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Posts Tagged ‘sexism’

Shorter Peter Roebuck: Real MENZ don’t support their wimminz!!!! (with a side helping of the wimminz role is to support the MENZ).

Some tasters from the article: (more…)

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Take a look at this article. It’s about a privileged couple who wanted alternative access to their property. They were not permitted to build a private road, but the council told them that a public road would be permitted. So they asked for a public road – and agreed to pay for it – and the council agreed to build it.

I’m not going to comment on the law of all this, or whether I think it’s right or wrong that the road is being built, or anything like that.

No, what I’m interested in is the way the article is written, who appears to have been doing what, and who is noticing whom doing what.

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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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… I ran into a charming mansplainer this week.

I have just acquired a new computer for work, so I thought I should go best practice and get some surge protection, too.

I dropped into my local hardware store a couple of weeks ago, and was shocked at the price difference between the top and bottom ends. The specs on these things are not very clear, and so I couldn’t figure out whether it was worth paying extra or not. So I asked someone.

The someone I asked was a big burly bloke who seemed to know what he was talking about. He was absolutely adamant that I needed to buy the surge protector at the top end, and his explanation made some sense. He was a little condescending, but I’m so used to that that I ignore it, as long as the information is useful. But I am always suspicious about people who try to sell me the most expensive item in the store, so I decided to think about it.

I had some time this week, so I went back to the same shop and asked another person. The someone I asked this time was a short burly bloke, maybe 18 or 20 (ie significantly younger than me, and nobody ever thinks I’m younger than I am), who in a blusteringly condescending tone gave me the exact opposite advice the first man had given me – but who couldn’t explain why, just said with a patronising sneer: “you don’t need that”. Let’s call him Condescending Fool.

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… or is anyone else slightly frustrated by the assumptions which are just absolutely loaded into Panasonic’s current catchphrase, which is “The smartest guys in the room”?

I know, I know, there are assumptions loaded into every statement, but these ones really get my goat. In particular, the following assumptions:

– Panasonic’s stuff was conceived/designed/built/sold/etc by men.
– Men are the default person/there are only men in the room/the only people in the room that matter are men/men are smarter than women anyway so one only needs to talk about the smartest men to get the message across.

*sigh*

(And yes, I know that “guys” can be used to equal “people” in some contexts – I myself use “hey guys” as a generic greeting sometimes, although with less frequency than I once did. However, the use of “guy” when talking about “a guy” or “the guy” (or the plurals thereof) is generally used to refer to men – I’d say almost exclusively so.)

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You make it all about a man, of course!

I heard a day or two ago that The Lovely Bones had been turned into a movie.

Last night, I saw a trailer for the movie.

Now, my memory of the book is something like the one in this review – that is, that while Susie’s father’s obsession with finding Susie’s killer was an important part of the book, it was by no means the focus.

According to the trailer I saw, it is the main point of the movie.

[Trigger warning for the next sentence]

Which possibly means it’s just another “young virginal girl gets raped and murdered, great, let’s make a violent revenge flick”. Which misses so much.

I’m wondering whether the movie will even pass the Bechdel test? (I’m pretty sure the book does.)

I don’t think I’ll be watching it to find out.

(And let’s make this clear: the trailer may have misrepresented the movie, and this assessment may be wrong. In that case, they should have created a trailer that better represented the movie, shouldn’t they?)

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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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