ICYDK: Lent is the six-week period between Ash Wednesday (the day after Mardi Gras, which is of course the last day of debauchery and excess before the start of Lent) and Easter in many wings of Christianity. It’s supposed to be a time of prayer and repentance in preparation for the Big E, and many Christians commit to fasting and/or the sacrifice of certain luxuries to better appreciate the temptation and the suffering of Jesus and his sacrifice (or something. Stories vary). This can come in the form of giving up alcohol or a favorite snack food, kicking a bad habit, praying more, doing volunteer work, or, for one woman, wearing a hijab for 40 days.
In an interview for Yahoo News, Katie Couric took a tour of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s closet and checked out her lacy collars, and I’m cool with that.
[Content note for rape]
Ben Carson, Republican presidential hopeful and an actual brain surgeon, has apologized for an assertion in a CNN interview that homosexuality is obviously a choice because of prison rape.
[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.
[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.
[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.
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.
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.)
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.
[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.
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