to your friends mindless chattering about sports, I will be civil to your mother, I will usually ignore it when you leave the seat up (again), I will go see The Fast and The Furious 27: Badass Tricycles with you…

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Brighter Shade of Red

I saw this post over at Jezebel that featured this magazine cover and I nearly swooned:



I've already talked about how freaking adorable Kathryn Prescott is, but I seriously need to have my hair this red color.



I bet it's a pain in the ass to maintain though and I'm too cheap to pay anyone to do it for me. Where there's a will there's a way though right? I am also diggin the makeup in the magazine picture and hopefully I can find a better pic so I can recreate it.

Bill O'Reilly Interviews Jon Stewart

This is actually a pretty good interview. I know it's long, but the edited version is useless.









Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Top Tax Rate (political cartoon)

Someone I follow on tumblr posted this and I thought it was great:



A little perspective indeed.

Beyond Lindsey Vonn's Sports Illustrated Cover

I saw a post on the yahoo frontpage about the Lindsey Vonn Sports Illustrated cover that kind of bothered me for some reason.


Vonn's semi-provocative pose has drawn the predictable ire from those who claim that it objectifies her. She's an athlete, not a sex symbol, the chorus inevitably reminds us. They have a point in taking issue with SI; the magazine rarely features women athletes on the cover and its annual swimsuit issue has been a focus of protests for decades. But Vonn's cover is different.

The pose at least resembles the tuck stance skiers like Vonn take when barrelling down the hill. It's exaggerated, of course, but not gratuitously so. It's not as if SI put her in a bikini in a Whistler hot tub.

Also, this is Vonn's moment. If she wins multiple golds in Vancouver, Vonn has the potential to become a major crossover star. She'd be like Michael Phelps, only with better looks and an actual personality. Landing on the SI cover is a good way for her to start the Vonn saturation campaign. It's as important for her as it is the magazine. The pose is suggestive, sure, but it's not objectifying. The headline reads "America's best woman skier ever", for Jean-Claude's sake! Why can't she be both the best skier in the world and really, really attractive too? Tom Brady's a great athlete and a handsome dude and I don't hear people whine when he's shirtless in GQ.

Most importantly, this cover is almost identical to the one that ran on SI's Winter Olympic preview in 1992. That one featured a gentleman named A.J. Kitt and I'm pretty sure nobody was complaining about that one being too provocative.
I guess what’s irritating me is the idea that us humorless feminists are just waiting in the wings for the opportunity to ruin everyone’s special moment by pointing out that something may be sexist. For one, the author only links to two different places where Vonn’s cover is talked about and one of those links merely asks the question as to whether or not a male athlete would pose for a picture like this. Seems a bit disingenuous to me. For two, the fact that the media treats male and female athletes differently is no big secret. This is something that Sociological Images has talked about this time and time (and time) again.

The ironic thing is I don’t even care too much about Vonn’s picture (if you remember I didn’t care about the Palin Runner’s World cover brouhaha either). It just seems like such a small thing to get so worked up over (which is ridiculous coming from me since anything can make me screech like a dying banshee if I’m in one of my moods). I would much rather focus on why only 4% of all SI covers have portrayed women in the last 60 years (according to the link). That seems like a much bigger issue then whether or not Vonn is too bent over.

The authors point, “Why can't she be both the best skier in the world and really, really attractive too” is what bothered me the most though because it's a completele misrepresentation of the other sides argument in an attempt to boost his own. The people who question things like this do not do so because the people being photographed happen to be attractive. That’s not the point. I also hate how male athletes are compared to female athletes (“Tom Brady's a great athlete and a handsome dude and I don't hear people whine when he's shirtless in GQ”) without any concession to the blatant fact that men and women are not treated the same by the media.


If you haven't seen this video I don't think we can be friends. Watch it.


The author does make a valid point that A.J. Kitt had a very similar picture on the front of Sports Illustrated in 1992, but that doesn’t invalidate the fact that male and female athletes are treated very differently by our media. (I would also argue that Kitt’s picture is actually a lot different then Vonn’s since his appears to have been taken while actually skiing and hers looks like she was posed in that manner.)