Author Archives: Caperton

Fifty Shades of Sexual Assault: Y’all, I told you.

[Trigger warning for rape]

A University of Illinois student is facing charges for sexual assault after, he says, trying to re-enact a scene from — yup — Fifty Shades of Grey. Mohammad Hossain is accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student in his dorm room Saturday night, Christian-Grey-with-a-belt-in-the-Red-Room-of-Pain style. Continue reading

Posted in Movies, Popular Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged , | 54 Comments

Seasalt & Co. advertises Photoshop tools using lynching imagery and only gets more offensive from there

[Content note for lynching imagery]

Now, some might see an eerie, atmospheric black-and-white shot of a tree with a noose hanging from it, titled, “The Hanging Tree,” and think, “Oh, God, lynching.” Accompany that image with an all-caps, italic COMING SOON, and some might think, “Wow, that’s verging on threatening.” But if you look at those things and think, “I bet there’s a new Photoshop action pack coming out, and I for one can. Not. Wait,” then either you work for Florida creative tool company Seasalt & Co. or are a friend of theirs and need to step in and tell them to get a grip. Continue reading

Posted in Race & Ethnicity, Racism | 15 Comments

Just a few reminders before you buy those “50 Shades” Valentines

[Trigger warning for sexual violence and emotional abuse]

Valentine’s Day is coming up! That day of romance, of togetherness, of coupledom, of… domestic abuse… Valentine’s Day is the release date of 50 Shades of Grey, that sensationalistic movie based on the “How to Spot an Abuser” pamphlet in your college guidance counselor’s office. Women and men who have read the book and know perfectly well what the story is about will flock to theatres, either a) dreaming of the day that they’ll be stalked and violated by someone as dreamy as Christian, or b) hoping to score on Valentine’s night with the person they took to the movie. And while people are free to get their rocks off to whatever they want (within certain limits), it’s important to acknowledge that what may (for some reason) come across as sultry and sexy on the page would, in real life, be a Razorbacks halftime show’s worth of red flags. Continue reading

Posted in Domestic Violence, Holidays & Celebrations, Literature, Movies, Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged , , | 94 Comments

Same-sex marriage is happening right now in Alabama

Alabama, named among the least likely states ever to legalize same-sex marriage, jumps off of that list entirely as couples across the state line up for their legally recognized marriages. Continue reading

Posted in GLBTQ, Law, Marriage | Tagged | 2 Comments

More hashtag envy: “Meninists” complain that everything isn’t about them #LikeAMeninist

Always, the company that sells menstrual products, ran a minute-long Super Bowl spot trimmed down from their longer #LikeAGirl video released this summer. The ad challenges the stereotype that running, throwing, and fighting “like a girl” indicates weakness and ineptitude by running the expression by adults (and one young boy), and then by a series of girls who haven’t yet been told that “like a girl” is usually meant as a bad thing. And then it took about ten minutes for the meninists to start protesting the “inequality” that there wasn’t another commercial for #LikeABoy.

This is why we can’t have nice things. Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Sports | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Weeping Christian men apologize for letting you have an abortion

Courtesy of Heroic Media, three Christian men feel they owe you an apology. In this four-minute video — aptly titled “The Apology” — each man confesses to having had an abortion. Okay, it’s not quite that interesting — what they mean is that they went halfsies on a fetus with a woman who then got an abortion. But what they have to say is actually kind of sweet, apologizing to women for the way they’ve been treated by people in the church, the condemnation that has been piled on them, and the shame and guilt they might feel for the choice they made and/or felt they had to make because of such judgement. They apologize, as men, for not being supportive of women during a difficult time.

(I even typed that with a straight face.) Continue reading

Posted in Religion, Reproductive Rights | Tagged , | 35 Comments

Hermione Granger and the Giving of No Fucks

It’s Friday, and it’s been a rough week, and it’s been an even rougher two weeks, and more or less the entire world deserves better than it’s been getting, and here’s what the Harry Potter series would look like if Hermione were the main character. Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Popular Culture | Tagged | 3 Comments

The Cosby jokes at the Golden Globes

[Content note for rape]

During their opening monologue at the Golden Globes last night, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler went there: They went straight in with a series of very direct jokes about the rape allegations against Bill Cosby. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Entertainment, Sexual Assault | Tagged , | 76 Comments

New Lego ad features girlchild, dragon, parachute, stuffed bunny surgery

I recognize, and have always recognized, that I’m kind of a sucker. And someone who’s spent as much time as I have working in advertising really should find herself less entertained by it. But here’s the thing: After spending so much time in recent times insisting to us that what Lego girls really want is pastel-purple bricks, “mini dolls,” and pre-made sets requiring minimal assembly, Lego has made an ad that I really like. Are they doing it to get money out of people? Yes. It’s what’s known in the industry as an “advertisement.” But it’s one that shows a girl playing with Legos the way research indicates girls play with Legos: Taking the world around her and creating a world of her own, using her imagination to see Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Gender | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Expert witness: 9-year-old “protect[ed]” from the trauma of her abuse by her low IQ

[Content note: sexual abuse, ableism]

In 2010, a 9-year-old, developmentally disabled girl at a school in Los Angeles was sexually assaulted on five different occasions by a fellow student during an after-school program. When her parents sued the LAUSD, the district’s expert witness, celebrity psychologist Dr. Stan Katz, testified that her low IQ reduced the amount of emotional stress the girl suffered, acting as a “protective factor.” Continue reading

Posted in Disability Issues, Sexual Assault | Tagged | 5 Comments

Open Eric Garner thread

Please add links in comments. Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Important things people have said about Ferguson

People have said important things about Michael Brown, protests in Ferguson, and a grand jury’s decision not to hold Darren Brown accountable for killing an unarmed black teenager. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Law, Media & Media Literacy, Racism | Tagged , | 2 Comments