Over the past couple of months, shy, inconspicuous Vermont has become my favorite state of the union. It's not because of the scenery from Camel's Hump mountain, the bitchin' maple syrup or the hundreds of snowmobiling clubs. No, I admire Vermont's recent standing as the 4th state to legalize gay marriage and for the after school program at Burlington High School called Gendertopia. The program helps students understand the vast spectrum of gender and sexuality past male/female, gay/straight. Amazing! Gendertopia is partly funded with tax dollars and run by Outright Vermont, Vermont's queer youth center and advocacy organization. The program teaches the difference between gender and sexuality, has students go into their community and photograph ways gender is translated in pop culture and explores the damaging ways homophobia and transphobia affect the individuals on the receiving end. In an AP article, Sophia Manzi, a student at Burlington High, said, "I'm straight, but I don't like using that word because then it feels like if you're gay then you're crooked, you're not meant to grow up in a certain way. I come because it's a really good program. The people, it doesn't matter what sexual orientation you are, they totally come in with open arms." Gendertopia indeed.
We've taken a slight break from covering Twilight news on the blog because we thought our vampire jokes might be sucking the life out of you (zing!), but the New Moon trailer aired earlier this week and posting it here became as irresistible as Bella's sweet-smelling heroin plasma. Warning: The following video contains clunky dialogue, paranormal teen angst, and more damsel-in-distress scenarios than you could shake a wooden stake at.
Some of the players may have changed, but it looks as though Bella's role as the defenseless female who is both abused and protected by males has remained the same. Also, the werewolf looks cheesy.
Both Angelina Jolie and Shakira have made headlines recently with their respective humanitarian work, Jolie with a recent Time magazine article, and a New York Times Magazine piece on Shakira's efforts to make child welfare reform a reality in Latin America. How do the two compare?
Earlier this week I thought I was suffering from douchebag deja vu when I read that Amazon.com was selling yet ANOTHER rape simulation videogame, this time called "Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love."
Belinda Luscombe over at Time Magazine sparked an online debate yesterday regarding an internet-only Budweiser commercial that makes light of pornography purchasing. Says Luscombe, because it [the commercial] comes from a highly respected American brand, it seems to mark some kind of cultural tipping point, where pornography has soaked so far into the fabric of mainstream culture that it's no longer seen as a stain.
In my humblest of humble opinions, the porn is not what's wrong with this commercial. Check it out and then we'll discuss:
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"I blame feminism and Facebook for the death of the American automobile." So said NPR's PJ O'Rourke on NPR's Morning Edition earlier today. According to O'Rourke, feminists are to blame for the auto industry's decline because at some point in the 70s we stopped putting out in the backseats of cars and starting going to work instead. WTF, PJ?
Now, before you get your unisex underwear in a twist, I realize that PJ O'Rourke is a humorist (I do listen to Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! after all). His next sentence was "I'm a Republican, so I blame everything on feminism — or commies." So yeah, he's kidding -- somewhat. But he's still getting laughs at feminism's expense, and I personally don't think that he is 100% joking here. Let's discuss it further, shall we?
We talk a lot here at Bitch about the ways in which certain products are marketed to women, and with good reason (there are some weeeeird lady products out there). However, for every product that bizarrely targets women there is one that bizarrely targets men as well. Here are a few that have come to our attention as of late:
While the racecars and Danica Patrick indicate that this is a product for dudes, it is surprisingly gender-bendy (what with the gynecomastia and the woman athlete signing fans' breasts and all). Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? On paper it seems like it shouldn't be offensive, and yet...