Friday, April 30, 2010
1 bunch kale
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup dried currants (or other dried fruit, such as cranberries or cherries)
Lemon juice or vinegar (white or red wine or apple cider)
Olive oil, sea salt, fresh pepper.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Femonomics reads the internet so you don't have to: Bad research, transgender discrimination, racism, and PowerPoint strategy!
Elsewhere, some actual decent research, thank god. Blog Her has a post on new research finding that those who report a "colorblind" ideology are less likely to be bothered by racist images. The researcher, Brendesha Tynes, showed participants images that depicted racist stereotypes, and asked them to respond as though seeing the images on a friend's facebook page. Those who considered themselves "colorblind" were less likely to express disapproval of the images and more likely to offer positive or supportive comments. Additionally, white students were less likely to be bothered by the images. Tynes believes her research provides evidence that "colorblindness" masks racial differences, and may prevent people from having meaningful conversations about race.
A transgendered veteran who chained herself to the White House fence to protest Don't Ask Don't Tell has reported deplorable treatment at the hands of federal law enforcement. Autumn Sandeen reports she was called an "impersonator," "shim," and "it," and was accused of lying about her gender, despite being honest the entire time, and imprisoned in a male cell block, putting her safety at risk. [I am linking to Pandagon because it has the best coverage of this incident. It is a blog run by Amanda Marcotte, who has previously exhibited exceedingly poor judgment.]
There have been a lot of laws these days increasing the number of hurdles between a woman and her right to choose. As Recovering Economist noted there have been some especially concerning changes in Oklahoma.
The second law was the one that really concerned me. The law that protects doctors from being sued if they had withheld information of birth defects they knew the baby had during the pregnancy. It's one thing as a doctor to chose not to preform an abortion because you do not believe in it, but that does not give you the right to lie to a patient, and therefore, make decisions for them. I hope this law makes it to court.
But Oklahoma does not seem to be stopping there. As McKinley of the NYT reported, there are still some other bills on the move:
One would force women to fill out a lengthy questionnaire about their reasons for seeking an abortion; statistics based on the answers would then be posted online. The other restricts insurance coverage for the procedures.To lighten the mood, Talking Points Memo has a great roundup of some other crazy laws being passed in America these days.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
We've each endured some too tight hug or some slob whose hand wandered where it shouldn't. Deal with it. That's what we did in our younger, prettier days. Dealt with it. In some cases, sticking a pen in the guy's lower belly and whispering politely, "Try that again, pal, and you'll have to go to Emergency to pee," worked just fine.She's talking about what colossal, litigious whiners women are for taking civil action in the face of sexual harassment. I'm happy for Ms. Adams that she's apparently always had the kind of jobs where rejecting the boss or a coworker's sexual advances did not threaten one's advancement. She also probably had the economic security to recover if she was fired or denied a promotion. I'm also happy for her that she also does not appear to have perceived that this harassment made her workplace inherently unequal, and probably made it impossible for many talented women to remain employed and advance. But does it seriously not occur to her that others' experiences may be different? That there are real consequences to sexual harassment, like the ones I just mentioned?
Oh, but when it comes to victim blaming, she's just getting started:
I was maybe 10. In a highly respected elderly doctor's Upper East Side examination room. My mom had left for one second. His hands began examining what wasn't there for examining. I pushed him away and never mentioned it to a soul. Not anybody. Until now. And I still remember his name.I'm sorry, I just had to suppress my gag reflex. Does Ms. Adams think that just because she was self possessed enough to rebuff these attacks (and was in a situation where this didn't jeopardize her safety or well-being) that they weren't crimes? Does she honestly think it should be the job of children to "just deal with" sexual abuse, instead of parents to protect them, and the court system to put the perps in jail? Those of us who are victims of sexual abuse or acquaintance rape think, at our most despondent moments, that this is what the world thinks of us: that we were stupid for not doing enough to protect ourselves, to say no, to "deal with it." But before Cindy Adams' column, I never had any confirmation it was true.
I was maybe 16. The office of a theatrical agent who had a Tiffany reputation. He took me into a private room to test my voice. And what he looked to test was not my voice. I pushed him off and never mentioned it to anyone. Until now. And I still remember his name.
[via Media Fail]
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Lately, there has been quite a bit of coverage in the media about Arizona's new immigration bill. It is the toughest piece of immigration legislation in United States' recent history, and it will give the Arizona police power to detain anyone who they "reasonably" suspect is an illegal immigrant. Moreover, all non-U.S. citizens in Arizona will now be required to carry their documents at all times. As an immigrant to and a citizen of this country, this new law makes me angry and sad because I fear that it will lead to racial profiling and second-class treatment of both legal and illegal residents of this country, and it indicates that America might not be the "land of opportunity" and "the melting pot" that so many people who risk their lives to come here imagine it to be.
Monday, April 26, 2010
See, the problem with the "screaming allies," as I shall call them, is that they often use their voices to drown out those of the people they're trying to help. Their privilege in being part of the non-marginalized group often gives them a bigger platform than the marginalized, and rather than use it to elevate the concerns of the marginalized (who are, don't get me wrong, NOT monolithic and shouldn't be treated as such), they use it to spread their own "take" on the problems of the oppressed.
The Freddie DeBoer blow-up on Tiger Beatdown illustrates this issue. Tiger Beatdown is a witty, frequently caustic feminist blog run by the indomitable Sady Doyle. Freddie is a screaming ally of the man-feminist (manifest?) variety. He commented on a recent "sexist beatdown" (TM) post that he thought Sady's jokes were um, interfering with her intellectual rigor. Or something. Anyway, Sady was not having any of that BS, and so she beat Freddie down in a very long and very explicative-filled post, because that is what she does on Tiger Beatdown. Freddie's feelings were hurt because he is a feminist and he is trying to help! I don't know if I would have gone to the lengths Sady went to to make it, but she had an extremely valuable point. If you want to be a feminist, the first thing you should probably not do is tell women what to do, how to fight their battles, and why they're doing it wrong, according to you. From Sady [NSFW language]:
Sunday, April 25, 2010
One thing you can do to help fight malaria in the developing world is donate to purchase bed nets for sleeping under, preventing the mosquito bites that spread malaria infection. Unfortunately, recent evidence shows nets are not enough in the fight against malaria mortality. For an individual, a net is the best way to protect against malaria infection. But, from an epidemiological standpoint, it takes a very high net coverage (and those nets must be insecticide treated, raising the cost) within a given village for the parasitic load to fall, and the malaria threat to lessen. Getting to that threshold of protection is an extremely tricky proposition, especially since even the longest lasting nets must be retreated every 3 years.
Therefore, to really conquer malaria, we need an integrated strategy of vector control, infection prevention, and treatment.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Tiger Beatdown's recent sexist beatdowns have reengaged me with one of the small ways in which gender roles are reinforced in daily life: the constant expectation that men open jars for any woman who asks. As a single blogger, there is rarely a man to be found in the apartment, and when one does show up, all of my unmet jar-opening needs tend to slip my mind. So, a few strategies (gathered from experience, and the internets):
1) Tilt the jar over a sink (you never know) and hit the lid in a counter-clockwise direction with the flat side of a butter knife. This make take some perseverance.
2) Run the lid under hot water. This might work in one of two ways: melting away any food / sugars stuck in the grooves, or expanding the lid so it's not so tight.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Now that the weather is finally getting warmer it's time for refreshing drinks: smoothies. Obviously you can substitute whatever fruit you fancy.
Femonomics reads the internet so you don't have to: great cleavage, the obesity bandwagon, and abortion in the Obama age
Jezebel's been covering the story for a few days, and has the documents to prove it. The ad itself is certainly not shocking, and the naughty body parts displayed seems on par with the ads of Victoria's Secret, the antics of the Desperate Housewives, and other lingerie-wearing prime-time standbys. The sexist says it's the size of the boobs holding up that lingerie that has the networks' undies bunched:
Potato, garlic, & smoked mozzarella strudel
Adapted from Party Food for Vegetarians, serves 6-8
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin have come and gone, which means springtime is here…which means weddings galore. Wedding planning can certainly be an overwhelming task for the happily betrothed couple, but they aren't the only ones that could use some help. Sometimes, guests can also use pointers on how not to drown in the deluge of nuptials that is always forthcoming this time of year. I've mentioned before that I grew up in the Deep South, where we stand on ceremony and social protocol is law. I won't impose all of it on you, but since I've seen so many faux pas committed already this spring, I have some tips on how to get through wedding season with grace after the jump.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
As we've all suspected pollen count is at it's highest levels in years, which means misery for a great majority of us. (I'm typing this from my couch, where I've been sleeping and blowing my nose all day, trying to wait for the medications to kick in. For the record, they haven't.)
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Gawker's Hamilton Nolan issues an appropriate takedown, in a story titled "Never Take Fitness Advice from the New York Times:"
"Does working out really help you lose weight?" ...This is hardly the first time the NYT has asked some slight variation of this maddening question. But this latest story clearly distilled these fundamental premises from which the journalism proceeds:Nolan rightly points out that there's no reason the point of an exercise regime should be thinness, and in fact that thinness could be counterproductive:
1. Weight loss is the goal towards which you should strive.
2. Exercise therefore has value to the extent it helps you lose weight.
3. Your goal is to become thin.
Thin. "Thin!" That is exactly the word this story uses. "The newest science suggests that exercise alone will not make you thin, but it may determine whether you stay thin, if you can achieve that state."
Monday, April 19, 2010
But don't worry, non-feminists, I have something for you, too. [NSFW alert!] The cheeky blog Feminisnt, written by a woman who describes herself thusly: "I'm a pornographer, sex worker, atheist, and former 'sex-positive feminist' who grew tired of trying to shoehorn my life into a feminist analysis." In a recent post, she addresses the assertion that men who pay for sex hate women. It's an interesting blog to scan for sex-positive feminists or sex-positive feminist-skeptics. Like I said, when you're not at work!
Speaking of sex-positive feminism, Natalia Antonova has a great response to a piece at Femonade claiming it's impossible for "just sex" to be feminist. I get Femonade's point, that when people say "just sex" they're often talking about the type of sex that most benefits men (PIV), but often they're not. I know lots of women who have very satisfying "just sex" relationships (And, let's also remember to consider non-hetero and non-cis pairings, where PIV is not necessarily the order of the day). For some of them, these relationships will become less satisfying over time, and they'll realize they want something more. But as Antonova says, let's trust women to make that call for themselves. [Edit: it should be noted that Femonade has exhibited rampant transphobia in the past, so be careful on her site]
This interview with Emma Thompson gives me hope. Excerpt:
Two years ago she went ballistic when she heard it had been suggested that a young actress on the set of Brideshead Revisited lose a stone in weight. Did she really threaten to quit?
'Absolutely! I would have broken my contract and taken the story to the press.
I am a bit of a fundamentalist about all that size zero stuff - I would have made a big, fat fuss. That was no joke. I would have walked off the set.'
Ask what can be done about such attitudes and she doesn't shrug, like most actresses of her calibre would. 'Put on weight and say F*** off,' she retorts. 'Demand bigger sizes. Go into places where you can't get a 38D bra and say, "I want a 38D bra and give me one. If you can't, I am never coming here again."'
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Maybe Ke$ha didn't intend the paint to look like that, and maybe she didn't intend her performance to look like blackface, but I'm a lot less inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt after her Native American headdress-wearing performance on American Idol. One commenter on MyIdol wrote:
I am a Blackfoot Native American. The headdress is the highest honor one can achieve in lifes journey. One must do all the necessary steps in earning that place. Once that is achieved, a headdress is made for the individual and a 'transfer ceremony' takes place. As I write this, our tribe is 10,000 strong in population and I can count - say - 50ish who wear the headdress... Perhaps the 'shocker' in Kesha's performance was that the headdress looked very authentic and that's what pulled at my heart strings. Now if it was one of those 1960s florescent turkey feather type (you know the one - LOL) I probably would of 'chilled' On top of that, I still have a ways go in learning the balance of life so I am yet to wear such attire. Perhaps I envied Kesha that she threw one on to no avail.People on the thread told him to "chill out," as I'm sure some people will think in regard to this post. But, those same people have probably never had anyone dress up like them to mock them, or their cultural imagery appropriated to represent generic stereotypes like "wildness." I cannot believe the producers of American Idol and SNL did not see this in dress rehearsals and think, "gee, maybe we should pull the plug on this."
Now, I'm all for artistic freedom. I'm all for artists doing wild and crazy things that make us uncomfortable, but also make us think. SNL has historically been home to such artists, such as when Sinead O'Connor ripped up a picture of the pope. That was very very offensive to some people, and some people think it never should have aired. But it was in the service of something. This, this wasn't that. This was just a careless, casually racist move by a girl who thinks the image of being too drunk to care about things like history is "fun." It's not. It's outrageous. Now please stop.
The Viewer's Angle
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
This recipe is so easy, and is truly delicious and a real crowd-pleaser! Tacos are always a fun thing to have at a dinner party with friends, so consider this recipe for your next get-together.
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 cup chopped yellow bell peppers
3 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 flour tortillas (I like using the multigrain kind)
salt, pepper, other spices to taste (I like cumin, basil, and coriander)
fresh salsa (store-bought, or you can make your own)
1 pound red snapper fillets, skinned (or trout or any other light white fish -- I usually just get whatever's cheapest at the market! The key is that the fish absorbs the delicious other flavors in the dish, so it doesn't need to be very high quality)
Place the tortillas in the oven to warm (I usually turn it to about 350 degrees).
Spread olive oil on a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, tomatoes, garlic, bell peppers, cinnamon, salt, pepper, cumin, and any other spices. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the cilantro. Arrange fish over the vegetable mixture in the pan, cover and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn the fish over, and cook for about 2 minutes more. Break the fish into chunks, stir in the lemon juice, and cook for 2 more minutes.
Fill each tortilla with the fish mixture and the fresh salsa, and enjoy!
Image via Cooking Light.
1-2 cans of tuna (depending on how much of this you want to make)
1-2 jalapeños (depending on how much spice you want)
one half - one whole small onion, yellow or red
a couple limes
-Drain the can of tuna and put it in a bowl.
-Cut up the jalapeños, discarding the seeds. Add to the bowl.
-Dice the onion and add to the bowl (add as much--or as little--onion per your taste)
-Cut limes in half and squeeze juice into the bowl.
-Mix everything together and refrigerate until ready to eat.
- 1 bag chocolate chips
- 1 half-pint container heavy cream (1 cup)
- 2-3 tbs rum, Kahlua, orange liqueur or other flavoring (espresso, amaretto, peppermint schnapps)
- Strawberries, sliced fruit, cut-up pound cake, marshmallows, etc for dipping
Note: this fondue is good for party settings, because the high amount of liquid means it will not get totally solid when it cools, so will remain "dippable" for quite a while. If you have a fondue pot, or are eating right away, you can add only half the cream and get a more traditional fondue that will cool solid.
Note 2: You can also "make" a fondue pot by taking two metal bowls of the same size, filling the bottom one with very hot water, and stacking the fondue-filled one on top. Refresh the hot water, and your chocolate will stay warm.
Note 3: When they're in season, this is best with just a big bowl of fresh strawberries.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Damn cool pics: Zoo animals looking adorable, and more! I have iffy feelings on zoo animals, but man they're cute!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Femonomics reads the internet so you don't have to: homophobia, evolving lab rats, and the politics of pretty
Olivia Judson reports that laboratory animals are evolving in ways that could jeopardize experimental validity--in as little as ten generations! You hear that, people who love to speak of how there's no way evolution could come up with an eye? I love Judson, and her book Sex Advice to All Creation is a great, witty primer on the endless mysteries of evolution.
I Blame the Patriarchy says we can't be pretty and be feminists. It's an important thing to think about--the way focusing on physical attractiveness buys into norms about feminine-ness and appropriate female behavior, but I must say I respectfully disagree. I think the key thing is to be conscious of the way we pursue physical attractiveness and our reasons for doing so (i.e., not couching our gym obsession in "health"), and be judicious about how much time and effort to devote to these things. But to say that doing them is anti-feminist? That's both judgmental and unrealistic.
Turns out that Ke$ha and Saving Abel have it right - love is truly addicting. This is biological anthropologist Helen Fisher's view, at least, and she has the experimental data to back her up. Dr Fisher has described her work on love at first sight, jealousy, and rejection in several magazines, including as a contributor to O. This article from NewScientist summarizes her most famous work on why getting dumped can be so traumatic - it's biology! She has also presented her work at the TED conference:
On race and feminism: A primer on feminist white privilege on the internet, and how we'll try to do better
Renee Martin of Womanist Musings recently wrote in the Guardian about why she doesn't consider herself a feminist: feminism doesn't seem to have a place for women of color or their issues. I'm not what I would call an institutional feminist (I mean absolutely no disrespect in that term, just that I have never formally studied feminist theory or women's studies--I formed my feminist beliefs by reading Alice Walker, Virginia Woolf, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg), so I at first didn't see the relevance of her piece to my brand of feminism. Maybe academic feminists had excluded women of color, but I was part of a personal, inclusive breed of feminists, right? Then, I read this piece in Jezebel where Megan Carpentier bristles at the fact that Martin states mainstream feminist blogs such as Feministe, Feministing, and Pandagon are dominated by white women. Carpentier points to the multiple women of color on each of the blogs mastheads
Feministing, which remains an explicit collective, has a new executive editor, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, who has been there for five years. Of the four people on the masthead at Pandagon, two are people of color. Of the two people I know personally at BitchPhD, one is a woman of color. At least two of the bloggers at Feministe — Holly and Chally — identify in their bios as non-white.The commenters at Jezebel pointed out that Carpentier was guilty of tokenism: having a black kid on the debate team does not a race revolution make. They also pointed me down a rabbit hole I've been exploring for the past two days--the frequent instances of white bloggers on mainstream feminist sites being racially insensitive and then surprised by the offense they caused.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I hate to perpetuate the infuriating stereotype of "bad female drivers", but I'll admit that I've had trouble with parallel parking in the past. However, I am not alone. In the past 2 weeks I have witnessed over a dozen bad/failed attempts at parallel parking. It may not seem like parallel parking is a big deal. I know many people don't have to deal with it regularly. But, since I live in a metropolitan area and don't drive one of these fancy self-parking Lexuses, knowing how to parallel park on the curb is a must. So, there are some tips below the jump on perfecting that tricky S-turn next to a curb. Check out this how-to video, as well. Practice makes perfect!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Last week California celebrated Cesar Chavez day, honoring the farmworker advocate on his birthday, March 31st. Chavez died in 1993, but his work is still relevant today as farmworkers continue to face abusive conditions and as some loopy Texans recently tried to remove his story from textbooks (and failed - thank goodness!)
Friday, April 9, 2010
I suspect that no one wants to hear me dote on 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions the Duke Blue Devils. Duke is tired. They've won enough. No one wants me to write about how awesome it was to be in Lucas Oil Stadium Monday night. Or about how beating the hometown heroes that proceeded to yell "F#&k Duke" at me on the way to have a celebratory cocktail when all I did was smile at them was one of the highlights of my life. So, I won't talk about it. I'll just refer to the mantra I adopted for the weekend in Indy. The only thing that kept me out of a full on street brawl was this—Haters love to hate.
It's also been brought to my attention that I left the women's tournament out of a feminist blog. Even though I'm more traditional and don't watch women's basketball, that is a no-no. So, instead of talking about my intense fervor for Duke Men's basketball or how much I love Coach K & his wife Mickie or how I want to marry Nolan Smith, I'll talk about the dominant force to be reckoned with that is UConn Women's Basketball. I met a Duke B-school student from Connecticut last weekend in Indy and she taught me their unofficial state motto. In Connecticut, "Men are men. Women are Champions." You gotta love that. And that's exactly what those women are—2010 NCAA Women's Basketball Champions. And no one is surprised.
2-3 fresh shitake mushrooms
2 leaves of kale
1 clove garlic
Few slices sharp cheese like swiss or white cheddar, if you like.
butter, salt, pepper, and any fresh herbs (thyme or oregano is nice) you wish
Wash the kale thoroughly (sand likes to hide out in the crevices). Brush off and de-stem mushrooms. Bunch the kale leaves together and slice them cross-wise to produce ribbons. Slice mushrooms. Chop garlic. Heat enough butter (or olive oil) for sauteing in pan until sizzling--put the heat at medium-high. Add kale and garlic at same time. Cook, stirring semi-regularly, until kale is tender and brown/crisp in places. Trust me--almost letting it burn is key to its deliciousness. Add the mushrooms and saute for just a minute more--these cook very quickly. Transfer to bowl.
Whisk eggs with 1 shell-full of water for every three eggs, salt, and pepper. Heat butter in omelet pan, and swirl to coat all sides. When a drop of water sizzles in pan, add eggs (3 eggs-worth at a time). Let them set for a minute, then use the corner of the spatula to draw the set egg in from the edges of the pan to the center. It should create a "curtain" like patter as you do this at several places around the edge. Repeat letting the egg set and drawing it in once more, then swirl uncooked egg to fill any gaps. Turn heat down.
If using cheese, place on top of eggs in one layer. (You can cover at this point to melt the cheese and set up any still-runny egg). When cheese begins to melt and egg is firm all over, spoon some shitake-kale mixture on top. Slide your spatula under one side of the omelet, lift, and fold over the top to create a half-moon shape. Cook for just a minute longer until all egg is cooked through. Slide onto plate and serve.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Induction cooking has been around for decades, but only recently has demand driven prices down and selection up. In the last two years, Viking, GE, Samsung and Kenmore have begun selling induction ranges.Well then, it's of course supply that's driving the price down, not demand. For a given level of supply, more demand will increase price. For a given level of demand, more supply will decrease it. I know I'm being petty, but come on NYT.
In January, I wrote about the FDA’s reversal on their safety ruling for bisphenol A (BPA) which is used in the production of plastic water bottles and the lining of aluminum cans.
Late March, the EPA announced it will be beginning an investigation to determine if BPA should be added to the list of chemicals of concern.
Why Is the EPA Investigating?
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
But as much as Simpson's fake ordinariness rankled me then, it's her real ordinariness that I find charming now. Simpson has fought back against the haters who criticized her weight cruelly and relentlessly not by appearing looking stunning on the cover of US Weekly (well, there was that Vanity Fair shoot), but by being herself, insisting she has a right to do just that, and thinking about the broader implications of the war over her size. I found her appearance on Oprah remarkably thoughtful and well-adjusted, and was delighted when she teased David Letterman for "making it all about the boys" during her visit to his show.
Simpson's new reality show certainly has problems of its own, but it's an interesting effort with its heart in the right place. Similarly, although I think stars appearing without makeup is something of a gimmick, I nonetheless think it's a more thoughtful gimmick than stars airbrushed within an inch of their lives selling workout tips. As such, I appreciate Simpson's appearance in Marie Claire makeup and airbrush free, although I wish more of the quotes in the resulting photo spread were of this variety: "I don't have anything to prove anymore. What other people think of me is not my business." Than this one: "People think updos are so hard, but they're not. Your hair should look tousled and undone."
I don't think Jessica is perfect. I don't think she's now some kind of feminist ideal. I think her, and her new way of presenting herself to the public, are a work in progress. But, it's an increasingly interesting type of progress, and one that I'm glad to have buzzing around pop culture land in place of giggling malapropisms and daisy dukes.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
I first watched the video to try to figure out why she had chosen to strip naked for this song. I watched Badu’s discussion of the video posted at the WSJ, and felt at the end that a major problem was that Badu had a great message about conformity, but I wasn’t sure that nudity served a real purpose or that the exact topic was of sufficient gravity to justify the imagery of JFK’s assassination. However, I also noticed that not many people seemed willing to listen to her explanation because they decided they were offended after their initial viewing of the video.
My impression is that people were mostly upset with the nudity because they did not believe it was essential to communicate her artistic message. However, I think this controversy creates a great opportunity to open the discussion of the way women are portrayed in music videos. Women are often filmed semi-nude and portrayed in ways that are truly exploitative. I wonder why this video, which did not (in my opinion) overly sexualize her naked body, has sparked such outrage while there are numerous music videos, advertisements, and shows that portray women in a demeaning way and are only a blip in the public consciousness. Why is nudity/semi-nudity in these cases not met with equal outrage?
Basically, I found the nudity inoffensive but sadly did not feel it successfully strengthened her message. If this video discussed the implications of the way women are represented in pop culture, I would have felt the assassination imagery was more warranted. But either way, Badu is an interesting artist, and I'm glad she's willing to take risks and express herself in different, sometimes controversial, ways.
From the NYT:
It is a question that taxi-seekers in New York often ponder: Is there some kind of secret formula for where to find a cab in this town? Turns out, there is. A new mobile application allows would-be riders to see a map of nearby street corners, ranked by the number of taxi hails they attract at that hour, on that day of the week. The most popular corners to catch a yellow cab in Manhattan can now be pinpointed, at any hour of any day of the week, thanks to a record of 90 million actual taxi trips that have been silently tracked by the city.OK, so far so good, so this data can tell me where most people take cabs from. But then the article goes on to say:
On a Saturday at 11 p.m., it is easier to hail a cab on the nightclub-and-bar-filled Lower East Side than at Grand Central Terminal. Columbus Circle gets more passenger pickups than the Port Authority bus station. And make sure you are in the right neighborhood: taxi rides are 25 times as likely to start in the West Village as in Washington Heights.The problem with this is that it's not true.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
I'm all for giving celebrities their privacy amid salacious gossip and personal turmoil, but since Bullock surely knows all about that photo and the other accusations now, I can't figure out why we haven't heard from her yet. This is not the kind of thing you let slide, even if all you want to do, quite understandably, is hide out and lick your wounds. Perhaps she's just taking her time crafting a blistering statement denouncing James' apparent anti-Semitism, avowing her unfortunate but total ignorance of it and announcing the imminent divorce. But if that's not out by tomorrow? Something's seriously [f*ed] up here. Remaining silent at this point is such an inexplicable career move — questions of human decency aside — I can't quite believe we haven't seen such a statement already. And I really can't believe there aren't more people making noise about it yet.I think it's a fair question. Others don't, apparently, so Kate has a new piece at Shapely Prose defending the original article.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Femonomics reads the internet so you don't have to: the iPad, customer service, Kwanzaa cakes, and more!
I just spent 40 minutes on the phone trying to get my money back from boots I returned 3 months ago. Do you have a really horrific customer service experience? Please, do share in the comments. And, to make you feel better, read this hilarious complaint letter to Virgin Airlines.
Have you seen Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa cake yet? I just came across it after clicking a link from the Fug Girls, and let me tell you, it's a treat you don't want to miss. (Sandra Lee hosts a show called "Semi-Homemade," where she takes store-bought food and does unspeakable things to it.)
Jennifer Hudson has a new Weight Watchers commercial that awesomely emphasizes making healthier choices instead of focusing on weight loss. Moreover, Hudson doesn't express discontentment with her old body, or measure her success in pounds. I think it's badass, but, I mean, it's still a Weight Watchers commercial.
The NYTimes has an interesting Op-Ed about female Chechen suicide bombers. There's also a semi-decent column by David Brooks (who you know I could do without) about how one's personal life (he says marriage, but I'm not sure that's right for everyone) is more important than professional success in determining happiness. I agree to a certain extent, but think it's all about the balance. For example, it can be hard to have a very happy marriage if one is professionally frustrated. Also, you have to see this amazing story about people suffering from Parkinson's disease who can nonetheless ride bicycles with perfect ability.
On the topic of marriage, I like this piece by Bitch, PhD on open marriage. She makes the important point that our concept of normality is defined by what works for us. (But she phrases it thusly: "If you've slept with n people, anyone who's slept with n+1 people is a slut.")
Also in the NYTimes, some reasonable pieces about confronting America's health problems without fat shaming. And, some very thoughtful reader letters in response to this piece on women in the sciences.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
For more on the abuse and the Church's role in aiding and abetting it, see O'Connor's (an abuse victim herself) excellent opinion piece in the Washington Post. Over at the NYTimes, Maureen Dowd speculates the church gave up its credibility for lent. Read about the Vatican's refusal (including the current pope) to defrock a priest who molested over 200 deaf boys, when they had specific knowledge of his crimes, here. Also check out this 2006 report on the pope's role in covering up abuse. And, for a different opinion, read an Op-Ed that defends the pope as a part of the solution to the widespread abuse and institutional indifference.
What do you think? Should the pope resign? Can the Catholic church really change its ways and get its credibility back? And do you believe, like me, that both those who committed abuse and those who covered it up should be tried in civil courts?