We Take a Break from Our Normal Programming for an Important PSA from Samantha Bee about Sexual Harassment [Updated]

Important News for Men

Anyone who has actually listened to actresses and other women in the entertainment industry knows that the sexual harassment that’s currently creating a scandal in Hollywood and (hopefully) ending careers of powerful executives has been going on since the film and music industries began in the early 20th century.

BUT MEN DON’T GET IT.

10/20/17: There have been several new developments in this story. More after the jump.

Continue reading

Advertisements

We Take a Break from Our Normal Programming for an Important PSA from Samantha Bee

Important News for Men

Anyone who has actually listened to actresses and other women in the entertainment industry knows that the sexual harassment that’s currently creating a scandal in Hollywood and (hopefully) ending careers of powerful executives has been going on since the film and music industries began in the early 20th century.

BUT MEN DON’T GET IT.

Continue reading

More on GYNX the Play

 

 

GYNXthePlayscreencap

A homeless teen lesbian, a prostituted girl, an underground
abortionist, and a child porn survivor are recruited into
a rapist castration plot by a mysterious woman named
Gynx. Men go into hiding, and their operation makes global
headlines. But when Gynx’s true motives are revealed,
the group is forced to question whether
they are truly on the side of justice.

We had notes that we didn’t have room for in our review of GYNX by Alicen Grey, so, in the spirit of an “outtakes” post, here are some more thoughts on the play:

In some ways, the play reminds me of Disgraced, the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play by Ayad Akhtar about the dehumanization of Muslim men in America. Disgraced showed us that stereotyping and racism can lead to the exact dangers that the dominant culture is afraid of. Its characters were realistic people, but they were also stereotypes and symbols. GYNX uses the same method with its characters and story.

Continue reading

GYNX the Play the Review

GYNXTheTeam

Last week, Metamaiden and I traveled to Denver to see the new Disney musical adaptation of the animated movie Frozen. It was, shall we say, a less than completely positive experience. But, I’ve written thousands of words about that already. In my last post about it, I wrote that I was going to support a feminist off-Broadway play to offset my inadvertent support of what Disney had done to Frozen. GYNX is that play.

Alicen Grey, playwright and producer of GYNX, saw my post, and offered us a recording of their opening night performance. So, Metamaiden and I sat down in Albuquerque on the afternoon of Sunday, 8/27/17, and watched this radical feminist theatre revelation while the final performance of its current run was happening in NYC. It was playing at the Hudson Guild Theater as part of the 2017 NY Summerfest. GYNX is also a Semi-Finalist in the MultiStages 2017 New Works Contest, and it’s not hard to see why.

GYNX was everything I hoped it would be, and more. I felt like Alicen had lived my life, and was seeking my revenge. The play is powerful, haunting and cathartic all at once. It’s impossible to be unaffected by it. It ends with a question that you’ll think about for a long time, if you aren’t already thinking about it.

Continue reading

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Why, What Have You Heard?

ElizabethCadyStanton-1848-Daniel-Henry
Look! A photo of Elizabeth Cady Stanton when she was young and hot. Now modern people, used to judging people based on their dress size, will be able to take her seriously.

This week’s episode of the Washington Post series Constitutional is titled Gender.* It’s hosted by Lillian Cunningham, with guests Library of Congress historian Julie Miller and Feminist Majority Foundation president Ellie Smeal.  This episode traces the fight to have women recognized by the US Constitution, allowed to vote, and then to be recognized as equal to men. It’s an excellent episode, informative and interesting, with some very early history that I had no idea existed. I encourage you all to listen to the podcast or read the transcript.

But the commenters also feel the need to critique the early suffragettes’ looks and fashion choices, which, to be fair, is a standard part of the discussion when the suffragettes come up. But, really? Do we mock Abraham Lincoln’s and Ulysses S. Grant’s looks and weight every time they come up? As female professionals, couldn’t these podcasters have taken a different approach?

Continue reading

Why I Think “Ghost in the Shell” Is Racist As F*ck, But I’m Still Planning To See It

ScarJo in Ghost in the Shell

Since I heard about the extremely controversial casting of Scarlett Johansson in “Ghost in the Shell,” I’ve been about as enraged by it as anyone. At first, I resolved not to see the film in protest. As a woman, I understand how meaningful it can be to see yourself represented in mainstream media. It makes you feel seen and accepted by your society, your people. It makes you feel like an equal and someone who matters. And as a lover of women in general, I don’t want to see any kind of woman shut out of our culture’s media. Every kind of woman, no matter what she looks like or how old she is or where she comes from or who she’s attracted to or what she believes in, deserves recognition and acceptance.

The film is nauseatingly racist. In addition to the blatant racism of casting a white woman in an originally Asian female role, it reportedly attempted to yellow face some of its extras, and possibly even Johansson herself.

I had a friend once who was half Chinese and half Scottish. She was outgoing, excitable, charming, feminine, and beautiful. We took ballroom dance classes together, and that was where I first realized how marginalized Asian women are. The men looked at her like she was a sex toy – old, often married men and this 14 year old girl. They flirted with her and ogled her. She was their favorite dance partner, and it had nothing to do with her dancing ability. Her personality had quite a bit to do with it, but I’m also quite certain that her race made them feel much more confident in treating her like she existed purely for their pleasure.

I often get ads for Asian women from dating sites. I get those more than any other dating site ad. I’ve seen statistics that Asian women are the most fetishized women in America. What comes with that fetishization? Viewing them as non-human.

Which is why it was so deeply offensive for this film’s producers to take an iconic, inspiring female character like Major Motoko Kusanagi and make her the default woman that we always see on our screens, rather than an underrepresented minority who deserve to see themselves as these inspiring people.

But despite feeling so strongly about that, I also couldn’t ignore that it was a female lead, who is meant to carry the film. Now, I don’t mean to say that it is REMOTELY okay that they whitewashed this character. But I kept thinking, how often do we have a female lead in a big-budget, mainstream cyberpunk film? A woman starring in an action film is unusual enough, but what’s even more unusual is a story that focuses on the humanity, or lack thereof, of a female cyborg. The cyborg trope and the question of whether cyborgs and human-like robots should be treated as equal humans has been so deeply explored within the science fiction genre that I’m sick of contemplating those questions. (I’m a sci fi baby.) It’s a very unique way to explore the human condition, and relevant to our modern world.

Continue reading

iPhones And the High Cost of Healthcare

This week, Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz made a statement on CNN defending the new Trumpcare bill. He said:

“Well we’re getting rid of the individual mandate. We’re getting rid of those things that people said they don’t want. And you know what? Americans have choices. And they’ve got to make a choice. And so, maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest it in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions for themselves.”

Hmmm, Chaffetz doesn’t seem to have paid for his own health care in a while. The cost of an iPhone would pay for six weeks of metamaiden’s insulin. Even with insurance, if we skipped the iPhone, the amount we’d save would only cover the copay for about six months of insulin. That doesn’t include the supplies that it takes to run the pump that delivers the insulin into her blood stream, or the test strips and needles for her blood glucose meter. She also uses a continuous glucose monitor. She happens to have a lifelong chronic illness which costs thousands of dollars a year to treat. Her Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease, not something caused by lifestyle choices. She was diagnosed at ten years old and is currently an honor student in college. Is Chaffetz going to stand there and tell me that she doesn’t deserve decent health care? We, her parents, have always had good insurance and enough money to afford her care, but we have nightmares worrying about what will happen when she goes off our insurance in a few years. No unpaid internships for her, no gaps in insurance, no self-employment, no working for a small business with crappy or no insurance. Not if the Republicans get their way. They say they are keeping some parts of Obamacare care, but they also still have to make compromises to convince the more conservative members of Congress to vote for their version.

Continue reading

Latest Late Night Political Humor [VIDEO]

 

The man who lives in the White House just discovered that healthcare is a complicated subject, that our bridges, roads, and the rest of the infrastructure needs to be replaced, and he thinks that his relationship with the press is a business transaction that he can opt out of as easily as he can refuse to buy Girl Scout cookies. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. Then figure out how to protect your rights.

Here’s a little help with the laughter.

*Kudos to Buzzfeed, you’ve really arrived when you’re bannable.   *Jon, the spider’s name is Charlotte, of course.

Continue reading

The ACLU’s Next Endeavor: Organizing the People’s Power to Resist

aclupeoplepower

On March 11, the ACLU is holding a Resistance Training. This event will launch People Power, the ACLU’s new effort to engage grassroots volunteers across the country and take the fight against Donald Trump’s policies not just into the courts, but into the streets. We’re organizing grassroots events in communities across the country to watch the livestream together. Please join us!

PeoplePower.org

Under the cut, a message from ACLU National Political Director Faiz Shakir, explaining more about PeoplePower.org and the livestream Resistance Training on March 11, 2017 at 5:00 PM ET.

 

Continue reading

Stephen Colbert Takes on Donald Trump: Updated [Video]

Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS, and former host of The Colbert Report, has been on fire lately. He’s holding Donald Trump and his administration accountable for their illegal actions in a way that our current Republican Congress and Senate never will. As a founding member of the Colbert Nation, it’s my duty to share some of his latest monologues and cold openings with you. 😇  Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer press conferences from SNL and Seth Meyers’ A Closer Look are at the bottom of the page, just for a little extra fun, or whatever we’re calling it.

Check out The Late Show’s YouTube channel for more.

Continue reading