January 6, 2010 § Leave a comment
You may have heard the news that Amanda Simpson, a trans woman, was recently appointed by President Obama as a senior technical adviser to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security. The National Center for Transgender Equality points out:
“What is noteworthy about this appointment is not that a transgender person is serving this administration—many transgender people work for the federal government—the real story is that Amanda Simpson was selected based on her exemplary credentials and not because she is transgender,” commented Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “Countless transgender people are overlooked every day for jobs they can do very well. When an employer does not discriminate based on gender identity, they have access to more highly qualified people. That’s what happened here.”
So Simpson’s apppointment is certainly a milestone.
Now for the requisite media transphobia and transmisogyny hate cocktail in response, courtesy of David Letterman.
Letterman: Well here’s something interesting. President Obama has appointed a transgender person, a transgender person, her name is Amanda Simpson and he has appointed her to be part of the Commerce Department. We have a photo, here she is right there. Yeah, that’s Amanda Simpson, and she’s a transgender…
Alan Kalter: WHAT? AMANDA? Amanda used to be a dude? OH MY GOD! (Runs away)
Letterman: (Laughing. To someone offscreen) Will you talk to him later for me?
LOLZ! Because trans women love to trick cis guys into sleeping with them!! (Also — why are you calling attention to the photo, Dave? Want to have proof for the audience that she looks “like a woman”?)
Sign this petition demanding that Letterman apologize.
December 26, 2009 § 2 Comments
Here’s a little gem that just popped up in my news feed, courtesy of a new application called Sex Jokes for iPhone:
An escaped convict, imprisoned for 1st degree murder, had spent 25 years of his life sentence in prison. While on the run, he broke into a house and tied up a young couple who had been sleeping in the bedroom. He tied the man to a chair on one side of the room and his wife on the bed. He got on the bed right over the woman, and it appeared he was kissing her neck. Suddenly he got up and left the room. As soon as possible the husband made his way across the room to his bride, his chair in tow, and whispered, “Honey, this guy hasn’t seen a woman in years. I saw him kissing on your neck and then he left in a hurry. Just cooperate and do anything he wants. If he wants to have sex with you, just go along with it and pretend you like it. Whatever you do don’t fight him or make him mad. Our lives depend on it! Be strong and I love you.” After spitting out the gag in her mouth, the half naked wife says: “Dear, I’m so relieved you feel that way. You’re right, he hasn’t seen a woman in years, but he wasn’t kissing my neck…He was whispering in my ear. He said he thinks you’re really cute and asked if we kept the Vaseline in the bathroom. Be strong and I love you, too.”
Who could have possibly thought that this “sex” (read: rape) joke was a good idea? Oh, that’s right, disgusting hatemongers.
September 7, 2009 § 5 Comments
Via Shakesville, check out this heinous shirt from The Onion’s online store:
As SKM pointed out in her post, the text on the website reads “My Friend Went to Thailand and All I Got Was This Lousy Prostitute” — horrifying enough without looking at the text on the actual shirt, which reads “My Friend Went to Thailand and All I Got Was This Lousy Kidnapped Prostitute.”
My love affair with The Onion has been put on hold indefinitely.
July 24, 2009 § 4 Comments
It’s summer, and though I’m busy working my tail patience off as a camp counselor, I also have quite a bit of downtime. I’ve seen a bunch of movies lately: some silly ones with my family (The Proposal and Year One) as well as films that I actually wanted to see (Away We Go and, last night, 500 Days of Summer — both excellent, the latter mostly because of my enormous crush on Zooey Deschanel). But one movie that I’m certain I won’t spend $12.50 on is The Ugly Truth, starring part-time feminist Katherine Heigl as a “romantically challenged morning show producer” and Gerard Butler as a professional douche. I’ve seen some previews that warned me of its knee-slappin’ “humor,” and then this morning I read the excellently scathing New York Times review by Manohla Dargis, fabulously titled Girl Meets Ape, and Complications Ensue.
When it comes to the old straight-boy-meets-straight-girl configuration with big-studio production values…the romantic comedy is nearly as dead as Meg Ryan’s career. In the best of these films, the women aren’t romantic foils, much less equals: they’re either (nice) sluts or (nicer) wives, and essentially as mysterious and unknowable as the dark side of the moon.
Which leads to “The Ugly Truth,” a cynical, clumsy, aptly titled attempt to cross the female-oriented romantic comedy with the male-oriented gross-out comedy that is interesting on several levels, none having to do with cinema. Katherine Heigl plays Abby, a producer for a ratings-challenged Sacramento morning television show, the kind that specializes in empty smiles, cooking tips and weather updates. She’s single and therefore, in the moral economy of modern Hollywood, unhappy. Her life goes into a tailspin when her boss hires a professional ape, Mike (Gerard Butler), who delivers loutish maxims on camera about the sexes that basically all boil down to this: Men have penises, and women should accommodate them any which way they can, preferably in push-up bras and remote-controlled vibrating panties.
…Ms. Heigl doesn’t do perky all that persuasively, but she does keep her smile and relative dignity even in scenes in which Abby is forced to play the fool, which is often, as when she’s hanging upside down from a tree in her skivvies. She even survives the scene that finds Abby writhing spasmodically during a dinner with her corporate masters, because, well, she’s wearing those pulsating panties, the boy at the next table has the remote, and there’s nothing funnier (or, really, scarier) than the spectacle of female pleasure.
I am SO. TIRED. of media that portrays women’s minds as murky, our bodies as property, and our desires as hilarious. A woman’s sexuality is not so damn difficult to understand — if you talk to and listen to her, which society is apparently loath to do.
And another thing: no one seems to get that these movies are as offensive to men as they are to women. Commenters on IMDB rave that it’s a “comedy for both sexes,” one you can “bring your boyfriend” to. Men should not be like Butler’s skeevy character; and what’s more, they aren’t. But movies like this convince the public that guys are practically children, and we shouldn’t expect to hold them accountable for atrocious sexist behavior.
“The Ugly Truth” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian).
The language is consistently crude and includes the apparently now requisite antigay slurs.
Yeah. Because straight = manly, manly = asshole, and asshole = sexy.
May 13, 2009 § 2 Comments
I just read this community post over on feministing that really struck a cord with me. The author touches on the fact that rape has become a synonym for something hard in your life (e.g. “That test totally raped me.”) She says:
A major problem with telling rape jokes is the same as telling any other offensive jokes, you don’t know your audience. You can’t tell who has been raped just by looking. We don’t wear special signs or inform every acquaintance who crosses our path. Plus, there are plenty of allies who don’t find rape funny either. Rape is not a synonym for anything difficult in your life. I don’t feel the same when I fail a test or hit my funny bone, I don’t spend years recovering and healing from a tough exam. If you want to be hyperbolic about it, why not at least be original and find a way to express yourself that doesn’t bring down others?
I don’t know how often it has to be said before it finally sticks, but rape jokes are absolutely not funny.
Go read her full post!
April 17, 2009 § 2 Comments
SKM at Shakesville tips us off to what she aptly calls Perry’s “entitled white dude humor.” In this particular instance – an appearance on Letterman – it comes in two flavors: joking about stalking Lisa Kudrow, and joking that he can’t tell M. Night Shyamalan apart from all other Indian men. HAHAHA!
I worshipped every cast member of Friends throughout my childhood; I own all ten seasons and have been known to quote on command. I’m now aware that the rosy, whitewashed lives of the Central Perk crew are saturated with privilege, and that breaks young Miranda’s heart. Perry’s jokes only disappoint me further.