Random Girl With Internet Access

I believe I am what they call "bleeding heart"

Archive for the tag “women”

On the Niquab/ Face veil

In October ITV ran a series entitled “Britain’s niquab”, in which they dedicated multiple programs to discussing when and wear and to what degree (Muslim) women should be aloud to cover there faces. The face veil is beginning to boarder on a national obsession. With the multi culturists championing it as a human right, the jam and Jerusalem brigade worrying about those poor women but feeling you cant really talk about it, to the BNP/UKIP/ EDL lot convinced that it is nothing more than a means to hide stolen goods and IEDs; people seem to experience something of a delight when voicing their personal opinion on this particular article of clothing.

It’s a dilemma. My first reaction is that I would never dream of telling another woman how little or how much of her body to cover or uncover. After all its her face. If she wants to hide it from public view then she has very right to do so.  Imagine if someone told you that you were no longer aloud to cover your chest. That from hear on out wearing a t-shirt would result in a severe fine or prison sentence. Surely that’s precisely how this demand for Muslim women to uncover feels to them.

It could easily be viewed as colonialist orientalism that we would demand that Muslim women remove their veils. We often seem to argue that WE know weather or not these women are oppressed better than they do. It appears to follow the same Wight-man-save –brown-woman-from-brown-man plot that had been used as a slice of the justification many wars in recent history.  Do we really have the right to declare weather or not these women are oppressed, with little ore no input from the women themselves

But then again; Faces are important. We use them to identify one another. It is far easier to tell who someone is, how they feel about you, or what you are talking about, weather or not they are lying, and so on if you can see your conversation partners face.  And I can’t help but feel that all people have the right to feel the wind on there face and to see the word more clearly than can be done through a mesh covered opening. I also question how free a decision truly is when you have been told by authority figures in your life that you will burn in hell if you don not cover your face

Then again will banning this as France has done eliminate the underlying prejudice that prompts the demand for this covering? Or will it simply alienate these women further? After all if these women are being brutally oppressed by there fathers, husbands and brothers, then what’s to stop these men simply preventing these women from leaving the house following a ban on the veil.

And what about other people who want to cover their faces? Protesters? Trick-or-treeters? These women arnt the first people in history to want the anonymity offered by a face covering.

Whilst there are times and places when viewing someone’s face is necessary and it is possible to do this with both sensitivity and security in mind, for example having a woman remove her veil with a female member of border control in private. And so yes, predictably I am with the multi culturists on this one.

No – One is Taking Away Your Free speech

I try my best to be politically correct. I think carefully about what term I am going to use if I need to describe somebody’s race. I use the pronouns requested by transgendered people. I don’t use “gay” or “retarded” as insults. It’s not because I’m terrified of offending people. It’s because I don’t want to. People seem to be up against Political correctness. Of course I go against it from time to time, such as when a religion is being harmful or cult like (eyes are on you catholic church) I will insult that religion to my hearts content. Political Incorrectness should not be something we are afraid of. Here’s the good thing…no one actually is.

What I don’t understand is why I can hardly consume a weeks worth of media and conversation without hearing at least one person rant about how they are having their rights taken away, how political correctness is a threat to free speech and how this is exactly like, Nazi Germany/ Soviet Russia/ North Korea/ an Orwell Novel. Look, hears a clue if you can claim that your country is like any of those, with out any fear of being arrested  shot, or censored, then it most certainly isn’t. When was the last time you actually saw some one get banned from the telly for being non-PC? Oh right- never.

I don’t get why some people are so desperate for an end to political correctness. Are they just dying for a world in which people can use the N- word and make jokes about rape without being criticized at all?

Yes if some one is offensive there is backlash, criticism is a part of free speech. The listeners are now exercising their free speech, just as Mr. Non-PC was doing when he was being an offensive so and so. Some of them may say that he ought be banned from the telly, it is very, very, very unlikely this will happen. Why? Because it is completely risk free to say that this country is like Nazi Germany. Which means that it isn’t.

Another annoying habit of the anti political correctness brigade is the pathetic assumption that any LGBT character, any minority actor, any disabled character is their solely for the reason of making the show more PC, in order to protect it from the evil communist fascism of political correctness. This is where the fact that they are in fact prejudiced idiots is revealed. Does it not cross their minds that a non- white actor may in fact also be a good actor. Because according to them the only reason this person could possibly have made the cut is because of political correctness.

And now Michal Gove, the half-wit currently running our education system is planning on removing Mary Seacole form the national curriculum. The only black person not connected to slavery or civil rights on the British National Curriculum. My hypothesis is this is somewhat to do with the negative feeling towards political correctness in our country. GOD FORBID WE HAVE SOMETHING POLITICLY CORRECT ON OUR CURRICULUM  But its like the TV thing, its nothing to do with political correctness. She was important in the Crimean war and she deserves to be held in as high esteem as Florence Nightingale. She would have been long ago if she wasn’t black. You can sign the petition to keep her on the curriculum here: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/michael-gove-secretary-of-state-for-education-keep-mary-seacole-on-the-national-curriculum

If this article annoyed you – chances are you are the reason I wrote it. I hope you know that I am not demanding that you be politically correct. I am asking that you stop pretending that anyone is. Oh and I would also appreciate it if you stopped trying to make fetch happen with the whole “discrimination is now against heterosexual, wealthy WASP men” thing. Because that is beyond annoying and stupid.

UPDATE: the petition was succsessful MAry Seacole was not only kept on the curriculum but was moved from optional to compulsory learning. Happy times.

Review of “Feminist Frequency”

Review of Feminist Frequency’s Youtube Videos

 

Anita Sarkeesian , host of “feminist frequency”, a web series on YouTube analysing the representation of gender in TV and film, recently gained allot of attention after she announced that she was planning on making a series of videos analysing the role of women in videogames. She has always had a love- hate relationship with the people of the Internet, but her enemies found this idea particularly unacceptable. She was subject to a mass hate campaign, which she described as a “cyber mob”. She was sent multiple threats of death and rape as well as videos showing her likeness being raped by videogame characters. However her friends responded by donating far in excess of her requested amount to her indie-go-go campaign.  The series of videos will now be far in excess of what was originally planned. She talks about her experience hear (http://www.upworthy.com/a-bunch-of-sad-insecure-dudes-attacked-a-woman-and-everyone-got-what-they-deserv ) however I am going to write about her videos that are already out there. All the videos I discuss will be referenced at the bottom of the article.

I personally enjoy her videos. Not enough people recognise how the common themes in our literature, drama and other arts reflect how our society thinks about certain ideas or groups of people. Sarkeesian, whilst I do often disagree with her, gets people thinking about this. I am so tired of the “its just a story” line in response to my concerns about things like abusive relationship patterns shown in twilight being romanticized. She displays this best in the “tropes vs. women” series and I hope her “tropes vs. women videogames” series will be just as interesting.

I was shocked when she applied the Bechdel test to all the Oscar nominees with disastrous results. I had never heard of the Bechdel test before and I am thankful for her introducing it to me.I am not sure about her idea of adding a “60 second” rule to the test, as it would remove the “lowest common denominator” element from the test. The best thing about the Bechdel test is that no one can claim that with the Bechdel test you are being petty or nit picking, its really the least you could ask for.

I also enjoyed her analysis of advertising to children Sometimes I feel like I am the only person in the world who notices not only the disgustingly gendered nature of advertising to children but also the lack of ambition, which is advertised to young girls. Sarkeesian points this out in a blunt no nonsense fashion. I agree with her almost entirely on this point. Companies advertise in a nature that encourages girls to be nurturing and boys to be ambitious offering almost nothing in the opposite direction. I am glad someone with as wide an audience as Sarkeesian is pointing this out, even if many of her viewers are just their simply to make comments like “make me a sandwich bitch” and “tits of gtfo” (Sarkeesian however is impressively effective at removing these and blocking all comments if they get out of hand)

I am not without my reservations with Sarkeesians videos. She has often been accused of “problem hunting” something which I definitely think where evident in her analysis of True Grit and a photo-shoot of the glee cast (I must mention, however that I have never seen true grit). It often seems that she either has a problem that women are being shown in a traditional gender roles or that they’re strength comes from being “like men”. In the latter situation “problem hunting” is definitely evident in my opinion.

She also seems to struggle with complex morality, some thing I am in love with. Whenever a “bad” entity is shown to have “good” qualities she accuses the artists making the film or TV show as endorsing the “bad qualities”. This was particularly evident in her analysis of “the doll house” (I must mention here that I have never seen the doll house). She also seemed to demand allot of transparency from “the doll house” by saying that they “haven’t discussed weather or not this is rape”. It seems to me that it is being discussed simply by the doll house’s presence. This also seemed to translate into one of her tropes vs. women videos in which she discussed “mystical pregnancies” which she believes “reduces women to their biological functions” whilst this can be true, she fails to mention the incidences in which the hi-jacking of women’s bodies is shown as distressing, with a little tweaking this trope could be made into an interesting commentary on women reproductive rights.

Overall I think that whilst feminist frequency appears to have very black and white view of the world and a small dose of ‘never enough’ syndrome (the only media I have ever seen her satisfied with was the first book and film of the hunger games, the first two series of veronica mars, and a terminator spin off- this is since 2009), I appreciate her analysis and I think she brings some important problems to the fore. I would also like to point out that whilst, should you find Sarkeesian a pain, you are entitled to whatever opinion you want, there is NO EXUCUSE for the level of harassment she has received.

Tropes VS Women By Feminist Frequency:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqJUxqkcnKA&list=PLBBDFEC9F5893C4AF&index=1

Feminist Frequency on The Oscars and The Bechdel Test:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH8JuizIXw8

Feminist Frequency on Toy Ads and Gender

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZn_lJoN6PI

Feminist Frequency on “true grit”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbiP3wxImAY

Feminist Frequency on Glee Photo Shoot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX5IXYoPzDA

Feminist Frequency on “The Doll House”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvDg8VeGWJs

Feminist Frequency on “mystical pregnancies”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rhH_QGXtgQ

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