This weekend will see the takeoff of Robert Zemeckis's new movie, Flight, which stars Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, and John Goodman. Washington plays a pretty conflicted character: Whip, a star pilot who also happens to be an alcoholic with a cocaine problem. He parties hard with one of his flight attendants before going up in the air one morning, and of course, shit gets unfortunately real with a crash landing. He's a hero for a minute, but that all changes wtih the investigation into the emergency landing.
It's a great performance from Washington, but, as with nearly all Hollywood products, it toes the line on negative racial stereotypes: in this case, the black substance abuser and absent father. In the name of Sydney Poitier, these challenging roles have got to be out there for people of color. But how do we determine if a movie is actually doing justice to its representation of members of a marginalized group? I'm going to share a few rules I've developed to help explain whether or not a character is more than just a stereotype.
In my last post, I took a look at the book Asperger's and Girls, a collection of essays that attempt to address the needs and concerns about girls with Asperger syndrome. I found the book to be a disappointment overall, but one chapter in particular stands out as especially heinous. In "Girl to Girl: Advice on Friendship, Bullying, and Fitting In," Lisa Iland, a non-autistic young woman with a sibling on the spectrum, dishes out "practical advice on dealing with the 'popularity hierarchy' and 'levels of relationship'; how to make yourself likeable; using MTV to your advantage; combating bullies; the positive role of gossip; and more."
Wait, MTV? Really? This book was published in 2006. Although it's true: when I read this chapter to myself I can't help but hear Quinn Morgendorffer's voice in my head.
Regular readers of Bitch know by now that Glee, while addictive and entertaining (if you try and tell me you didn't make a heroic attempt at recreating the choreography from "Safety Dance" alone in your room, I'm going to straight up call you a liar), is imperfect. This week's episode, which tackled religious belief (or the lack thereof), was no different.
I guess I should have seen it crouching in the corners of the workshop. It lurked in a chat I had with another woman about my recent post on Trojan Magnums and its trading on the Big Black Penis stereotype...
How do you keep female nurses working in low-playing jobs without improving their wages or conditions? Offer them breast implants, apparently. The New York Times reported on Sunday that hospitals in Prague lure nurses to renew their contracts by offering complimentary breast implants, liposuction and tummy tucks.
"I feel better when I look in the mirror," explains one nurse, Petra Kalivodova. "We were always taught that if a nurse is nice, intelligent, loves her work and looks attractive, then patients will recover faster."
It’s gross that the global nursing shortage has led to this end in Prague. Hospitals have trouble recruiting nurses because the mostly-female occupation has a bad rap: nurses in the country earn less than bus drivers and movies and other media have built up this idea that nurses must be sexy – that being attractive is actually an essential part of patients’ healing.
Nursing is one of the few careers in science and healthcare that’s dominated by women. And now hospitals are reinforcing retro sexy-nurse stereotypes by offering breast implants instead of wage increases?
British scientists have uncovered the truth behind one of modern culture’s greatest mysteries: why little girls play with pink toys. Is it because toy companies flood whole store aisles with the color? Or because well-meaning relatives shower girl babies with pink blankets and clothing? Nope. According to the men in lab coats, it’s purely biological.