Fighting with the Sky

Tuesday Link Love!

Posted on: December 22, 2009

Welcome to the week leading up to Christmas…aka retail hell.  So while I’m spending my days making sure people are happy while shopping for their loved (or not-so-loved) ones, enjoy some posts that I have found intriguing.

FWD/Forward: On Speculation and Boundaries

Brittany Murphy died today.

It took exactly five seconds for the speculation to start up about why she would die of cardiac arrest at the tender age of 32, and not quite double that for the snarky comments to seep out of the woodwork. Because certainly if she had an existing heart condition we all would have known about it, since we have that right to her privacy.

What we have, much like the public consumption we have of celebrities, especially women, is a perceived right to make snap judgments about their lives and their health.

Genderbitch: Prescriptive Feminism is Patriarchy Lite

Well, except for prescriptive feminism. And therein lies the problem. Prescriptive feminism is feminism wherein women try to tell other women what to do. Not only prescribing how to be a feminist but even attempting to deny other women our self determination, agency and will. Sound familiar?

FWD/Forward: Glee: The Halfway Point: Women and Race on Glee

Glee’s core message about women seems to be that they are all manipulative, evil, lying sneaks. The show includes not one but two deceptive pregnancy plots, interspersed with numerous depictions of women as nags, from Quinn pressuring Finn to get a job to pay for the baby to Terri trying to force Will into buying a house they cannot afford. The women of Glee are so troped that they almost seem like caricatures of themselves.

Professor, What If?: What if Santa brings out the fat-haters?

Hope you can ignore all this fat-hatred Santa. Seems like your body size should be the last thing people focus on. But, when you’re fat, doesn’t seem to matter what you do or what kind of person you are, the thing people will focus on and shame you for is fat. Just imagine if you were (an out) female — then you’d likely see a load more fat-hatin and fat-shamin!

FWD/Forward: Guest Post: Future of Portrayals of Disability in Movies? Cameron’s Avatar

My doubts started forming, however, when I looked more closely at two sources: the movie’s dialogue and the movie’s synopsis. I want to start with the synopsis. Through about the film’s box office numbers, I understand that Avatar is quite popular with audiences. This synopsis contains profoundly ableist language in the way it describes the protagonist Jake as “confined to a wheelchair.” I don’t use a wheelchair; nevertheless, I was very offended when I read that. We’ve been trying to eradicate terms like “confined to a wheelchair” for a while now, and to see this demonstration of ignorance on such a large scale, since it is mainstream, is distressing


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