Via Muslimah Media Watch, Anida Yoeu Ali's "Mistaken for Muslim" is a powerful video that juxtaposes diverse images of Muslims, and the artist herself, with a poem relentlessly detailing xenophobic and Islamaphobic hate crimes in post 9/11 America:
Having trouble getting through your Friday? Take a break and check out what we've been reading web-side this week.
Meryl Streep was one of millions of disappointed women to hear that two Republican senators are holding up approval of a National Women's History Museum in Washington, D.C. because they think there will be a pro-choice slant to exhibits there. Jezebel is covering the story, and NYT columnist Gail Collins logged her support early this week as well.
Colorlines has launched a powerful campaign to Drop the I-Word. Join the fight against oppressive, hate-feeding language here.
The Nationposted several feminist articles on their site this week: An extensive piece on women in the Republican party; one on women in the Democratic party; and a piece by Feministing's Jessica Valenti on the commandeering of the word "feminist" in right-wing politcs lately.
The United Nations this week sent an official to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to investigate the huge numbers of civilians raped over a period of three days this summer by various armed rebel groups.
U.S. Census data was released this week, showing, among other things, that the marriage rate is at its lowest point in 150 years of data-gathering. Brangelina-esque protest, perhaps?
RIP Sally Menke, Oscar-nominated film editor who edited Quentin Tarantino's best-known films.
And finally, it's Banned Books Week, as Ashley pointed out on Sunday. Check here for events in your area!
What caught your eye this week? Tell us in the comments!
In this week's episode of Modern Family, "The Kiss," Gloria dreams that her dead grandmother wants her to connect to her roots by preparing traditional foods, despite the fact that, just last episode, we saw Gloria cooking up a shit ton of empanadas. No matter, we need a plot device! And food is a logical choice.
A year ago, right after the start of Glee's first season, I complained in this space that the show was riddled with stereotypes. These days I haven't much better to say about the show, other than that, from my perspective the writing has gotten even lazier, which I didn't think was possible. This week's Britney Spears episode, for example, didn't even have a nominal plot, just a disconnected sequence of novocaine-induced hallucinations. Increasingly the show is just an excuse to connect musical interludes, and as people more learned in the field of music have remarked, the interludes are less and less good as time goes on. (I admit I loved the football version of "Single Ladies," but it's been a long time since the show did anything near that inventive.)
I'm hardly the only person who complains about Glee, of course. It seems to be something of a lightning rod for people's complaints, particularly about diversity in television. The reason for this is somewhat immediately obvious; Glee presents itself as being a show about misfits. It's taking up the banner for every kid who hates the social structure of their high school, whose clothes were mocked, who liked the wrong things (like music), or who were just, in the extraordinarily cruel way of teenage thinking, not the right kind of person, because they had a wheelchair, they were pregnant, they were black. For the people for whom any of these things were true, that's a narrative that's pretty close to your heart, and when people go to reproduce it in popular culture, to speak for what it felt like to be excluded and rejected—well, you feel a special ownership over that, I think. At least, I still do, though I'm now more than a decade away from that time in my life.
Yesterday CNN broke the story that O'Keefe had tried to punk them just like he punk'd all those evil advocates for the poor, only this time he failed miserably. O'Keefe told CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau that he wanted to meet with her in person to discuss an interview for a feature CNN is doing on young conservatives. But Boudreau was intercepted by Izzy Santa, O'Keefe's colleague over at the dramatically named Project Veritas, who told Boudreau all about O'Keefe's boneheaded plan to get her on his boat and…do something.
Those of you who have cable may have seen a new product advertised recently: the Trojan Tri-Phoria. Now, TV ads for vibrators aren't exactly headline news (in fact, we ran a charticle on vibrator commercials in our Buzz issue last year), but this new sex toy ad is airing during cable primetime shows like The Daily Show, and some networks (VH1, Spike) are running it during the day as well. Sex toy ads! In the daytime! What do we make of this? Let's watch the ad and find out:
One of the weird things about writing about television these days is that very few people watch it "live" anymore, which is to say follow it from week to week while it airs. So if you haven't already seen it, allow me to suggest that you Netflix a 2005 HBO series called The Comeback. This was Lisa Kudrow's first post-Friends foray, and it only lasted a year—apparently HBO would rather forget that it existed altogether as it isn't even listed on their website.
The storyline of the series was very simple: Valerie Cherish (Kudrow) had one successful sitcom role in the 1990s, and is now, some years later trying to stage a comeback with a linked sitcom and reality show. The sitcom, called "Room and Bored," pairs Valerie with a cast of nubile twentysomethings whose older landlord and aunt she plays, including a young ingenue named Juna Millken (Malin Akerman), who Valerie immediately tries to mentor.
The "real" show, the one we watch, is a tad meta: It is presented as an extended version of the footage being taped for the reality show. This draws out a fragmented performance from Kudrow, who is usually playing a Valerie aware that she's performing Valerie for the reality show (someone's making some noise about performativity in my ear), but occasionally she slips, forgets what she's doing. And the Valerie that comes through in those moments is less smiley, less calculating—more desperate.
Well, fats and nonfats, it's time for me to get my fat ass on a horse somehow and ride into the sunset. I hope you enjoyed this blog, or at least learned something from it. It would be great if you now have a better understanding of fat acceptance/size acceptance and how to treat fat people (as humans, of course). I'd love if the fats reading this feel more empowered now than before this blog began. Lofty goals, maybe, but I'd like to think we reached them.
What do you know about Puerto Rican feminists? Not enough, right? Me either, which is why this week's Feministory features a crucial feminist of the United States' often overlooked Commonwealth, Puerto Rico.