Saturday, September 7, 2019

Interesting Discussion Of Gendered Criticism Of The Selfie

There’s a lot more to a selfie than meets the eye (Salon)

If you are a model making money for some man being photographed or looked at it is good. If you are a man taking creepshots, that's just what guys do. If you are a woman exploring your own identity through visual expression you are vain or narcissistic...

"There’s a specific gendering to referring to selfie-takers as “narcissistic” that I also want to point out as well. Generally, it’s men telling women that they are narcissists for selfie-ing, some­thing that critic John Berger recognized decades ago in his iconic book Ways of Seeing. He points out that in Western art, women have historically been subjects for the male gaze, with little con­trol over their bodies or subjectivities.
Considering the gendered active/passive relationship, women are the objects of desire and inspiration for the male gaze, and to act of their own accord is, as Berger described, somehow sud­denly labeled as narcissistic within the patriarchal viewing cul­ture by the very men who want to retain control. The same holds true, decades later, for the majority of selfie critiques issued by men about women taking selfies. Writes Berger of the contradic­tions inherent in a man painting a woman versus allowing her to view herself: “You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her; put a mirror in her hand and you called the paint­ing ‘Vanity,’ thus morally condemning the woman whose naked­ness you had depicted for your own pleasure.”
In another condemnation of Western art history’s paintings of nude-women-by-men paradox, Berger famously notes: “Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch them­selves being looked at.” A woman taking a moment to actually look at herself is not only brave, but a threat to the patriarchal order. To quell that feminine threat, men immediately labeled her as vain, as someone who is crying out for attention (from men, because obviously who else could save a woman from herself?!). "

Ireland's Historical Reliance On The Catholic Church For Social Welfare Service Provision Came With A High Human Cost - Abuse, Torture, Coverups

This article is an emotionally difficult read, but worth your time. Major trauma warning

Ireland's hidden survivors (BBC)

The article illuminates attitudes, policies, practices, organisations, and cultures that also directly controlled us in Canada. The Catholic Church (the role it played in authoritarian Duplessis Quebec), residential schools, foster care that was little more than slave labour, the "Christian Brothers" of Newfoundland abuse shame, the hateful, violent, murderous, and abhorrent abuse and genocide perpetrated on First Nations people throughout Canadian history. Policies of assimilation, colonialism, secrecy, impunity, violence, and official indifference to the suffering of those destroyed by the system - especially those deemed inferior or unworthy. The "other" that did not conform to sanctioned roles and ways of life, or those simply abandoned to be exploited and discarded

The grotesque morality policing by officially sanctioned and legally empowered religious groups and the institutions they ran - quite similar to the Saudi religious and morality police, but... "Christian"

It serves as a cautionary tale of what happens when religion and public services are combined and given the power of the state to revoke liberty and control behaviours. It serves as a direct warning of what will happen in the "white-power" right-wing theocratic/religious state that Mike Pence and his Canadian counterparts want to see in our countries

It serves as a warning that everything in "The Handmaid's Tale" is real and is currently happening (not a rhetorical exaggeration), or has happened in the real world

"The most appalling part of this terrifyingly plausible world is that it’s all based on real events. As Atwood herself has said, “One of my rules was that I would not put any events into the book that had not already happened… nor any technology not already available. No imaginary gizmos, no imaginary laws, no imaginary atrocities. God is in the details, they say. So is the Devil.”
Everything in The Handmaid’s Tale has occurred in a totalitarian state, military regime or religious order. The concept of assigning fertile handmaids to the highest in society has a historical precedent dating right back to the Bible."

When "incels" say women should be distributed to men who want sex but can't find partners... there is precedent - including "comfort women" in WWII Japan's control, and:

"One of her references is the Lebensborn programme of the Nazis' security and surveillance corps, the SS. In 1935, with Germany’s birth rates dropping, Hitler’s right-hand man Heinrich Himmler designed a breeding program to promote an 'Aryan future'. One element of the scheme involved members of the SS 'mating' with suitable German women. They also kidnapped blue-eyed, blonde-haired children to populate the Nazi 'Third Reich'."
 - Dystopian fantasy? The Handmaid’s Tale is based entirely on real history - BBC

"“Incels” (short for “involuntary celibate”) are a deeply chauvinistic group of people whose common bond is that they don’t have sex and are incredibly, violently mad about it.
Incel thinking is based on the idea that women are commodities—that they are objects that owe men sex."
‘Redistributing Sex’ Is a Toxic Conversation About Toxic People -

Reanimate, Reimagine, Revisit, Repurpose

A lot has happened since 2011... I am repurposing this blog as a mode of personal and political expression. It will no longer be focused strictly on privacy, technology, and data issues

Interesting Discussion Of Gendered Criticism Of The Selfie

There’s a lot more to a selfie than meets the eye (Salon) by Alicia Eler The moral panic around teen selfies is old fear dre...