Category Archives: Politics

The pressing question of Scarlett Johansson’s underwear

In honor of today’s U.S. release of Avengers: Age of Ultron (since we don’t do sequel numbers now, just subheads), I thought I’d share an interview with Scarlett Johansson about the nuances of her character, the Black Widow, in light of her backstory as an orphan, trafficked as a young child, brainwashed and forced into service but now using the skills that were imposed upon her for an arguably, but not entirely, noble cause.

J/K! It’s about whether or not she can wear underwear under her tight costume. Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity, Feminism, Movies | 1 Comment

Links: In, around, and about Baltimore (Updated 5/1)

In the wake of Freddie Gray’s death from injuries mysteriously sustained while in police custody two weeks ago, and following his funeral yesterday, people in Baltimore have protested — some of it peaceful, much of it, as of Monday afternoon, violent, and with staggering consequence. Now, as the community comes back out into their neighborhoods, peaceful protesters continue to gather to voice their frustrations, and a lot of other people have things to say, too. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Law, Racism | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Open Thread with Toppled Pole

This highway-blocking blown-down power pole that happened just down the road from me features for this week’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.
* with a few netiquette exceptions Continue reading

Posted in Life, Politics, Popular Culture, The Cultural Canon | Tagged | 7 Comments

Cop who killed Rekia Boyd acquitted of all charges

Chicago police detective Dante Servin has been found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Rekia Boyd. A Cook County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Porter ruled that the state had failed to prove recklessness on Servin’s part after he fired his unregistered handgun over his shoulder from inside his car into a dark alley, hitting Boyd in the back of the head. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Law, Racism | Tagged | 11 Comments

Debunking trolls during Sexual Assault Awareness Month…

If you live in the States and believe rape is a serious issue, you likely know April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which has been around since the eighties – albeit ignored by most politicians, until filthy liberal Obama became the first president to treat rape as a serious issue. And whilst plenty of aspiring sociopaths think women deserve rape, the majority of civilised folks believe preventing rape is a good thing. But what happens when pro-rape trolls make the jump from spewing misogyny online, to harassing advocates and survivors at campus events? Continue reading

Posted in Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” enters its teen years

Toward the end of January, Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” celebrated its tenth anniversary. Ten years of raising women’s self-esteem and/or just telling us we’re not as ugly as we think we are (mileage varies). Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Beauty, Body image, Media & Media Literacy | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Privacy Matters: the Personal, the Public and the Police

Digby at Hullabaloo notes that occasionally even David Brooks can be correct: privacy for normal citizens going around their everyday personal, family and community lives is essential for our very sanity, which is why the question of government agencies monitoring our every keystroke is such an important question of liberty. But as Brooks points out in his NYT op-ed and as Digby elucidates further, privacy for police officers on duty is a very different question. Continue reading

Posted in Law, relationships | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The report is out on Rolling Stone‘s handling of the UVA rape story, and it’s understandably awful

On November 19, 2014, Rolling Stone published a lengthy and damning piece on the handling of sexual assault on college campuses, centering around a University of Virginia student, pseudonymously identified as “Jackie,” and her alleged gang-rape by members of one of the school’s fraternities. It was striking and stomach-turning — the attack, the response from fellow students, the response (or, more accurately, lack thereof) by university administration depicted in that story. It was also, the world would later learn, almost entirely unsubstantiated. A new report by the Columbia School of Journalism, commissioned by Rolling Stone back in December, meticulously outlines those mistakes. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Media & Media Literacy, Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged | 84 Comments

Open Thread with Strelitzia

A strelitzia flower features for this week’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.
* with a few netiquette exceptions Continue reading

Posted in Life, Politics, Popular Culture, The Cultural Canon | Tagged | 34 Comments

Want to do something for Autism Awareness Month?

This series of tweets from @twoscooters sums up the major division in autism activism – the parents of autistic children not listening to the opinions of adults living with autism based on their own life experiences, and too many media and medical organisations siding with those parents: Continue reading

Posted in Health, relationships | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

So apparently this is a thing: wearing a hijab for Lent

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. Continue reading

Posted in Race & Ethnicity, Religion | Tagged , | 153 Comments

Open Thread with Temple Dragon

This brilliantly coloured dragon on the roof of Longshan Temple features for this week’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.
* with a few netiquette exceptions Continue reading

Posted in Life, Politics, Popular Culture, The Cultural Canon | Tagged | 10 Comments