Tag Archives: twitter

The ESPN Body Issue & #HuskyTwitter

Last week for Role/Reboot I wrote about the annual ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue”, which features naked portraits of lots of people who can do some crazy powerful/graceful/coordinated shit with their bodies. The cover star, baseball player Prince Fielding, is an atypical choice for ESPN and quickly launched the #HuskyTwitter hashtag in celebration of a different kind of athletic body.

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I’m all for celebrating different kinds of athletic bodies, but I’m still dismayed to see that the women featured in the Body Issue generally don’t get to break the mold of traditional “athletic” the way that Fielder does. Where are the husky female athletes? A sleuthing reader dug back through the archives and found this 2009 entry with shotputter Michelle Carter.

Screenshot_7_14_14_11_07_AM-2He also pointed out that there aren’t as many sports that allow for husky women to excel; they don’t get funneled into linebacker positions on the football team or heavy wrestling weightclasses. Sure, maybe, but it’s also about whose bodies we are comfortable celebrating as “Bodies We Want,” which is what ESPN titles the series. We don’t see Taylor Townsend, Holley Mangold, Rebecca Adlington or other, phenomenally gifted female athletes as possessing desirable bodies because they don’t fit the only mold we’ve been taught is desirable.

Prince Fielder is certainly a deviation from the normal ab-fest we expect to see in these stories, and that’s a great start. Men need variation in “Bodies We Want,” too. But let’s not forget the ladies as we break body barriers and celebrate the husky athletes. We’re here too!

Related Post: Is it objectifying to ogle World Cup soccer players?

Related Post: 1 in 4 women don’t exercise because they don’t like the way they look

 

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Stranger Pics & The Pope

Contrary to the title of this post, this is not an essay about stranger pictures and the Pope, but rather two separate essays for Role/Reboot. This week, I wrote about the first rule of fight club: don’t take pictures of strangers without their permission. Very obvious corrollary: Don’t post pictures of strangers that you took without their permission.

On rare occasions, stranger pics are meant to celebrate and compliment, in which case, ask permission before snapping and sharing. The rest of the time, when we are taking photos of strangers with the intent to mock, we are actively contributing to a culture of bullying. We all do embarrassing things, accidentally wearing a shirt inside out (a stranger photo recently seen on Twitter), or trying to surreptitiously pick a wedgie (Instagram). If you would like your moments of private shame or your brief lapses in fashion judgment generously overlooked by the Internet, you have to give people the same courtesy. “Being in public” is not equivalent to “giving permission to be photographed and/or mocked/idolized/lusted after/bullied/captioned/edited”. Maybe legally it is, I have no idea, I’m not a lawyer, but ethically it is not.

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Last week, after the Pope commented that married couples without children will find bitterness and loneliness, I wrote about what he calls “the culture of well being”, and why wanting to be a parent is the best possible reason to become one, and not wanting to be one is a pretty damn good reason to not.

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Related Post: Stranger pic example, hot girls of Occupy Wallstreet.

Related Post: “Don’t take my picture,” “Come on! You’re at the beach!”

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Filed under Gender, Media, Politics, Republished!

Pack it up, Pax

Another week, another kerfuffle over the tech industry’s ongoing hostility towards women.

a_560x375Overview: This one began when Pax Dickinson, the Chief Technical Officer for Business Insider was fired after his disgusting twitter feed, rife with classist, racist, sexist, and homophobic sentiments was re-discovered. Example:

In The Passion Of The Christ 2, Jesus gets raped by a pack of niggers. It’s his own fault for dressing like a whore though.

Other examples are not as egregious in language choice, but are equally insensitive: aw, you can’t feed your family on minimum wage? well who told you to start a fucking family when your skills are only worth minimum wage? 

Or, the classic anti-feminist haterade: feminism in tech remains the champion topic for my block list. my finger is getting tired. 

It would’ve been just another brogramming asshole on Twitter, worthy of an eyeroll and nothing more, except that he happened to be extremely high up in a organization that writes, on a regular basis, about the ongoing effort to support the inclusion of women in tech.

ANYWAY. He was interviewed this week in NYMag and his interview is basically a list of politcally incorrect, poorly thought-out no-nos diguised as general apathy for what other people think of him. So, let’s take this piece by piece:

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“I regret some of the tweets. Some of them — they were taken out of context.” There is no context, bro. The fact that you tweeted horrendous shit that coinincided with the release of Passion of the Christ doesn’t make it any less horrendous. More importantly, this is classic White Dude Privilege Syndrome, as articulated so well by David Roberts at Grist.  One of the most subtle-but-powerful forms of privilege is the assumption that the way you intend yourself to be interpreted is the way you will be interpreted. Imagine if a black teenager was like, “Yo, I didn’t mean to look threatening to you! You took my hoodie out of context!” As Roberts put it, “We privileged dudes have trouble accepting that language is a social phenomenon, a social act.” Read closely, Pax.

“But I still — I still think it was funny, so I don’t apologize that much. It was a funny joke, sorry!” Ohhhh, as long as you think it’s funny to make rape jokes (Who has more dedication, ambition, and drive? Kobe only raped one girl, Lebron raped an entire city. +1 for Lebron”) and belittle the struggle of LGBTQ folks to live with the openness you enjoy (“at least if we end up getting into a nuclear standoff with Russia over gay rights we’ll know this universe is just a satirical simulation”) then it’s all good. We didn’t know you were trying to be funny! If we had known that…. JK, it’s still fucking offensive. You know, “you can’t take a joke” is the oldest excuse in the book. If you can’t tell a joke without shitting on black people, women, poor people, and gays, then damn, son, you can’t tell a joke.

“I think the tech world is just kind of — it doesn’t have a woman problem. Women in tech are great. There’s just not that many of them because tech is just a kind of thing that a lot of women aren’t that interested in, I think.” Yeah…. wow. This is just about the least nuanced view of a very complicated issue that I’ve seen in a while. There are a lot of reasons that there aren’t as many women in tech as men, not the least of which is your attitude, as expressed on Twitter, would make it very unlikely that any women would want to work for you. Nobody likes to force themselves into a party to which they’re not invited, and your tweets are part of the hostility (along with Titstare, etc) that make it appear to the outside that tech has a No Girls Allowed sign. What’s more, the idea that STEM is not for women is pushed onto girls at a very young age (“Too pretty for math” t-shirts, for example). We’re not born with a distaste for computers; in China, 40% of engineers are female. This shit is culturally created, and you’re contributing.

“The freewheeling nature of it is what leads to innovation. And my fear is that if we’re all going to police what we say, maybe we lose that innovation.” You can be freewheeling without being offensive. It’s possible, I promise, it just takes a little more effort than you’re willing to put in. Take comedy, for example, only the laziest comedians think that the only way to get a laugh is with a “Let me tell you something about women… ” joke. The smart ones, the Louis CKs and the Rob Delaneys, know that you don’t have to make people with fewer opportunities than you the punchline. You’ve been living in a No Girls Allowed treehouse for the last twenty years, and we’re knocking on the door saying that bro-time is now over. Get with it. Being professional doesn’t mean boring, but it does that you must treat people with respect and promote equality in your workplace, especially when you’re the boss.

“Real misogyny is, you know, hatred of women and violence against women and all that. Those are terrible things, but let’s not devalue those things, let’s not make those things, let’s not trivialize them by using the same words for things like Titstare. I mean, Titstare is harmless. It’s crass, but it’s harmless.” It’s absolutely 100% not harmless. It is the opposite of harmless, it is full of harm. Titstare is about objectifying women, as in… viewing women as objects. Violence against women, what you call “real misogyny,” springs directly from that same belief. When you think that women exist for your pleasure, to look at or touch or fuck, then it is easy for you to treat them disposably, violently, disrespectfully. When you believe women are some sort of “other” category of sort-of humans, you are beginning to create the justification that people use all the time to prevent women from voting, driving, governing. It is from that same place of othering that domestic abuse, sexual assault, and rape come from.

“I work in New York City, you know, diversity capital of the world. I don’t have any problems with anybody. My career would never have gotten to this point — the point I was at, before — if I was that kind of person.” Could you be any more delusional? You think that sexist, racist, homophobic white guys don’t make it to the top every single day? You know who hires them, mentors them, promotes them? Other sexist, racist, homophobic white guys. Or, rather than implicating every single person that has ever hired or promoted you, let’s say that straight, rich, white dudes (the type that have probably hired you many times over) are not known for being especially perceptive towards issues of privilege and inequality.

“My wife thinks it’s bullshit! She knows me, this is ridiculous. The worst part about it is, for me, the people who love me are very upset.” We’ll address this one tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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My god… I could go on and on. His interview is basically every issue I’ve ever written about all at once, rolled up tightly in a gross little package of misguided, delusional horseshit. What did I miss?

Related Post: On brogramming

Related Post: An example of sexism in tech!

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Americanah + Their Eyes Were Watching God

their-eyes-were-watching-god-zora-neale-hurston-paperback-cover-artIf you follow me on Twitter, you recently absorbed a barrage of book quote tweets with either the hashtag #Americanah or #TheirEyes. I didn’t intend to read Americanah and Their Eyes Were Watching God back to back, but now looking over the quotes I loved and the fervor with which I attempted to devour both books, it seems like an intentional choice.

If you haven’t rad Americanah yet, get on it already. This is Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s new one about Ifemelu, a brilliant, sharp-eyed young Nigerian woman who moves to the United States rather than trying to wade through the lethargy she finds in the aristocratic circles of Lagos, and Obinze, her adolescent boyfriend who tries to make a life in the UK. The writing is just flat out phenomenal and totally on-point, especially when Adichie turns Ifemelu’s eye to describing all manner of methods that women use to navigate the world:

“How important it was to her to be a wholesomely agreeable person, to have no sharp angles sticking out”

“Basking in the attention her face drew while flattening her personality so that her beauty did not threaten”

Americanah has thus far been, deservedly, drawing the most attention for its commentary on race relations in the United States. As a Non-American black person, Ifemelu approaches the knotted web of race politics with the dual lenses of insider and outsider. From that vantage point, she writes a blog documenting her observations about the peculiar and particular ways Americans of all colors attempt to engage with our history and our present. For me, I was drawn to Ifemelu as a narrator not for her racial commentary, but rather for her embodiment of the perils and pitfall of 21st century ambitious, educated ladyhood. What to do with all those smarts? What is useful to the world, and what is self-indulgent? Is self-indulgence bad? How much do we compromise for people that we love? How much do we take from our parents and how much do we leave behind? How do you make a life for yourself, and make it one that you are proud of?

Somehow, in the course of my liberal Massachusetts education, I zipped right by Zora Neale Hurston’s epic love story about Janie and Tea Cake, the mad dog, and the muck of the Florida everglades. Coming off the high of Americanah, so explicitly about a woman finding her authentic voice, Their Eyes was an incredible way to deepen that conversation.

If I ever teach a lit class, there will most definitely be a midterm paper assignment on these two books together. If you were recommending pairings of classic work with contemporary fiction, what would be on your list?

Related Post: Mapping the books I read and where I read them

Related Post: Live blogging my reading of Lean In.

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Win Something Pretty?

Dear readers/friends/random strangers who searched one of these terms to get here, “giant muscle dominates skinny bitch,” “Patrick Wilson doesn’t know his dad,” or “8 pm,”

I’m so glad you found me. Please stay, explore, make yourself comfortable. I’m about to cross a big threshold on subscribers to this blog, so I want to thank you for being here with me. To show you I mean it, I’m doing a little giveaway.

My friends Lindi and Helen at Clover + Lace are very talented, crafty ladies who I like a lot. I think. We’ve never actually met, but the internet is a beautiful place, and I trust that they are as lovely in real life as they are on the web. They make beautiful things, like pendants, cupcake sculptures, and greeting cards.

Just for being here, you can have one of those things! All you have to do is tweet at me or post on the Rosie Says Facebook page. In other words, just tell me you’re around and you’ll be entered to win. If you want to say something nice, or link to a post you like,  or tell me what you want me to write about, or announce your favorite color, or complain about my grammer, you’re more than welcome, but all you have to do is say “hi!” On Tuesday morning, I’ll randomly pick a winner who can have anything their heart desires (under $20) off of Lindi and Helen’s Etsy page. FREE STUFF. Who doesn’t like free stuff?

Writing this blog and graphing crazy things and ranting about misogyny and telling you everything I think about is usually my favorite part of the day, so thanks for sticking around.

Emily

P.S. Here are some of the things you could win:

A print about crafting

A print about crafting

Cards with pretty ladies on them!

Cards with pretty ladies on them!

Fun jewelry!

Fun jewelry!

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Great Textpectations

I so wanted to officially name this essay “Great Textpectations” but my (excellent) Role/Reboot editor vetoed in favor of something that I’m sure will drive more search traffic. I would have done it up though, with some thesis-style, colon-ated, alliteration-heavy titles, like:

Great Textpectations: The Modern Myth of Constant Communication

Great Textpectations: Varied Virtual Contact in the 21st Century Land of Love

Great Textpectations: Keeping it Klassy and Torrid Textual Triumphs

Okay, so that last one was realllly bad, but damn do I miss naming college essays! This week, I wrote about texting (and other digital communication) and how to handle it when your wavelength and your partner’s wavelength are not even close to the same frequency. I’m not sure how wavelengths and frequency work, so that analogy might not make sense.

Is Technology Ruining Your Relationship?

Related Post: Why I love Foursquare.

Related Post: Counting Facebook friends.

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Sunday Scraps 85

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1. SPORTS: This Charles Siebert piece for the New York Times Magazine about the rigors and stresses of trying to make an NFL team is fascinating. How much do you want it? And how much are you willing to take to get it?

2. BOOKS: Super great Atlantic essay about author Ann Patchett (Bel Canto, State of Play) and her new bookstore in Nashville. As a lover of independent bookstores, I think this is all kinds of awesome.

3. CHRIS BROWN: After violent exchange with a female comedian on Twitter, Chris Brown deleted his account. The always excellent Roxane Gay on why criticizing Brown isn’t racist, and why it also is pretty f’ing complicated.

4. ELECTION: Curious about how all those Obama for America emails with subject lines like “Hey” or “It’s officially over” played out? Businessweek has some answers.

5. PAIN: There’s an extremely rare medical condition where you feel no pain. Sounds great, right? Not unless you step on a nail, scratch yourself bloody, or break an ankle and don’t realize it. The New York Times has an examination.

6. MEDIA: The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has put together an excellent report about the representation of women on screen (especially on children and family programming) and Mother Jones has a summary of some of the most telling facts and figures.

Related Post: Sunday 84 – Letters from astronauts, the female male model, bedrooms around the world.

Related Post: Sunday 83 – Hillary Clinton’s next move, Denver public schools, Mormons on the Romney bus

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Filed under Body Image, Books, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sports, Uncategorized