Reading List: things from the internet that might explode your world

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  • Let’s start with an advertisement for Goldieblox. What dogoldieblox you guys think of Goldieblox? On the one hand hooray for a company making toys for girls that challenge gender boundaries, on the other hand, it bothers me a little that the girl at the centre of this narrative is still white, blonde and thin (although at least not hyper-sexualised like most Disney Princesses)
  • Which leads into  this excellent article  which bemoans the fact that the face of modern feminism often ends up being white, thin and desperately middle class. One of many excellent quotes: “…the torment of the middle-class housewife longing for an office job – has been allowed to define the popular understanding of what feminism is for, and what women really want, for two generations. The fact that outside white suburbia women have always had to work for money does not factor into this convenient fiction…‘Having it all’ now means having a career, kids, a husband, a decent blow-dry – and that’s it.”
  • Which also leads into this  dissemination of race and representation of women’s bodies and motherhood, and who is ‘allowed’ to breastfeed in public and who is not. And also this delicious critique: Professor Edward Rhymes points out that in films featuring the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold (think: Pretty Woman and Mighty Aphrodite), the character is invariably played by a white woman: “There has yet to be a critically-acclaimed or commercially successful film, where a central character was a Black prostitute. So even when the “textbook” requirements of what constitutes being promiscuous is met, her whiteness saves the day. Even at her most licentious, she is made to appear innocent, wholesome and strangely virginal.” 

Girl 6which had me racking my brains for movies that star black prostitutes in a positive light, or even movies that star black prostitutes at all. The only one I could think of was Girl 6 although technically the character is a phone sex worker not a prostitute so it’s not quite the same. I’m sure there are others but I’m having a mind blank. Any suggestions? 

  • Annie HallNext up, also related why Woody Allen won’t be hiring a black actor any time soon. Because, as with so many movies set in New York, he writes for a world where the population is exclusively white and where white is the norm. Black people in New York (or Paris, Barcelona and Rome) obviously could not be anxious or nerdy or intellectual or even Jewish, or any of those things that Woody Allen has somehow incorporated into his own unique genre. Ugh.
  • And following on from that, why is Shonda Rhimes (Scandal_Season_3creator of iconic shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal) always being called an ‘angry black woman’: “But here’s the thing: After you write about that, write about something else. Wgreys-anatomyrite about her vision, write about her courage, write about her talent, write about the fact that she’s been able to achieve something that very few people have been able to achieve. Write about that.”  
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