Tag Archives: sexism

We Saw Your Boob, and He Is Named Seth MacFarlane

Dear Academy Awards Producers–

biggest boob of the nightDid you think the name, “Academy Awards” sounded too generic or uninteresting, so you should “update” it to “The Oscars?” Are you now concerned that your rebranding campaign has only one major cultural reference point, that of the disastrous emceeing job by Seth MacFarlane? Did the new name of “Oscar” make you think that audiences wanted the ceremony to channel the sloppy mind of a chauvinist? Perhaps you forgot that Oscar from the show The Odd Couple wasn’t actually a complete asshole?

Did you really think that the “We Saw Your Boobs” musical number was funny or in any way original? Did a feeling resembling shame even darken your hearts when you asked actresses in the audience to pretend to be embarrassed or humiliated? Were those shots ahead of time any indication at all that maybe this was too offensive for an awards show meant to highlight the best moments of Hollywood in the previous year? Was there even one moment in rehearsal or the planning meetings in which you wondered if this would cross a line for viewers or the people who have given their lives to your industry? Or were you just so taken with the idea that rambunctious young men may tune into your show over Sunday night reruns? Did anyone dare to mention, if only at a whisper, while writing the lyrics to this number, that maybe including four rape scenes in the “boobs” lineup might not be in the best taste? Maybe only for the films that were based on real life rapes?  Read More…

Commentary Roundup: Critiques of Oscars 2013

audience at the 2013 OscarsI keep wanting to write something about this, and I may in the next day or two, but in the meantime, here are very thoughtful analyses of The Man Who Loved the Sound of His Own Voice, Seth MacFarlane, and Hollywood’s love of the cruel.

And now because we’re all so pissed after reading all of this, here’s something to remind us that some people in Hollywood, even award winners, are pretty awesome people:

How to Get Through Thanksgiving Without Overly Gendering Everything

It’s one thing to recognize I’ve reached adulthood, but it’s quite another to be able to look back over many, many years and see that the threshold was crossed quite a long time ago. I’ve now got under my belt a large swath of experiences that have pointed in the direction of today. When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’ve learned to perfect my turkey preparation, just one of many aspects to the day that are now part and parcel of the holiday for me.

I’ve also gotten attached to a certain table setting for Thanksgiving, and to having the Macy’s Day Parade on in the background as I cook, which let me just say really sucks for people in the Pacific Time Zone. For those of us who grow up with Thanksgiving through our childhood and into adulthood, we have expectations around something that happens in that day. Eating the crappy green bean casserole, or at least having it on the table, arguing about who sits where, making a particular holiday cookie, there’s always something.

Also in my personal history is the need to dress up. It’s a formalish dinner, with the special china laid out and the polished silver on the fancy schmancy tablecloth. Mom would even enlist me in ironing the napkins, which of course I hated but which of course she hated worse. Which is why the job fell on me. (Remind me sometime to tell you about the enormous Jabba the Hut pile of ironing in the downstairs laundry.)

Now then, dress up often meant dress, which by the time I’d reached adolescence was more often a clean sweater and khakis, but my point, as obtuse as I’ve made it, is this: Thanksgiving is a gendered experience. Who sits on the couch, yelling at the football game, and who is in the kitchen prepping the meal. Who does the dishes afterward, who carves the turkey, there are many moments throughout the day that tell us something about gender roles and expectations.

Now that Emile is more aware of his surroundings and the relationships of the adults around him, it’s occurred to me that there are things I can do–as the adult that I am now–to help dial down some of the more sexist traditions that my culture has handed to me. There’s nothing revolutionary here, but maybe if we can make it through the next 15 Thanksgivings with less emphasis on sexist ideology, we’ll have made a small difference in the experience for our family and friends. Some of the ideas that come to mind are: Read More…

Macho Sport Meets Female Body

I originally wrote this for I Fry Mine in Butter in 2010.

2000 China women's gymnastics teamThis week the Chinese women’s gymnastics team that competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics was stripped of its bronze all-around team medal for having a member under the minimum age of 16. That so much evidence existed and was in the public for years before this move by the International Olympic Commission—including the athlete’s personal blog and inconsistent birth certificates—is compelling, especially given the furor during the Beijing Olympics in which the same rumors swirled around the 2008 team. Several sports writers and experts have written that the IOC caved in and refused to call China on its willful doctoring of documentation because it was the host country that year and heck, for various other potential reasons that run the gamut from probable to a conspiracy theorist’s dream.

What I want to know is, what is the advantage of the too-young gymnast? Well, when it comes to women’s gymnastics, smaller is better. A shorter length from head to foot increases the likelihood of balance, which is important for pretty much all of the exercises; smaller bodies don’t receive as much stress on their joints from the whipping through the air and hard landings and dismounts; and pre-pubescent bodies still have flexible cartilage at the ends of the bones that make the body slightly more flexible and presumably, a modicum lighter. Read More…

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