Law and Disorder: Stupid Sentencing: Brittni Colleps

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Brittni Colleps

I just stumbled across a video which reminded me of the Brittni Colleps case. Colleps is the high school teacher from Texas who was jailed for five years for having sex with five members of the football team.

I’m using a Do Not Link URL for the video, because the editorial comments following the 60 Minutes report are extremely problematic.

http://www.donotlink.com/c0tb

 The question is posed: should this woman be in jail for her actions? All of the individuals participating in the sexual activities were consenting adults, over the age of 18. No-one was being forced to participate. All of the young men who participated testified that they were willingly involved.

Regardless of the fact that it is a criminal offense for a teacher to have sex with any K-12 student no matter what said student’s age, it is ridiculous to keep this individual in jail. She is not a threat to society. She should have been fired from her job and not allowed to teach again. However, she should also have been put on probation rather than being jailed.

This woman’s actions were foolhardy, as were the actions of the young men who participated in, video recorded, and then shared the video of the orgy. The participants were all caught up in the excitement of the moment. They were not thinking about the repercussions of their actions. However, I doubt that any of them are truly “bad people.” They are simply foolish.

Some people have decried the fact that Ms. Colleps sent her children to stay with relatives for the night. I would certainly rather she had her children out of the house while participating in a gang bang than had them in the house where they could walk in and observe her involved in sexual activity with multiple men who aren’t their father.

I do not purport to know what this woman’s personal issues are, although she evidently has a few.

Regarding why I created a Do Not Link URL for the You Tube video:

The editorial comments by the video’s creator are hugely problematic. Yes, racism still does exist, and yes, there are a lot of incredibly stupid, ignorant white people who don’t check their actions. However, stating that all white women cheat on their significant others either with other men or with animals (he literally said this) is both a racially prejudiced and misogynistic statement. A lot of white people do shitty things, and some white women do cheat on their husbands. Some white women do engage in bestiality. Nonetheless, his statements are unwarranted and nasty, and I don’t want to help him get traffic for making them.

I’m all for calling out bad behavior. I am not for making derogatory blanket statements in any case.

~Opal~

Burgers With a Side Order of Misogyny and Microaggressions

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I was having dinner with my mother and my son at Applebee’s tonight. They always keep their televisions on sports channels, which I tend to half watch. Most of the time I see nothing worthy of pondering. Tonight, however, I was left with the bad taste of sexist microaggressions in my mouth.

Carl’s Junior ads have become increasingly sexist. The ad I viewed tonight was pretty well softcore pornography. It was shown on a station such as ESPN during prime time hours.

There are those who would ask me what the big deal is. The ad was suggestive, but the women weren’t actually naked.

The big deal has nothing to do with the degree of nudity involved. In the first place, it is offensive to have women put on display as sex objects in order to sell projects.

One might argue that while this may be true, there’s nothing we can do about it. Sex sells,and there are bigger problems in the world.

It is true that there are problems which are more directly violent and life-threatening. Also, the argument that “sex sells” in cases such as this really translates to misogyny sells. If they were truly promoting their product using “sex sells” as a guide for creating their advertisement, then both men and women wearing scanty clothing and behaving in a sexualized manner would appear in the ad.

Since men never appear in ads such as this one wearing skimpy clothes and behaving in a sexualized manner, the phrase “sex sells” is, in fact, bullshit. Misogyny sells, and its target audience is dudebros.

One might argue that it is mostly men who watch the sports channels, ergo, airing advertisements of this nature does no harm. It may be primarily men who view sports channels. However, advertising of this nature is not without harm.

In the setting I was in, a family restaurant, there will be young children. Little girls viewing advertisements such as this one are learning that this is how women are supposed to look and behave. They are learning that if they do not look like the sexy women in the advertisements they are not “real women.” They are learning that they need to behave in a submissive and sexy fashion in order for men to find them attractive.

Little boys are learning that women are supposed to behave in an overtly sexual manner to please men. They are learning that women are objects used to sell products. They are learning that women are things rather than people.

As well, the idea that sports are only “for the boys” is a harmful one. It creates a notion that women who enjoy sports, either as observers or as participants, don’t matter. Women, if they appear at all, are supposed to be eye candy. They are not to be taken seriously.

Some may say, well, that’s just the way it is. You can’t fight the tide.

Actually, you can. The advertisers want money. Don’t give them what they want. Don’t buy products from any company that uses misogyny to sell said products.

I’m of the opinion that if you can’t sell your product without using the “sex sells” excuse, your product must not be able to stand on its own merit. I don’t want it.

It actually is possible for women to be portrayed as sexy without demeaning them. Compare the problematic Carl’s Junior ad with one of my favorite music videos.

You can find the Carl’s Junior ad here. I am not embedding the ad as I do not want to increase their hits. I’ve used a Do Not Link URL.

Here is the music video.

 Can the women portrayed in the video be perceived as sexy or appealing? Absolutely, but they are also not there only as “eye candy” for the male gaze. They are part of a story. Their presence may be representative of an idea, but they are autonomous beings. One may find them pleasing, but they are not there solely to be pleasing. 

The men in the video can also be perceived as appealing and sexy.

This is the difference between media that has sexual appeal and media that appeals to sexist ideals in order to sell a product.

I don’t expect honesty from advertisers. However, if they were to be honest, they would have to admit that “sex” is not what they’re selling. They’re selling misogyny, using sexed-up, submissive women as objects to promote their products. It’s an outmoded idea that sends a terrible message. Consumers need to stop buying it.

~The Real Cie~

Same Shit Different Day

Initially, I was interested in what this guy had to say. Then he proved himself to be nothing but another boring, fatphobic asshole who believes that “comedy” means encouraging the sheep to laugh at your mean-spirited jokes about people you don’t even know. Gee, that’s never been done. Next!

~Spectra~

A World Without She-Roes

angelou3-sizedApril 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” — Maya Angelou

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She-Ra, Princess of Power

She-roes is a bit of a silly word and reminds me of She-Ra, Princess of Power, who was He-Man’s sister, for those who don’t watch cartoons. However, there is great truth in this quote. A world without she-roes is a world imbalanced.

I can’t believe that in the twenty-first century, there is still a debate as to whether women should be treated as anything but human beings. There is still a need for feminism, and feminism is still misunderstood.

When I say that I’m a feminist (and have been since I was a child), some people will picture me as being a little bit something like this.

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Image Source

I’d consider posting an actual picture of myself, but since there are a myriad of assholes on the Internet, I don’t want to find my picture circulating later with rude comments. Suffice it to say, I’m a very boring-looking middle-aged woman that nobody would give a second glance. I’d be far more likely to show up on the deplorable “People of Wal Mart” than in anyone’s list of “MILFs We’d Like To.” Both People of Wal Mart and the term “MILF” are things I’d like to see abolished, but these are rants for another time.

There are Radfems (radical feminists) who believe that there is no way that men and women can get along. There are probably women who genuinely hate men, and, I will add, someone has given them reason to. People do not start hating other people for no reason. However, I am not a Radfem, and neither are most people who identify as feminists.

The Oxford English dictionary defines feminism thusly:

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women.This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

Some people say that there is no longer any need for feminism. I say that there will no longer be a need for feminism when:

Women are no longer second class citizens.

Women are finally getting equal pay for equal work.

Women are finally offered the same opportunities as men in all areas of life.

Female lawyers, doctors, politicians, astronauts, scientists, engineers, etc. are just lawyers, doctors, politicians, astronauts, scientists, engineers, etc. and the fact that they are women is not seen as something startling.

Women are no longer considered window dressing or referred to in such terms as “eye candy,” “arm candy,” or “trophy wife.”

Women are seen as actual people and not expected to be “pretty” or “hot” at all times.

It isn’t startling when a woman does something that earns the admiration of others.

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Yes, we’re still fighting the fight, and yes, I still believe it can be won. It’s real women–real people–that will make this happen.

Strong women don’t necessarily look like this:

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They can also look like this:

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Thank you, Maya Angelou, for being a true She-ro. Shine on!

~The Cheese Hath Spoken~

This post was inspired by a Write Tribe prompt.

Deconstructing Pac Man Feat. Goldie Everything Real

This is my reaction to hearing the above song and viewing the video for the first time.

The song has a good sound. Perhaps it’s not conventionally acceptable for an old fart like me to like a new hip-hop tune like this one, but I really don’t care about conventions. The song has a slow, smooth groove blending with edgy lyrics.
Unfortunately, the subject matter is, overall, uninspiring. I am all about people expressing solidarity. Never did care for the “pro-gangsta” vibe in some hip-hop tunes, although I do understand the reason behind it. Actually, the reason isn’t even so much the fact that the artists are expressing what it’s like to live in the ghetto or projects. This was originally the case. Then, record companies took over and exploited and glamorized gang culture.
I’m not going to delve deeper into this factor as there are others who can explain it far better than I can. I’m an outsider looking in. I’ve never been involved in either gang culture or the recording industry.
I always think its a positive thing when artists of different racial backgrounds come together on a project.
One of the dancers in the video is a larger woman. This isn’t something that one sees very often.
Not all of the women in the video are scantily dressed.
However…
There is at least one mostly naked model with extremely large, silicone enhanced breasts. I don’t know if she’s a current porn star, as I don’t keep up with “who’s who” in pornography. The general vibe I get is the “we can get with porn stars” idea. So don’t care, Fellows. Treating women like props has been done and overdone.
There are scenes where the band members are sitting with fully clothed women on a bed and not behaving in a sexual fashion with said women. It’s a “hanging with our homegirls” vibe, and I like that well enough. What I don’t care for is the fact that, as with so many videos, the women are props rather than partners.
If you like this sort of music, you’ll likely enjoy the song. Overall, everything that’s been done in the video has been done before. It’s a trite, tired way of treating women. Yeah, you’re in a band, you can get tail. And just like every young dude before you, you see the need to brag about it. Same old story. Moving on.
A word to the wise: avoid the comments on this one; they’re odious. I’m sure this surprises no-one, given that it’s You Tube.
~DJ Ellie~
 
Cross-posted to:

About Privilege

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This is a reply to a post on the This is Thin Privilege Tumblr.

The O.P. states:

I admit fat oppression is a real thing. But some of your posts I feel are harmful to all women. I don’t know how much control you have over what is posted, but posts that deny the oppression that thin women face as well scare me. I don’t want any woman to ever feel that the sexism that they face is lesser because they are thin So many of your posts are enlightening, and important. But others I fear perpetuate the idea that it is ok to harm thin women. No one should promote internal sexism.

I hope the OP takes some time to learn about privilege.

I used to be one of those white people who shrieked that “not all white people are like that” whenever a non-white person spoke angrily about the treatment of non-white people. I didn’t want to be seen as one of “those” white people. Well, since I’m not one of “those white people,” they weren’t talking about me, and I needed to STFU and listen.

I also believed in “reverse racism.”

Are there non-white people who are prejudiced against white people across the board? Of course there are. But in the U.S. at any rate, and I would venture to say in Western society, there is no such thing as racism against white people.

Prejudice is individual. Racism is institutionalized and socially sanctioned for a myriad of reasons that it would take too long to go into here.

Are all women oppressed in modern society? Of course we are. It does not matter our size or color. We are all oppressed.

Are there people who are prejudiced against thin people? Yes, there are.

However, thin people do not EVER experience the systematic prejudice and flat-out derision that fat people do in this society.

People, learn about privilege. It was hard for me to acknowledge that I had privilege in certain ways, because it’s an awful thing. But I in fact do have privilege. I have white privilege, straight privilege, and North American privilege. This does not mean I will never encounter prejudice, in fact I have encountered prejudice for my skin color. I have been beaten up for it.

What it means is that in Western society, my skin color does not prevent me from getting a job or being able to live where I want to live. When I walk into a store, nobody assumes that I’m going to shoplift. I am not thought of as a lesser being for the color of my skin.

When we have privilege, we need to not derail the conversation and make it about us. We need to stop and listen.

Racism, Sizism, and Sexism in Entertainment

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This was a response to a post at Fierce Fatties. Why I didn’t just reblog it, I don’t know.

Sometimes interesting fat characters are created, but then they’re slimmed down. DC Comics created Amanda Waller, a strong, fat, black woman. Then they slimmed her down and whitewashed her to make her look more like a conventionally pretty, lighter-skinned black woman such as Halle Berry, rather than a large, dark-skinned woman like Gabourey Sidibe or even a medium sized black woman like S. Epatha Merkerson.
See www dot comicvine dot com slash amanda-waller slash 4005-4920/
Racism, sizism, and sexism are indeed alive and well in entertainment. Yes, there are performers of color and of size. But they are few and far between, and the road for them is much harder.

From the WTF Files: American Apparel’s Hairy Manikins

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Here is the original post from AlterNet.

I find the hairless trend on real women to be creepy. I’m pretty old-school on this. Adults are supposed to have hair “down there.” Of course, in the long run, what other people do with their pubes is really none of anyone else’s business. It’s one of those “gads, I can’t believe I’m discussing this” topics.
I despise American Apparel, and even if I were young, thin, and hip enough to wear their clothes, I would sooner wear a garbage bag. This whole thing is a ploy for attention, of course. Putting pubes on manikins is ludicrous.

“The company also recently stirred a bit of genuinely interesting controversy with a T-shirt collaboration with artist Petra Collins. The shirt featured a line drawing of a woman’s menstruating vagina, which made some people feel very mad and uncomfortable.”

It’s a bit odd that a depiction of a menstruating vagina would make anyone angry, although there are people who tend to rave like lunatics about menstruation. However, I can’t imagine myself wearing a shirt with a even a line drawing of a menstruating vagina…or any other vagina or penis for that matter. I may not know art, but I know what I don’t want on my shirt!

Here is one of those farm-fresh ideas that I don’t see happening any time soon. What if American Apparel used models of all races and in all ranges of body types? Of course THAT will never happen. But their manikins now have pubes, so they are EDGY, by golly!

~Cie~

Concern for the Abuser

I think this happens more often than people realize, where the victim is more concerned about the abuser’s well-being and what others are going to think about said abuser than they are about themselves.
Rihanna’s reaction does not surprise me. What did surprise me was the number of women who said things like “Chris Brown is hot, I’d get with him. So what if he abused me a little?”
Now…tell me why we don’t need feminism.
~The Cheese~
Cross-Posted to:

The Key to a Lasting Marriage

I caught the Armchair Psychology bug after talking with my son regarding his dad. I’m not on bad terms with my ex husband. Our divorce was very civil, and we had joint custody of our sole child. While we had disagreements over the years, sometimes nasty ones, we were a family. Although I haven’t spoken to him in almost a year, it isn’t out of animosity. He lives in another state, and we really haven’t had any pressing reason to speak to each other.
I’m not pining for my ex husband. I’m the one who ended the marriage. No matter how vile things were, he never would have. He doesn’t care enough about himself not to live in an intolerable situation. From a retrospective position, it’s likely that he has Asperger’s syndrome. Because I have conditions such as bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, I tend to be very emotionally volatile. We were an oil and water combination. Plus, there is a certain shameful admission on my part. I really never loved the guy. I married him because it seemed the logical thing to do.
I was not forced into marriage. I was not pregnant when we got married, in fact I thought that I couldn’t have kids. I reasoned that I tended to get too hung up on guys that I fell in love with, so it would be better to marry one that seemed sensible. He presented a calm exterior. It seemed likely that he would be monogamous. He was intelligent, so I reasoned that he would probably be able to get a decent job. If it sounds like I was choosing a business partner rather than a spouse, that was, to a degree, the logic I was using when I made the decision to marry him.
In researching the topic of how marriages deteriorate, I found plenty of videos and articles stating rote ideas such as “men aren’t made to be monogamous, they want to bang as many women as they can get their hands on.” Or, “the problem these days is that women are not subservient to their husbands.” Yuck. Both of these are terrible opinions involving unnecessary sexual stereotypes and outmoded gender roles.
SOME men want to bang as many women as they can get their hands on. If one is this kind of man, he should be honest with himself and any potential partners and not get married. Not all women are wired for monogamy either. Unless both partners would truly be okay with an open marriage, the folks who are still sowing their wild oats should not be putting a ring on it. Period.
Regarding the “women should be subservient” chestnut, 1300 called. It wants its ideals back.
Nobody should be subservient to anybody. Everybody should be respectful of those with whom they have any kind of relationship. In a working marriage, communication is the key. Both partners need to be flexible. No one person should be calling all the shots.
Marriage takes work, and perhaps too many of us still have the whole starry-eyed “happily ever after” idea trapped in our psyches, as if it happens magically. People need to make their own magic, both in choosing a partner and making it work with that partner.
I guess I’m glad I didn’t know this 30 years ago, because I did get my son out of that ill-advised relationship, and he is everything to me.
Personally, I gave up on the whole “finding my prince” thing a number of years ago. My psychological problems are too severe for being in a romantic relationship to be a positive thing for me. I tend to be drawn to chaotic men who are charming on the surface but when their true nature comes out, it is revealed to be abusive and controlling. Chasing a storybook romance is not worth ending up in the E.R. with bloody wrists.
My marriage to my ex husband did not end with bloody wrists. It ended fairly decisively. He had become emotionally abusive, and it wasn’t worth it to stay in the relationship any more. I was a mess psychologically, with a trifecta of undiagnosed conditions. There was no way it could possibly have worked. We both agreed that our son was better off if we divorced.
May I say that I hope all of you find your ideal partner. Make sure you bring your head into it rather than letting your lust do the talking, but don’t let the head be the sole decider. Marriage without desire and without that intangible quality of romantic love is a life-draining thing. Marry someone whom you truly like. This is the advice that I give my son. It isn’t as if I’m an expert on love by any means, but the marriages that I’ve seen which have lasted all have this quality. Both partners truly like each other.
Peace,
The Cheese

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