What We Missed

For the first time, a trans woman will rush the Texas Zeta Chi sorority at Trinity University in Texas.

Newsweek addresses how the new TSA security screenings could be triggering to sexual assault survivors. (Via Shakesville.)

F-Bomb talks about whether “feminist”-friendly advertisements are exploitation or progress.

Apparently the idea of women bishops have some Angelicans’ panties in such a bunch that it’s causing them to convert (thanks to Pope Benedict, of course). Buh-bye!

A big congrats to our girl Courtney, who will be speaking at the TEDWomen conference in a couple of weeks.

Have a great weekend, all!

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8 Comments

  1. Posted November 20, 2010 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Regarding advertisements, feminist messages and anti-feminist messages alike function to rouse and entertain customers to buy products. Advertising generally has trouble getting people to actually trust messages that the product is good, so it often relies on emotional messages. Some of these messages are outright gratuitous: “Be your own person. Start a revolution. Do not back down. Live your own way. Be a pioneer.” Each of these sentences are paraphrases of slogans or partial slogans used to get people to buy stuff. It should be no surprise that socially-charged messages are thrown into the mix, and sometimes they are outright perverted (a cheerful “no glass ceiling” coming from a woman who looks like a sales clerk from the 1950s).

    Also, “panties in [such] a bunch” is blatantly sexist. But to the point of the topic itself: I am of the belief that of people who are sufficiently dissatisfied and have the means will join whatever religion they feel fits their world view. While 50 priests converting may look significant as an event, it is small in the grand scheme of things. For example, the ARIS survey suggests that out of people living in the US who have changed religions, Catholics have had a net change of -5.2 million (not that they aren’t making up for it with parents recruiting their children to the catholic church).

    • Posted November 21, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Matt,

      As for the advertisements, are you saying that you think they are not progress? Fbomb made such an interesting point about the need to consider whether the motivation behind the ad is more important or what the millions of viewers are seeing. I think most of the advertising world is pretty disgusting, even if it is wrapped in attempts at promoting positive change, but I would prefer to see good things being said (even if the company is just saying them for their own purposes) than any more stupid beer commercials using women to sell their products.

      • Posted November 21, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        I think that although it is great to see more positive images of women in commercials, that this is encouraging women to sabotage themselves. The new Barbie commercial had great images of women doing anything that they wanted, but the fact still remains that the Barbie company doesn’t support this view. A special edition Barbie that could talk would utter the words, “Math is hard!” and Barbie still represents an unreachable beauty standard for young girls. These companies are advertising things that they aren’t selling. Like the article concluded, “What is new is a society in which a company like Dove can advertise body lotion by telling us we’re all pretty enough without it.”

      • Posted November 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        The nature of the advertisements is partially a reflection of the audience/consumers. It bodes well as far as us being bombarded by more of the messages we want to hear, but…

        1) It’s flattery (and flattery generally does not “please” the target as much as insults “bother” the target).
        2) There is usually a corruption or a distortion of the “good” value, since the product itself may not actually embody the value by its nature (something FBomb warns).
        3) I’d rather not have my values twisted so that they serve as a trigger for thinking about something an advertiser wants me to buy.
        4) I’d rather advertisers discuss the merit of their products rather than try to manipulate me on a more emotional level.
        5) I don’t take satisfaction in knowing I possess values shared by a group with enough collective purchasing power in order to be pandered to.

        In the end, advertising is still just advertising (with viewers either agreeing or dismissing the “value” without much thought), and shaping hearts and minds still must come from elsewhere, through more nuanced discourse than what a 30-second ad has to offer.

  2. Posted November 21, 2010 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    As a Catholic, I am extremely frustrated at the conservative Anglicans converting to Catholicism because it means that the prospect of reform in the Catholic Church will just be pushed back further. I don’t defend any of the Church’s political decisions, but it is a part of my identity which I cannot ignore and which I wish I could be happier with.

  3. Posted November 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I volunteer for a group called Cultivating Dreams. We’re a student-run, nonprofit group that goes to the California Institution for Women, a women’s prison in Corona, CA, to help run an organic garden. Twice a week, we garden alongside the women inside of the prison, harvest the food, and transport it to the prison kitchen. We’re looking to increase our yield so that the food in the garden can sustain more of the women inside, especially because the quality of the food in the prison is so dire.

    More importantly, the garden helps to create a diverse community around food, gardening, work, growth and health in a place where it is most beneficial. We try to acknowledge the unique issues that surround women who end up in prison and the ways in which those social structures are often replicated inside of the prison. That way, we can figure the goings-on of the garden as a safe space, a space where we all bring something different to the table, and a space where we can all try to forge some kind of empowerment.

    Luckily, we’re up for a $25,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh project. Yes, Pepsi may be an evil corporation, but as we’re a nonprofit, we can’t be entirely choosy about where we get our funding. This grant would allow our program to continue and expand. If people are interested in what we do and want to support us, you can all vote for us every day for the rest of the month. We’re currently in 24th place and need to end up in 10th to win the grant.

    The voting website is here, and you can vote every day through your e-mail AND your Facebook AND text messaging. You can vote for up to ten projects a day, and there are some really great programs competing for the money that you can browse through. We’d really appreciate any support you can give us. Your votes would actually make a huge difference.

  4. Posted November 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Transgender Day of Remembrance was on Saturday. And a sobering survey shows the high suicide risk for transgender Americans:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40279043/ns/health-health_care/

  5. Posted November 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m really glad to hear people talking about survivor issues with these scans. It really comes back to the question of, whose safety are we protecting? The full-body scans and pat-downs are also a huge threat to gender non-conforming people. Having ID that doesn’t match your presentation is hard enough when they check your license and boarding pass, let alone being scrutinized physically. For stealth folks whose ID does match their presentation, a body scan or pat-down could out them in seconds. Does anyone know if people are writing/talking about that issue as well?

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