Linkspam – MAY edition (because it feels like so long ago)

These pieces are all from April, but April was a month that hit me between the eyes and was very unkind to me – though I had heaps of fun for the comedy festival.  The fact that it is actually mid May is an indication of how stunned I was by the whole April experience.

For a piece I haven’t gotten around to writing yet, “Feminist porn aims to mix pleasure with principle” from The Age and by Michael Lallo.

Melbourne, she adds, has a reputation among her peers as ”a hotbed of radical sexuality”. Thanks to the efforts of local women such as Gala Vanting, Anna Brownfield and Liandra Dahl, it’s also considered a leader in ”feminist porn”.

Yet this term confuses many. Some wrongly assume that ”feminist” means an absence of male performers; others imagine that films made by women involve endless dialogue and soft-core sex scenes.

At Aces Too High News, “Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach to school discipline — suspensions drop 85%“, a piece which has some parallels to some of the experiences of some people I love dearly *trigger warning for discussion of child neglect and abuse*:

A student blows up at a teacher, drops the F-bomb. The usual approach at Lincoln – and, safe to say, at most high schools in this country – is automatic suspension. Instead, Sporleder sits the kid down and says quietly:

“Wow. Are you OK? This doesn’t sound like you. What’s going on?” He gets even more specific: “You really looked stressed. On a scale of 1-10, where are you with your anger?”

The kid was ready. Ready, man! For an anger blast to his face….”How could you do that?” “What’s wrong with you?”…and for the big boot out of school. But he was NOT ready for kindness. The armor-plated  defenses melt like ice under a blowtorch and the words pour out: “My dad’s an alcoholic. He’s promised me things my whole life and never keeps those promises.” The waterfall of words that go deep into his home life, which is no piece of breeze, end with this sentence: “I shouldn’t have blown up at the teacher.”

From Geek Feminism, ““Oh, You Sexy Geek!”: “Geek Girls” and the Problem of Self-Objectification“:

The sexism that persists in geek communities is not special. It is not separable and inherently different than sexist institutions and behaviors in the “real world.” This means that the sexualization and objectification of women is not unique to geek cultures, though it is particularly severe in geek media. Video games, comics, science fiction, fantasy—these media forms are often at fault for promoting unrealistic (and, pretty regularly, physically impossible) standards of beauty for women. They fashion their female heroines and villains as sexy objects to be consumed, unlike male counterparts. Further, geek industries bring the objectification of women into the real world, hiring, for example, booth babes for conventions. Booth babes are conventionally attractive models hired by media companies to wear skimpy clothing and entice convention-goers to their respective booths. Geek women exist within this culture, which devalues their contributions as producers of media and meaning, but values their contributions as adornment.

From Addicting Info by Pat Tiffin, “Marissa Alexander: Shoot to Kill Or You Must Not Be Scared Enough“, a story that makes me go GRRR *trigger warning for racism and domestic violence*:

Marissa Alexander is another victim of Florida’s infamous Stand Your Ground law, proving that Florida statute 776.013 is not for battered women or people who won’t shoot to kill. When attacked by her husband in her home, with an order of protection in place, Marissa Alexander shot into the ceiling, instead of into his body, to scare him away. She is now sitting in a jail cell, awaiting sentencing for assault with a deadly weapon.

Ms. Alexander is black and a mother of three. She had given birth nine days earlier to a premature infant, allegedly as a result of battering during her pregnancy. She is a licensed gun owner, with concealed carry permit. She was in her own home. Her husband had a documented history of domestic violence. She reasonably believed that her life was in danger and her husband was violating an order of protection.


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