DC Metro launched a new ad to promote their rebuilding effort and were immediately criticized for the sexist message. Parodies have begun.
Chris Sims examines Harley Quinn, one of the most misused and misunderstood characters in comics, taking in her Batman:The Animated Series debut played by Arleen Sorkin (audio), through to The Batman Adventures: Mad Love and the New 52 incarnation which recently drew ire with a controversial try-out page for artists.
Recently Emily Graslie, of the fantastic natural history tumblr and youtube series TheBrainScoop, was asked a question about whether she had personally experienced sexism in her field. Her response is fucking amazing.
Inside is her goldmine of awesome female science educators online with channels that focus on Science Technology Engineering and Math. My work day is fucked.[more inside]
"Labeling women as 'crazy' is a way of controlling them...[a] quick and easy shut-down to any discussion. Once the 'crazy' card has been pulled out, women are now put on the defensive: The onus is no longer on the man to address her concerns or her issue; it's on her to justify her behavior, to prove that she is not, in fact, crazy or irrational."
Does the long-running reality TV program Survivor have a sexism problem? A few weeks back (Mefi's Own) Linda Holmes published "The Tribe Has Broken: How Sexism is Silently Killing 'Survivor'" in response to a controversial episode where a male contestant was soundly ridiculed by host Jeff Probst for following a suggestion made by his wife ("Does she tell you what to do all the time?"), while a female contestant who followed a much more direct command from her husband did not receive similar teasing. Over the weekend, Holmes joined former Survivor contestants Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach on Cesternino's Robhasapodcast show for a lively discussion of this topic (runs just over an hour).
The anti-Communist Captain America was ret-conned into being a crazed history graduate student named William Burnside who had himself surgically altered and then dosed with a flawed version of the Super-Serum, which drove him insane to the point where he saw communist sympathizers everywhere. The subtext isn’t particularly thick here: the “Commie-Smasher” was a paranoid wannabe, whereas the real Captain America is the “living legend of WWII” waiting in suspended animation during the Second Red Scare, who emerges back onto the scene with the arrival of the New Frontier and the Great Society. - Why Captain America Is the Progressive-Era Superhero We Need.
"The criticism ranged from the gently cynical to the downright obnoxious, but as the series went on I noticed an increasing degree of personal vitriol and misogyny. We (female) finalists are supposedly too meek, too confident, too thin, too domestic, too smiley, too taciturn … If I see one more person used the hackneyed "dough-eyed" pun I will personally go to their house and force-feed them an entire Charlotte Royale." -- Great British Bake Off runner up Ruby Tandoh speaks out against the sexist criticism aimed at the show's female contestants by people like tv chef Raymond Blanc. [more inside]
Jackson Katz, Phd, is an anti-sexist activist and expert on violence, media and masculinities. An author, filmmaker, educator and social theorist, Katz has worked in gender violence prevention work with diverse groups of men and boys in sports culture and the military, and has pioneered work in critical media literacy. Katz is the creator and co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which advocates the 'bystander approach' to sexual and domestic violence prevention. [more inside]
When DNLee was approached to write blog posts for Biology Online, she quite reasonably asked about the terms of the agreement. When she turned them down, their response was...somewhat less than reasonable. And when DNLee posted to her blog about it, Scientific American – who hosts her blog as part of their science blog network – responded in perhaps the most tone-deaf manner possible. [more inside]
Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry: 'I will not accept online misogyny' "Being part of a band born on the internet means a daily sift through a barrage of sexually explicit abuse. Why are female musicians expected to put up with this?" [more inside]
Jennifer Sky, a former model/actress, recently published a NYT op-ed about her recurring role as Amarice in Xena: Warrior Princess, stating, "Gender was not relevant in the Xenaverse." Her perspective has been met with some contention.
Elizabeth Simins is an illustrator and a gamer. The latter wasn't always easy, though, which she illustrates in a four-part comic on growing up as a girl gamer.
The National Archives' Media Matters blog recently highlighted several newly digitized military etiquette training films from the late 60s and early 70s. These included a series of three films aimed at the difficult intersection of military service and gender dynamics for the members of the Women's Army Corps: The Pleasure of Your Company (background post), Mind Your Military Manners, and Look Like a Winner (background post). Bonus film for the guys: How to Succeed with Brunettes.
To my daughter's high school programming teacher: "I spent 16 years raising a daughter who had all the tools and encouragement she needed to explore computer programming as a career. In one short semester, you and her classmates undid all of my years of encouragement."
"My desire for experience, for openness, for adventure, had been overpowered by a stronger imperative, one I had internalized without realizing it: Don’t get yourself raped." Travel writer Tara Burton writes about her different opportunities and experiences, and the changed values they have brought her.
"So lately I haven’t talked about how infuriating it’s been to be told I was “asking for it” — “it” being Mr. Beale’s racist, sexist abuse and that of his commentariat. (What was I wearing? My skin.) I’ve watched ostensibly reasonable people ask whether it’s racist to call an entire group of people savages — no, really — and I haven’t talked about how nauseating that was. I’ve seen fellow SFWA members suggest that there must be room in the organization for white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry — because of course some members’ right to be assholes should trump all members’ right to operate in professional spaces free of harassment, intimidation, and abuse." -- Fantasy writer N. K. Jemisin comments on the recent sexism/racism crisis in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and her own role in the controversy. (previously). [more inside]
A series of BBC News Magazine articles on the office as workplace: (i) How the office was invented; (ii) The ancient Chinese exam that inspired modern job recruitment (previously); (iii) The invention of the career ladder; (iv) The arrival of women in the office; (v) Do we still need the telephone?; (vi) Are there too many managers?; (vii) The era of the sexually charged office; (viii) The decline of privacy in open-plan offices; (ix) How the computer changed the office forever and (x) Why did offices become like the home?—by columnist Lucy Kellaway. [more inside]
A 21 year old man was arrested for tweeting rape threats. The target of the tweets, Caroline Criado-Perez, had successfully campaigned to have a woman (Jane Austen) shown on the UK's new 10 pound note, and has been subsequently receiving incessant rape and death threats via twitter, a violation of UK law. Twitter's Terms of Service are being repeatedly and flagrantly violated in this episode, and the company appears to be having issues responding to a backlog of reports; it responded to Criado-Perez only that she take the matter to the police. This resulted in shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper asking Twitter to review its policies for handling abuse complaints. [more inside]
"The high street is becoming a no-go area for kids, which is really unfair. Why shouldn't they be able to go into a supermarket, or a newsagent? The people who make the displays aren't thinking about it from a child's point of view. I don't think David Cameron goes to a supermarket with his kids very much." Following the No More Page 3 campaign and a backlash against lads mags, the Guardian asks readers to send in and comment on sexualised images of women on the high street. But is this just another form of censorship, hypocrisy, or even sexual repression?
The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that it is legal to fire someone for being too attractive. An Iowa dentist fired his assistant because his (unreciprocated) feelings of attraction to her might have tempted him to try to start an extramarital affair. The Iowa Supreme Court, an all-male body, determined that it was not a case of sex discrimination because it was based on feelings rather than gender. Many disagree, seeing it as a clear case of cultural, institutional, and even religious sexism (the firing was advised and encouraged by the dentist's pastor.)
There have been some high profile examples of sexism in the UK media this summer. Are we seeing a groundswell of strong female voices calling out sexism? Big Brother has in the past caused the UK media to focus on uncomfortable issues such as bullying and racism. Following the removal of a housemate for aggressive behaviour towards a fellow female housemate, how will the conversation continue this summer? [more inside]
How being a writer helped me rewrite a sexist trope...for real. Submitted for your approval: a writer (Chris Brecheen) uses his narrative skills to turn the tables on an everyday creeper.
There's no sexism in gaming: "Furthermore, reasonable people would see that asking to put male soldiers in the Call of Duty series is simply not do-able. Since the age of the Amazon, women have waged wars, because they have a higher pain threshold than males and have more stamina in every area of war. Who would take a male Battlefield seriously? Including men would simply cloud the matter; when crawling through tunnels, as is often necessary in war, our eyes would fall on the male backside - from then on women would be irreparably compromised."
No stranger to controversy, Mike Krahulik, gabe of Penny Arcade, has found himself embroiled in yet another debacle over a series of transphobic tweets he's made, coming right off the heels of public criticism and outrage over an apparently racist/misogynistic panel that was to be held at the upcoming PAX Aus convention. Citing this and past controversies, The Fullbright Company, the indie developer of "Gone Home", has pulled out of PAX's coveted Indie Megabooth. gabe has issued a pair of apologies for his tweets, swearing off ever talking about topics other than comics or video games again. [Previously]
David Gaider, senior writer at Bioware, delivers a talk on sex, sexuality, and sexism in video games and the gaming industry at the 2013 Game Developers Conference. (single-link 49-minute video)
These images of cisgendered, scantily-clad females reclining salaciously with books with quotes touting ownership do very little to promote reading and much more to bolster sexism and classism.
"In 1961, Phyllis Richman applied to graduate school at Harvard. She received a letter asking how she would balance a career in city planning with her 'responsibilities' to her husband and possible future family. Fifty-two years later, she responds." [more inside]
"So. I get it. The world used to agree with you. You used to be able to say things like, “I really like those lady writers in this industry, especially in swimsuits!” and your fellow writers, editors, agents, and other assorted colleagues would all wink and grin and agree with you, and Asimov would go around pinching women’s asses, and it was so cool!" -- Kameron Hurley is not amused by the ongoing sexism problems in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America or the idea that criticism of this is censorship. [more inside]
"On Sunday, Joseph S Blatter attended a ceremony on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius to celebrate the renaming of the country's FA headquarters in his honour. The Fifa president would perhaps say it was a fitting tribute, given his promotion of African football and the amount of "development" money poured into the continent over recent decades. His critics would say it was typical of his egomania and note the importance of African votes in keeping him atop world football for 15 years." [more inside]
A female data scientist working on HAWKEN (a videogame) takes issue with the poster of a scantily clad comic character her CEO displays on his wall, and while he is away, replaces it with something else... [more inside]
Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that work is performed entirely by young men. For this reason girls are not considered for the training school.
Video game character design is frequently questionable, but some designers don't like being questioned. Penny Arcade imagines equal opportunity questionability, while their reporter Ben Kuchera examines the broader issue.
"I don't want to have to compromise my morals in order to make a living" - Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes, has apparently canceled her 2013 tour via Tumblr. (previously)
An Orange Prize nominee speaks out about her experience as a woman in literature: weakened titles, pink covers, snubbed for reviews. [more inside]
Sexism at the border: A personal account. "For me, carrying my own condoms (in purses, wallets, camera bags; everywhere) is a routine act towards safer sex. For someone else with the power to not only deny passage but judge, moralize and intimidate, it has become enough evidence to put a woman through hell. My story has brought a number of women out of the woodwork stating that they have had similar experiences." [h/t Alex Grossman]
"The snobbishness has struck me as irrational. They want the end of Page 3, but claim to be "sex positive" and pro porn. It's as if pornography for the upper classes - tasteful monochrome Testino images of nudes, Mapplethorpe coffee table books or vintage Tom of Finland* prints are acceptable, yet accessible muck for the working classes is simply de trop. A catwalk show for a milliner featuring chilly looking models completely nude apart from the hat is applauded as high art: Sandra from Dagenham, in a pair of lacy pants, is not."
Women enjoy video games, to the astonishment of local TV newsreaders. Women enjoy science, to the astonishment of Facebook users.
Developer evangelist Adria Richards snaps a photo of two men at the recent PyCon whom she overheard making quips about "big dongles". PyCon responds, following which one of the men is fired. Adria justifies the callout as a step towards securing the future of programming for women. Full discussion at Hacker News.
Feminist Frequency has released the first video in the "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" series: Damsel in Distress (part 1), hosted by Anita Sarkeesian (previously). It was funded by a kickstarter campaign that was notable for the level of backlash (previously).
'I'm sick of being ashamed." Three days ago, an anti-harassment activist said those words to me in a flat above Cairo's Tahrir square, as she pulled on her makeshift uniform ready to protect women on the protest lines from being raped in the street. Only days before, I'd heard exactly the same words from pro-choice organisers in Dublin, where I travelled to report on the feminist fight to legalise abortion in Ireland. I had thought that I was covering two separate stories – so why were two women from different countries and backgrounds repeating the same mantra against fear, and against shame?[more inside]
“We Saw Your Boobs.” The Academy is supposedly a trade group, and yet it devoted its opening number to degrading a good part of its membership. [more inside]
Another Day, Another Press Conference. Yesterday's Playstation 4 announcement was perhaps most notable in what it didn't include: any female presenters. Also discussed by Kotaku and The Verge. (The Verge also notes similar trends in press events from Nintendo, EA, HTC, and Apple.)
When family and work obligations collide, mothers remain much more likely than fathers to cut back or drop out of work. But unlike the situation in the 1960s, this is not because most people believe this is the preferable order of things. Rather, it is often a reasonable response to the fact that our political and economic institutions lag way behind our personal ideals. [more inside]
The Everyday Sexism Project collects user-submitted reports from women to document their day-to-day experiences with normalized sexism, including sexual harassment and job discrimination. Entries can be submitted at the site, in an email to founder Laura Bates or to their twitter account. [more inside]