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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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16 Responses

  1. JeffL
    JeffL February 10, 2006 at 12:27 pm |

    Think women aren’t treated like pieces of meat? How about when supposedly “progressive” films literally brand them beef cattle?

    It’s a horrible, offensive image, but it’s also spot on. The image is accusing the MPAA of doing the branding.

  2. Tony
    Tony February 10, 2006 at 1:08 pm |

    Well this is a surprise: Black women in poor communities are less likely to be up-to-date with cervical cancer screenings. Cervical cancer is the fifth most common cancer among African American women, and women living in poor areas have a 71% greater chance of dying of the disease than wealthier women. Pro-lifers say, let ‘em die!

    Gotta love it. 90% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). This virus is transmitted by skin to skin contact mid torso to mid thigh. Note: condoms will not stop this virus. Among high school girls with one sexual partner, the rate of HPV is 48%.

    So on the one hand, you bitch about cervical cancer screenings (most of which would be unnecessary had they not been having “safe” sex as described by Planned Parenthood), and then hand them condoms to set them up for it.

    Talk about pegging the irony meter.

  3. piny
    piny February 10, 2006 at 1:26 pm |

    It’s a horrible, offensive image, but it’s also spot on. The image is accusing the MPAA of doing the branding.

    But unless they’re attempting to make an explicitly feminist argument about how sexuality is only punished when it’s woman-centered–which I doubt–it’s sexist to use an anonymous woman’s flank as shorthand for risque content. The image of sexuality pictured and thereby reinforced is a misogynist one: the woman is an object on display. The use of the woman’s body is a dehumanizing one: that’s a human being, not a projection screen.

    Also, the violence and mutilation being pictured and attacked is not violence against and mutilation of that woman. The film is attacking censorship, i.e. violence against and mutilation of an artist’s creation: the picture of an anonymous, naked, objectified woman. The woman pictured is not reacting, not in pain–the image doesn’t even bother to show her face. That’s because we’re not meant to think of a person being hurt, but of an image being destroyed. That body isn’t supposed to have a personality inside it. There’s no crime against her here. It’s a little distasteful, don’t you think, to use the picture of a mutilated woman to communicate outrage over a different kind of harm to someone else?

    The fact that the image says something important about the MPAA’s crimes against civil liberties, which certainly effect women and which may or may not be disproportionately used against them, does not mean that the people who designed the poster were conscious of all its implications.

  4. piny
    piny February 10, 2006 at 1:30 pm |

    Aaaarrgh. Affect. I mean, affect. Stupid man-juice make piny dumb stupid man.

  5. piny
    piny February 10, 2006 at 1:53 pm |

    Gotta love it. 90% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). This virus is transmitted by skin to skin contact mid torso to mid thigh. Note: condoms will not stop this virus. Among high school girls with one sexual partner, the rate of HPV is 48%.

    You know what’s ironic? The last link is about the campaign to prevent those high-school girls from getting the HPV vaccine which would prevent HPV and, as you say, the overwhelming majority of cervical cancer deaths that occur in this country every year.

    Also, please link when you throw numbers around. Makes them so much more informative.

  6. Gabriel Malor
    Gabriel Malor February 10, 2006 at 1:54 pm |

    Pro-lifers say, let ‘em die! [NOTE: you link to Katha Pollitt’s “Virginity or Death!” article.]

    This bothers me. You’ve just painted all “pro-lifers” with the same brush. Click on the link to see what the hubbub is about and you’ll see that Pollitt does the same. She takes one quote from a woman who works at the Family Research Council and spins it into all out demagoguery slamming conservative Christians. (Similarly–predictably?–if you look up the New Scientist article that Pollitt is cribbing, you’ll see that author do the same thing.)

    An interesting fact that only took two minutes of googling to turn up is that the quote in the article, presented as FRCs position, is NOT their position on the HPV virus. For the FRC press release on the HPV vaccine, go here. The part that interests me most: “We believe that adults must be provided with sufficient information to make an informed, free choice whether to vaccinate either themselves or their children for HPV.” They go on to note the benefits of abstinence.

    Why did three authors–who we would hope are presenting objective arguments in favor of their positions–have to rely on just one quote (the same quote repeatedly) in order to make their point? Why would they? Is it because we all just know that those evil conservatives are trying to get women killed?

  7. piny
    piny February 10, 2006 at 2:30 pm |

    The press release came out six months after the article was written, and Maher is not “some woman.” she’s an FRC policy analyst.:

  8. piny
    piny February 10, 2006 at 2:32 pm |

    I think this was Pollitt’s source material. At the time she wrote the article, the FRC was content to have Maher speak for them.

  9. Kyra
    Kyra February 10, 2006 at 2:34 pm |

    It’s a horrible, offensive image, but it’s also spot on. The image is accusing the MPAA of doing the branding.

    True. However, if that’s the case they should’ve featured a naked man being branded, since the MPAA seems to be much harsher on male nudity than it is on female nudity. (Can you imagine Titanic keeping its PG-13 rating if it was Jack lying naked on the couch being drawn by Rose instead of vice versa?) Women, after all, are the sex class, and we have to prevent impressionable young people from seeing men objectified onscreen in the same manner. (But why do I have the feeling that the people who made this movie don’t mind the censorship of male nudity so much as they want female nudity to become more accepted and available?)

  10. piny
    piny February 10, 2006 at 2:35 pm |

    The press release came out six months after the article was written

    Sorry. This should be five months. The NS article appeared six months prior.

  11. other ryan
    other ryan February 10, 2006 at 2:48 pm |

    Piny, I’m waaaay out of the loop and just now catching up on two months of blog-reading, so I have to express congrats to you for joining feministe here. Like I said the first time I read a comment from you – yours is a voice that deserves a big box to stand on.

  12. Liberal Serving
    Liberal Serving February 10, 2006 at 3:43 pm |

    Talking Brokeback… but only to lionize Dan Savage, Primise

    Dan Savage efficiently skewers the wingnut reaction to Chad Allen playing straight in End of the Spear. It’s a stupid protest that won’t get much traction, but they won’t get Dan’s point about Allen playing straight either. They’re so invested

  13. other ryan
    other ryan February 10, 2006 at 3:49 pm |

    It shoudl read “promise” …as in “I promise to use spellchecker in the future…”

  14. kate
    kate February 10, 2006 at 11:42 pm |

    It is interesting how so many people seem to not understand the severity of the image of the women being branded. So many reduce the women’s body to just a symbol. Headless, faceless, nameless ass and tits. Hollywood speaks volumes in that poster about its true position about what really ires it.

    Such imagery disgusts me and reminds of how movie moguels see women as nothing more than merchandise and their tirade about censorship is in truth limited to their frustration in being limited by the religious right in their ability to exploit women as far as they wish.

    As for catholic hospitals. I was a scared pregnant teen who went to give birth at a catholic hospital and was circled by cold, tongue clicking, head wagging nuns all night in a 1950’s style maternity room left vacant save for sinning whores such as they deemed me. The catholic church does little for the advancement of women, damn little and much to keep it in check. In respect to those of the catholic faith I will stop right here with that.

    My ex husband gave me HPV and if I HADN”T gone for an abortion to keep out of more desperate poverty with the man who didn’t believe in condoms, I would have had it for who knows how much longer? Poor women of all colors die of diseases the insured middle class and uppers have long forgotten about. Down here its just another day.

    The right has no problem with the notion that handing out condoms encourages wanton sex,(and according to a poster here, spread of HPV), but with the same mind they say that making guns easily available doesn’t lead to more mindless killings?

    Women can’t have the tools to have safe sex, but men had damn well better have whatever killing tools they so desire.

    I like Al Sharpton and I’d love to see him and O’Leilly in a true debate forum. Would be like watching a verbal wrestling match between the Gorilla and Mouse Man. Now that folks, would be entertainment.

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