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I hate Lifetime Xmas movies part deux!!!

I hate Lifetime Xmas movies part deux!!! published on No Comments on I hate Lifetime Xmas movies part deux!!!

Yesterday, I watched another Lifetime Xmas movie, The Road to Xmas, in which a woman is happily engaged to an Italian man. He’s preparing a surprise wedding for her in Aspen and, when one of her photography shoots is canceled, she decides to fly out early to surprise him. When her flight is canceled, she hitches a ride with a widower and his teenaged daughter. The woman [naturally :p ] falls in love with the widower, conveniently discovers her fiance’s infidelity and dumps the fiance for the widower.

For a Lifetime Xmas movie, The Road to Xmas was surprisingly tolerable. This is probably because the movie itself was a road-trip romance that happened to occur arround Xmas, rather than a film in which Xmas plays a starring role as the holiday of cliched and enforced happiness for all.

Because I could watch Road to Xmas without gagging on holiday cheer, its problematic elements stood out all the more strongly: 1) homophobia and 2) domestic violence.

You see…the photographer’s fiance wasn’t just having an affair with some random woman…he was sexing it up with the male wedding planner. After unbelievable excuses, the fiance protests that he really wanted the wedding between him and the photographer to work out, which makes him seem like not only a cheater, but a cheater deluded enough to think that a straight marriage would somehow keep both parties happy when one party is secretly gay. After an entirely heteronormative movie, two gay characters appear only to provide a devastating [yet convenient] end to the photographer and fiance’s relationship, thus reinforcing the idea that gay people are selfish homewreckers.

I also objected to the domestic violence at the end of the film. When she discovered that her fiance was gay, the photographer swung her fists at him, slapping him and pounding him in the chest. He said something like, “Please don’t hit me!” or “Why are you hitting me?” Her response was something like, “It’s the only thing I can think to do, and it feels good.” The photographer’s blows against her fiance were shown to be ineffectual and comic, but just make the assailant a man and the victim a woman to see how chilling this exchange truly is. Can you imagine a male character justifying violence against a female character by saying, “It feels good”? Most people would recognize such a situation as the abusive behavior it is. When the assailant is female, however, and the victim male, the situation is minimized, diminished and played for comic relief so that the violence seems more palatable, even acceptable and dismissable! Vomitorious.

“Man down”: mocking men for “effeminacy” in Samsung Focus Flash ads

“Man down”: mocking men for “effeminacy” in Samsung Focus Flash ads published on No Comments on “Man down”: mocking men for “effeminacy” in Samsung Focus Flash ads

Hulu is playing ads for the Samsung Focus Flash smart phone these days, and both ads that I've seen so far piss me off because they both contain mockery of men who dare to deviate from culturally presecribed masculinity.

In one ad, a man tries on a pink shirt and black tights, then asks his friends via phone, "Do I look like an ice skater?" Despite his female significant other's assurance that he looks fine, his social network [whom he calls "the guys"] respond with jibes such as "Man down." These comments imply that Pink Shirt is losing his manhood by a) wearing such an outfit and b) allowing his female significant other to select clothing for him. Pink Shirt's peer group polices masculinity by teasing and shaming those who deviate from the machismo of current U.S. masculinity.

In the other ad I've seen, two men are threatening each other with things to post to Youtube. Friend A shows a video of Friend B crying at a movie, calling it a video of "a sad, sad man," with sad meaning both "unhappy" and also "pathetic" here. When Friend B teases Friend A about a comment from Friend A's girlfriend, Friend A threatens to post a video of Friend B in a shower cab in bathtub, washing his legs. Friend A impugns Friend B's masculinity by showing Friend B doing "effeminate" things such as crying at a movie or wearing a shower cab in the tub. The social network, like Friend A, who calls Friend B "a sad, sad man," responds instantly with derision.

I can't believe this campaign. The whole point of this phone is to easily update one's social networks, and the best way the execs can think to do this is by having the characters insult one another's gender expression? It's a sad, sad ["unhappy" + "pathetic"] view of social networks as promoters of rigid joyless conformity. It's also a sad, sad view of friendship as superficial togetherness masking secret wells of nasty criticism.

I hate Lifetime Xmas movies.

I hate Lifetime Xmas movies. published on No Comments on I hate Lifetime Xmas movies.

They all contain female protagonists who are over the hill at my age >:( [Eve’s Xmas] and who learn the true, fulfilling value of heterosexual marriage through the intervention of unrealistic “meet cutes” [His and Hers Xmas] or Magical Wise Negro fairy godfathers. Vomit vomit vomit. They’re sort of fascinating in a stomach-churning sort of way.

Repartee to bigots??

Repartee to bigots?? published on 1 Comment on Repartee to bigots??

On this thread on Dances With Fat about LGBT ally George Takei’s fat phobia, commenter Saffie brings a possible retort for people who stick their noses in and offer bigoted, shaming comments about her fat body:

My favorite response?

  • “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry for your loss.”
  • “What loss?”
  • “Seems like your parents weren’t around to teach you manners. I just thought you must have lost them at a very young age.”

Recognizing that not everyone is raised by their parents and it’s not appropriate to bring up parental death to strangers who may have had parents who died, I would change this conversation as follows:

  • Bigot: [stupid comment]
  • Person: I’m so sorry for your loss.
  • Bigot: Bzuh?
  • Person: You seem to have tragically lost your manners. My condolences.


“One card is celebrating moms for all they do during the holidays.”

“One card is celebrating moms for all they do during the holidays.” published on 2 Comments on “One card is celebrating moms for all they do during the holidays.”

I just came across an outrageous online ad for Mastercard. It said that, if you sign up for this special, you can spend $200.00 online and get a $20.00 gift card. I have no objection to the particular promotion itself, but it's the framing of the promotion that enrages me. It's targeted explicitly toward moms, including the text in the subject line of my entry.

This ad assumes that…

1) Everyone viewing it does holiday [i.e., Xmas] shopping.

2) Those who do shop are mothers. Other people don't shop.

3) The best way to reward people for undergoing the aggravating, time-consuming, frequently stressful, often anxiety-producing business of shopping is to give them more money so they can do more shopping. That doesn't sound like a reward to me.

This ad just recapitulates the tired sexist trope that mothers are responsible not for a family's support or earning, but for a family's consumption and happiness [in the form of gifts]. The gift card that urges its recipients to spend $20.00 more than the $200.00 they already have, to mother more, to consume more, to do more for the holidays, to somehow be better mothers.

The kyriarchy is never satisfied. It denigrates women, but then expects them to achieve impossibly high standards of feminine "perfection." One can't win!

Doll meetup, 12/10/11: TIny Thai, Essex Center

Doll meetup, 12/10/11: TIny Thai, Essex Center published on No Comments on Doll meetup, 12/10/11: TIny Thai, Essex Center

vermont chick, goldi, JustKate89 and I met this afternoon at Tiny Thai in Essex Center for some frigid pictures at the gazebo in the Essex Shoppes parking lot.

Attending were [L to R] vermont chick's Alchemic Lab Unoa Lusis, my Araminthe, JustKate89's Angel of Dream Mimi and goldi's Fairyland Minifee Chloe. They are all holding onto their hair because it was windy out!
Continue reading Doll meetup, 12/10/11: TIny Thai, Essex Center

Prudie advises woman with blankie

Prudie advises woman with blankie published on 1 Comment on Prudie advises woman with blankie

Advice columnists can sometimes give terrible advice, with Prudie from Slate being no exception. Being very cross with the cissexist, misogynist, fatphobic, ableist advice columnist Dan Savage, I was pleased to read some advice of Prudie's that made sense to me.

The questioner, a 27-year-old woman with a blankie, noted that her significant other did not like the blankie. Prudie said that, "after talking with blankie" [hah!], the questioner should let her significant other know that the blankie is not going anywhere. Prudie described the blankie as a harmless object that fills the space of lucky charm or security object in the questioner's life, and the blankie should not be derided or dismissed, as it is not doing the questioner any harm.

As someone who still enjoys snuggling with the teddy bear that I received for my first birthday, I approve of this message.

ABC’s new dung heap of a show: Work It

ABC’s new dung heap of a show: Work It published on No Comments on ABC’s new dung heap of a show: Work It

So I learned, thanks to Shakesville, that ABC has a new show coming out in fall 2012 called Work It. In this show, two cis straight guys pretend to be cis straight women in order to get jobs. How bilgey is that?

Oh, the horrible sexism. Shows like this, which pretend to be reflective about gender and sex but really aren't, usually end up cementing the vast, irreconciliable differences that supposedly exist between men and women. Shows like this also tend to suggest that, somehow, the male protagonists are better at being women [you know, fooling all those stupid cis straight wimmenz] than women are, thus denigrating the sex and gender of women.

Oh, the horrible transphobia too. Shows like this assert that it's funny when biologically male people try to radically change their gender presentation. Shows like this say that biologically male people who radically change their gender presentation will never successfully pass; they'll always eventually be seen as their "true," biologically male selves. Shows like this portray gender transition as fatuous and ultimately futile, preferring to see it as a comedic device, rather than a way that some people use to manifest their true identities.

Oh, finally, the horrible stupidity. It doesn't really make sense, given the barriers to employment that women face [such as pay disparities with men and risks of sexual harassment], that being a woman would somehow make things easier for our two cis straight guys. In fact, new challenges would crop up, not of the easily resolved comic variety, but of the deeply situated, kyrarchical kind. What a stupid show!

Hi, Jujube! ~_^

Hi, Jujube! ~_^ published on No Comments on Hi, Jujube! ~_^

This weekend I bought an Elfdoll tiny Winky, one of the original releases, with regular [as opposed to elf] ears. Here's a picture of what she looks like on the official site, but mine has a cuter faceup, with raised eyebrows and little freckles.

The Winky that I bought, whose name is Jujube, does not have any purpose in my amassment other than to be cute. I decided that she can be my at-work BJD, making me smile while I'm at my desk. Even though I already have non-BJD Junebug and her BJD Precious Little to keep me company, I can always use another, especially one as adorable as Jujube.

The technical definition of a jujube is "a cough drop of gelatin, sometimes made with berries from the jujube tree."

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