Ladies’ night controversy

Relevant to yesterday’s discussion of female drinking on campus and trends of women drinking more and men drinking nothing–

From Gothamist: A judge has decided to throw out the suit of a man who alleges that ladies’ nights at bars inherently discriminate against men. What gets me is that the plaintiff accused the judge of being feminist–yeah, since feminists just love to see women get wasted and then preyed upon by the sober men lining the walls of the bar.

(This is the same guy who’s suing Columbia for offering women’s studies courses–because, y’know, the rich white guy feels sooo discriminated against.)

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“America’s Next Transgender Top Model?”

Old, old, old news. So old, in fact, that I wouldn’t be writing about it if Jade hadn’t mentioned Isis in today’s Well-Woman discussion due to the contestant’s recent elimination from Season 11 of Top Model. It seems that one of Isis’ biggest moments on the show was the swimsuit shoot, when the costumers had no idea of Isis’, um, pre-op situation. This is all hearsay from fellow peer eds Sophie and Jade: during the shoot, Isis had to tuck herself in and was subsequently criticized for not posing differently enough during an obviously awkward and uncomfortable situation.

Free reads: Go! Magazine, The L Mag, and The Onion

Okay, I can’t be the only one who loves reading free periodicals. Argue all you want about the low quality of “free” writing, but not everything is like The Daily News or AM New York, ok?

I’m talking about smaller, more local, NYC-based stuff, like Go! Magazine (“The Cultural Roadmap for the City Girl”) or The L (Local) Magazine (“Put it in your pocket”), which give you excellent guides to this sacred, mysterious Gotham, and some pretty succinct articles on topics ranging from the death of indie rock to the in-betweens of “butch” and “femme” labeling.

As far as I know, both Go Mag and The L Mag are available in front of the Columbia 116th & Broadway Gates (both mags are located in, respectively, red and orange plastic stands). Oh yeah, and if I must belabor the point of how awesome free periodicals can be, just saunter across the street and pick up The Onion‘s brilliant satirical works (their A.V. Club section isn’t bad either).

(Soon to be) Presdiential Profile

Jacob Zuma will, by next year, be the next President of South Africa (a temporary leader is in place now; SA’s laws mandate that only MPs can be president, and so first Zuma has to be elected to Parliament). The NYTimes has a portrait of the man, and as a teaser, I’ll let you in on my favorite part:

In 2005, on trial for the rape of a 31-year-old family friend, Mr. Zuma testified that she had seduced him by wearing a short skirt and sitting in a provocative way. He said that “Zulu culture” had left him no option but to oblige. Afterward, he said, he took a shower, believing it would minimize the risk of contracting H.I.V. He was found not guilty.

Stay classy, Mr. Zuma.

“‘A New Twist for ‘America’s Next Top Model'”

Do television debuts of controversial topics mark some sort of wider social acceptance and progression? This Cycle 11 of the very popular television series, “America’s Next Top Model” has its first transgendered woman, Isis King, competing in the context. While I have not watched the new season yet, I think that Tyra and the CW are attempting to make significant strides in the struggle of the social recognition and inclusion of transgendered people. I first found out about Isis King in an article titled, “A new twist for ‘America’s Next Top Model’” on the New York Times website.

If you now anything about Tyra or have seen her talk show, you know that she has a propensity for boldness and drama to attract an audience. She also does the craziest things to portray herself as a real person and gain personal connections with people through the public eye. Tyra represents a new age publicity…appeal to people through what makes them people and not by always being the high profiled model that she is. With that said, whether or not Tyra positions Isis King on the show to be the emblem of controversy for publicity sake or because she is truly concerned with transgender issues is beside the point. The point is that on television will be broadcasted the social and physical transformation of Isis to a woman through scenes of her injecting female hormones and being challenged by the social milieu that comes with the label of being trans. For a show that is widely watched across the nation and a hit amongst many adolescent girls, college-age and adult women, presenting transgender issues could hopefully be educational enlightenment to people unfamiliar with transgendered people or bias towards them. Bringing personal transgender issues into the public space through the experience of one individual in a world of ultra feminized models will illuminate Isis’ personal obstacles and also biased attitudes towards her. Take a look at the article and try to catch an episode of Top Model to see how the show honestly portrays Isis’ transformation and struggles or manipulates and exploits transgender issues. Draw an opinion and I’ll do the same next time I catch an episode.

Summation of Disgust

Here’s an article (via NYTimes) summarizing the issue of Gov. Palin requiring rape survivors to pay for their rape kits, and how Sen. McCain never once voted for Sen. Biden’s VAWA or its subsequent reauthorizations (which, among other things, denies federal monies to any state that requires sexual assault survivors to pay for their forensic evidence collection kits).

The two indivduals on the Republic ticket make me utterly and abashedly ashamed to be an American.  I can offer no stronger critique than that.

Update: According to Slate’s XX Factor, it is a myth that the city of Wasilla, AK, ever charged any rape survivors for their exams.  I apologize for the oversight and the error, but I stand by my statement re: the Republican ticket.