Archive for October, 2012

October 31, 2012

The Gender Press

Thanks to my friend Ben Atherton-Zeman for inspiring this post.  Ben is an advocate against violence, particularly gender-based violence, and a one man show called “Voices of Men.”

A prime piece of popular culture from the late 1970s, this Rocky I clip shows us that heterosexual male sexuality is actualized via the “wearing down” of a woman’s sexual boundaries, until submission.  Thirty three years later, in 2006 the Mystery clip (below) teaches straight men about the “art of seduction” by “disarming” a woman’s defenses.   While Rocky is a movie, in the contemporary clip below real men are learning how to get any woman to submit sexually. There is a continuum upon which violent and public sexual permissiveness to women’s bodies occurs and this has only increased in the media since the late 1970s.

Rocky Balboa and Adrian on their first date, from Rocky I (1976)

This scene is the end…

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October 30, 2012


Clarence Gravlee, Amy Non and Connie Mulligan have just published an outstanding article in PLoS ONE, Genetic Ancestry, Social Classification, and Racial Inequalities in Blood Pressure in Southeastern Puerto Rico. The abstract opens:

The role of race in human genetics and biomedical research is among the most contested issues in science. Much debate centers on the relative importance of genetic versus sociocultural factors in explaining racial inequalities in health. However, few studies integrate genetic and sociocultural data to test competing explanations directly.

Note how that fits so well into the points just made in Nature/Nurture: Slash to the Rescue. But Gravlee, Non and Mulligan don’t just say we need to overcome the nature vs. nurture dichotomy, they do research that bridges it and even better, test ideas on both sides: “We draw on ethnographic, epidemiologic, and genetic data collected in southeastern Puerto Rico to isolate two distinct variables…

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October 18, 2012

Theory, Philosophy, and Cultural Studies

            In chapter 6 of Coats’s book, “Blinded by the White,” she explores the psychoanalytic relevance and importance of race throughout children’s literature. She expresses that race plays a pivotal role in children’s literature, as they are beginning to develop a vague understanding of what makes people different. Her initial example of racial ideals being provoked is in picture books that parents and teachers read to their children. Though subtle, picture books that feature real people and places (as opposed to animal based characters or completely unrealistic fantasies) are often understood by children as a norm in their own realities. Coats mentions, “if a country child repeatedly sees images of a city as dangerous, she forms her opinions and expectations on the basis of those images” (121). This is also applicable to race. For example, if a child was also to see multiple images or videos…

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October 16, 2012

"...Through My Eyes..."

In the last few months, I was called ‘uneducated’ on Twitter and following that conversation I received an e-mail calling me an ‘uneducated k****r’. I was also subsequently called a ‘dom d**s’ and my education was thereafter questioned on Facebook.

A lot more was said in between and I received a lot of racial based abuse focused on my lack of education following a post which the author subsequently removed (after it served its purpose, I assume). All who have pointed out my lack of education are interestingly white, white folk who disagreed with some or other opinion I had.

I have had many black people disagree with me; none have ever questioned my educational background. So it really baffled me why anyone would need a qualification to have an opinion, as we all have a story to tell irrespective of our educational backgrounds. Education is seemingly an innocent excuse…

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October 14, 2012


“Masculinity as Spectacle Reflections on men and mainstream cinema”

Steve Neale uses the term spectacle to describe masculinity. This term is for me, and according to the Oxford English Dictionary, a performance or display, as Laura Mulvey also suggests the “to be-looked-at-ness”. Steve is therefore in his essay, centring on how “heterosexual masculinity” representations are created in mechanisms such as mainstream film. (Neale, pg 9)

Neale suggests that “heterosexual masculinity” is a “structuring norm” that is apart of gendered representations, alongside that of representations of women, and gay men. He uses John Ellis’s “Visible Fictions” to describe how these representations are complex through terms of identification. Ellis suggest that it is “never simply a matter of men identifying with male figures on the screen and women identifying with female figures”. Cinema brings forwards to us space for desire, and voyeurism (the looking at the spectacle). Ellis states that “cinema draws on… many forms of…

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October 14, 2012

Race Files

Sorry, I couldn’t resist this bit of right wing propaganda. I wish this was an indication that they’re totally out of touch, but, alas, no. In fact, they’re just about in touch with control of the presidency and both houses of Congress.

“Redistributionist,” according to Merriam-Webster, is a term coined in 1961 specifically to refer to one who believes in or advocates a welfare state. If that resource is accurate, then being a redistributionist means being exactly the sort of person who conservatives have no use for.

But, the question remains, why does the term seem to have special power when applied to President Obama?

Neither Reagan nor Clinton nor the Bushes were labeled redistributionists to their political detriment. Yet each promised tax cuts to one or another sector of the public, then caved in to popular support for redistributionist programs like Medicaid, Medicare, welfare, and food stamps, digging holes…

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October 11, 2012


Imagine the perfect gay couple. They live together. They are not criticized by the public. They are not marginalized. They are accepted by their family. They are able to adopt not one, but maybe even two children. While most of the LGBT community would dub this scenario as a “too good to be true” dream, ABC’s Modern Family depicts this “perfect gay” couple. While I never paid attention to the standards the television show sets upon gay people, I started to look more into the show after I received an email from Montclair University’s LGBT community inviting me for the season premiere of the show. At first, I was a bit confused, and I could not clearly make the connection as two why the LGBT club would be sponsoring the show. It was not until I was sitting in the Rath, when my homosexual friend mentioned, “If only I could…

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October 9, 2012

Dead Wild Roses

Gail Dines knocks this talk out of the park – Neo-Liberalism is exposed, and all the ill-effects that come with that particular set of toxic ideals.  Some quotes from the video:

“There is no such thing as cheap labour, there is only labour that has been made cheap”

“Women perform 66% of the worlds work, produce 50% of the food, but earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the property”

On Third Wave Feminism – “Orgasms are nice, but revolutions are better.”

Sit back and soak this one up folks, it is how the world is working, whether you like it or not.

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