In last week’s Mommie Dearest column, I wrote about Debra Harrell, a South Carolina mother who was arrested for “abandoning” her nine-year-old daughter at a park while she worked at a nearby McDonald’s. (Just yesterday we learned that Harrell has been let go from her job.) I had mentioned in my post that Harrell is Black, prompting a few folks to ask why I needed to note her race. Instead of penning my own response, I thought it would be a good idea to hear from women of color who are mothers. We gathered for a virtual roundtable to discuss Harrell’s situation and explorehow race impacts motherhood in the United States today. Meet:
Our conversation begins after the jump: Keep reading »
Contrary to oh-so-popular beliefs, there is still no conclusive evidence that women actually talk more than men. Different studies have found varying results on the issue over the years — some have even found that men talk more! A recent scientific foray into the subject has found that men and women actually talk about the same amount.
According to New York magazine, a paper called “A Meta-Analytic Review of Gender Variations in Adults’ Language Use” details the work of two researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz [Banana Slugs represent! -- Amelia, Class of 2001], who used sociometers to gauge the speech habits of both genders. Sociometers are small sound recorders that get more candid results because they capture conversations in more natural settings than, say, a research lab. The researchers found that results depended heavily on the environment and situation the speakers were in. Keep reading »
When a Topshop customer in the UK came across this necklace while shopping at the chain store, she complained to a customer sales representative and was told that the necklace was “acceptable, because it was vintage style” and therefore “not racist.” The necklace depicts an early 19th century stereotype of East Asians — as Refinery 29 explains, “The charms bear an uncanny resemblance to the caricatures in anti-Chinese propaganda cartoons of the 1880s, when the Chinese Exclusion Act and all its institutionalized, dehumanizing policies were in full effect.” Is that what the clerk meant by “vintage”? The stereotype has always been racist — it didn’t become racist when we decided to acknowledge it as such — and it’s racist now. What’s next, Mammy hair fascinators? Ugh. [Refinery 29] [Photo: @summoningesther]
Who is Laci Green and where has she been all my life? Like a sex-positive Disney star on speed, Laci hosts a YouTube channel called Sex+ where she covers everything from hymens and consent to buttplay and sex with disabilities. Laci is also a loud and proud feminist and yesterday she posted a video addressing three common myths about “The F Word” — that is, feminism. It’s more for the new-to-feminism types — like, say, your little sister — but I for one am really glad that chipper, upbeat and funny videos about feminism exist. [YouTube]
Could it be that plain old mental habit is the reason for gender inequality at work? According to consultant and former businesswoman Caroline Turner, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. In a blog post for the Huffington Post, Turner said that the biggest reason women aren’t proportionately represented in business leadership positions is a set of “mind-sets,” or unconscious ways of viewing the world. The most powerful and deep-rooted of these mind-sets, it seems, is the “double bind,” or the idea that if a woman channels her more feminine energies, she’ll be liked by her coworkers but not seen as a leader. On the other hand, if she allows her masculine energies to lead the way, she’s likely to be judged and disliked. What I take this to mean is that the biggest obstacle we’re up against in the workplace is essentially subconscious stereotyping. Keep reading »
Last Friday, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed a surprise music concert at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. Awesome, right? Only, because it was a surprise, Macklemore wanted to go a bit incognito and donned a costume. But the costume was anything but awesome. To me, and many others, the costume looked like a negative stereotype of a Jewish man.
For his part, Macklemore denies that he purposefully intended to mock Jewish people with his costume. Late yesterday, he took to Tumblr to issue an apology.
“My intention was to dress up and surprise the people at the show with a random costume and nothing more. Thus, it was surprising and disappointing that the images of a disguise were sensationalized leading to the immediate assertion that my costume was anti-Semetic. I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was absolutely not my intention, and unfortunately at the time I did not foresee the costume to be viewed in such regard. [...] I truly apologize to anybody that I may have offended.”
Keep reading »
A surprise performance by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis would get me excited, sure. And that’s probably what a lot of audience members were feeling at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle (where Macklemore’s coat from the “Thrift Shop” video hangs in the collection).
But folks all over — including Seth Rogen — are scratching their heads now that pictures have emerged of Macklemore (real name: Ben Haggerty) performing in a costume that looks like an ugly Jewish stereotype. Keep reading »
“There’s this unbelievable bias and prejudice against quote-unquote good-looking people, that they can’t be in pain or they can’t have rough lives or be deep or interesting. They can’t be any of the things that you long to play as an actor. I’m getting to play those parts now and loving it. When I was a teen idol, I was so goddamn pretty I wouldn’t have taken myself seriously. … [T]here’s a historical bias that good-looking people are not funny.”
Cindy Crawford isn’t the only attractive person who has suffered from the stereotype that all pretty people are dumb. The very pretty Rob Lowe opened up to The New York Times Magazine about his second memoir, in which he describes the difficulties he has faced trying to be a ‘serious actor’ because of his Neutrogena-commercial good looks. Again, it’s hard to feel bad for someone who is essentially complaining about how attractive he is … but you know, I kinda get it. It sucks to be stereotyped and put in a box, no matter what that box is. Rob Lowe happens to be a great actor: he has done everything from “The West Wing” to “Behind The Candelabra” to “Parks & Recreation” to made-for-TV movies on every channel. It’s obvious the guy has range and he’s easy on the eyes. [New York Times Magazine] [Image via WENN]
“I remember being really conscious of not wanting to fight with another black woman on camera. I did an interview and the producers were like, “Well, this [other black woman on the show] said this about you. What do you have to say about that?” And I said I’m not fighting with another black woman on TV. Even during my elimination episode, when it came down to myself and another black woman, my mother — after watching — said, “Why didn’t you defend yourself?” And I just didn’t want to give television the satisfaction of seeing two black women going at it. We see that so much.”
“Orange Is The New Black” star Laverne Cox is the subject of a lengthly profile over at Buzzfeed, where she gives a fascinating walk-through of her long road to stardom. After moving to New York City to attend Marymount Manhattan College, Cox worked in nightclubs and acted in student films. Then, in 2008, she got cast on P. Diddy’s reality show, “I Want To Work For Diddy.” Believe it or not, reality TV was a positive experience for her. She credits Diddy for giving her exposure on national television, although she is very realistic and measured about what “a dubious distinction” it is to be “the first black trans woman to appear on a reality TV show.” One matter of principle for Cox, she explained, was refusing to play into the “angry black woman” stereotype that reality TV producers tried to coax out of her and instead held her tongue in situations where she otherwise might have spoken up. In a pop cultural landscape with brats like Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan making headlines, it’s refreshing to see a thoughtful, principled actress succeeding. [BuzzFeed]
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not yet said one way or the other whether she intends to run again for president in 2016. But that hasn’t stopped the chattering classes from dissecting every single item related to a “Hillary ’16″ run ad nauseum. The latest iteration is the TIME magazine cover this week: a coverline reading “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?” over a photo-illustration of a huge, high-heeled woman in a pantsuit stepping past a miniature man who jumps out of the way.
See the full image after the jump: Keep reading »