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Dan Savage and 'Sex at Dawn' on the origins of monogamy

Dan Savage, sex advice guru and solver of all problems, has long been an advocate for the pitfalls of monogamy.  From his point of view, showing love and commitment to someone is choosing not to fuck other people– but the desire to fuck other people doesn’t go away.  John Edwards, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Bill Clinton, and literally millions of other people provide ample evidence that monogamy is not an easy thing for many people, even people with a lot at stake.  So Savage was pretty excited about a book that just came out called Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. He had one of the authors, Christopher Ryan, on his podcast last week to talk about the origins of the sacredness of monogamy. Continue reading

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DOMA ruled unconstitutional, thanks in part to 10th amendment

In a surprising twist of fate, the 10th amendment– the one that protects states’ rights, and is a big fav of right wingers and teabaggers– is being implemented to protect the rights of same sex citizens in Massachusetts.  Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general, was all like: how can DOMA (the Defense of Marriage act, which prevents same-sex marriages from being recognized by the federal government) be used to deny civil rights to the people of Massachusetts?  And this judge was all like: good question.

Really, really good question.  Turns out, it’s unconstitutional. Continue reading

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Females in G films dressed scantily as those in R films

Two of them aren't even wearing shirts!

Geena Davis, an actress who I must admit I know very little about, has recently conducted a study on representations of women and girls in popular media– specifically children’s movies and shows.  The results are depressing, if not surprising.

In G Rated films (the top 101 grossing films from 1990-2005– not sure why CNN just put out this info now)

  • Fewer than 1 out of 3 (28%) of the speaking characters are female– both animated and live action
  • More than 4 out of 5 (83%) of narrators are male
  • 85.5% of the characters are white, 4.8% are black, 9.7% are “other Continue reading
Posted in Entertainment, women | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sisterhood is powerful in comedy, too

There’s been a lot of interesting buzz about women in comedy lately.  After Olivia Munn made her debut as the new female correspondent on the Daily Show, the feminist response was a mixed bag.  Jezebel had a fantastically informative piece about the “women problem” over at the Daily Show.  The piece doesn’t lay down a harsh judgment on Munn herself, just on the historical lack of of female writers and correspondents (and the dismissive treatment thereof) on the show.  Double X responded with a critique of Munn, who has a bit where she stuffs phallic objects in her mouth, among other things.  Broadsheet ruminated on the larger problem of women in comedy– the whole “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” aspect of being either too hot, or talented and not hot, or talented and hot, and basically no matter what, someone is going to judge you for it.  Continue reading

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Constance McMillen, Mayor of Pride, gets the last laugh

[via Jezebel] Constance McMillen, human embodiment of why the Gay Pride movement is so important, is getting a lot of much-deserved positive attention right now.  Back in March, when the gay teenager wanted to go to her own prom, McMillen was the target of vicious bigotry from her school’s administration– who cancelled prom, then held a secret prom they didn’t invite her too.  Needless to say, McMillen wasn’t the most popular girl in school.  Continue reading

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The Joan Rivers doc: a compelling tale of a female comic

Depending on how old you are, you may have very strong feelings about Joan Rivers.  To people in their twenties, she’s mostly a joke– a presence on QVC and the Oscar pre-shows and a poster-girl for plastic surgery.  But as Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work shows, Rivers is an incredible talent, a comedy legend, and a tragic figure in a brutal industry, all rolled into one.  As Rivers herself repeats throughout the movie (almost compulsively), Carson told her after her first Tonight Show performance that she would be a star.  The doc, directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sunberg, paints a picture of someone who, at 75, is still waiting for that statement to be validated.  Continue reading

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