Tag Archives | Feminism

Swedish Movie Theaters To Display Films’ Gender Equality Rating

theaters

This is probably more helpful than the current MPAA rating system in use here. Via the Washington Post:

Four Swedish movie theaters touched off a heated debate across Stockholm last month — and in the English-language media this morning — with the announcement that they plan to begin publicly labeling films that pass the so-called “Bechdel test.” The metric gauges whether a film meets a bare minimum standard for developed female characters.

Promoters are encouraging theaters to stamp its “A” logo on the movie posters and pre-roll screens of any film that (1) has at least two female characters who (2) talk to each other (3) about something other than men. A surprisingly high proportion of films fail this test.

In the weeks since, it has been covered in a dozen newspaper columns and earning the endorsements of Equalisters, Women in Television and Film and a popular cable movie channel and, controversially, the blessing of Anna Serner, who presides over Sweden’s state-funded film institute.

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How Feminism Was Co-Opted By Capitalism

LandscapeVia the Guardian, Nancy Fraser on reclaiming the ideals of feminism that have been co-opted by the dominant economic system:

As a feminist, I’ve always assumed that by fighting to emancipate women I was building a better world – more egalitarian, just and free. But lately I’ve begun to worry that our critique of sexism is now supplying the justification for new forms of inequality and exploitation.

Feminist ideas that once formed part of a radical worldview are increasingly expressed in individualist terms. Where feminists once criticised a society that promoted careerism, they now advise women to “lean in”. A movement that once prioritised social solidarity now celebrates female entrepreneurs. A perspective that once valorised “care” and interdependence now encourages individual advancement and meritocracy.

What lies behind this shift is a sea-change in the character of capitalism. The state-managed capitalism of the postwar era has given way to a new form of capitalism – “disorganised”, globalising, neoliberal.

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Republicans Now Seeking To Prevent Women From Voting

votersIt’s no longer just about minorities, the poor, and college students; introducing the next target for disenfranchisement. The New Civil Rights Movement notes that Republicans in Texas (and a number of other states) have now devised and passed new voter ID laws that will render a large fraction of female voters, but not male voters, ineligible to vote:

As of November 5, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name. Only 66% of voting age women have ready access to a photo document that will attest to proof of citizenship. This is largely because women have not updated their documents with their married names. Suddenly 34% of women voters are scrambling for an acceptable ID, while 99% of men are home free.

A birth certificate is not enough. Women voters will have to show legal proof of a name change: a marriage license, a divorce decree, or court ordered change; and they have to be the original documents.

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How Suppression Led to Tarantism and Dancing Mania

dancing mania

I refuse to dance unless I’ve consumed at least half of my weight in grain alcohol (though I have been known to attempt the Dougie, as long as I’m by myself and the curtains have been drawn).  Generally speaking, a request to get down on the dance floor will almost certainly send me into a state of blind terror, accompanied by hives and the ice sweats.

You can imagine, then, my horror when hearing about “tarantism,” a disease which causes its victims to become irritable and restless, and was fatal unless treated immediately by engaging in aggressive dancing.  It was relatively common during the 16th and 17th centuries in southern Italy, and is said to be the origin of the popular folk dance, “Tarantella,” which was performed by victims as the most important part of their therapy.

Hydrotherapy was also considered to be an important part of the healing process.  Suffering would abate while listening to the soft sound of a gentle waterfall.  Cloth would be soaked in wine and wrapped around the shoulders of a dancer.  Many victims craved water and were even known to accidentally drown themselves, following deep contemplation of the ocean.… Read the rest

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Patriarchy Is the Oppression of Men

maretel11Have fun debating this one, disinfonauts!  Asha James (a woman) writes at a Voice for Men:

We cast others into the roles of agent and patient. Agents do things, patients have things done to them. People prefer to deliver pain to agents, even those agents who act in the benefit to others, than patients. Agents, good or bad, are seen as both capable of enduring more pain than patients and elicit less sympathy when they do so.[1]

This dichotomy divides people into those who can expect to draw upon the resources of society to be protected and provided for, and those who can’t.

This dynamic can also be titled ‘hyperagency’[2]. Hyperagency is the perception that a group of people has more agency than they actually do. Being cast in the role of hyperagent has significant drawbacks for groups so cast and throughout history we can see groups of marginalized people cast into this role as scapegoats.

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Witches And The Creation Of Western Capitalism

witchesVia The End of Capitalism, Alex Knight offers a fascinating take on the powerful meaning of witches in European history:

For Silvia Federici, it’s no accident that “the witch-hunt occurred simultaneously with the colonization and extermination of the populations of the New World, the English enclosures, [or] the beginning of the slave trade”. She instructs that all of these seemingly unrelated tragedies were initiated by the same European ruling elite at the very moment that capitalism was in formation.”

During the late 15th through 17th centuries the fear of witches was ever-present in Europe and Colonial America. The author recounts, “for more than two centuries, in several European countries, hundreds of thousands of women were tried, tortured, burned alive or hanged, accused of having [given themselves] to the devil and, by magical means, murdered scores of children, made potions with their flesh, caused the death of their neighbors, and performed many other abominations.”

So where did this tidal wave of hysteria come from that took the lives so many poor women?

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Pussy Riot On Their ‘Feminist Virus Infecting Your Thoughts’

pussy riotVia the New Statesman, Laurie Penny speaks with members of Pussy Riot who are non-jailed, but on the run from the law, about the meaning of their subversion:

When we meet in a secret location in central London, they make it clear that this interview is on condition of anonymity. The Russian punk-feminist protest group, two of whose members are currently travelling the world, raising support for their band-mates in prison, are wanted by their government. It will be illegal to read or share this article in Russia.

Since the trials, a smorgasbord of new legislation, informally known as the Pussy Riot laws, have been put into place in Russia to clamp down on the group and anyone who might try to imitate their art-protests. You can’t cover your face in public. Distribution and discussion of Pussy Riot’s protests is strictly forbidden. People have been prosecuted for making t-shirts with their image.

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Occult Feminism and the Suppression of the Female Orgasm

echobackidea1(small)You know how I know that being gay isn’t a choice? Because it’s a choice I’ve wanted to make for years…and I can’t. No seriously, you think I like dating women? Good lord, we might as well be from different planets (someone should write a book about that). You see, I wish I was gay, but I can’t make that “choice” because I’m hopelessly addicted to pussy. That’s not going to change anytime soon, which gives me a lot of empathy for gay people. Gay people have an inborn desire to fit into society and as such, are compelled to label themselves as heterosexual, but just like me, they can’t make this “choice”. They’re biologically hardwired differently. See, I want to be gay and I can’t, and they want to be straight and they can’t. Makes perfect sense.

What doesn’t make sense is why we even have to have stupid conversations about sexuality like this, and let me be the first to point out that we wouldn’t if not for the deranged efforts of crazy religious people.… Read the rest

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My Feminism Will Be Intersectional or It Will Be Bullshit!

945824_592478660770212_1776958502_nFlavia Dzodan writes at Tiger Beatdown:

This past week I’ve been screaming this a lot. Because I like to play “connecting the dots” (s.e. smith ipse dixit) as a matter of political practice. I play “connecting the dots” even though sometimes I might not get a properly outlined landscape but the equivalent of what my 1 year old niece playing with a bunch of sharpies on the coffee table would produce. Which is to say, sometimes, the pictures I draw when I connect dots might not make sense or might be inaccurate or might have missed a few dots to be totally accurate. But I am willing to pay the price of not making sense sometimes if I do eventually get it right. I would rather sometimes come across as far fetched than miss the landscape that the shit puff pastry provides. And these past few days I’ve been playing connect the dots more often than usual.

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