feminism

This Movie Will Pass The Bechdel Test – CH2

This makes me MUCH more relieved. I always felt like I didn’t write female characters well, and I don’t think I ever passed the Bechdel Test for La Tormenta. Mad Max made me feel inadequate and chauvinistic, but this at least puts my mind at ease. A quick check in Wikipedia tells me I definitely passed the sexy lamp test, but I don’t think I passed the Mako Mori test (which is VERY hard to do in a story with a male main character). Oh well, the only way is up, right?

Matt Taylor’s T-Shirt Controversy

I think these 2 9GAG posts sums it up pretty well. Also, that shirt was made by a female friend for him. And seriously, just because video game and anime women dress somewhat skimpily doesn’t mean that the creators and the consumers are chauvinists. Again, how they dress doesn’t define their character. That’s YOUR argument, by the way, radical feminists.

Radical feminism is less about seeking gender equality, and more about men-bashing. It’s exaggerated, over-the-top bullshit. How does that shirt even drive women away from STEM (Science/Tech/Engineering/Math)? So Kim Kardashian goes fully nude and these feminists don’t say a word about how she’s perpetuating the idea that women are only good if they are naked and beautiful (and Photoshopped)?

(Fuck, I didn’t even want to mention KK, because I’ll be making her even more famous. And we don’t need people like her to be famous. We need people like Malala Yousafzai to be famous.)

I think any woman with two brain cells to rub together will agree that his achievements in getting that probe on the comet should be lauded, and his shirt doesn’t do anything other than tell us he’s a fan of video games. And that if women want to get into STEM, all they have to do is to work hard and prove themselves.

And before any radical feminists slam me for saying that ‘women don’t have to prove themselves, you fucking chauvinist!’, I shall make it clear: everyone has to fucking prove themselves. Man or woman or whichever gender you wish to identify yourself by, you need the necessary education and qualifications to do whatever job you wish to pursue, especially in STEM. If you think there should be a gender quota, or even a race quota, then go to hell. If you’re capable, you get hired. If you’re not, you don’t. That’s true equality. Not some bullshit about how a single gender or race or whatever deserves more because they are in the minority, or society has discriminated against them. I judge everyone by their individual merits, and they can judge me as well. That’s real equality, not the generalisation and stereotyping of people because of their gender, their race, their political views, or whatever the hell the people generalise about.

I can see why people don’t want to associate themselves with the word ‘feminism’. Its core message has been twisted and turned into an ugly, disgusting caricature of itself. And of course, just to prove mine (and many other people, including women’s, point), TIME had to issue an apology over this poll, just because they included the word ‘feminism’ as a candidate to get banned. Well, it bloody well should be banned from use, so its meaning won’t get corrupted any further.

EDIT: I realised that some of my older fanfiction may be considered to have objectified women, and pervaded one-dimensional stereotypes. You know what? I totally agree. I was juvenile, immature and hormonal. Hell, I still am. But as I grew older and learnt more about the world, I realised that that kind of writing is horrendous unless in the context of gag humour (both in terms of the messages it conveys, and the quality of the story). Which is why I’ve endeavoured to try and create complex characters, both male and female, in my current project.

I’m not making excuses for my earlier works. But I’m not going to disown and apologise for them either, because they’ve helped me grow as a writer. If not for the disapproval of my own stories, I won’t be attempting to write something more interesting, more complex, and far better developed. So radical feminists, go ahead and accuse me of being chauvinist. I know myself better than anyone else, and my conscience is clear.

Jennifer Lawrence’s Breasts Aren’t Sending Mixed Messages

TIME

In a controversial, much-criticizedpost Wednesday on LinkedIn Pulse, business writer Bruce Kasanoff derided Jennifer Lawrence for daring to do the unthinkable (to him): bare her breasts in Vanity Fair magazine. Originally titled “Why Jennifer Lawrence’s Breasts Confuse Me” and later changed to “Why Jennifer Lawrence Confuses Me,” Kasanoff’s piece was riddled with ill-considered and outmoded ways of thinking about bodies, nudity and ownership of our stories. Kasanoff deleted the inflammatory article Thursday, telling Time.com via email, “My intention is to help people, not upset them.”

“If someone outraged me by publishing naked photos of my body, I’m pretty certain my next move would NOT be to then pose semi-naked for a national magazine, especially with a cockatoo,” Kasanoff wrote. As a man, Kasanoff will never know what it’s like to be a woman whose nude photos were stolen and leaked for the entire world to see, nor…

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If Women’s Roles In Movies Were Played By Men

From what I gather, Hollywood and the entire film industry is still very much sexist, with very defined gender roles and plenty of films failing the Bechdel Test. I didn’t find the video uncomfortable; just highly amused to see the gender swap. But I doubt that sort of thing will ever happen in real films. It won’t sell, and it’ll be too controversial I guess.

Oh well. Film was never the quickest to pick up social changes anyway.

Veet Apologizes After Backlash Against Ads Shaming Women for Having Body Hair

Of course there’s going to be a backlash. And boom, apologies, retraction of ads. That’s the same thing that companies have been doing over and over again. Once more, while I don’t condone it (a personal view), I don’t think the impact on the actual feminist movement is anything but minimal. Hell, the response to the ads tells me that people are probably more fired up to push for gender equality and destroy gender stereotypes.

I don’t dislike this sort of ad either, I suppose. If the gender stereotype card is played well, it can be pretty funny. If I think the ad doesn’t perpetuate gender inequality, and I have my own concrete thoughts on the matter, then I can appreciate the ad on face value and stop digging deeper into the potential meanings behind it.

I guess companies just have to be more careful, and probably hire some PR people to tell them what NOT to do. It’s safer than damaging your reputation by airing the ads, then having to take it down and apologising.

TIME

Yesterday we introduced you to Veet’s newest ad campaign, which proclaimed that having body hair–something that practically all human beings are born with–actually makes you a dude, and we all know there’s nothing worse than being a dude.

As the backlash spread across the web and landed on their Facebook page, Veet decided to yank the trio of ads, which all depict women turning into men as soon as their body hair begins to grow back after shaving. A spokesperson for the company that owns Veet also provided the following statement to Jezebel:

However we are very concerned by any misinterpretation of its tone or meaning, and in the light of the feedback received we have decided to withdraw it. We would also like to apologise for any offense it may have caused. That was certainly not our intention.

(You can read the full statement over at…

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This Is What Women Would Do If They Were Paid the Same As Men

Not sure how much of this is an election gimmick, and how much of this is really something that Obama and the Democrats want to push forward to help bridge that gender income gap. But it’s a good thing to see. Women should earn the same amount of money if they do the same amount of work as men. I believe in meritocracy, even if I dislike its implementation in Singapore’s education system. Education should be egalitarian, work should be meritocratic. That sounds about right.

Anyway, hurray for gender equality!

TIME

It’s been a really good week for wage equality. First, Obama announced two measures to help close the gender wage gap among federal workers. And, in honor of what’s dubbed “Equal Pay Day,” (April 8) thousands took to Twitter using the #withoutthewagegapiwould to share what they would do with the extra cash if there were no difference between what women and men earn for comparable jobs.

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Equality At Last: Teen Boys and Girls Have Similar Views on Sex and Porn

Hurray for gender equality, even though it’s from the uncomfortable topic of porn that conservatives decry. Of course, this is a survey done in Sweden, which is a pretty progressive country by all accounts, so while it’s great for the feminism movement and gender equality, it’s not too surprising to me. Well, we can only hope this sort of sentiment continues to spread.

TIME

Turns out young people have finally realized that both males and females, desire, and care about sex.

Even though teenage boys consume more pornography and think about it more often, a new study that interviewed 800 Swedish 16-year-olds discovered that teen boys and girls fantasize about the same things. Not only that, but teenage girls are more interested in pornography than conventional thinking leads us to believe.

Based on the findings, there are no differences between the number of teen males and females who say their sexual behavior is influenced by pornography in a big way (which, might not be a good thing). Unsurprisingly the teens that do watch pornography have more favorable attitudes towards it in general.

But get this: more than every 10th female who reported watching porn said they watch it less than they’d like. And, the females in the study were more experienced than the…

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New Veet Ads Shame Women by Claiming Having Body Hair Makes Them Dudes

Well, not unexpected. Gender stereotypes have existed for a looong time, and are going to be pulled again and again when companies that sell gender-specific products need to do an ad. I don’t condone perpetuating such stereotypes, but given the level of education these days, I think the impact it’ll have on the feminist movement will be minimal. And it’s one of many anyway.

Just to be clear, I don’t really care. Hair is natural. May not look as feminine and sexy, but it’s perfectly normal. And concepts like ‘sexy’ can be very skewed too, so meh.

In essence, not really concerned. Grow a forest for all I care.

TIME

Like a desire for human connection or a deep abiding love for Beyonce, we all have it: body hair. But if you’re a woman, you’re probably frequently made to feel unnatural about that universal fact. Now, a new series of ads from Veet, a hair removal cream, is delivering that backwards trope straight to your TV: according to Veet, if you have body hair, you’re actually a dude.

In the first ad, a man wakes up next to his girlfriend, but when he touches her stubbly legs–ones she “shaved yesterday”–he’s horrified to find that she’s turned into a man, all because her body did a thing that all bodies do: had hair on it.

In another spot, a woman tries to hail a taxi but finds out that in less than 24 hours her armpit hair has gone from nonexistent to a veritable follicle jungle, demonstrating both an unnecessary…

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The Duke Porn Star is Right: Kink Can Be a Feminist Choice

TIME

Duke porn star Belle Knox is back in action, this time with a long manifesto on XOJane about why loving kinky sex doesn’t make her a bad feminist. She also made her strip-club debut in New York this week, and announced on Fox that she’ll be returning to the Duke University campus this week despite the slut shaming and death threats.

Knox argues that she enjoys fantasies of sexual degradation (specifically rough oral sex) and that preference has no bearing on her feminist status.

The truth is: If a woman fantasizes about being dominated and degraded, it does not mean she actually wants or deserves to be dominated and degraded IN REAL LIFE. It does not mean she deserves to be name-called even though during a sexual act that might be the exact thing that turns her on.

Feminism means I can take ownership of what I enjoy sexually

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Jennifer Lawrence

America’s new sweetheart. In fact, the sweetheart of anyone who pays attention to Hollywood. She’s funny, candid, and acts just like how we wish we could in front of others. She even calls out Hollywood for their standards on female attractiveness! She loves junk food so much that costume designers on set are glad they have extra costumes, so she doesn’t drop Dorito crumbs on them!

But what if she’s actually a bad influence?

From an article I read somewhere, JLaw could well be making things even worse. Despite her hatred for skinniness and her love of food, she’s still attractive. And that makes people think that they need to achieve that, without working for it. Now that’s an argument I didn’t see coming.

Will that really worsen things? Frankly, I don’t think so. Sure she’s attractive, but that sort of subliminal messaging sounds far too extreme. That she’s ‘chubbier’ than other Hollywood actresses should reinforce the idea that she doesn’t have the perfect figure that Hollywood demands. And that her body size is attractive, which shifts the entire range of attractive body sizes up a few notches.

Again, it boils down to parenting IMHO. Educate the children that the message is good, but that there are caveats. Teach them the importance of balanced diets, of exercise (which I’m guilty of not doing :P), and how being bone-thin is not attractive. Proper nurture will win out over any messages children absorb from television (which can also be limited; and do avoid showing R-rated shows to children, please).