« February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »

March 17, 2007

Can plastic surgery build self-esteem?

womst.jpg

I found this colllage by Lisa Kendall called, "Under the Skin,"on this site while researching feminist ideas of pro-plastic surgery and those who are against it: http://www.womst.ucsb.edu/projects/gendertech/Lisa.html

Can plastic surgery build self-esteem?

"Historically, procedures like breast implants, tummy tucks, and nose jobs were performed rarely, if ever by surgeons and were considered elective procedures. Looking at the airwaves today, however, it is obvious that cosmetic surgery is much more popular thanks to shows like “I Want a Famous Face� and “Extreme Makeover�. In the past, controversies have erupted over the safety and accessibility of cosmetic surgery, however today it is more common for celebrities and those with access to the technologies to have cosmetic surgery than not; some might even say that the same is becoming true for the average woman. The pressure to undergo plastic surgery seems to weigh much heavier on women than men, which leads many feminists to believe that cosmetic surgery is actually anti-feminist, because, they claim, it feeds into the patriarchal standards of beauty which seem to govern America. I, however, argue that cosmetic surgery is not inherently anti-feminist, but rather, can be if undergone for the wrong reasons. I believe that we as a society need to remember that cosmetic surgery is an enhancement, not a requirement, and that it’s still okay to be a natural woman."

This collage makes me think:
* If a man or woman wants to get plastic surgery, then okay. It is personal decision and if it makes you feel better about yourself than okay, go for it.
* I just don't think it is appropriate that everyone else should be judged against a body that is professionaly sculpted and chiseled...that isn't fair
* I do agree with Lisa's statement society does need to remember that cosemetic surgery is just an enhancement, and that we shouldn't think it is required - soon we will live in a world where everyone who can afford to get surgery, will get it.
* I wonder if I would ever get plastic surgery? I guess I don't see anything morally wrong or unethical about it. I can understand why some feminists are against plastic surgery and cosmetics and such because it does set up a high standard that is almost impossible to achieve naturally...I still wear makeup and I do it for me, not for anyone else...
* No matter what choice one makes: It is a personal choice and no one has the right to judge someone else

Dear Rosie O'Donnell,


This video/article/letter/etc… makes me think...
* This open letter is so beautiful and so intelligently done
* I know Rosie didn’t mean to offend anyone, but I am glad that she still took responsibility for her words and that she didn’t hide behind her PR…
* Ching Chong? What was she thinking? Even if she doesn’t care to be politically correct, she still should know better
* I love the Beau is being so strong and so passionate in this open letter,
* I know we all make mistakes, I know I do. But I do appreciate being forgiven and explained to why what I said was wrong. It is often really hard to not fall into being defensive and make excuses for what I did or what I said rather than to just own up to what I said and say, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.�
* I am surprised that this stereotype came from Rosie, a so-called and self-identified progressive liberal, who apparently thinks Asian stereotypes are funny….Oh, well…at least she apologized and admitted to what she did.

Are you becoming too gringo?

This video makes me think...
* Gringo: What does that mean in the context of this video…Maybe White? Are you becoming too White?
* Does the rest of the world no longer exist for you? LoL. Oh, kind of applicable to some people I know though – Everything, they think revolves around the USA and American Citizens and English as a universal language.
* If you know things about two countries you are apparently set for life! Oh, and Americans only knows things about one country – America! D’oh!
* What the hell is that guy wearing? That sweater is so tacky!
* I find this video funny but still kind of offensive

March 14, 2007

"...at an impasse..."

* What a bitch! She makes me so mad! And she is so confident about her slur usage, it pisses me off!
* She looks like she is so fucking pleased with herself, I could slap her!
* I think she just says what she says to get attention, I am angry that she used the word 'faggot,' but even more angry at her self-confident childish ass!
* Hey! Her stupid crazy comments are assuring the Democrats of winning in 2008, I mean, if this doesn't what else will? She is making like P.Diddy in 'Rock The Vote' and really just ruining the chances for the side she is actually fighiing for.
* Political correctness does stifle authentic speech and a safe space, but only if those two things have created and it is understood that, that is what it is
* Even if she didn't mean any harm by her childish attitude, she still hurt and offended people, it isn't the intent we need to focus on, or else we are just victimizing the aggressor...which is not what is suppposed to happen.
* I hate Fox news, their coverage of this incident is so biased and one-sided, if I were to only watch them, I would totally be brainwashed
* So Ann says that her use of the word was to invoke a school yard taunt....hmmn...since when is she 12 years old and since when is the Republican convention a school yard? GRRR!
* How is faggot NOT offensive to Gay people? Ann makes me ashamed to be a woman almost, she sets us back hundreds of years...and it doesn't help that she is blonde - people will immediately fall back on the dumb blond jokes.
* So is Ann saying that he is a 'pussy' or a 'girlie-man?' if she is not calling him derogatory word? It still think it's wrong...the word doesn't really hold a lot of meaning for me because I am heterosexual, but I feel for my gay friends. She used the word inappropriately, in a professional arena and wasn't professional at all. It isn't the word really to me, it's how she said it and where she said it - that is what makes me mad!

Barack Obama is not Black...?

Debra J. Dickerson says in her article that "Barack Obama would be the great black hope in the next presidential race -- if he were actually black."

This video and article makes me think...
* I love how Colbert says he would only be a racist, if he were White!
* about White self-congratulation: So true! many [White] people will leave the voting polls thinking, 'hey! I just voted for a Black person - I am not a racist!'
* love how Colbert doesn't see race, and that he is "colorblind." I can't wait until I we can all get passed "this race thing" and look at people at the content of the character and not looking at the color of their skin. Ha.
* about street credibility and why that stumps Dickinson and why she doesn't use more in the air-time to explain her reasoning for not being as accepting to a fellow person of color
* I don't know who I will really vote for, the woman or the person of color

The Sky Is The Limit...

Nancy_Pelosi.jpg


"This is an historic moment -- and I thank the leader for acknowledging it. I think you Leader Boehner. It is an historic moment for the Congress, and an historic moment for the women of this country. It is a moment for which we have waited over 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren't just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters, the sky is the limit, anything is possible for them."
-Nancy Pelosi

I honestly cried when Nancy said that the marble ceiling was broken - I really wanted to believe her. I hope to see that the ceiling has been destroyed completely. I am so proud of Nancy and I realize that this post is so late, considering when this speech was made, but it has been on my-to-post list since the day she was sworn in. I think her entire speech was so inspirational and just lovely. I look forward to see what Nancy does in the coming term and I really hope that her being in that position will really stir things up a bit and move this country forward. Now if we can try to get a female president, that would be nice.

Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It...

“Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It� by John Petroski

Most people today would claim that rape is a terrible crime almost akin to murder, but I strongly disagree. Far from a vile act, rape is a magical experience that benifits society as a whole. I realize many of you will disagree with this thesis, but lend me your ears and I’m sure I’ll sway you towards a darkened alley.

If it weren’t for rape, Western Civilization might not exist as we know it today. When the Romans were faced with a disproportionate ratio of women to men in the early kingdom, they had to do something, lest their flidgling society die for lack of sons. To solve their little dilemma, they did what any reasonable man would do: they threw a festival for their Sabine neighbors, and then stole and raped their women. It’s quite logical; in fact I don’t understand why the settlers at Plymoth didn’t do the same to the local Indians–it certainly would have saved on shipping costs.

Obviously, in the case of the Rape of the Sabines, rape was a tremendous help to society. The Sabine women, for their part, didn’t seem to mind so much, as they threw themselves between their brutish old Sabine husbands and their charming new Roman ones to prevent bloodshed when the Sabine men came to reclaim their wives. Yet even when society was totally against a rape, the raunchy act has benifited society too. Where would the Romans be, after all, if it weren’t for the Rape of the Lucretia infuriating the people to the point of overthrowing their last king, Lucius Tarpuinius Superbus? If it weren’t for that event, the world might have never had the Roman Republic for a pristine example of a flawless government.

Rapes glorious advantages are not, however, exclusively found from 2,000 year old examples. In actuality rape advantages can very much be seen today. Take ugly women for example. If it weren’t for rape, how would they ever know the joys of intercourse with a man who isn’t drunk? In a society as plastic-conscious as our own, are we really to believe that some man would ever sleep with a girl resembling a wildebeest if he didn’t have a few schnapps in him? Of course he wouldn’t–at least no self-respecting man would–but there in lies the beauty of rape. No self respecting man would rape in the first place, so ugly women are guaranteed a romp with not only a sober man, but a bad boy too; and we all know how much ladies like the bad boy.

Ugly women are not, however, the only people who benefit from rape–prisoners enjoy as many perks too. What, after all, could be possibly be more boring than spending years of your life confined to some tiny cell 23 hours a day? The answer, of course, is spending years of your life confined to some tiny cell 23 hours a day and never getting some hot action. With rape, prisoners never have to worry about that. Instead, they merely need worry about treating their rapist with enough love and respect to earn a quick reach-around.

But if there is one bread and butter reason for why rape should not only be accepted, but even endorsed, it is because our news editors are in dire need of interesting stories for our front page. Bookstore stories? Fossils? One dollar coins? Please. Now, some saucy circle-jerk rape

I first came across this article in my Intro to Women Studies class and I was infuriated at the author of this article and just saddened by his ignorance and proclaimed naivety. In interviews with the press John said that he never meant to hurt anyone that he honestly thought that his satirical piece, which was printed alongside other regular opinion pieces, wouldn’t be insensitive at all.

I cannot believe the extent he went to in order to research this supposed satirical piece! I find it ironic that a heterosexual White male would write so ignorantly about the dangers of rape, I would never even write an article like this, even for satire. I guess I don’t understand his ultimate goal for this article. What is he poking fun at? Women who yell rape when they are raped? I don’t get it. There isn’t really a motive behind his writing this insensitive and ignorant piece. Who said that every single session of sex / intercourse with a man is joyful? Bah humbug! I say to John! He pokes fun at ugly and fat women, never saying anything about ugly or fat man that are always much more accepted in our society.

Why is that there is a double-standard for men and women? I also love how he pokes fun at women prisoners who long for nice session of hot steamy sex to break up the monotonous day of doing nothing in a cell for long periods of a time. They shouldn’t definitely worry about STI’s or HIV or violent abuse…nope, as long as they are getting the lucky chance of getting penetrated… hey, a win-win situation! I am glad that the author of this article was demoted, but I wonder what would have happened if the author were a woman or a person of color? Would s/he been fired?

micuerpo.jpg

Pro-War!?

One day I came across a pro-war group while browsing Facebook. I was intrigued and decided to investigate further, and upon doing so, I came across these three images that stood out ot me the most.

n10006770_34036874_9905.jpg
* Did the creator of this image purposefully mis-spell Koran and force and mis-use resort? I guess I didn't appreciate this image at all. I do support "our men and women" over in the Middle East but there needs to be a point in time where "some people" realize that the majority of Afgan / Iranian / Pakistani / Egyptian soldiers are just fighting to protect their country as well.

n10006770_34036875_158.jpg
*Where in the Koran does it say that women are forbidden from receiving an education? I think this is a big indicator of the strong impact that the misuse of culture plus religion that has infiltrated our society. I won't deny that some Muslims have misused Islam to perpetuate their oppressive culture and some people of Arab descent have termed some cultural habits as religious rules...it's annoying! It has caused so much confusion and stereotypes that really hurt everyone!

n10006770_34036876_402.jpg
* Yay! I love the exotification of my culture! This picture is SO accurate, because you know Afgani people travel via magic carpet ALL the time! So this picture is so accurate in it's portrayal of the US military forces versus the Middle East armies - It's unfair, is what it is!

Drama

Drama by R. M. 7:38pm Saturday, Mar 3 2007

"Drama. It can mean passion, anger, confusion, and pain. It can be a club at school or a frustrating situation. I am choosing to address the type of drama that people experience negatively on a daily basis.

I think we can agree that a good amount of drama is instigated by those who are females. Although many females will admit this, I expect backlash from those who are too drama-oriented to accept the truth.

I have met many different types of women. There are those who can be around guys and just fit in, not seeking to be the center of attention or any attention at all. Then there is the polar opposite, the girl who takes everything you say the wrong way, twists it around and uses her limited, but well practiced, vocabulary to make your head spin.

I decided to make an equation for all of those guys out there are sick of dramatic women. Look at any girl, and run her through this:

C(M)=x

First, you evaluate how much clothing the girl is wearing. The less, the higher value C will be. Rate it on a level of 1-10. If she's wearing jeans and a tee, give her a 2-3 depending on how tight the jeans and tee are. If there is belly showing, add a point. If she's wearing a mini skirt and halter top, give her at least an 8.

Second, you evaluate how much makeup the girl is wearing. This is tricky because select few women are makeup artists, but they will be thinned out because they usually wear a decent amount of clothing. If the girl is wearing a little foundation and discrete eye-liner, give her a 1-2. If she looks like a stripper (as many girls do these days) she deserves a 9 or 10.

Run these numbers through the equation, and if the girl scores more than 70, stay clear. She will only bring confusion and anger to your life."

I wrote the following to the author (R.M.) who is actually a close friend of mine. Obviously, we don't see eye-to-eye on everything and as usual, I decided to add to the drama in his life by contributing my two-cents to his post and commenting on the other poster's thoughts.

*So the perfect woman for you would actually be a girl, (because you do use the word that refers to a young female) who doesn't call attention to herself at all and doesn't speak much? Why is her vocabulary limited? How is it well-practiced? A lot of women are silenced in and out of their home. Should this woman be repentant because she uses words that make your head spin? Whose fault is that? Sounds like a personal problem to me...

* Also, I am not sure what I think of your equation, only that it further proves my point that men are oppressive of women. Men size women up all day long and judge us from what we wear how we dress, even though we are really only trying to fit in with the standards set by, guess who? MEN! See the schism we are in? We are either the cock-tease virgin or the vamp slut...Just can't please anyone! Oh, and for the women who judge other women - that is a direct result of internalized oppression because we are so used to being judged by men that we have used the same standards on each other, which is admittedly detrimental in so many ways. Feminists are not calling for more rights or the extermination of men - we (men and women who call themselves feminists) just want EQUAL rights...which we still don't have by the way.

P.S. Social injustice = the consequence of White, heterosexual men having power systematically and institutionally.
I cannot take things like social injustice "lightly." Saying that "people should take things lightly" is like saying, women should get over not being heard or considered in important decisions that involve us every day. Feminists aren't about making white people, men, and heterosexuals feel guilty at all. We just want you to be aware of your privilege. Oh, and for clarification...that Adam and Even shit does not fly here with me. I (Eve) didn't cause any man (Adam) to do anything he did not want to do - there is always a choice...I just hate when people use the Bible as a crutch and revert back to it so quickly.

Drama (noun): any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results -or -composition in prose or verse presenting in dialogue or pantomime a story involving conflict or contrast of character.

Key word: Emotional - tends to be used when referencing woman only...I wonder why? We could go into all the ways in which some things are masculine and feminine but that would be a whole other topic

EFBQ.gif

Caravaggio's "Judith Beheading Holofernes"

caravaggio.jpg

"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Caravaggio

When I was quite young I came across this painting of the prophetess who, according the story I read, used her gender to trick a malevolent general into thinking that she was harmless. Judith got the general drunk off wine and then while he slept peacefully, severed his head from his body with a razor-sharp sword. I later came across this portrait at the Minneapolis Institute of Art some years ago and was reminded that the painting was so intriguing to me. I hadn't really seen such a forceful and strong depiction of a woman at such a young age before...it wasn't that I found the part of the painting where she kills the evil man interesting, it was the look on her face, that look of determined and summoned strength, and the act itself of murder, almost a justified murder...was it? Hmm... I thought it was so peculiar that this painting would stick in my memory and come back years later. It's like a long lost existentialist-type memory...or maybe this is all bullshit. Well, that's neither here, not there I guess. I just admire the woman's courage and her ability to draw the needed strength out of the necessity of saving her people. It's kind of a morbid and dark painting, but I rather like it.

I found the following analysis of the painting interesting so I have included it here:

"A whole book in the Bible is devoted to Judith, because as a woman she embodies the power of the people of Israel to defeat the enemy, though superior in numbers, by means of cunning and courage. She seeks out Holofernes in his tent, makes him drunk, then beheads him. The sight of their commander's bloodstained head on the battlements of Bethulia puts the enemy to flight.

In the painting, Judith comes in with her maid - surprisingly and menacingly - from the right, against the direction of reading the picture. The general is lying naked on a white sheet. Paradoxically, his bed is distinguished by a magnificent red curtain, whose colour crowns the act of murder as well as the heroine's triumph.

The first instance in which Caravaggio would chose such a highly dramatic subject, the Judith is an expression of an allegorical-moral contest in which Virtue overcomes Evil. In contrast to the elegant and distant beauty of the vexed Judith, the ferocity of the scene is concentrated in the inhuman scream and the body spasm of the giant Holofernes. Caravaggio has managed to render, with exceptional efficacy, the most dreaded moment in a man's life: the passage from life to death. The upturned eyes of Holofernes indicate that he is not alive any more, yet signs of life still persist in the screaming mouth, the contracting body and the hand that still grips at the bed. The original bare breasts of Judith, which suggest that she has just left the bed, were later covered by the semi-transparent blouse.

The roughness of the details and the realistic precision with which the horrific decapitation is rendered (correct down to the tiniest details of anatomy and physiology) has led to the hypothesis that the painting was inspired by two highly publicized contemporary Roman executions; that of Giordano Bruno and above all of Beatrice Cenci in 1599."

March 13, 2007

Prussian Blue: The Olsen Twins of the White Nationalist Movement

img alt="prussian_blue2.jpg" src="http://blog.lib.umn.edu/khanx089/mediajournal/prussian_blue2.jpg" width="300" height="300" />

prussian-blue-brats.jpg

So these two blond-hair, blue eyed girls: Lamb and Lynx Gaede sound like the most naive and sad little girls ever! They are brainwashed by their mother, who exercises her right to teach her daughters at home, by instructing them that the holocaust didn't actually happen and that the best thing they can sing about is keeping their race pure. I love how they identify with the Nazi swastika, when the original use of a swastika dates back to being used by people of color – Indians, American Indians, Mayans, etc… I looked up their lyrics and some of their music videos and found a lot of odd little underlying characteristics that I wasn’t expecting. They epitomize all things beautiful, in varying shades of white and use darker colors and blackness to symbolize evil and malevolent. Ironically, their voices don’t match their angelic faces; their voices sound like grating nails on a steel board. Maybe it was that I have a general disdain for the meaning behind their music or I am apprehensive about what it is that these young ladies will do when they “enter the real world� and realize that the world, really isn’t the place they were brought up to think it was. I just didn’t like their music, their lyrics, their voices, or their mother...but hey, who said this little review was supposed to be objective? :-)

ABC News: Young Singers Spread Hate
(http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=1231684&page=1)

Thirteen-year-old twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede have one album out, another on the way, a music video, and lots of fans. They may remind you of another famous pair of singers, the Olsen Twins, and the girls say they like that. But unlike the Olsens, who built a media empire on their fun-loving, squeaky-clean image, Lamb and Lynx are cultivating a much darker personna. They are white nationalists and use their talents to preach a message of hate. Known as "Prussian Blue" — a nod to their German heritage and bright blue eyes — the girls from Bakersfield, Calif., have been performing songs about white nationalism before all-white crowds since they were nine. "We're proud of being white, we want to keep being white," said Lynx. "We want our people to stay white … we don't want to just be, you know, a big muddle. We just want to preserve our race." Lynx and Lamb have been nurtured on racist beliefs since birth by their mother April. "They need to have the background to understand why certain things are happening," said April, a stay-at-home mom who no longer lives with the twins' father. "I'm going to give them, give them my opinion just like any, any parent would." April home-schools the girls, teaching them her own unique perspective on everything from current to historical events. In addition, April's father surrounds the family with symbols of his beliefs — specifically the Nazi swastika. It appears on his belt buckle, on the side of his pick-up truck and he's even registered it as his cattle brand with the Bureau of Livestock Identification. "Because it's provocative," explains April of the cattle brand, "to him he thinks it's important as a symbol of freedom of speech that he can use it as his cattle brand."

Teaching Hate

Songs like "Sacrifice" — a tribute to Nazi Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy Fuhrer — clearly show the effect of the girls' upbringing. The lyrics praise Hess as a "man of peace who wouldn't give up." "It really breaks my heart to see those two girls spewing out that kind of garbage," said Ted Shaw, civil rights advocate and president of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund — though Shaw points out that the girls aren't espousing their own opinions but ones they're being taught. On that point, April Gaede and Ted Shaw apparently agree. "Well, all children pretty much espouse their parents' attitudes," she said. "We're white nationalists and of course that's a part of our life and I'm going to share that part of my life with my children." Since they began singing, the girls have become such a force in the white nationalist movement, that David Duke — the former presidential candidate, one-time Ku-Klux-Klan grand wizard and outspoken white supremacist — uses the twins to draw a crowd. Prussian Blue supporter Erich Gliebe, operator of one of the nation's most notorious hate music labels, Resistance Records, hopes younger performers like Lynx and Lamb will help expand the base of the White Nationalist cause. "Eleven and 12 years old," he said, "I think that's the perfect age to start grooming kids and instill in them a strong racial identity." Gliebe, who targets young, mainstream white rockers at music festivals like this past summer's "Ozzfest," says he uses music to get his message out. But with names like Blue-Eyed Devils and Angry Aryans, these tunes are far more extreme than the ones sung by Lamb and Lynx. "We give them a CD, we give them something as simple as a stick, they can go to our Web site and see other music and download some of our music," said Gliebe. "To me, that's the best propaganda tool for our youth."

A Taste for Hate

Gliebe says he hopes that as younger racist listeners mature, so will their tastes for harder, angrier music like that of Shawn Sugg of Max Resist. One of Sugg's songs is a fantasy piece about a possible future racial war that goes: "Let the cities burn, let the streets run red, if you ain't white you'll be dead." "I'd like to compare it to gangsta rap," explained Sugg, "where they glorify, you know, shooting n****** and pimping whores." Sugg shrugs off criticism that music like his should not be handed out to schoolyard children, arguing that "it's just music, it's not like you're handing out AK-47s." Perhaps not, but Shaw says it's the ideas in the music that are dangerous. "When you talk about people being dead if they're not white," said Shaw, "I don't think there is much question that that is hateful."

A Place to Call Home

Despite the success of Prussian Blue and bands like Max Resist within the White Nationalism movement, most Americans don't accept their racist message. Like many children across the country, Lamb and Lynx decided to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina — the white ones. The girls' donations were handed out by a White Nationalist organization who also left a pamphlet promoting their group and beliefs — some of the intended recipients were more than a little displeased. After a day of trying, the supplies ended up with few takers, dumped at a local shop that sells Confederate memorabilia. Last month, the girls were scheduled to perform at the local county fair in their hometown. But when some people in the community protested, Prussian Blue was removed from the line-up. But even before that, April had decided that Bakersfield was not "white" enough, so she sold her home, and hopes that she and the girls can find an all-white community in the Pacific Northwest.