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
Twitter has changed the way news is reported. The Black Lives Matter movement has been particularly successful in raising awareness for cases of police brutality that generally would have been overlooked by mainstream news channels.
Arguably the second most important aspect of Twitter is its ability to connect celebrities to their fan base. With the prevalence of these two features, it’s hardly surprising that celebrities and celebrity events have become more politicized.
This year’s Academy Awards are a prime example of this overlap between the celebrity world and political struggles that have been highlighted via Twitter. Below, I’ve included a few notable examples of Twitter flexing its muscles at the Oscars
I’m not going to dwell too much on the circumstances of the #OscarsSoWhite boycott, since Gordon and Evan have already thoroughly explained its context. However, I do want to talk a bit about how the controversy was handled by the Oscars host, Chris Rock.
Overall, I thought Rock did a great job calling out the Academy without reducing his monologue to a humourless lecture. However, in his article for Salon, Arthur Chu points out that,
Acting like caring about day-to-day violence in the streets and the impact media and culture have on that violence are somehow mutually exclusive — a common, frustrating, tired argument anyone who talks about racism in media will inevitably see dozens of times in the comments section — ignores history.
It ignores the many, many arguments that have been made about how the excuses made for the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown frequently come verbatim from untrue stereotypes out of TV and movies, how the only way Darren Wilson’s description of Brown as a “demon” who was “bulking up to get through the bullets” could possibly make sense to anyone is after a lifetime of media portrayals of the scary superhuman black man. It ignores Martin Luther King going out of his way to call Nichelle Nichols and tell her not to quit “Star Trek” because having a black woman on TV who wasn’t a domestic servant mattered. It ignores the ongoing civil rights protests around the Oscars back in the 1960s and ’70s, including Marlon Brando making history as the first and only best actor winner to boycott the ceremony, sending American Indian Movement activist Sacheen Littlefeather to accept the award in his place.
Similarly, several activists have since pointed out the one-dimensionality of calling for more black representation only to appeal to Asian-American stereotypes for a laugh. Continue reading
Posted in America, celebrity, fashion, feminism, film, internet, media, politics
Tagged #AskHerMore, #BlackLivesMatter, #yesallwomen, Academy Awards, activism, actor, actress, art, Arthur Chu, backlash, black man, bullets, celebrities, chris rock, College, cultural shift, diversity, fashion, Hashtag, heard, Hollywood, host, impact, job, Lady Gaga, martin luther king, media, Men, monolgue, Oscars, OscarsSoWhite, people of color, performance, power, race, rape culture, reporter, representation, Representation project, Salon, sex, shallow, stage, Star Trek, stereotypes, superhuman, survivors, Twitter, university, Violence, voice, women, work
I know. Pretty well every woman with a computer has written about how great Mad Max: Fury Road was. I actually meant to write about it last week, but then I decided that I needed to address the news about the Duggars instead.
Not only am I late to the Mad Max conversation, but when I went to write about this post I came across the video I’ve included below, which succinctly summarizes many of the points I was hoping to make.
Even though Rowan Ellis beat me to the punch with several of her points, I loved this movie too much not to add my two cents. I also wanted to dig deeper into some of the feminist identities offered in the film and how they impacted me as a female viewer. Spoilers, obviously.
Furiosa: The Tough, Capable Woman
Furiosa is, of course, the first person anyone is going to think of when I say “strong female character”. She is a brave, intelligent, and capable character. I also love that she isn’t sexualized by the camera angles, and that we aren’t forced to view her through the male gaze.
As much as I absolutely love Furiosa, she doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. We’ve already had hardcore, confident female leaders like Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley since the 80’s. And as much as I want to be like Furiosa, I don’t always feel myself reflected in these kind of figures. Sometimes that’s okay, sometimes all I want is to escape into the kind of fantasy where I can imagine myself kicking ass and taking names. However, it can be discouraging when movies only have one type of “strong female character” to offer. While I absolutely love female heroes like Furiosa, I really loved having less capable heroines in Mad Max as well. Heroines who were well-rounded and brave in spite of their weaknesses and fears. Continue reading
Posted in feminism, film
Tagged abusive, ally, almost, capable, Cinema Blend, Colin Stacey, Community, cool, criticism, damsels, death, Ellen Ripley, Eve Ensler, family, female, feminine, feminism, feminist hero, Fragile, Furiosa, George Miller, heroic, idealistic, Immortan Joe, Kate Leth, Mad Max, masculinist, mourn, nurture, Nux, Orient, people of color, POC, power, preserve, privilege, prizes, rape, reformed, Sarah Connor, sexual violence, Splendid, survivors, the Congo, The Dag, the green place, the Keeper of the Seeds, the Many Mothers, The Vagina Monologues, titillate, toast, Tom Hardy, toxic masculinity, Transformers, treasures, Tumblr, Valhalla, violent, vulnerability, vulnerable, Vuvalini, warboys, we are not things, west
It’s been a little over a week since the news about Ghomeshi went viral. Since the news first hit, nine women have come forward anonymously to the media and three have already reported their case to the police.
The increasing number of testimonies has pretty well solidified his guilt in the public eye, and everyone from the PR firm he hired to the musician he managed have withdrawn their support from him.
Since Ghomeshi was a familiar presence in most Canadian homes, many Canadians felt personally betrayed by his actions. When my husband, John, tried to identify his own interest in the case, he explained it like this,
“When you hear someone’s voice so often, you start to feel like you know who they are. So when you discover the truth about terrible things they have done, it’s shocking to realize that you never really knew them at all.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve have heard about the terrible things familiar faces (or in this case, voices) have done. The difference is, in the past, we have tried to forget the monsters hidden in the public men and women we admire. Continue reading
Posted in celebrity, morality, relationships, sex
Tagged #beenrapedneverreported, #JianGhomeshi, abusers, admit there is a problem, assault, big ears teddy, blame, Canada, Canadians, child, contradiction, Culture, demonized, dialogue, Dr nina Burrows, Dylan Farrow, evil, famous men, finding help, forgiveness, human, innocent, Investigation, Jian Ghomeshi, Jian Ghomeshi beats women, Jian Ghomeshi is my friend, justice, justify, manipulation, molestation, Monsters, Owen Pallet, pedophilia, problem, Q, rape, reporting assault, root issues, sex offenders, Sexual Assault, spousal abuse, survivors, underreporting assault, victims, Violence, Woody Allen