Tag Archives: #Sam

REVIEW: Bridesmaids

1 Jun

I went and saw Bridesmaids last night.  It’s a type of film I only intermittently enjoy, but the web buzz was enough to get me out to a theater.  Even my favorite mainstream feminist film critics gave it resounding praise, with Dana Stevens even writing,

Hallelujah and praise the Lord for Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids (Universal), a movie we’ve been awaiting for what feels like forever. At long last, we have a smart comedy with dumb jokes—a giddy feminist manifesto that responds to the perennially circulated head-scratcher “Can women really be funny?” with a whoopee-cushion fart. I loved virtually every minute of Bridesmaids and forgave its few missteps the way you forgive your best friend for being a good-hearted klutz.

I saw pieces on whether or not it was a feminist film all over the place: feministing, zunguzungu, The AV Club, Salon, Alternet, The American Prospect.  It seemed that this was not just another piece of pop culture that was getting coverage because of its ubiquity (Twilight, Transformers) that my friends were seeing merely to debunk.  This was something they were embracing and adopting as their own.  After two weeks, I gave in and bought a ticket.

My first reaction to the film was disappointment.  Was I missing something?  Was I a bad feminist??

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Wrong Princess

28 Apr


I’m getting really annoyed with the whole royal wedding thing. Continue reading

Stop with the PC!

20 Dec

What is “political correctness?” I’ll tell you.

It’s a red herring. It’s a distraction.

It’s a way of undermining the potential danger and hurtfulness posed by real insensitivity. When someone refers to a term as “un-P.C.” they’re really saying, “I don’t say this word because it would be contrary to my political/social benefit.”

And when someone attacks another person for using “P.C.” language, what they’re saying is “I would much prefer it if you just used the nasty and insensitive version of that word, please, so I can attack you for THAT.”

What this means is that ultimately, being “politically correct” is about selfishness. This defeats the purpose of eliminating painful, hate-charged language from the public lexicon.

I don’t tell women to “get in the kitchen” or “make me a sammich” or avoid using words like “retard” or “kike” because I’m selfishly thinking of my own desire to avoid embarrassment or marginalization.

I avoid saying these things because I truly believe most people deserve better. These words and terms hurt real people about whom I care or about whom I might one day care. I honestly trust that using hateful language perpetuates hate and undermines real progress made by real people who matter.

So here’s the takeaway: Avoid invidious language that prolongs outdated mores or insinuates a real disregard for the worth of another person.

But don’t do it because it’s in your self-interest to do so. Do it because it means something and teach others to do it because all people deserve basic respect.

 

This post is brought to you by Sam.

Unsolicited Advice

17 Dec

Sometimes, when people discover that I’m a guy working at a women’s rights organization, they take on the sort of expression and tone that one might if learning I have some sort of horrible disease.

I think I prefer the “what’s wrong with you” reaction to the alternative, which is often “why the hell are you doing THAT?”

Yes, I’m a guy, a 24 year-old grassroots lobbyist for women’s rights. I’m also straight, which I only mention because for some reason being gay makes it “ok” to be a guy working on women’s issues. [Note: This does not make sense to me.]

I’ve devoted my so-far-quite-brief professional career to advocating for gender equity, against gender discrimination, and for equality of opportunity. This doesn’t mean I’ve had a perfect relationship with every woman with whom I’ve crossed paths (I haven’t). It doesn’t mean I was a women’s studies major (nope!); it doesn’t mean I’m hypersensitive to politically correct gender terminology and it doesn’t mean I believe, broadly speaking, that women deserve more of anything than men do (I’m not; I don’t).

I don’t think there’s something wrong with me, other than empathy (which, admittedly, appears to be losing steam as a virtue). I don’t think my career choices warrant righteous feminist anger that there are dudes interested in fighting for gender equity too.

And yet I still often get the “what’s wrong with you” or a “why the hell?” responses, particularly from women my age (the exception being colleagues and coworkers, who generally “get it”).

Ready for some unsolicited advice? Try to see us guy women’s rights advocates as allies. Don’t think of us as usurpers, posers, or the terminally confused. And try, with your tone, expressions, and words, to make us feel welcome. We’re on your side.

This post was brought to you by Sam.

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