Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Those things on girls' chests, ya know?

 I admit that I'm one of the many, many people who are dazzled by the manga/anime drawing style. But obviously I'm not dazzled enough to not notice the proliferation of young-female-prepubescent characters sporting generally small, but obvious breasts and unnaturally wide hips, and often the artists appear to feel the urge to do a panty shot along the way!

Image from here

And often, older teenage/young adult counterparts also miss out from a heavy dose of realism, such as here, and here (mature warning!)

All said before, but I can't help to say again. On that note, read on below...

Excerpt from 'Jailing girls for men's crimes'

But one can’t just blame the Internet for the increasing numbers of girls sold for sex in the U.S.; it’s a deeper societal issue. Observers have noted the increasing sexualization of young girls in our culture, which helps nor­malize men’s demands for younger and younger sexual partners and teaches girls that to be acceptable they have to be sexual. Lloyd argues that “corporate­-sponsored pimping” plays a role in sex trafficking of girls by glamorizing prostitution. For exam­ple, Reebok awarded a multi-million-dollar five­-year contract for two shoe lines to rapper 50 Cent, whose album “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” (with the hit single “P.I.M.P.”) went platinum. Rapper Snoop Dogg, who showed up at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards with two women on dog leashes and who was described on the December 2006 cover of Rolling Stone as “America’s Most Lovable Pimp,” has received endorsement deals from Orbit gum and Chrysler. The mostly white leaders these corporations thus profit from these race-stereotyped images of black men, and care little about the effects these images may have on communities.

Corporations also act the pimp by pervasively selling young girls’ sexualized bodies, such as Miley Cyrus’ pole dancing performance on the Teen Choice Awards. Then of course, there are the highly sexualized Bratz dolls marketed to girls.

The American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls recently published a report de­scribing how the “proliferation of sex­ualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising and media is harming girls’ self-­image and healthy development.” Psycholo­gists have further identified a process of self­-objectification, in which girls treat their own bodies only as objects of oth­ers’ desires (see “Out of Body Image” in Ms., Spring 2008). This process doesn’t just negatively affect the sexual and physical health of developing girls, but can affect their mental health, cog­nitive functioning and even motor skills.
(Reading this kind of stuff made me realise I actually wasn't hallucinating)

A New Year Resolution: To raise awareness?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Word and thought for the day

disparaging; derogatory; insulting
 The English language is rather discriminative and pejorative towards women, reflecting a long held world view of the dominant group (i.e. men), and accepted and believed by many of the muted group (i.e., women) Phrases such as husband and wife, brother and sister and men and women sound rather familiar and though many would deny it today, the fact that the male came first reflected the supposedly objective world view held by the patriarchs - that man was the normative and came first in the natural order (does the Bible's creation story ring a bell?), and that woman was deviant, unnatural, non-normative.

The creation story of the Bible calls that Adam was created first, and that Eve was created from the rib of Adam (reducing worth of women already -to that of a rib! Furthermore, this is a gross inversion of Eve born of Adam, female born from male, rather than female giving birth to male). The snake tempts/tricks Eve into eating The Apple (side note: the snake has been the sign of fertility of many supposedly 'pagan' religions before the advancement of Christianity - portraying the snake as the sign of evil also equated to saying that all other religions were evil). When Eve convinces Adam to eat the Apple, who cops the blame?
Well, the woman, of course! Eve obviously seduced and tricked Adam into eating it! Of course, Adam, being male, can't be stupid! It's not his fault he consented to eating it! It was entirely against his will - he was coerced, absolutely! /SARCASM
As Gail Shulman (1974) says it more succintly;
'Rather than blaming the man for his weakness in yielding to temptation, the woman is branded as dangerous, irresistible temptress'
Shulman, Gail, 1974, 'View from the back of the synagogue: women in Judaism', in Alce Hageman (ed.) Sexist Religion and Women in the Church, in Dale Spender, Man Made Language, p168
Of course, there are other Christain Creation stories, just that the one above is the most well known and favoured one.

Then there's Yin and Yang. They are suppossedly equal, but think about it; Yin represents dark, low, cold, female while yang represents light, high, hot, male. Again, man comes on top, as reflected in the society where this 'duality' originates from.

Indeed, the English language is pejorative to the muted, female group.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When the definition of 'current affairs' changes

Are shows such as Today Tonight and A Current Affair really current affairs shows? Were they current affairs shows long ago?

I don't know about the second question (due to my memory and age), but I think it's somewhat safe to say that these shows aren't really current affairs of the 'news' sort.
I speak about Today Tonight because that's what I've seen more of. Advertising their upcoming segments, they slap their 'exclusive' label consistently (exclusive survey to see how much water is in your meat ???) How to buy cheap food, how to wear fashion-conforming clothing, the latest 'goss' on celebrities. Not current affairs. More like lifestyle show, --probably a weekday alternative to the Friday only 'Better Homes and Gardens'.
A Current Affair is not any better. The fact that they call themselves 'A Current Affair', you'd think they'll actually have current affairs, not celebrity scandals.
And no, celebrity scandals are not current affairs. It's gossip. 'True' gossip occasionally, but still gossip.
So what do I call 'current affairs'? Debates on immigration policies and inhumane treatment of people, the existence of discrimination in countries supposed free, the still existing death penalty in various countries (including the US), how we can slow and reverse global warming. Instead, current affairs appear on news-news outlets, and selected pages in Broadsheet newspapers.

I would call this 'degradation' of news media into goss media, but people will probably disagree with me and call it 'change', right?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Girl = Unsafe = rape culture?

Recently, my two friends and I were walking to the train station. Something then occurred -- as such, my first friend said (jokingly?) that they were escorting me. I replied half-jokingly along the lines of 'surely I can walk by myself in the middle the middle of the day?' [and just to make it clear, we were walking down one of the busiest streets of Melbourne at around noon]
At this point, my second friends replied that, no, I couldn't walk the streets alone, that it was too dangerous. I reaffirmed that I could walk the streets by myself, especially in broad daylight (and in my mind, in the presence of many possible witnesses.) This same friend replied negative. I couldn't, because I was a girl.

Inside, I fumed. I protested lightly, but the station was ahead of me so I waved them goodbye.

To this friend, it seemed as though the fact of being a girl constituted all reason. Maybe if we talked more, deeper reasoning would have been revealed. Maybe if my friend had told me it was dangerous for me because I was small, with a lack of substantial muscle mass, I would have been more satisfied. Of course, that didn’t happen so there is not much point speculating.

So how does being a girl (i.e., having the configuration of XX) make it dangerous to walk the streets alone?

Well, at night, it's dangerous for anyone to walk alone, female or otherwise. Because at night, apparently, drunkards and malicious-intent’ed people lurk the streets. You don't have to be female to have your face caved in by one or more of those people Of course, everyone knows that if you're female and walking the streets alone at night, you're much more likely to be raped by one (or more) of the afore mentioned characters. Maybe this was what my friend was thinking of?

Which brings me to my main point and question. Why and what is [with] this rape-culture that exists?
For one, I don't think the increasingly sexualised image of girls and women in mainstream media helping much. It is like as though these girls and women are just asking to get raped --which defeats the purpose and meaning of 'rape':

rape is a sexual assault, usually involving sexual intercourse, by one person against another person without that person's consent.
(my emphasis) And then again, some people actually believe that those 'raped' really did consent to it, and that it shouldn't be called rape after all.

The media may pay some 'lip-service' against rape, but obviously no one listens. It seems as though every year, at least one group of male footy players are accused of group-rape. At this point in time, please don't say "but men get raped too!" Yes, yes they do. And it is an issue that also needs to be dealt with. In this post however, I'm specifically writing about the in-safety of being a girl.

The Australian crime: Facts & figures 2009 estimates that only 20 per cent of sexual assaults (male and female) are actually reported to the police. So think, if 19,733 sexual assaults were recorded in 2008 (that's 92 people per 100,000 per year -- unacceptable, indeed!) how many people were assaulted without reporting it? That comes up to about 98 thousand assaults!
On the topic of the above file, 'only' 7 per cent of sexual assaults in 2008 occurred on the street or footpath, compared to the overwhelming percentage of 65 per cent occurring in a private dwelling. So that means that it's actually more dangerous for me to be at home? Or is it that these people are dragged off the streets into a private dwelling? Hmm.

Related to 'but men get raped too!':
2005, the ABS conducted the Personal Safety Survey that focused on men’s and women’s experiences of physical and sexual assault. Adults experiencing assault or sexual assault in previous 12 months and since age of 15 years (%):
Seventeen percent of women and five percent of men had reported experiencing a sexual assault since the age of 15 years.

So, according to this survey, women are 3.4 times more like to be sexually assaulted. But I must say, I am surprised that it's 'only' 3.4 times more.

Not only is it that the numbers of people assaulted but just as disturbing is that;
Reported sexual assaults have increased by 51 percent since 1995, at an average of four percent each year.
This is what leads me to wonder if there is some kind of ingrained, somewhat encouraged, culture of rape in society? That the media says it's okay? (Something to visit: The Age: How Fraser-kirk went from victim to villain) Are people becoming increasingly objectified? Is this the downfall of feminism? Of equality? Of human rights????!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Girl = Dress

Surf Deviantart's Anime & Manga images, and what do you get? A disproportionate amount of girls are in dress -and where wielding a weapon does not automatically mean practical clothing. Mayhap my displeasure is erroneously placed - a lot of girls do like wearing dresses, after all. And I guess wearing a really short dress wouldn't hamper your movements as long as you don't care about panty shots and the like.

Something that strongly brought this to my attention was the proliferation of Black Rock Shooter fanart. Though, at least the characters aren't wearing scanty armour that would offer no protection at the weakest spots. Just scanty clothing.

[Above image from here]
What can I say? They're both wearing some armour. It's just that that it doesn't cover their heart, ya know?

[Above image found here]
This character might not be a girl as such. Maybe an extremely young adult? But you see, it is so dangerous that the guy finds it necessary to wear copious amount of armour, and yet this girl has barely anything on AND unsuitable footwear???

Not everyone does that to warrior girls though. There are works of girls/women in practical clothing. It's just really really rare...that's all.

You should visit:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Female Clothing Habits

I remember hearing somewhere, someone saying -or writing- that women's (and girls')[1] clothing is specifically designed such that the wearer is obliged to have a handbag. In fact, on the rare occasions when I actually do go browsing the clothes section at major retails stores, I find this generally and irritably true. There are exceptions, I think.

Clothing made targeting females often consists of tight clothing. As such, they either contain a) no pockets or b) pockets that useless because the clothing is so tight you can't put anything in the pockets [comfortably] and thus must only be there to look 'cool' ???

Oh no, don't forget that there are specifically loose clothing for women. Ya know, those sport-wear for the puny number of women who actually play sport or exercise or somethin' liek dat. Some contain no pockets, some do. My school sports tracksuit pants contained no pockets; my previous school had a little pocket. A little pocket --which is usable - is better than nothing, of course. Though, if you're exercising, there's not much point in lugging around a handbag.

Then what about loose women's clothing that’s not sport-wear? Of course they exist. Do they have pockets? I don’t remember a satisfying percentage (above 20% would be nice) of having pockets.  Obviously, according to my very limited knowledge, usable pockets in women’s fashion are a no-no.

Note: Hoodies and similar do often have big pockets, whether tight or not. However, on both women’s' and men’s', these pockets are for putting your hands in, because the shape and opening of the pockets themselves aren't made for keeping objects from rolling out.

Another big thing in women’s fashion. Dresses and skirts. The one small pocket on my school’s dress and skirt are laughable. Even though it’s not designed for it, I can’t fit my hand in one of them. I mean, what woman of the right of mind would want pockets on their dress or skirt anyway. Everybody knows that pockets are supposed to only appear on men’s clothing, and women are born to carry handbags. Really, I mean it. I mean, the majority of people (western, maybe) can’t be wrong, can they?

A bit further on skirts; I find that in popular culture and the media, that office women wear those tight-looking skirts. I write ‘tight-looking’ because I’ve never worn one myself, but they look tight because the material always looks like it’s stretched. I ask myself, how do they walk in them? By moving just their lower legs and taking lots and lots of tiny steps, I answer. Well, okay, then how do they go toilet? 0__0 Maybe they don’t. Maybe they wait until they change out of it to go? I do notice that on the train, a huge majority of office-working-looking women wear pants. So, a popular culture that likes seeing women in tight skirts, despite its evident impracticality?

[1] The terms woman, girl and female will be used interchangeably here. We all know girls aren't women but the media obviously portrays them as such, and a lot of girls, it appears, want to be older, like women, but when they actually become women, they suddenly want to get younger?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Discrimination (the ALP and Gay Marriage)

Waaayyy too much discrimination in a society that overall thinks that they don't discriminate, unlike other certain countries. Hey, it's really not worth reading this if you're going to ignore it.

I guess I'm still rather ignorant, and maybe I'm ignorant to think this; but I thought that Australian law/Equal Opportunities Act explicitly states to not discriminate against sexual orientation. Yet Australia still doesn't allow gay marriage? (Note date of posting)
If the argument of those [against gay marriage] is the belief that children have the right to have a mother and father of either sex, and that they will feel left out and/or discriminated against (at school) for having 'two mothers' or 'two fathers', then I wonder if they are admitting the discrimination that still exists in society.

And then I hear something about the ALP going on how marriage is strictly between a man and a woman. Riiigghhtt....I see a hidden depth of conservatism, religion and tradition, a really deep depth

Don't mind me, I just need to go fume off a bit and punch some imaginary faces in. Yep.