Tag Archives: gabrielle giffords

News- and Blogwatch

There is so much going on in the world at the moment; I can hardly keep up with it.

Tunisia is having a revolution.

Marine Le Pen is the new leader of France’s far-right party Front National. The daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party’s former leader, is supposed to soften and modernize the party’s image to attract younger and more moderate voters: “What we’re likely to see, as in other countries, is an openness towards women, women’s issues and towards homosexuals.” Strangely enough, this does not comfort me at all.

Arizona Representative Gifford’s condition is improving. The recently re-elected Democrat was shot during a public appearance in Tucson, Arizona. The gunman fired at several other people, killing six.

The New York Times has an article on the emergence of Male Studies (not to be confused with Men’s Studies):

The male studies people […] are what their critics call “essentialists” and believe that male behavior is in large part biologically determined. Men think and act differently from how women think and act because that’s how evolution shaped them. In the most extreme formulations of essentialism, men are basically still Neanderthals: violent, clannish, sexually voracious and in need of female domestication. (McGrath, NYT, 2011)

Thanks, but no thanks.

News- and Blogwatch

Blogging has become a bit of a struggle for me over the last couple of months, as I had to study for final exams and indulge in Christmas celebrations with the family. As if all of this hadn’t been distracting enough, after more than three years of mediocre commitment my notebook fell prey to a virus, rendering blogging nearly impossible. While I am impatiently waiting for my new second brain to arrive, have a look at some things I have been reading this week:

Yesterday, representative of the Democrats in Arizona, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head during a public event. The gunman killed and injured several other people, sparking a new debate about gun control, Arizona’s political climate and the radical rhetorics of the Tea Party movement.

Now I hate to sound like a prude but the new editorial in the French Vogue is just distressing on several levels. Not only does it further the increasing sexualization and commodification of children, but it is the gender aspect that concerns me here. Of course, we don’t see little 6-year old boys all dolled up and in sexually suggestive poses, but little girls who are taking up the position of consenting adults and, most importantly, sexually available women. These images do nothing but naturalize the objectification of women, except that now girls don’t have to wait until their preteen years to get acquainted with the normative feminine ideal: sexually inviting, yet passive . I have been told that Vogue is an art magazine and that I should read this editorial as satire of the fashion industry’s obsession with youth, but as I understand it Vogue is not selling art, it sells products, making this editorial little more than the commercial exploitation of a predictably controversial subject. I can give Vogue credit for where credit is due; this time it’s just upsetting. Controversial: maybe; subversive: non.

For my German-speaking readers: all-time favorite feminist blogger Antje Schrupp has a couple of great new articles about biologism and how men and women debate with each other. The comments are also worth looking into.

Is German theater progressive concerning gender roles? According to Christine Wahl not so much, but in some regards it’s still better than the rest of German society. She has written a wonderfully shrewd and ironic article in Der Tagesspiegel.

Today's theater audience is more acquainted with actors' penises than with actresses' boobs.