What I’m Listening To

Mountain Man – Sewee Sewee

Mountain Man is currently my favorite band; I love the way their voices blend, and I love how simple their music is.

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Oh, okay.

Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul can totally tell if a woman wrote something, because women only write sentimental drivel:

“I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me.” Asked to elaborate, he said this was due to their “sentimentality, the narrow view of the world”.

He added: “And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too.

“My publisher, who was so good as a taster and editor, when she became a writer, lo and behold it was all this feminine tosh. I don’t mean this in any unkind way.”

It isn’t just irritating because he’s dismissing women categorically as bad writers; it’s irritating because he’s dismissing what women have to say about the world and about our lives.

This is also a little irritating (second-to-last-paragraph). Listing off women whose writing is considered “masculine” and saying that their writing isn’t “feminine tosh” is a backhanded compliment. Instead of valuing the works of these women for their literary merit, this statement implies that their work should be valued because they’ve overcome the perceived weaknesses of most female authors.

I wish I could say that I’m surprised that some people still think this way, but unfortunately, I can’t.

Via.

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Wednesday Link Roundup

On the “right” body vs. your own body.

Plenty of colleges have been sneaking around Title IX regulations by reporting male athletes as female athletes.

There’s a new Christian movie glorifying sexual abstinence before marriage (and, of course, the pressures and rigid gender roles that go along with Christian courtship and marriage).

An update on Manal al-Sharif.

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This weekend…

I’m going on hiatus; I’m planning to be back on Tuesday. I know I haven’t been posting regularly on this thing, but this is just an FYI to explain why it’s going to be even longer than usual between posts.

Here’s some Maru to make it better:

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Joplin Tornado

My heart goes out to the victims of the Joplin, MO, tornado and to their families, and to everyone who is going to have to rebuild.

If you’d like to make a donation, USA Today has a brief list of charities here; if you live in the area, there’s a crowdmap here.

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Nice scare quotes, AP

‘Exciting’ find: Possible planets without orbits

This really is neat, though:

Are these planets without orbits? Astronomers have found 10 potential planets as massive as Jupiter wandering through a slice of the Milky Way galaxy, following either very wide orbits or no orbit at all. And scientists think they are more common than the stars.

These mysterious bodies, apparently gaseous balls like the largest planets in our solar system, may help scientists understand how planets form.

“They’re finding evidence for a lot of pretty big planets,” said Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, who wasn’t involved in the research.

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Go see Bridesmaids, OR ELSE.

Or else you’re no friend to women in comedy, that is! According to Melissa Silverstein, anyway:

Here is a place where going to a movie has become a political act for women.  I feel, as Rebecca Traister wrote on Salon yesterday, that going to see Bridesmaids has taken on special significance for us women especially within the women’s community in Hollywood.  These women know what’s at stake…and it’s not just their own personal livelihoods.  It’s their future and our future because women in Hollywood are not valued as much as the men.  Now we may be focused comedy right now, but there are numerous conversations we can have about the problem Hollywood has with women (check out the statistics) even as women continue to make inroads in all areas.

Here’s the trailer for the movie in question:

On the surface, I get the argument that women need to support other women who are making movies. I get that women are not always taken seriously in Hollywood, that women are rarely nominated for Best Director and only one woman has ever won, that women and girls who act well in movies don’t always get the recognition that they deserve, that women of color (and men of color, for that matter) are usually invisible when it comes time to make Oscar Nominations. I get that the higher-ups at studios don’t believe that women go to movies. I’m a woman living in the U.S., and I watch movies. I know what Hollywood does to us.

However, based on the trailer, I have a different sense of humor than the people who did the writing, and I doubt that I would be entertained if I went. It was also produced by Judd Apatow, who has a history of making movies that aren’t always what I’d call friendly to women, and it was directed by Paul Feig. The writers are both women, and the main characters are all women; it might even pass the Bechdel test. However, it’s about a wedding, which is often Hollywood code for “ladiez only!”. The main characters are cis and white, and the one character who is fat seems to be a caricature, if the trailer is any indication. This movie might have been made by women, but does that mean that I, as a woman, have to settle for it? Does it mean that I have to sit through a movie I’d be bored by, and probably offended by at some points, just to show my solidarity with other (white) women?

I’m not planning to see Bridesmaids, and I resent the insinuation that I am somehow contributing to the demise of comediennes in Hollywood by not going.

[Hat tip to Racialicious.]

[Edited after posting for borked HTML, and because I initially posted the wrong quote.]

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