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Posts Tagged ‘activism’

Here they be spoilers for the I Kissed a Girl, which is NOT a lesbian anthem by the way episode of Glee.  So if you haven’t watched the 11/29 episode of Glee or you think they handled their race and sexuality issues well don’t click this. Because I am quite upset about the episode.

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Body Image

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/26/french-emelleem-features_n_514800.html#s76299

http://ichooselove.com/in-the-face-of-real-beauty/

Real beauty. You know what’s really sad? Watch a movie from 10 years ago and look at the girls, and pay attention to your thoughts, how you look at the girls and are like huh, she’s kind of fat. I did this the other day! And these girls are maybe a size 4! Or look at pictures of Lindsay Lohan from Parent Trap on. Or Britney Spears and Christina Aguillera. It’s sad. Real people aren’t skeletons. Eat a cheeseburger!

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From Amy: “The state of Georgia is executing a man who committed the crime of being in the wrong place at the wrong time while black.” The justice system has failed an innocent man with witnesses stating they lied on the stand years ago and their testimony fell on deaf ears. It’s like we’ve taken so many steps backwards in the fight for equality the last few years. This story echoes Steve Biko’s case during South African Apartheid. My heart is with the family who is suffering at the loss of an innocent man, and for the miserable family that requires more blood to satisfy their ache. Darlings, the death of another man will not satisfy the hurt you feel, only bring more pain. Look at Bud Welch and everything he’s done since the OKC bombing.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1998-11-03/news/9811020165_1_bill-mcveigh-bud-welch-death-penalty

I had found someone who was a bigger victim of the Oklahoma bombing than I was, because while I can speak in front of thousands of people and say wonderful things about Julie, if Bill McVeigh meets a stranger he probably doesn’t even say he had a son.

Six months after the bombing a poll taken in Oklahoma City of victims’ families and survivors showed that 85% wanted the death penalty for Tim McVeigh. Six years later that figure had dropped to nearly half, and now most of those who supported his execution have come to believe it was a mistake. In other words, they didn’t feel any better after Tim McVeigh was taken from his cell and killed.

http://theforgivenessproject.com/stories/bud-welch-usa

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Originally posted by “darkspirited1” at SIGNAL BOOST: SAY YES TO GAY YA

This comes from an article by lj user “rachelmanija” entitled, Say Yes to Gay YA.
(click the link for the full article)

Our novel Stranger has five viewpoint characters; one, Yuki Nakamura, is
gay and has a boyfriend. Yuki's romance, like the heterosexual ones in
the novel, involves nothing more explicit than kissing.

An agent from a major agency, one which represents a bestselling YA novel in the same genre as ours, called us.

The agent offered to sign us on the condition that we make the gay
character straight, or else remove his viewpoint and all references to
his sexual orientation.

This isn't about that specific agent; we'd gotten other rewrite requests before this one. Previous agents had also offered to take a second look if we did rewrites… including cutting the viewpoint of Yuki, the gay character.

It's time to stand up and demand change. Spread the word everywhere if you are just as angry and outraged by this.

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I was attempting to post a comment to a blog about teen sexuality in Young Adult novels, but the comment wouldn’t post. So I’m putting it here instead. The original post can be found here: http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/2011/08/on-ya-and-teen-sexuality.html This is the third post I have seen in a week about Teen sexuality in YA so I wanted to chime in.

Teens are much more comfortable about sexuality today than in years past. I’m 26 now and I remember being 13 and 14 talking with my girlfriends about sex. Not kissing. Not holding hands. We talked about sex. And what we wanted to do. And what it would be like. We were voracious readers and consumers of media, mostly to learn about what to do. We talked about practicing kissing our pillows and teddy bears. I remember feeling very comfortable and excited, though nervous, during my first sexual encounters, and by this I’m talking kissing and petting between the ages of 17 and 19. I think that by assuming all readers are naive and awkward is a huge discredit to your readers. I remember feeling nervous and insecure, as was described in the article, but I never felt sitcom like or doe eyed.

I’d like to see some research on what the author is calling “adult view.” The article states that teens are not experiencing sexuality in an adult way. Is she talking about how adults think about things like STDs and pregnancy? Teens think about that. Is she talking about coyote ugly and thinking the next day I shouldn’t have done that? Teens think those things. Is she talking about being curious about your body and your sexuality and wanting to express it? Or about insecurities with their body and how they feel? Teens go through that, and so do adults. What woman who is going through pregnancy or menopause doesn’t think those same things? Adults go through feeling awkward, insecure, and nervous. Adults go through the newness of the experience with a new partner. I think the author is discounting the maturity and savviness of girls today due to lack of experience in their time as a teenager.

I’m not promoting a hyper sexualized child populace where everything should be erotica or little lolitas. I’m saying teens are much more aware of what is going on and much more comfortable, at least for the most part. This argument seems to be more a debate of values, such as the insensitive comment about sexually active people not reading, than about the consumer. Teens are going to sources to get information so that they are comfortable and aware, and a lot of times these sources are wrong or myth laden. Other sources are value driven. People talk about teen sexuality as though it’s something new, but teens today were the adults of yesteryear. Look at the baby boomers, and even before then in medieval and victorian times where girls and dowries were exchanged like cattle. If we continue with this idea of the general population thinking teens have whimsical thoughts a la The Brady Bunch we are going to continue to drive teens to find information from places that may not be safe. I would want my daughter to know that I want her to wait till she’s mature enough to handle it, till she’s married, but if she decides this is something she wants to experience here is information about this, this and this to keep her safe. I want her to be confident enough to voice what she wants and likes so she’s not pressured into doing something she doesn’t want to do, or something she’s not comfortable with. As an educator, I could tell you stories about the three 11 year olds that carried babies to term, the 3rd grader that described and made the motions of how she was going to “give head” to her 6th grader boyfriend in front of her mother, or the countless myths kids came to me to ask questions about. Teens are more aware of their sexuality than before, but they are surrounded by dangerous myths. Statistics show abstinence only sex education programs results in teens waiting an extra to engage in intercourse with a serious partner, and they use no protection when they do. In Europe they start teaching sex ed very young, at about age 8 in school, and contraception is readily available. We have a very sophisticated teenage population when it comes to sexuality and relationships, which may or may not be to their detriment, but without support from family and adults they are playing a very dangerous game.

This argument isn’t so much about sexual expression as it is about control. Trying to control sexuality, specifically women’s sexuality because we all know guys are patted on the back and looked at as studs for spreading their seed to as many people as possible, is detrimental to our girls. And trying to force a value system of the “good old days” is naive and a farce. Watch Grease or read the book by Greg from The Brady Bunch and see what was actually going on in those wholesome, whimsical times. And to authors, as was mentioned in the comments, you’re not writing your own shy, insecure, story. You are writing your characters authentic experience. We need to be wiser and change with the times or else we could be looking at an impoverished, unhealthy, misinformed, powerful youth. I think as a society we should move to be more accepting of everyone and sharing information so we can all be safe and healthy.

For further reading:
*Generation Me
*The Lolita Effect
*Geographies of Girlhood (articles about what teen girls are experiencing right now)
*Fleming, Jennifer J. (2007).Critical Thinking About Sex, Love and Romance in the Mass Media: Media Literacy Applications
*Nymphomania: a history
*Lamb, Sharon. (2008). The ‘right’ sexuality for girls,
*Lyons, Paul J. (1991). Our young people need more education about sexuality, and the media should take some responsibility to provide it. The Oregonian,
*Monaghan, Peter. (2007). Sex ed for grown-ups.
*Pinker, Susan. (2008). The sexual paradox.
*Roberts, John. (1994). Surgeon general resigns in masturbation row.
*Tavris, Carol. (2002). Are girls really as mean as the books say they are.
*Whitmire, Richard. (2008). A tough time to be a girl: gender imbalance on campuses.

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We’ve been in Switzerland and France for almost three weeks so I thought I would do a recap.

The first weekend we had a car, but didn’t want to spend a lot on gas. We stayed around Geneva. Took the luggage and the bunny to the flat. Went grocery shopping for things like rice and packaged soup. Yes, I’m having flash backs of college, though these are small portions compared to our sam’s club raids. We are enjoying the much nicer countryside of the Voltaire area, went to his chateau and grave even, versus where we were before. There’s a college close by and lots of quaint little shop, a large park with a small chateau. But exhausted is an understatement after the hellacious events that were our move and flight. So we slept. A lot. And we both were really sick.

Let’s talk about our home. The flat is small, maybe 200 square feet, but cosy. There’s two full sized burners with real pots and pans, not the easy bake oven stuff we had before that wouldn’t even fit a bag of Ramen. We have a full bathroom with a drying rack. It’s proved amazing for hand washing clothes instead of the 8 euros to run a load out here. I am disappointed by the lack of bidet though. 😉 I feel like everywhere in Europe should have a bidet just because I want one. Hehe. We have a little balcony and everyone is adjusting nicely, though the bunny is bored not having a lot of places to run around. The only difficult thing was the humidity the first week. Without the air conditioning we were told was provided it was pretty unbearable. The bunny and I laid out on the hardwood a lot that first week. But we got a fan and things have been great.

We have had a couple picnics, ran around on the bus route, no one has tried to kidnap me yet, unlike last time boo, and enjoyed some really amazing fireworks on a cool, crisp night over the lake for the Swiss Independence Day. Steven is getting settled in at work. I’m getting my freelance services advertised and off the ground. Just did an interview with an online company about being a fulltime editor. Applied for a few office and tech writing jobs as well. In the meantime, I’ve been looking at housing, insurance, and trying to keep our place tidy and home like. The laundry in and of itself can be a multiple day excursion. Working on some editing projects and settling into our life here with our routine.

But let’s talk about some adventures! When we went to set up our bank account we got to go to downtown Geneva. It was nice to wander the streets a little before heading back up to CERN. OH! I got an ID badge! I can officially become a Swiss resident now and get on campus! HUZZAH! Ok, back to Geneva. The crime rate here is next to nothing. They have very little poverty, most of it being from the few refugees that have avoided getting picked up by the police. Although they don’t really welcome outsiders I would say, what with the semi-closed borders, they are really aware of their populace. In most places, and almost all of the websites, you can find someone that speaks one of the 4 languages here: French, Italian, German, and English. It’s nice how the government is recognizing the melting pot of people they have and trying to accommodate them. Anyway, the streets are small and the buildings old, blocking out the light because of their closeness rather than height. I often feel like an ant crawling about in little tunnels or alleyways of areas they call major streets. Cars, buses, trams, and motorbikes zoom down the streets, but the driving is REALLY tame compared to France and Italy.

And let’s talk about France. So much of what we’ve seen of Europe has been about taking your time and appreciating things. Gardens and artwork fill roundabouts and sidewalk space. Everywhere you look there are flowers and fountains. It’s really beautiful. It’s already starting to get cold here so I’m sure people relish their springs, but even during the winter there were lights or statues, something to make the streets seem more alive and welcoming. So we walked into the grocery store Samedi morning, boy were we surprised. I swear it was like an after Thanksgiving sale. There were people EVERYWHERE! And there was no personal space. I’m pretty sure I got run over by at least 15 carts/buggies. People were just slamming into each other, pushing, shoving. And it was a big supermarket not like a little street with carts where I would expect that sort of thing. It was so loud. People kept leaving their carts places and going and getting things down aisles and coming back. People would jump out from behind you and push you and walk past. There was no sense of lines, and there were a lot of British people in the market that day that kept commenting on how crazy it was and “don’t these people know how to queue?” It was fantastic that we weren’t alone in getting really irritated about the craziness. But we got our stuff, and missed the bus, so went over to McDonald’s to use their wifi.

I know what I said about McDonald’s last time, and I still HATE America’s subtle colonialism and forcing the values of capitalism down other people’s throats, but it was relatively cheap. And we are on a ramen noodles budget. And last time we were here we ate a lot of local cuisine. This time we are cooking a lot, but again, still eating local stuff and not just eating McDonald’s, dominoes, kfc, burger king, and subway like some other people I know that have traveled over here. “Well, I didn’t know what the food was.” BOO ON YOU! You go to another country, you experience the local fare and lifestyle. Not oh yeah, I went to London so I could go to the Apple Store and Victoria’s Secret and eat Red Lobster. BOO ON YOU! Ok, rant over, back to McDonald’s and money.

When you go to another country, I’ve learned you have to not really consider the conversion rate and look at prices from their standpoint. A loaf of bread is one of their “dollars.” A liter of milk is one and a half of their “dollars.” When you think you’re getting paid 10 of their “dollars” it’s really quite reasonable. But if you start thinking about the conversion rate and adding that in there, effectively one loaf of bread being an American $1.75 and a liter of milk nearly $3 it can be expensive. But you have to look at the units, not at the conversion because people aren’t paid in currency that isn’t worth one of their dollars. Following me? And if you go to another country you should not expect to pay American prices. A cheeseburger running for 1 Euro is going to be more than the “dollar,” but it’s still a “dollar” to them. So our big mac meal was 6 Euros, unit wise it was the same price, but if you add in the conversion it’s over $10. But you can’t think that way. No McDonald’s is going to charge American prices in a place where the dollar isn’t worth anything. So it’s more expensive if you think about an American paying with US dollars, but if you think about it as locals, it’s the same. 6 “dollars” for a big mac here and 6 “dollars” for a big mac there.

Though I was pretty pissed that it was 2 Euros for a small 8 oz. coke without refills. That’s crazy!

So we’re getting adjusted. Figuring out our money and living situation. Trying to do some fun stuff. The bus only comes once an hour and runs from 8-6 on Samedi and there’s no bus Dimanche. It’s pretty annoying because we want to go do things, like explore the lakes and churches and museums that are all free, but can’t because if we leave at 8 we get downtown about ten and only have 3 hours before we have to head back to make sure we aren’t walking. It’s disheartening. We are both getting pretty bored and really lonely. But we know the car is coming in September so we’ll get to go to London for a weekend to get it and then we can do stuff on the weekends once the money situation balances out and we can afford gas. So if you’re reading this, drop us a line because we need human contact! 😉 Hugs to you!

Mood: hopeful

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Dear Fans,

I know you are reeling about the cancellations of Eureka and Stargate Universe. Many of you are organizing petitions and websites to try and save your shows. But there’s something you’re not realizing.

NBC does not care.

In the past 7 years, NBC has cancelled shows left and right on SciFi. They don’t take statistics of how well Science Fiction and Fantasy do in the box office and in dvd sales. And let’s face it, the excuses they have come up with for ending shows like Battlestar and Stargate have been lame. Canceling Battlestar because they think it being on Sci-Fi channel is driving people away? Money and ratings for Stargate? In reality, NBC does not believe this genre is worth anything, and repeatedly insults its fan base through their actions. They canceled the original Star Trek for crying out loud!

Do you know what’s going to make a difference?

Money. Since they think Science Fiction doesn’t make any money, let’s show them how much money it makes. Don’t watch the channel at all. Don’t write to them. Don’t give them any free advertising. And if at all possible, don’t buy anything from any of their networks, or companies that advertise on their channels. Instead, encourage the writers and producers to shop their products elsewhere. Write to the people! Not to the station! I would pay for webisodes, a la Dr. Horrible, of Farscape, Battlestar, and Stargate. Show the writers and producers we support THEM, not their network. Let’s support other channels! Encourage writers to take their shows to channels that will actually support them: FOX, Spike, TBS, and USA all have science fiction shows in their line up. CBS ran Star Trek The Next Generation and is having huge success with The Big Bang Theory. Same with The CW and shows like Supernatural and Smallville. The original Stargate was let go by Showtime and then picked up by Sci-Fi. Send messages to these other stations telling them we’ll support their network if they save our shows. We will make them money and give them ratings watching their channels if they will put our quality TV back on the air. Why are we continuing to give NBC our money when they don’t respect the viewers, the station, or the writers? I’m especially thinking here of entire episodes of shows like Eureka being focused on product placement rather than story.

Let’s show everyone that we don’t support the channel SyFy, we support the shows. Unless we the viewers make it known that we will support the shows as they venture out from the sinking ship that is WWE and reality TV SyFy, there won’t be any new shows. We have to do the legwork and promote the things we like if we want to continue. We have to show them how it would be profitable for them to produce shows for the internet or on other channels. We need to tell the writers, directors, producers, and other networks that we’ll pay for quality TV in different avenues. And then, we need to put our money where our mouth is.

Sincerely,
A Concerned Viewer

P.S. Want to learn more about the fight to save your favorite shows?
Check out Save SGU on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/savesgu
Also on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/SaveSGU
Links to Save Eureka and SyFail can also be found there.

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