Racism, Trump’s sexism

Take a look at Anna Holmes’ column in the Washington Post about Trump’s sexism – and, while I understand Holmes has a column in the Lifestyle section – doesn’t sexism deserve a more news-worthy section? Would the WaPo place an article about racism in the Lifestyle section? Perhaps sexism, like racism, is considered a “lifestyle”? Hmmm…

Column:  Anna Holmes on Donald Trump’s sexism

Holmes provides sufficient evidence of Trump’s evidence but I particularly like these 2 conclusions:

his utterance lay bare the modus operandi of the unreconstructed misogynist, in which women should be sexy, but not sexual (just as airlines once required of stewardesses, the Miss USA organization denies entry to contestants who have ever been married or “given birth to, or parented, a child”); a willingness to relinquish autonomy over one’s fertility is both an asset and a job requirement; and female worth is quantified not by character or accomplishment but by hip-to-waist ratio.

and

Perhaps this legacy of unapologetically gleeful misogyny — not his reputedly shady business practices or his absurd questions about President Obama’s birthplace — will end up being Trump’s electoral Achilles’ heel. Despite his protestations over the years that he “loves” and “respects” women, the fact of the matter is that whatever their party identification or their positions on the economy, foreign policy or abortion rights, women don’t take kindly to being defined by their body mass index, their mothering skills or their supposed disposability. (“People change their positions all the time, the way they change their wives,’’ said Trump confidant Michael Cohen earlier this year as a way to explain his boss’s newfound animus toward abortion rights.)

She ends:

Not that Trump cares. “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of [expletive],” he told a writer for Esquire in 1991.

Ewwww! (also see: comment about his daughter’s body – double ewwww)

And here’s an article in AlterNet (probably not their lifestyle section) about Trump’s racism:

Obama’s Mama vs. The Donald’s

By implication of skin color, Donald Trump is more inherently American than Barack Obama.  Which would come as a real shock to Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, a white woman born and raised in the American heartland of Kansas.  Trump’s mother, on the other hand, was an immigrant from Scotland.

There is nothing more fundamentally anti-American than parsing out shares of American identity based in proportion to skin color.  By any definition of the values and ideals of our nation, Barack Obama is as much or more an American — an inheritor and perpetuator of the American Dream — than Donald Trump who was born with America and everything else served up on a silver spoon.  And the undocumented migrant mothers who are toiling in our nation’s fields today so they may create a better future for their children are arguably just as American as Barack Obama’s mother. 

Too often, we treat American identity as a tangible birthright given only to some rather than an aspirational dream available to all.  Yes, one has to be a citizen to be President — and Barack Obama (unfortunately) was forced to prove that previously and re-prove it again.  But one does not have to be a citizen to be American.  The America for which our ancestors fought and for which we continue to fight for today is not simply the soil onto which you are born but the spirit in your heart — the idea that all people are born equal and should have equal opportunity, that this hallowed nation shall be a place on earth where people from all walks of life can pursue their dreams together. 

Come to think of it, I think I heard more hallaballu about Will & Kate accomplishing the American dream of rags-to-riches than I did for Obama. Go figure.

(Fat) Male privilege: Weight Watchers finally targets men

Where have they been?

Why the fat guy should lose his privilege by David Sirota

This is a significant question in a country whose debilitating weight problem is more male than female — and “more” means a heckuva lot more. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost 70 percent of men are overweight, compared with 52 percent of women. Yet, somehow, 90 percent of the commercial weight-loss industry’s clients are female, and somehow, this industry hasn’t seen males as a viable business. How can that be?

And he soon answers:

…The real explanation for the gender disparity is found in a chauvinist culture whose double standards demand physical perfection from women while simultaneously celebrating male corpulence.

Read on, he makes great points!

Only 5% of TV ads in the UK employ ethnic minorities

I imagine it’s somewhat similar in the US. I’m waiting for ads to feature males (white or ethnic) in cleaning commercials. I’ve only seen 2. I especially dislike the ads that feature a male announcer sounding like an authority on a product and the female demonstrating it – there’s a vacuum cleaner with a new technology (a ball that makes the vacuum turn better) that does this. grrrr.

Only 5% of TV ads feature ethnic minorities

Actors from black, Asian or other ethnic minority groups appeared in only 5% of the almost 35,000 TV ads screened in the UK last year, according to a report.

 The report by Clearcast, the body that vets all commercials before they are broadcast, found that TV advertising is “drastically under-representing” the ethnic minority groups. Black, Asian and those of other ethnic minorities account for about 13% of the UK population.

 Clearcast’s report, which marks the first in-depth look at the racial makeup of UK television advertising, found that of the total of 34,499 commercials given the green light last year just 1,845, or 5.3%, used actors from a non-white background.

Study shows gender differences in films from 2008

You know, I could probably count on my hands how many times I’ve seen a naked male in films – it’s almost unnatural that they’re clothed and their female counterparts aren’t. How often are you naked while your partner is clothed? This study shows – no surprise – that women in films from 2008 were pretty, skinny, partially clothed or naked. What is surprising is that this includes TEENAGERS.

Exclusive: Hollywood gender gap persists in 100 top-grossing films

Perhaps what was most disconcerting was the physical emphasis placed on 13- to 20-year old females.  Our data show that teenaged females are far more likely than teenaged males to be depicted in revealing apparel (39.8 percent of teen females compared to 6.7 percent of teen males), partially naked (30.1 percent to 10.3 percent), physically attractive (29.2 percent to 11.1 percent), and with a small waist (35.1 percent to 13.6 percent).  Again, chest size and presence of an ideal figure did not vary meaningfully with gender.

Overall, the findings suggest that males and females are differentially valued in motion pictures.  Despite the fact that it is 2011, females are still far less important or esteemed than are males, particularly behind-the-camera.  When they are shown on screen, females are prized for provocative (or noticeably absent) attire, attributes of their physique, and prettiness.  This is also true of teenaged females. The hypersexualized focus on teens is disquieting, given that exposure to objectifying media portrayals may contribute to negative effects in some young female viewers.  Such depictions may also affect young male consumers, by teaching and/or reinforcing that girls/women are to be valued for how they look rather than who they are.

Murder as an occupational hazard

I wrote this piece – Murder as an Occupational Hazard – in 2007 when 5 women’s bodies were found in Atlantic City, NJ.  I really wanted to stress how misogyny plays a role in serial killers who target women. Certainly, there are other “vulnerable populations” that these killers could target: runaways, drug dealers on the street, the elderly, the disabled, male prostitutes, etc. — but all too often the common denominator is gender, and profession, although clearly a factor, is secondary.

Recently, the bodies of 10 female sex workers were discovered in NY. Hopefully, it will spur more debate about legalizing (or not) prostitution, a culture that ‘permits’ gender-based violence, devaluing people (for whatever reason), impunity, and making heroes out of serial killers. I just want to add that in this discussion/debate, people need to address the prostitution of minors (johns that use them) and sexual trafficking.

Lust murder: Prostitutes as victims of throwaway capitalism

This is David Rosen’s take:

Many of the female victims of these horrendous murder sprees have been prostitutes. They tend to be young women in their 20s, lost to their birth families and community, and often on drugs. They seem like lost souls who have nothing left but their bodies to sell. They are throwaway living commodities of capitalism.

Getting away with murder on Long Island

This is Nancy Goldstein’s take:

It’s not yet clear whether one killer or multiple killers are responsible. No suspects have surfaced. But that’s not what makes this story really tragic. Some of those 10 people might be alive today if it hadn’t been for the lackluster response of law enforcement and the press coverage of the case — much of it sensationalist and dehumanizing — all because of the first victims’ sex-worker status.

School Superintendent Epps says, “Our worst enemy is the young ladies.”

This is really appalling…and so stupid…

Wait, What? School Superintendent says young ladies are community’s ‘worst enemy’

During Wednesday’s speech, Epps addressed about a dozen members of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Jersey City & Vicinity when he began discussing the $1 million per year the district spends on school police. According to Epps, the district’s “worst enemies” aren’t gangs or kids who bring weapons to school, but rather the district’s young women.

“Our worst enemy is the young ladies,” Epps said. “The young girls are bad. I don’t know what they’re drinking today, but they’re bad.”

Although Epps was speaking to a group of pastors, no one seemed to bat an eyelash over his comments