Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Okay so now that you are a twitter user and sort of understand hashtags, it's good to know that there are a couple popular ones that cleverly coincide with days of the week, like #followfriday or #musicmonday. You use the former when you want your followers to follow the hip cats that you're following: "HeyHeyLouisaMay: #followfriday @heartsandstring for pop culture loving feminists." and the latter to share what songs you heart that day: "HeyHeyLouisaMay: #musicmonday "Where your eyes don't go" by They Might Be Giants."
SO in this (new) grand tradition I call on everyone to adorn Wednesdays with a new hashtag phenomenon: #funnywomenwednesday. It takes up a few extra characters, but it's worth it to show your followers, as well as Twitter searchers everywhere, women who are really fucking comical. It could be a shoutout to follow your giggle-inducing gal pal or an amusing actress you like. Also good, a link to some side splitting stand-up, or a blog written by a witty woman. Just highlight the laugh inducing ladies in your life. Everyone needs a reminder that even though Judd Apatow and crew rarely let us have the good lines, we can blithely banter with the best of 'em.
Why is this necessary? Who didn't see "I Love You, Man," and WISH that someone would have given Jamie Pressly more dialogue? And no one is looking forward to "Funny People" more than me, but even with Leslie Mann in a(nother) supporting role it's clear that the funny people helming this film (Seth Rogen, Adam Sandlar, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman) are definitely men. These boys sure know how to spin a humdinger, and I adore 'em for it, but it's clear that they aren't willing to seriously spilt their stage time with us. What's more ridiculous than that? And I don't have to tell you that there is an obnoxious rumor going around town that women aren't funny. There are more Feys, Poehlers, Wiigs, Silvermans, and Presslys out there, let's shine a spotlight on them, at least one day a week. It'd be more attention than they get now.
Not on Twitter? Then spread some love on Facebook, MySpace, or even on your own personal blog. You heard it here first kiddos, April 1st, 2009 kicks off Funny Women Wednesday, and that's no joke.
Once I worked at a Metro Parks exhibit and helped look after a Fennec Fox and it was the greatest time in my life.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Somehow, though, SWG beating up a sex worker didn't make the news in the same way, only trickling out this weekend as a novelty story. All posts about it have so far seemed to be more about Sham Wow and less about how this is a serious violent crime against a woman. Why haven't we heard about this until now? Probably because common views of sex workers are that they as disposable and deserving of the violence that plagues them. Lest we forget the words of serial prostitute killer, Gary Ridgeway, "I picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught."
Severe? Sure, but reflections of this way of thinking can be seen in something as ubiquitous as the Grand Theft Auto series, during which your male character can rape and kill prostitutes. Do we all actively want or support violence against this population? Of course not, but there is a bigger question here. When it comes to sex workers, do we notice or care when these violent acts happen?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
If you're in Ohio THIS weekend do yourself a favor and see new buckeye breakout sensations Speed Governor (affectionately known as SPD GVNR) play their very first show at the Treehouse in Columbus Saturday night. According to their MySpace page, this eerily similar trio of males fancies their music a mix of indie, rock, and post punk; citing impressive influences like Fugazi, the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr. and the Weakerthans. Is that not enough for you? Well, also at this show you can see, Via Audio, and Bicentennial Bear. What are you waiting for? Roadtrip to Columbus, Get there at 10, by some drinks, and GT RDY T RCK!
When police officers are found to have murdered young black men, they are almost always let off the hook, they do not face life in prison and they are not then hunted and killed. This is not to suggest that the murder of cops is justified, but to ask that we look at it within the context of police brutality and the damage it has wreaked on the black community.
The power that resides in the laps of armed police officers is terrifying. Imagine living in these conditions, in the kind of world where you can be gunned down just for being young, black, male and walking down the street. This story is almost impossible to understand given dominant narratives around race, class, gender and black masculinity. It is considered OK to kill young black men, often violently. We may be outraged, but not nearly as outraged as when cops are killed.
Read the rest here.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Before "Stuff White People Like" Gets Their Snarky Hands On It...Enjoy This Trailer Made Especially for You
B) Loving it with all with the knowledge that it was totally marketed directly to you
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Then our new President Obama creates a first ever Council on Women and Girls led by Obama's senior aid, Valerie Jarrett. Signed into law on International Women's Day March 8th, the council will, according to Jarrett, "examine all the programs at the federal level that touch on women and girls and we're going to work to coordinate and make sure that each of those programs is doing everything that it could do to help support women and girls." So awesome that it's tear inducing:
Now today, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has an excellent piece published in the Washington Times discussing the state of women and girls around the world and highlights the importance of investing in our futures. Here are his main talking points:
It's up to all of us to ensure that this economic crisis does not become a global women's crisis, too. At moments like these in developing countries, women are asked to bear the brunt of the hardship. When food is scarce, economists have found that women and girls are pressured to forgo their share altogether so that men and boys have enough to eat. In the same way, we must now make sure that women workers aren't pushed aside as businesses downsize and that daughters aren't taken out of school as families search for extra incomeI find it so refreshing to hear the political discourse shift from how we should cut the rights of women globally to how to champion them instead. I am always sensitive, however, to how we discuss global women's issues as to not sound like the great western world sweeping down to save the poor eastern women from their backwards society. I think this is a great piece, though. What are your thoughts? Read the entire commentary here.
Thanks to Colin for the link
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This cycle Tyra did not want to wait the usual two or three episodes to make over her edge-less contestants. We could barely settle into Wednesday's episode of America's Next Top Model before we were smacked in the face with a spy theme that was right out of Cheesetown USA. Tyra had totally confidential ("for fierce eyes only") new looks for all the girls, but her fake-a-roo trench coat and fedora coupled with bad Charlie's Angels style video-phone editing made the whole thing look like a big trying-too-hard-for ratings fiasco. Are girls crying at getting their hair cut no longer gimmicky enough to rope in viewers? Well if sheering girls til they sob won't do it, and Tyra's bad Carmen Sandiego impression isn't cutting it either, perhaps Wal-Mart could give a go of it.
Yep, nothing screams high fashion like Wal-Mart, that's why this week's challenge was centered around the Covergirl Wal-Mart Wall. Manufactured in an empty room because there are no Wal-Marts in NYC, some one-named make-up artist stands in front of the wall and chokes out some forced line like this, "At Wal-mart anyone can confidently personalize their own look for less." Leaving out that Wal-Mart has this "unique" ability because they don't give their worker's raises and make them work off the clock. That Covergirl wall is oh-so-affordable because their non-management workers are living thousands of dollars below the US poverty level (according to Wake-Up Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Watch). This is a problem that could be easily fixed by raising the prices on every product half a penny.
And speaking of non-management workers, the majority of them are women! Even though they make up 72 % of Wal-Mart's total workforce, only 33 % of women get to move out from behind the cashier and become management. So glamorous! It's a good thing that Covergirl is so damn cheap because at a whopping $8.23 an hour (that's $13,861 annually folks!) the ladies of Wal-Mart aren't going to see the inside of a Sephora anytime soon. Even those lucky 33% who win a coveted upper management job are still only getting a consolation prize, according to the United Food and Commericial Workers (UFCW) "women in management positions earn nearly $5,000 per year less than men."
The girls squealed and nodded with excitement as the challengers blathered on about Wal-Mart's greatness. For all of the fits the contestants rountinely have about nothing, you'd think one or two of them could speak up about how awful (and très unfashionable) Wal-mart is. Not even the street preacher made a peep. I'm always curious how much this is the producers forcing them to go along (since Wal-Mart is clearly a sponser) or if the contestants would rather rally against a haircut than a jerky corporation. But really, it's the show's responsibility to not cater to such an unethical company. Tyra's crusade for women looks pretty shoddy if she's supporting a company that routinely holds women back. You wanna be on top? Standing on the backs of other women is not the way to get there.
Check out Tyra's Go Go Gadget Editing:
Getting pumped about Wal-Mart:
Related Story: I Wanna Be On Top: Use Your Inner Goddess to Preserve the Purity of Young Girls
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Bush & Co. forced those of us who had previously been taking a responsible role in their reproductive health to step back and make some hard decisions. Utilities or birth control? Groceries or birth control? Books for class or birth control? It was unfair of them to put us in that position and now we will finally be able to regain our financial footing when it comes to our health. As one of the women in the video below says BC isn't just about controlling reproduction. It is often used to help skin conditions, regulate unusual periods, and deescalate the pain that comes with severe cramping (among other things). Supporting BC is an important part of supporting women's health, a nonpartisan issue that should be supported by all.
Employee Free Choice Act Introduced Today! (Expect More Mayor McCheese Sightings in the Near Future)
Mayor McCheese was strutting around in front of the White House yesterday thoughtlessly showing off his dollar sign adorned burlap sack. Not a good idea in the robber-happy District of Columbia, just today a CVS I often frequent on U st (fairly safe) got knocked off at 3'o'clock in the afternoon. Just because that bag isn't full of burgers doesn't mean you'll go unburgled, Mr. Mayor.
Though, only a few feet from this walking sideshow, is this woman with this protest sign leading me to believe that there must be something deeper going on here...
To get to the bottom of this mystery, I've garnered the help of DC union organizer, John Aho, who explains that this is indeed a deep issue. One as deep as the pockets of some of the richest, most anti-union corporations around.
Why are you looking at a picture of people with hamburgers, moneybags and cashiers in the place of their heads?It all started Monday afternoon.
across from both the White House and the Chamber of Commerce, hosted a protest against big business’s opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, which was introduced in congress today. Burger King, Bank of America (despite taking billions in taxpayer dollars) and Walmart are among the companies spending millions of dollars to defeat the bill (hence the silly costumes). Big Business hates the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) because it would mean extra money out of their already bulging pockets, since union workers make more money, and receive better benefits than their non-union counterparts. Lafayette Park, which is
Okay, when he says "silly costumes," I'm pretty certain he means amazing costumes. Though more importantly, unions and their members get a pretty awful rap as gangsters, thieves, or layabouts because there are more stereotypes about them in the mainstream consciousness than facts due to a huge lack of education about labor issues. Really, unions are just fighting against corporations (isn't that what we're all doing?) on behalf of workers. Workers who get screwed out of a health care, a living wage (7 bucks an hour isn't cutting it), and workplace safety (without unions you could get hurt on the job, and then fired for not performing).
The EFCA is important for many reasons, first, it fixes the current broken system of forming unions, and moves to a more level playing field for workers and management. Second, it would allow workers to organize unions without intimidation and harassment from management. The EFCA would ban mandatory anti-union meetings and increase penalties for illegal firing of pro-union workers (which happens more than 25% of the time!). Lastly, it would force companies to bargain with their workers in good faith; and allow workers to choose whether they want their
Unionrecognized through an election or a majority signup process.
Unions also make sure women get the workplace equality (like promotions!) that they deserve - this is especially helpful in traditionally male jobs like carpentry, and construction. In fact, in December a new study called Unions and Upwards Mobility for Women Workers was released with good news for women. It showed that for women, being a member of a union is "on par with having a college education." Pro women? Pro union!
So if you've have ever had a job that you wanted to not be treated like crap at, but you lacked the power to change anything, strap on that hamburger hat and grab your sack 'o' cash because now's the time to start supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Of course now that Obama is in office, the still-hard-to-believe-I'm-not-dreaming trend of slowly but surely fixing and reversing all the abuses of power/asshat decision making continues. Obama is looking to overturn this rule, but he needs to hear from you. Please visit the Planned Parenthood website here and sign a petition urging him and the Dept. of Health and Human Services to reverse this unethical intrusion into women bodies and lives.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The high notes of this week are mostly centered around the picking of the girls who will live in the house and becoming familiar with their characters. The notable ones include a Texan street preacher, a wide eyed girl with blood lust, the requisite "plus sized" model that looks like everyone I know, and perhaps Tyra's proudest catch, a burn survivor. Tahlia (the burn survivor) and Kortnie (the "plus sized" model) serve as the shows' underdogs and token characters that Tyra can point to so that the show can't be criticized by the mainstream as only catering to a certain body type or look.
Tyra has already bathed in self righteousness over how Tahlia is strong and needs to be given a chance by ANTM, and while she makes an attempt at comforting Tahlia when she feels othered at the runway competition, Tyra's bemoaning about how the modeling industry will either love Tahlia's scars or hate them just comes off as belittling. Tahila's personality quickly is lost on the show, and she becomes nothing more than her scars. I look forward to learning more about her (as she is one of the nicer contestants), and I hope the producers give us a chance to see her other attributes, interests, and thoughts. That being said, as always with this gray-area series, it is great that this woman has air time to talk about her story, showing viewers that she is talented, and that her burns don't make her ugly. Although, so far she has admitted that the show is making her feel "shame" about her skin and serves as a reminder for how "different" she is. Will this be a train wreck or a growing experience for the audience and the contestant? I'm eager to see how this plays out.
Secondly, the show's photo shoot has a creepy/cute focus on young girls and how they are, according to Tyra, "good girls turned bad." (bolding mine) During the shoot, there is an emphasis on what makes a good girl (pigtails and jax) and a bad girl (torn stockings, smeared make-up, and pregnancy), and Tyra can't help but allude to her talk show which has found that (gasp) "1 out of 5 girls want to be teen moms." This moral panic has, of course, turned into Tyra's personal war against the idea of "innocence and purity being lost." Which we know thanks to The New York Times and Jessica Valenti, founder of Feministing and author of the new book The Purity Myth, is a big fucking scare tatic. Not to mention how this line of thinking only targets and infantilizes girls and women. It is disempowering in refusing to acknowledge our capabilty to make our own choices, and is also slut shaming/victim blaming as it ignores the responsibility of the men needed for the sexing, raping, and baby-making. The Tyra Show website even asks "Why are so many teenaged girls pregnant?!," - we have yet to see the question, "Why are so many teen guys getting girls pregnant?" In the video clip, not one person even thinks to explain girls get pregnant "because guys have unprotected sex with them." Though, that's because, duh, it's mostly the media whoring them up and making 'em unpure. It couldn't be from the lack of safe sex education, no no no. Don't girls know we can see their dirty pillows? Cover up, or you might get preggers. Unless you're on America's Next Top Model, then get nekkid, sexy, and girly for the camera's, but only in the most pure fashionista way. Virgin/Whore Chic is totally in for Spring. Thanks Tyra, the wealth of crazy pants knowledge you bestow is priceless.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
UPDATE: Turns out this game is only hard when you're using a laptop touchpad...if you've got a mouse, you've got it made.