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Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Me too, Ariane, me too.

(Although I do think the question is racist, or shows the questioner’s susceptibility to racist culture, or something.)

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A commercial radio station in Sydney (which I won’t name) has had a series of ads for a new breakfast crew (who I also won’t name, but two of them started on JJJ and I never liked them there, either).

I have seen three of these ads, but the conceit for each of them is the same: the ad shows three things in succession and names them, then puts them together and describes the new scene, then says: “Some combinations are just funny” and gives the names of the breakfast presenters and the radio station.

Maybe I’m just a feminist with no sense of humour, but I find none of the combinations funny. One of them is downright offensive, another is sexist, and the third simply has no humour.

The combinations are:

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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).

Transcript:
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A Japanese man has married his virtual girlfriend.

I’m not sure what’s worst about this story. The contenders:

(1) The first sentence of the article:

We may occasionally wish our spouses had an “off” switch but a Japanese man will have that luxury full-time…

This sentence assumes that the audience are all (a) male, (b) heterosexual and (c) misogynist.

(2) The fact that the game Love Plus

invites players to pick a girlfriend and then challenges them to woo her by taking her out on “dates” and perform boyfriend duties such as saying “I love you” 100 times…

So, Nintendo also assumes that its target market are all (a) heterosexual, (b) male and (c) interested only in wish-fulfilment game-playing, rather than having an actual relationship with an actual person who is actually not a stereotype of a woman.

(Of course, it could just be that Asher Moses’s description of the game – the game itself may allow you to also choose a boyfriend. Somehow, I doubt it. I’m cynical that way.)

(3) The somewhat condescending comments (the first is “Oh dear”). That condescension says, to me, “look at that poor little [different person], we’re not like that”, and that, to me, pricks up my racism-alert hackles.

And whaddaya know, a couple of comments down there’s a comment which suggests that giving these games to “young Chinese and Indian men” could “stop the population boom”. Yep, that’s racism!

Oh dear, indeed.

I’m not going to go into the marrying-the-game-character thing. I do find it a bit disturbing, and I think that’s because of the implied power imbalance. Which is not so much a problem for the individual game character involved (!), but for what it potentially says about the man’s attitude towards women, and what he wants in a woman. I find that more problematic than the idea that he wants to marry the game character, per se. But I haven’t unpacked it enough to write about it coherently, and I don’t want to fall into the trap of sounding (or being!) condescending or racist by writing about something I don’t really get.

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DUFC logo

Welcome to the 18th Down Under Feminists’ Carnival! (And apologies for the delay.)

This Carnival has an optional caring theme, thanks to Australian Carers’ Week (which was October 18 to October 24). The theme for this year was “Anyone, Anytime, Across Australia”, which I modified to “Anyone, Anytime” for the purposes of the DUFC.

There wasn’t much sent in on theme, so I’ve expanded the DUFC rules just a little.

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I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in God, nor do I believe there is any inherent supernatural reason not to walk on Uluru.

However, I do believe there are excellent cultural reasons not to walk on Uluru.

I also believe that human rights are important.

However, I don’t believe that your choice to do something as trivial as climb Uluru because it’s there is a human right.

Unlike Kerry van der Jagt and her mates.

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The Land and Environment Court has dismissed the appeal by the Quranic Society against a decision by Camden Municipal Council not to allow a Muslim school in the area.

I haven’t read the decision yet – if I get the chance to do so next week, I may post about it – but the ABC article linked above gives the court’s reason for dismissing the appeal as being that the school “was not suitable for the rural nature of the land.”

I’ve written about this school before, and again, I’m skeptical about the Court’s reasoning – but I’ll wait until I get the chance to read the judgment before I say too much about that.

What I want to draw attention to, though, is comments like this (from the ABC article):
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