All posts for the topic: Feminism and LGBT

Meanwhile in Russia: “mild” domestic violence has been decriminalised

Est Reading Time: 3 min One of the many, many side effects of HWMNBN is the extent to which the disproportionate media coverage is taking world attention from other crises, many of which were getting very little attention even before. Dictators are operating with more impunity and people are dying. To push back against this I want to start reaching into stories that would or should be front page news but now aren’t. There have been THINGS happening in Russia. Well one THING I want to talk about. Some of the links below are to Russian-language websites, provided for reference purposes although you can give […]

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What will we be hated for?

Est Reading Time: 5 min [CN: Everything.] There’s a great scene in Mad Men S2E07 (The Gold Violin). The family is having a picnic in the park and when they finish Betty Draper shakes the rubbish from the blanket onto the grass. There’s a lot of other subtext but it’s supposed to leave a modern audience shocked. Here’s the clip: [Video link] And it did: lots of people have been discussing this online: the degree to which such blatant littering was common in the 1960s USA, the other symbolism around it etc. I thought it was a bit heavy-handed in making us repulsed by the […]

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Trump inauguration as the reductio-ad-absurdum for US democracy

Est Reading Time: 4 min Democracy Index Map [CN: Trump] Today will be the US inauguration. Given the importance of the Electoral College for Trump’s victory it’s a great time to examine why self-identifying as a democratic country doesn’t mean shit. Democracy has a pretty good brand so naturally countries want to identify as having democratic institutions. A lot of the time discussions about whether something’s a democracy devolve into bickering about technical definitions (eg. “democracy vs republic”). I think that’s a waste. We can establish common ground about what people might mean by democracy. For example: a country where all its people (to the […]

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Rashida Jones on the documentary Hot Girls Wanted

Est Reading Time: 6 min [CN: Porn including some graphic exerpts, sexual assault] Vice has a very interesting interview with Rashida Jones on the documentary Hot Girls Wanted which she co-produced. I haven’t seen the doco yet but the interview alone is worth a look: [Video Link] Jones starts out saying she has “no problem with porn as adult entertainment,” and if she did, who cares since she can’t exactly put a stop to people watching porn. The rest of the interview is about the documentary which is a critique of the “amateur” porn scene in Miami, Florida. Jones’s take is much better than any […]

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Tut-tutting about filter bubbles & echochambers misses the point

Est Reading Time: 5 min [CN:Trump] One of the narratives that’s emerged from Trump’s victory is that “we” anti-Trumpers have been living in a “filter bubble” or “echochamber”. In the standard white liberal pundit narrative (which I shat on in the previous post), social media means we only see things we agree with which has led to where we are now. While this narrative has a grain of truth, the way it’s been discussed has been misleading and simplistic. Yes humans are tribal creatures — all of us, regardless of our politics. We’re subject to biases that distort our picture about the world. We will […]

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Respectability Politics Must Die

Est Reading Time: 7 min [CN:Trump][I’ve had a bit of a hiatus due to life but now that The World Has ChangedTM I can’t help but write again.]So much to say and do. I’ll take it one bite at a time. You’ve had two weeks to look at dozens of analyses (some academic, some viral/populist) of WHOSE FAULT it was that Trump had won. I’m sure you’re familiar with this narrative. That it was a protest vote against the establishment/’elites’. That it was cast by people who have been for too long ignored, condescended to and abused with the r-word, the h-word, the m-word by […]

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If you compare marriage equality to interracial marriage, put your money where your mouth is

Est Reading Time: 4 min Stuff is happening with marriage equality and the plebiscite clusterfuck, some of which might have changed by the time you read this post. If you’re not up to speed: a strong majority of MPs support marriage equality but due to the right wing faction of the Coalition, the current issue is still the (probably dead) plebiscite which is opposed by 85% of LGBT people and will be a disaster for these very scientific reasons as well as the inevitable (already happening!) hateful propaganda of a No campaign plus the problem (already happening!) of someone’s rights being up for an opinion […]

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Rape of sex workers and “theft of services”

Est Reading Time: 3 min So I’m a bit late to the party but in 2015, the Chicago Sun Times published what is officially the douchiest editorial ever. By Mary Mitchell, it took exception to the rape of a sex worker being characterised as such and prosecuted because it’s “making a mockery of rape victims”. Here are some choice excerpts so you don’t have to read the original charmingly entitled Rape Case Sends Mixed Messages on Prostitution. I don’t have one iota of sympathy for Akins’ [the alleged perp’s] plight. But I’m grateful he isn’t being accused of snatching an innocent woman off the street. […]

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Segregated seating on planes: is a non-bigoted compromise possible?

Est Reading Time: 6 min The behaviour of Chareidi (more commonly known as “Ultra-Orthodox”) flight passengers has hit international news a few times, mostly around them not wanting to sit next to women who have at times been asked to switch seats, something El Al is being sued over. There have been some other stories too, eg. Chareidi men who have smashed a flight screen showing an “immodest” movie or flying in plastic bags (such as the ones pictured) which protect their Kohanic selves from the ritual impurity of flying over a cemetery (more info here). The issue of El Al and segregated seating is […]

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It’s time to ditch politically correct right wing euphemisms

Est Reading Time: 2 min While reading through volumes and volumes on Brexit I checked out the Wikipedia page for UKIP to find out a bit more about them. The intro paragraph described it as a “Euroskeptic” party. What a great euphemism for a party who aren’t far from being actual Nazis, hey? Political correctness is usually an accusation wielded by right wingers against basically trying to be decent. Recently though, there’s been an increased awareness that right wingers engage in plenty of political correctness themselves — in ways that can have much more impact than the standard (urban legend) usage. Euroskeptic is a perfect […]

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