You know the fury that comes over you when you're affected by other people's prejudice? The coldness, shock, or devastation when they put you or your loved ones down over race, sexual orientation, age, gender, size, class or ability? Maybe you felt it when your folks wouldn't let you bring your partner to a family celebration, when a white woman crashed your MLK event to announce that she deals with racism too, or when a classmate blocked your path to stare at your walking aid. Despite what a lot of defensive apologists might try to tell you, these incidents do matter: They're called microaggressions.
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Somehow I feel like Fox's new sitcom Traffic Light pulled one over on me. This is likely my own fault, because the warning signs were there. Three dude main characters in various stages of romantic entanglements? Check. Jokes made at the expense of the women in their lives? Check. Cohabitation without any mention of domestic responsibilities whatsoever? Check. Yet I still had high hopes that this show was going to be (at least kind of) funny and refreshing and (maybe?) offer a more nuanced portrayal of masculinity and relationships than your typical run-of-the-mill network comedy. Maybe because I recognized some of the actors from The Office? I don't know. Well the joke's on me, because two episodes in I'm not finding much to love about this sexist snoozefest.
PETA has long been known for offensive, weirdly sexist, and lazy advertising. Their sexism-is-OK-because-it's-for-animals tactics are tired as can be, yet they seem determined to stay the course. Case in point: Their latest campaign revolves around the much-reported-on new TSA screenings, and it is chocked full of sexism, misinformation, and size discrimination (surprise! but not really). First, the video, which apparently PETA is lobbying to play at airports during the holiday travel season:
This week on Grey's Anatomy, we went from fire poles to therapeutic worms, and everywhere in between. Will the doctors of Seattle Grace successfully reassemble their lives after the shooting? Is Cristina seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? Is Lexie feeling the bite of a green-eyed monster? And is Dr. Avery a sleazebag or what?! Is Frances Conroy cool or what?!
All this and more after the jump with the Grand Rounds bloggers!
I spend a lot of time blogging complaints. Not enough women, too many but too insubstantial, why do they only talk to each other about men, etc., etc. This is a complaint commonly made about bloggers, and, hell, feminists, that they are too critical and don’t ever seem to see any good in anything.
But today I’ve something positive for you. The other night I was watching the Colbert Report and a small, good thing happened. Colbert was interviewing Aaron Sorkin, who, if you’ve been living in media blackout for the last six weeks, has out a new movie about Facebook called The Social Network. The movie being essentially about a tech startup, not a form of human organization known for its devotion to vagina-ocracy, there aren’t exactly strong female roles in it. This is not something I expect to be a common observation about the film, because at least as regards the gender of the main movers and shakers, the film is merely reporting the facts: they were men. So imagine my surprise when the one major issue Colbert stated about the movie was that its portrayal of women seemed flat. "The other ladies in the movie don’t have as much to say because they’re high or drunk or [beep]ing guys in the bathroom. Why are there no other women of any substance in the movie?" And then when Sorkin admits this is a fair question and terms the women "prizes," Colbert asks, "Are women at Harvard like that? I’m trying to figure out if I missed out on the college experience."
But I am writing to you today not to talk about lady business. Instead I want to talk about how we are both mixed race Southeast Asian high femme ladies, and you are the first mixed race Southeast Asian lady I have ever seen on American television (I am not counting Cassie because she had hardly a line in Step Up 2: The Streets). Your work at the Daily Show has made me feel sad, alone, and quite a bit like crying, despite the fact that I have a shriveled angry little anti-racist feminist heart, and it's rare that things on TV hurt my feelings anymore.
I'm not going to argue about whether or not you got where you got because the male-dominated worlds of gaming and comedy value women who are beautiful, over women who are competently funny, because that horse has been beat to death. And also, comedy is pretty subjective and obviously you have a lot of fans, so clearly there is an audience for your style.
What angers me about your comedy, Olivia Munn, is how it is built on gleeful collusion with misogyny and racism. If we're talking about the race stuff, unlike other comedians of colour (Katt Williams! Dave Chappelle! Russell Peters!) whose jokes—while hit or miss with the kyriarchy—rely on poking fun at white racism, your jokes generally rely on racist stereotypes about your own damn people, to get a laugh out of a racist white audience.
From his anti-Semitic attacks during his 2006 DUI arrest, his homophobic and sexist remarks in interviews, to his racist films, Mel Gibson has long deserved the honor of the Douchebag Decree. The latest allegations against Mel Gibson, though, just might push this super-douche into the hall of shame.