A little over three years ago, a close childhood friend contacted me because their cousin (Evan) was looking for another writer to become a regular contributor on a blog called Culture War Reporters. I jumped at the chance and, after a very serious interview with Evan and Gordon, became a regular contributor here at CWR.
I’m feeling more than a little nostalgic rereading some of those early posts and conversations with my co-writers. It’s even making me question my decision to stop writing for the blog. Despite my second thoughts and feelings of nostalgia, I’ve considered stepping down for some time now, and I’d like to share a few reasons why I feel the time is right.
1. I haven’t been dedicating the time needed to create quality posts
When I first started writing for CWR, I was so excited and nervous about my first blogging opportunity that I would write my post early in the week and return to them throughout the week to do more editing. Luckily, I was also a full-time student, so I was already spending several hours a day at my computer screen writing. It was a welcome break to stop working on homework and spend a few hours writing about whatever topic I was particularly interested in that week.
This year my schedule began to shift. I was only in school part-time and began balancing several other jobs on the side. While I still enjoyed taking time to write for CWR, I was spending much less time at my laptop and it took a conscious effort to remember to get my posts up on time. The week would often slip by and I’d wind up writing last minute, which inevitably meant lower quality writing and less time spent researching my topic. I’ve come to realize that writing just hasn’t been on the top of my priority list, and, consequently, I haven’t produced the quality of content I want to put out into the world.
2. Other passions are drawing my attention
I’ve always loved to write, and I suspect that I always will. But lately, I haven’t felt nearly as passionate about writing as I’ve felt about some of my other interests. This summer I’ve had several opportunities to teach programs or courses that took up a large portion of my time. This September, I’m going to be starting the teaching post-degree program. As I feel myself getting more and more excited about this new career direction, I can also imagine myself spending less and less time writing (especially while I continue to work on the side). Rather than produce lower quality content, I’d rather take time off from blogging until I once again feel passionate enough about my writing to spend the time needed to produce quality content. Continue reading
I’m going to watch Ghostbusters tonight and I am crazy excited. Here’s why I can’t wait to see it in the theatre, and why I think you should shell out the money to watch it there too.
1. It will piss off the misogynists spewing their garbage all over the Internet
As you may have heard, the trailer for this year’s Ghostbusters reboot was the most downvoted video of all time
. Even though every woman knows not to read the comments on any video containing a woman, I thought I’d take a look just to see what was rising to the top. I was treated to comments like these,
This, along with the general sentiment that “any reboots staring women couldn’t be good,” was the first strike that got me excited to watch the movie. Mostly, I was just feeling spiteful towards the internet trolls who teamed up with the goal of making this movie suffer. Continue reading
Posted in feminism, film, gender
Tagged abuse, anger, character, characters, childhood, criticized, designer, dress, funny, Ghostbusters, hate, Kate McKinnon, Kristin Wigg, Leslie Jones, love, Melissa McCarthy, misogyny, pretty, racism, reboot, representation, sexism, spiteful, support
I was never a big comic book reader as a kid.
This was probably due to my mom’s irritation with any form of entertainment that used a woman’s body as a key selling point.
As an adult, I tried to start reading comics but I ran into the same issue I had with weekly released television: I couldn’t binge it. After finishing one issue of a series I would be suddenly and irrationally angry that I couldn’t read what happened next. By the time I finally had access to the next issue, I was so irritated about being forced to wait that I refused to put myself through the process again.
This problem is sometimes solved by bundled comics, but my few experiences with these generally left me unsatisfied. In some cases, it was because even the bundled versions still left me on some sort of cliffhanger (i.e. The Walking Dead), but sometimes it was because the writing was kinda terrible (Marvel’s Superhero Secret Wars). More than likely, I just gave up too soon (I’m hoping Evan will leave me a few suggestions in the comments that will change my mind), but generally speaking, my brush with comic books has left me wanting more. I wanted more characters who I could relate to, or writing that I could find more inspiring, or a more complex style of storytelling and/or illustrating. Continue reading
Posted in comics, literature
Tagged abstract, Alison Bechdel, American Born Chinese, art, Blankets, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Craig Thompson, David Small, English Major, Fun Home, Gene Yang, graphic novels, Jennifer Hayden, Jim Demonakos, love to read, Marjane Satrapi, Mark Long, Michael Yahgulanaas, mural, Nate Powell, Persepolis, pretentious, read, Red: A Haida Manga, Roz Chast, Stitches, story, text, The Silence of Our Friends, The Story of my Tits, Undergrad, visual stories
By now you’ve probably heard that Stanford student Brock Allen Turner was sentenced to only 6 months in prison for raping an unconscious woman at a party. You’ve probably also heard his father shamelessly attempt to downplay Turner’s actions as “20 minutes of action”.
Hopefully, you’ve also read the letter written by the rape survivor. In it, she breaks down many of the myths around rape, myths Turner’s defence used to attack her testimony and represent Turner as some kind of victim instead. Her heartbreaking personal account has broken down the defences of almost everyone who has read it (except Turner and his father, it would seem). According to Buzzfeed, one of the main sites to release her letter, her words have “gone viral” in a way few conversations about sexual assault ever do.
And as the word has spread, almost everyone has gotten behind this brave woman. Her story has brought light to the problem of systemic injustices, like light penalties for many cases of sexual assault and disproportionate penalties based on racial or economic background.
More than anything her story has prompted a united public outrage. Every comment I have read expresses distain and anger towards Turner and sympathy for his victim. Even internet trolls who would normally find a reason to challenge the victim’s story (i.e. some members of the Men’s Rights Reddit page) admit that “outrage over this issue is legitimate” (although their comments inevitably lead back to criticizing feminism).
In some ways it’s encouraging to witness the attack on Brock Turner. It seems like we’re experiencing a massive shift in the way we talk about rape and sexual violence. As this story has unfolded we’ve seen few if any attempts to slut shame or victim blame in the media or public conversation.
As glad as I am that this conversation has come out in favour of the victim, I can’t help but wonder if the public condemnation of Turner actually signals for a yearning for justice, or if perhaps other factors are at play. I’ve been struggling with two questions in particular. Continue reading
Posted in crime, media, morality, news, politics, race, sex
Tagged 20 minutes of action, abusive, Anonymous, athlete, attitude, backlash, blood, Brave, Brock Turner, conversation shift, crowd, cultural shift, economic, father, hospital, hypocrisy, inequality, Judge Persky, justice, letter, media, Men, men's rights, mob, penalties, physical assault, prison, questions, racial, rape, representation, revenge, Sexual Assault, slut shame, stanford, Stanford rape, stanford rapist, survivor, systemic injustice, testimony, trauma, victim, victim blame, witnesses, woman, women
The sexual assault of a child is the most abhorrent crime in the world. As a society we curse those who commit such crimes and refuse to recognize them as anything but outsiders and deviants. Unfortunately, pedophilia is far more common than we care to admit.
Former child actors Elijah Wood and Corey Feldman recently drew attention to the problem of pedophilia in Hollywood. While Wood only pointed to events he had heard about (and last year’s documentary film, An Open Secret), Feldman referred to his own experience with abuse
Unfortunately for Feldman, even if he would like to call out the men who abused him as a child he is unable to do so for legal reasons:
I would love to name names. I’d love to be the first to do it. But unfortunately California conveniently enough has a statute of limitations that prevents that from happening. Because if I were to go and mention anybody’s name I would be the one that would be in legal problems and I’m the one that would be sued.
In a stark juxtaposition to Hollywood, Indonesia is also in the news for their dealings with pedophiles. After a 14-year-old girl was brutally gang raped and then murdered, President Joko Widodo introduced a new law that would mean the death penalty or chemical castration for the sexual assault of a minor.
After reading about the injustice of Hollywood, where survivors are unable to prosecute the predators who took advantage of them, reading about Indonesia can feel like a breath of fresh air. However, it’s worth looking beyond our gut reaction to ask if forced chemical castration, and the possibility of the death penalty, will actually work as a deterrent against the sexual assault of a minor. Continue reading
Posted in crime, news, politics, sex
Tagged abuse, An Open Secret, assault, believe survivors, chemical castration, chemical therapy, children, Corey Feldman, death penalty, defamation, disease, disgust, domination, Elijah Wood, evil, germany, hide, Hollywood, Hurt, Indonesia, innocent, legal, meme, Mental illness, myth, normal, one-dimensional, pedophile, pedophilia, Penal Reform, power, predator, prevent, prevention, problem, protection, punish, punishment, recidivism, Sexual Assault, sick, society, sued, support group, survivors, victims, Violence, virtuous pedophiles