Archive for the ‘institutional sexism’ Category

Trigger warning: references to violence (including sexual violence) against women

I am sufficiently enraged/inspired enough to post.

I don’t have anything particularly new to say, just a couple of observations to make.

First: why, in this article at the Gruaniad, which is a list of the columnist’s top 10 books about missing persons, are the majority of the missing persons women?

Second: why, on the DVD covers for the Forsyte Saga, does series 1 have the warning “adult themes”, and series 2 have the warning “low level sex scene”, when series 1 includes a scene where a character is raped? (The sex scene – very low level indeed – in series 2 is consensual.)

Cross-posted at Hoyden About Town.

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The SMH is at it again.

This is what I’m getting at:SMH front page clip showing an article about eliminating bingo wings (for women) in the Life & Style sectionSMH front page clip showing an article about eliminating bingo wings (for women) in the Life & Style section

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A tale of two legal systems.

In each legal system, there is a woman has been sexually assaulted.

Each woman is subjected to some sort of abuse by the person who is supposed to be prosecuting the sexual assault.

The similarities end there.


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The headline:

All men tarred by boorish brush

The summary sentence (the first sentence of the article is substantially the same):

Men who sexually harass women are actually harming their whole gender, a study has found

What the study is about: (more…)

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I’ve been seeing this banana ad on TV quite a bit recently (there are a few versions of it, but this is the one I want to talk about).


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I saw the headline for this article, that headline being “Naomi Watts is world’s most profitable actress” and thought: “Hmmm. ‘Profitable’ is usually used to describe to a thing, an object, a commodity. Fuck.” Then I thought: “Please tell me that’s just the sub-editor, and that the article is actually about women AND men, because it’s bad enough treating people as commodities in the first place, but…”

And then I clicked through to the article and found that no, it’s just about how much money can be made through the commodification of women in films. Nothing about male actors.

The assumption I immediately made was that someone has clearly realised – even if subconsciously – that it would be demeaning to men to treat them in this way, as commodities.


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Peter Hartcher, the SMH’s international editor (by which I assume they mean editor of international news) is a pretty good columnist. His articles tend to be interesting and thought-provoking. They are about politics, international politics and economics.

So when I saw the headline “Attractive French model bears close watching” on Hartcher’s column today, I assumed that this was a sub-editor’s attempt to get more readers to read Hartcher’s column, and that it was about the French economic model.

I considered not clicking through, in a tiny protest at the headline, but Hartcher’s columns are interesting enough – and I learn enough from them – that I figured I could overlook it this time.

However, here is how Hartcher’s column begins:

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Wow! Another person in authority espousing another radical* notion! That’s two this week!

As per the following extract from an article in The Australian:

Mr Combet, a former ACTU national secretary, told parliament yesterday the Defence Science and Technology Organisation would develop a new set of physical employment standards for the army that would accurately measure a person’s ability to perform the broad variety of jobs in the modern defence force. “A priority of the government is to improve the recruitment and retention of women in the ADF,” he said. “My own view is that all categories should be open to women. The only exceptions should be where the physical demands cannot be met according to criteria that are determined on the basis of scientific analysis, rather than assumptions about gender.”

So in other words: let’s look at what the job actually requires, rather than the gender marker on your driver’s licence (or other form of identification).**

* Yes, that’s sarcasm again.

** Trying to work out how to say this in a cis/trans neutral way made me realise: I have no idea what the ADF’s stance is on permitting trans people (men or women) – or intersex people – to do the various jobs women (in general) are not permitted to do. Now that could make for an interesting case!

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