WOLF BLITZER, HOST:On the whole issue of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, do you want to see that agency ended?
REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS:Well, if you want to live in a free society, if you want to pay attention to the constitution, why not? I think it's bad economics. I think it's bad morality. And it's bad constitutional law.
Last night I innocently glanced through this magazine and was confronted with possibly the most disgusting and alarmist, “But what about the men?!” article about rape I’ve ever read. Things like this make me unable to think rationally so here are a few thoughts:
Few things disgust me like the bizarre fantasy of this world in which false rape allegations are common. How many men do you know who have been falsely accused of rape? Because I know zero, and I know MANY women who have been raped. And by the way, as far as I know, none of those women ever pressed charges.
To the woman who said: “If I were sending off a son to college right now, I’d be very concerned.” If you think you raised the type of man to have sex in shady as hell circumstances and/or with incapacitated women, you should be concerned. Also, I hope for her hypothetical sake that you do not have a daughter, so that you are not more afraid about a son’s trip to the dean’s office than a daughter’s you know… actual rape.
“Those Clery Act reports contradict Joe Biden’s claim of an epidemic. Take Temple University. There are 30,000 students at its main campus on North Broad Street. The student body is 55 percent female, so if the one-in-five DOJ figure for sexual assaults is correct, 3,180 of the current female students would have been sexually assaulted while at the school. And yet Temple’s Clery Act report shows five sexual assaults in 2007, two in 2008, and two in 2009.” Wow, I guess I can’t argue with this. No woman in history has ever chosen not to report a rape and subject herself to the character assassination that goes along with it! Wait, what about all the friends I just mentioned?! I guess my experience is an anomaly!
“Deborah Nolan says that in 25 years at Ursinus, she’s heard a ton of sexual assault stories, and only one didn’t involve alcohol. Drinking lowers inhibitions: “Sometimes we want to be coaxed into things. But it makes people irate when you say that.” I…..
Just read it yourself. Every single bit is horrible. The editor of Philadelphia magazine can be reached here.
What the actual fuck.
I have been falsely accused of rape (a rumor we still can’t find the origin of, as the girl in question didn’t start it and denied it to everyone from the time she heard it). It’s still not an epidemic. MRAs seem to live under the delusion that it is, but it’s definitely not. Far too many of the women I know have been assaulted and none of their assailants have seen justice. That’s a fucking problem. False accusations are clearly a bad thing, but they are beyond rare. They’re not even an issue worth addressing more than a simple blanket condemnation. To pretend like they’re the real issue here is disgusting, and Philadelphia Magazine should be fucking ashamed.
Just look at all the men whose lives and careers have been ruined by accusations of sexual assault… Ben Roethlisberger, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Roman Polanski… Oh wait…
I wanted my first-year film students to understand what happens to a story when actual human beings inhabit your characters, and the way they can inspire storytelling. And I wanted to teach them how to look at headshots and what you might be able to tell from a headshot. So for the past few years I’ve done a small experiment with them.
It works like this: I bring in my giant file of head shots, which include actors of all races, sizes, shapes, ages, and experience levels. Each student picks a head shot from the stack and gets a few minutes to sit with the person’s face and then make up a little story about them.
Namely, for white men, they have no trouble coming up with an entire history, job, role, genre, time, place, and costume. They will often identify him without prompting as “the main character.” The only exception? “He would play the gay guy.” For white women, they mostly do not come up with a job (even though it was specifically asked for), and they will identify her by her relationships. “She would play the mom/wife/love interest/best friend.” I’ve heard “She would play the slut” or “She would play the hot girl.” A lot more than once.
For nonwhite men, it can be equally depressing. “He’s in a buddy cop movie, but he’s not the main guy, he’s the partner.” “He’d play a terrorist.” “He’d play a drug dealer.” “A thug.” “A hustler.” “Homeless guy.” One Asian actor was promoted to “villain.”
For nonwhite women (grab onto something sturdy, like a big glass of strong liquor), sometimes they are “lucky” enough to be classified as the girlfriend/love interest/mom, but I have also heard things like “Well, she’d be in a romantic comedy, but as the friend, you know?” “Maid.” “Prostitute.” “Drug addict.”
I should point out that the responses are similar whether the group is all or mostly-white or extremely racially mixed, and all the groups I’ve tried this with have been about equally balanced between men and women, though individual responses vary. Women do a little better with women, and people of color do a little better with people of color, but female students sometimes forget to come up with a job for female actors and black male students sometimes tell the class that their black male actor wouldn’t be the main guy.
Once the students have made their pitches, we interrogate their opinions. “You seem really sure that he’s not the main character – why? What made you automatically say that?” “You said she was a mom. Was she born a mom, or did she maybe do something else with her life before her magic womb opened up and gave her an identity? Who is she as a person?” In the case of the “thug“, it turns out that the student was just reading off his film resume. This brilliant African American actor who regularly brings houses down doing Shakespeare on the stage and more than once made me weep at the beauty and subtlety of his performances, had a list of film credits that just said “Thug #4.” “Gang member.” “Muscle.” Because that’s the film work he can get. Because it puts food on his table.
So, the first time I did this exercise, I didn’t know that it would turn into a lesson on racism, sexism, and every other kind of -ism. I thought it was just about casting. But now I know that casting is never just about casting, and this day is a real teachable opportunity. Because if we do this right, we get to the really awkward silence, where the (now mortified) students try to sink into their chairs. Because, hey, most of them are proud Obama voters! They have been raised by feminist moms! They don’t want to be or see themselves as being racist or sexist. But their own racism and sexism is running amok in the room, and it’s awkward.
This for every time someone criticizes how characters of color and female characters of color especially are treated in text and by subsequent fandoms. It’s never “just a television/movie/book”. It’s never been ”just”.
I was just looking through our sound effects database and found an effect for a pile driver. That brought me back to my senior year in college when they were building another dorm next to where I lived and the pile driver would start at like 8am every morning, and someone started a facebook group called “We Hate the Pile Driver”.
I’m not going to get into a discussion of whether the Washington monument is some sort of national phallic symbol. Because we’re all adults here. And we can get past that and treat this as nothing more than an architectural concern about a historical structure. We don’t build giant obelisks because we feel we need to compensate for some kind of national insecurity. We build them because … because they’re nice to look at.
Still … a lot of us won’t be walking as tall today as we did yesterday.
Will people stop making fun of east coasters for caring about a small earthquake now?