Vanity "Hey, That's Unfair!": Movie Star Renee Zellweger Complains That People Care About Movie Stars' Looks
(Becky Thatcher, call your office!)
I saw a tweet:
Renée Zellweger has had it with a society that values women's "beauty over contribution"
I can sympathize with Zellweger. It can't be fun to have the public putting on a ginormous Internet forum about your face.
However, this -- from VF, quoting a Hollywood Reporter interview with Zellweger -- is just silly:
"Why are we talking about how women look?" she continued. "Why do we value beauty over contribution? We don't seem to value beauty over contribution for men. It's simply not a conversation."
VF chimes in, all PC (and "shit, we'd better be nice or we'll never get another interview with that publicist's six other movie star clients"):
In other words, the actual work women are doing should be what makes people talk.
As I tweeted back to VF:
.@VanityFair If you are a female physicist or the lady doing our brain surgery, we don't care whether you're hot. Movie star? Might matter!
And another tweet I sent:
If everybody peeked into the science of sex difs, instead of pretending they don't exist, they'd at least understand.
On the science of sex differences from my book, "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck":
Evolutionary psychologists David Buss and David Schmitt explain that men and women have some "conflicting strategies" in dating, sex, and relationships. These seem to have emerged from our differing physiologies and the ensuing differences in what sex can end up costing us. As I wrote in a column:A cave man could do a cave lady behind a bush and just walk away, no child support, no nothing, and still pass on his genes. Consequently, men evolved to have this extremely unsentimental sexuality: getting aroused at the mere sight of a nubile woman. Since women can get pregnant from a single sex act, and since there were few suckier places to be a single mother than 1.8 million years ago on the African savannah, women evolved to care a lot less about a man's looks than his ability and willing- ness to provide. Although we now have reliable birth control, our genes are extraordinarily slow learners, so these competing sexual strategies remain. As my friend Walter Moore put it, "A guy was complaining to me that women are only attracted to wealthy men. I said, 'That's so unfair, because we don't expect them to be wealthy; all we ask is that they look like models.' "
In a tweet, this woman gets it right.
The purpose of the burkini isn't the moral right to cover up, but to empty the beaches of bikinis.
This is what's called "soft jihad" or "stealth jihad." Roger Kimball explains it:
Traditional jihad is waged with scimitars and their contemporary equivalents, e.g., stolen Boeing 767s, which make handy instruments of mass homicide. Soft jihad is a quieter affair: it uses and abuses the language and the principles of democratic liberalism not to secure the institutions and attitudes that make freedom possible but, on the contrary, to undermine that freedom and pave the way for self-righteous, theocratic intolerance.
Related: Robert Spencer's 2008 book, "Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam Is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs."
tweet via @ScrewedByState
Yes, Innocent People Confess To Crimes They Haven't Committed
There's an op-ed in the LA Times -- "Innocent? Don't talk to the police" -- by a law prof, James Duane, whose video on not talking to the police I posted a while back.
Most innocent people mistakenly think to themselves, "Why not talk? I haven't done anything. I have nothing to hide. What could possibly go wrong?"
Well, among other things, you could end up confessing to a crime you didn't commit. The problem of false confessions is not an urban legend. It is a documented fact. Indeed, research suggests that the innocent may be more susceptible than the culpable to deceptive police interrogation tactics, because they tragically assume that somehow "truth and justice will prevail" later even if they falsely admit their guilt. Nobody knows for sure how often innocent people make false confessions, but as Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski recently observed, "Innocent interrogation subjects confess with surprising frequency."
It happens especially in cases when the suspect is young and vulnerable. An analysis of 125 proven false confessions found that 33% of the suspects were juveniles at the time of arrest, and at least 43% were either mentally disabled or ill. Another study of 340 exonerations found that 13% of adults falsely confessed compared to 42% of juveniles. And nearly half of the exonerated children were put behind bars because of something they said to police without an attorney present.
In Oakland, police isolated and interrogated a 16-year-old named Felix in the middle of the night without a lawyer and denied his requests to see his mother. Eventually he gave them a detailed, videotaped confession to a murder, allegedly filled with numerous specifics only the real killer would have known. At that point, it looked like there was little chance this young man would be able to avoid a conviction; when a jury hears that someone has confessed, they are almost certain to convict. But fortunately for young Felix, it was later revealed that he had an airtight alibi: He had been locked up in a juvenile detention facility the day of the killing. The charges were dismissed, and he was released from jail.
A cop friend of mine told me not to talk to the police even if you aren't even a suspect. She warned that, in court, they can take one tiny thing you said -- take it totally out of context -- and use to to yank you into a prison sentence. Like how you "hate that girl." The sort of hyperbole many of us use without ever wanting to kill someone. Or it could be something more innocuous. Suddenly, you are a suspect. And in court, they only present the things that make you sound guilty.
Via @PINACNews, Cops coerce a 13-year-old kid into confessing to a murder he did not commit, sending him to prison for three years. A question from the video -- did he really understand Miranda rights? I think it's probably often unlikely that young teens do understand the rights and the ramifications of talking.
Related: Duane has a book coming out September 20 (that can be pre-ordered now), "You Have the Right to Remain Innocent."
I do have to say, I think Duane's advice -- not to talk to cops when a crime's been committed -- is right on, but I think there is a balance to be struck in a traffic stop. I write about this in "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck" -- from consultations with cops and First Amendment lawyer Marc J. Randazza, who brilliantly saved my bacon when a TSA worker thought she'd lawyer up and sue me for $500K.
Here's the excerpt on the nuances of what makes sense in a traffic stop. More in "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck" on what to do if they try to search you, and other dicey subjects.
Suck it! (Or post it here.)
Must. Have. More. Vagina People. In. Science. Stories.
I wrote that like it was said by Gollum in Lord of the Rings. Hope that comes through.
The story? Two female science journalists -- two who try to include women and "diverse" voices -- gnash that they aren't including as many women as men in their pieces.
Adrienne LaFrance boohoos about this in The Atlantic, in a piece titled:
I Analyzed a Year of My Reporting for Gender Bias (Again):
And the subtitle:
In 2013, I found that, over the course of a year, about 25 percent of the people I quoted or mentioned were women. Two years later, a similar analysis yielded discouraging results.
From LaFrance's piece:
Some people would argue that I'm simply reflecting reality in my work. That's an overly generous interpretation. Another popular reaction is that my job as a journalist isn't to actively seek out diverse sources, but to find the most qualified people to help me tell the best possible story. I only agree with that in part: Yes, my job is to serve readers by finding the best sources for my stories, but why assume that the best source isn't a woman? By substantially underrepresenting an entire gender, I'm missing out on all kinds of viewpoints, ideas, and experiences that might otherwise sharpen and enhance my reporting.
I'm not excluding women on purpose, but I can't say it's an accident, either. Reporters choose whom to interview. We carefully parcel out our time as we work toward deadlines. I spent several weeks working on this story about self-driving cars, for instance, and it occurred to me as I was reporting that I hadn't interviewed any women. In the end, deadline pressure and decisions about what to leave on the cutting-room floor trumped diversity.
It seems that happens a lot in my work. I asked Matias to run a follow-up analysis to see how many times I filed stories with no women mentioned. He looked at a slightly different dataset, expanded to include the 198 articles I wrote in all of 2015 and into part of January of this year. The result: Zero women mentioned in 119 of those stories, amounting to about 60 percent of my work. On top of that, I mentioned men more times than women in nearly three-quarters of my articles. Blergh.
Okay, so, what do I do? There are three steps, Matias suggests, that would make a difference. First, I could actively look for more stories about newsworthy women. "The key is that there are two major factors shaping who you mention: the people that your stories are about and the people who you rely on to make sense of those stories," he said.
Second, I could try to be more inclusive in what he calls the "one-off" stories, the pieces where I interview or mention a person once, but don't necessarily expect that person to be a fixture in my ongoing reporting. Third, and here's the area where I think putting in the effort could most improve my work in the long run, is trying harder to cultivate more women sources on my dedicated beats.
When I think now, off the top of my head, of some of the experts I routinely turn to--for comments on net neutrality, or artificial intelligence, or natural-language processing, or self-driving cars, or digital preservation--the first person on my to-call list is almost always a man. I need to change that.
Why? If you're turning to the most informed source on something -- which is what anyone who's not an idiot would do -- why change that? Sometimes that's a woman. Sometimes that's a man.
I'm also going to put more of an effort into asking for help. For example, I'm working on a big series of stories about robots and artificial intelligence right now. I've done more than a dozen in-depth, fascinating interviews for my first story--and every single source so far has been a man.
Christina Selby also gnashes similarly about this on The Open Notebook.
It's annoying that so-called science writers are so ignorant of research on the science of sex differences -- but it's to be expected. It's just not PC. You'll get kicked out of the lefty in crowd and have to give back your decoder ring.
I wrote recently about how it goes for those who don't parrot the feminist party line, in regard to an ad exec getting canned for admitting the truth -- that men tend to be fiercer competitors than women:
First let me say that there are certainly individual differences -- women who compete more like men do, for example: Fiercely, overtly, clawing their way to the top.
But -- as Roberts notes -- a lot of women just want to be satisfied by their jobs.
As I've written -- from the work of Joyce Benenson, Anne Campbell, and others who research sex differences, men band together in groups and are comfortable with competition and hierarchies and fighting to be on top in a way women are not.
Women band together in dyads and compete covertly. This is where they "mean girls" thing comes from.) Standing out as better than the others is not a crowd-pleaser if you're female. So women evolved to show they are not a threat to other women -- not by chest-pounding, overt competition, but by sharing vulnerabilities.
Men need to compete because gaining status is how they get the best possible mate. Standards are different for women -- evolutionary standards, that is -- and while women surely have career ambitions, the ambition to rule the world just isn't the same for many women as it is for men.
University Of Chicago: Don't Enroll Here, Pantywads!
U of C tells the crybullies that it isn't the school for them -- though a little late, as they put out the word in their letter to incoming freshmen.
(Yes, that's "freshmen," not "freshzees," "freshzirs," or [insert non-"cis" term of your choice]).
Jessica Chasmar reports in the Wash Times:
The University of Chicago has once again expressed its commitment to free speech, warning incoming freshmen not to expect any "trigger warnings" or safe spaces on campus where individuals can retreat from intellectual challenges.
In a letter sent to the class of 2020, the dean of students for undergraduates explained the private university's "commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression."
"Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others," Jay Ellison wrote, according to the letter obtained by Intellectual Takeout. "You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.
"Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called 'trigger warnings,' we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual 'safe spaces' where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own," he wrote.
The letter comes as college campuses nationwide struggle to uphold free speech principals while also protecting cultural sensitivities.
Colleges have no business "protecting cultural sensitivities."
It unprepares students for real life.
This, in turns, means that working at a gas station gets you more prepared to deal with what hits you in life than a college education.
I LOVE HEARING HATE SPEECH!
I love it for the same reason Brendan O'Neill does.
As he put it, "I love hearing hate speech because it reminds me I live in a free society."
This was in response to Section 18C of Australia's Racial Discrimination Act, which prohibits speech "reasonably likely... to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people' because of their 'race, colour or national or ethnic origin."
Section 18C does not belong in a free society. Yet...
Naturally, panties rose up in giant wads from those on the "enlightened" left.
At Spiked, Tim Black explains O'Neill's position:
O'Neill loves hearing hate speech, not in itself, not because he just loves vitriol, as some of his detractors really seem to believe. No, he loves hearing it because of what hearing it means: namely, that we live in a society that is confident enough in itself, in its liberal values, that it can tolerate dissenting and hateful views.
O'Neill then went on to explain why freedom of speech is precisely the mechanism through which we can challenge racism: 'The real problem with Section 18C is it actually disempowers anti-racists by denying us the right to see racism, to know it, to understand it and to confront it in public. Instead it entrusts the authorities to hide it away on our behalf so we never have a reckoning with it.'
For anyone faintly familiar with a liberal and radical tradition of thought, from Voltaire to Frederick Douglass to Karl Marx, O'Neill's argument shouldn't be controversial: it is only through the airing of prejudice that it can be reckoned with. And it certainly shouldn't be difficult to understand. But sadly it seems that, for too many, it is. To these, the liberal-ish and the right-on, it is an anathema, thought from another planet.
First came the high-profile Twitterers, the attack dogs of elite sentiment. Celebrity chef Georgina Dent said: 'See, if hearing hate speech is the bit you love most about living in a "free country" you're doing it wrong.' Commentator Jane Caro quickly joined in: 'Brendan O'Neill may not be aware of how privileged he is to "like" hearing hate speech. I've seen it intimidate people into silence.' And in chimed the widely retweeted campaigner and columnist, Mariam Veiszadeh: 'Those who argue that S18C should be repealed have the privilege of never having to seek its protection.'
Clueless ninnies who don't understand that they are able to be vocal clueless ninnies because of provisions for free speech.
Secretary Of Take: How Hillary Clinton Turned The State Department Into A Giant Cash Register For The Clinton Foundation
The AP reports that more than half the people outside government who met with Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State had opened their checkbooks for the Clinton Foundation. (They either donated personally or through companies or groups.)
It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.
At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.
Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton's help with a visa problem; and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm's corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.
The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton.
And what does the Clinton Foundation do to make the world a better place? Well, it mainly makes it a better place for Clinton cronies, toadies, etc., as NRO reports:
It is important to keep in mind what the Clinton Foundation mainly does: It does precious little in the way of actual philanthropy ($9 million worth out of $140 million in revenue for 2013) but instead spends almost all of its money on salaries and travel expenses for various Clintons (including Chelsea Clinton, now its vice chairman), Democratic allies, toadies, flunkies, hangers-on, and assorted minions. It is a full-employment sinecure program for friends and family of the Clinton political operation, and very little more.
It is appalling that the choice Americans have for president is either this corrupt official or loose cannon corrupto from the private sector.
Segregation Is The New Inclusion: Blacks-Only Retreat At Cal State Fresno
Sorry, Dr. Martin Luther King. This is really what it's come to.
Michael McGrady writes at The College Fix that Cal State Fresno recently held a three-day blacks-only student retreat:
Fresno State President Joseph Castro, in an address to kick off the new school year, praised the retreat, noting "the call to better support African American students in connecting with their peers and the university was heard and put into action."
"A first ever retreat, appropriately titled Harambee, which means 'Let's pull together,' was held this week where new and continuing African-American students, along with African-American faculty, staff and alumni, could exchange ideas of how to create a greater sense of belonging on campus," Castro continued.
Here's a suggestion -- do what I did when I went to the University of Michigan and mix with all sorts of people.
My roommate was from Jackson, Michigan, with a father who was a prison guard, and her mom told me she'd never met "a Jewish girl before."
We didn't particularly hit it off, but that's how life goes sometimes.
I didn't seek to only stay with people from the Detroit suburbs who were white and had a very similar upbringing to mine. What a bore.
And what a stupid way to go through life.
There's more from Fresno State:
"The retreat was a student success event to assist African-American students in their transition to university life and instill a sense of belonging at the institution, which has an approximately 4 percent African-American student population, and help boost retention and graduation rates of African-American students, which are slightly below other groups at Fresno State," Armbruster added.
Maybe (as I noted yesterday) that has more to do with admitting students mainly because they have the black faces you want and not the grade point and test scores of the students they're competing with.
Um, Duh: Affirmative Action Is Setting Students Up For Failure
This drive to dot schools with certain colors of student faces rather than a certain level of competence is hurting the students they admit -- those who are ill-prepared to meet anything but the face-color quotas.
Two letters have come out at Smith College that reflect this, reports Blake Neff at The Daily Caller.
The controversy in question concerns two letters sent by faculty in Smith's School for Social Work to school administrators. Although the letters were initially private, they were leaked to students at the school by an unknown person, who said they wished to reveal the "violent, racist rhetoric directed toward students of color on the Smith campus."
The first letter, sent by professor Dennis Miehls, warns that the school was failing in its "gatekeeper" function by admitting too many academically unprepared applicants.
A separate letter, from adjunct professors, says this:
"There is clearly something terribly faulty with the admission policy when scores of students develop, from the very start, serious problems in both their academic performance and their field experience," the letter said. "What many people are thinking but afraid to say is that when students are admitted who do not have the academic qualifications to do well enough in a rigorous, demanding, stressful program ... these students are being set up for failure.
"This is unethical and immoral," the letter adds. "But beyond that, we must acknowledge that social work -- like every other kind of work -- is not for everyone, and we have to stop pretending that it can be."
Clarence Thomas made this argument in Fisher, notes Dan McLaughlin at The Federalist:
The University admits minorities who otherwise would have attended less selective colleges where they would have been more evenly matched. But, as a result of the mismatching, many blacks and Hispanics who likely would have excelled at less elite schools are placed in a position where underperformance is all but inevitable because they are less academically prepared than the white and Asian students with whom they must compete. Setting aside the damage wreaked upon the self-confidence of these overmatched students, there is no evidence that they learn more at the University than they would have learned at other schools for which they were better prepared. Indeed, they may learn less.
It isn't just people "of color" who have this problem. At the link above, there's a bit from Dick Cheney, talking about how he only got into Yale because he was from Wyoming. He wasn't up for it, and, as he puts it, "In the Spring of 1962, Yale and I parted ways."
Cheney ended up going home, discouraged about school, and working at laying power lines. He would later return to his education at the University of Wyoming, which was more his speed, graduate successfully, and a little more than a decade later he was White House chief of staff.
Nobody familiar with his subsequent career would argue Cheney was somehow intellectually inferior. But he was both academically and socially unprepared at 18 for Yale, and it nearly ended his education. If we are serious about educating young people of every color--especially in an age when college dropouts often leave with massive debts they can never hope to repay--we should want to avoid subjecting more of them to experiences like Cheney's.
Meanwhile, at Smith, the person who linked the letters is sure it's whitey and whitey hatred to blame, writing in a cover note with the letters:
"We feel that it is critical to share these letters with the community, in order to facilitate transparency and accountability around the violent, racist rhetoric directed toward students of color on the Smith campus. The language in these letters contributes to a climate of fear experienced by students of color at Smith and exemplifies how individuals in positions of power are both participatory and complicit in white supremacist systems at the school."
As an example of "white supremacist language and ideology" in the letters, it cited references to minority students' "perceptions of racism," rather than treating those perceptions as real.
And the comments on admissions particularly upset the person who leaked the letters and many students. "The use of the term 'tainted' to describe a supposed degeneration in quality of students at Smith calls upon a historically racist discourse which casts people of color or others deemed 'lesser than' as contaminants of a pure white bloodline. This is violent language that is completely unacceptable to use in reference to students at this institution."
Smith is a tough school. The friends' daughter I know who went there for undergrad had parents who put everything toward her education, sending her to Marlborough, an expensive private school in Los Angeles (probably $40K a year, with expenses). She's extremely bright and a high achiever -- and has been one and one amongst other very bright high achievers all her life.
What's sick and awful and "tainted" is a process that lets students into a school they are not prepared to handle. Where they are doomed to fail -- leaving them with, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans they can't pay back and career prospects that range from Starbucks to Applebee's.
Logic In Organ Markets -- And We're Talking Livers, Not Large Musical Instruments
Ilya Somin has a compelling piece at Cato from 2015, referencing thinking from Brennan and Jaworski's "Markets Without Limits."
They make the point, as Somin puts it, "that anything we should be allowed to do for free, we should also be allowed to do for pay. The transfer of money does not magically render an otherwise defensible activity immoral."
An example from the organ transplant-osphere:
Many people oppose legalizing organ markets because they believe it would lead to exploitation of the poor. But most of them have no objection to letting poor people perform much more dangerous work, such as becoming lumberjacks or NFL players. If it is wrong to allow poor people to assume the risk of selling a kidney for money, surely it is even more wrong to allow them to take much greater risks in order to increase their income.
If you believe that organ markets must be banned because they exploit the poor, you must also argue that the poor should be forbidden to take jobs as lumberjacks and football players. If you believe that such considerations justify banning participation in organ markets even by the non-poor, than we must also categorically forbid monetary compensation for football players. Indeed, the case for banning the payment of football players is actually much stronger than that for banning organ markets. Unlike the ban on organ markets, a ban on professional football would not lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent people.
Other critics believe that organ markets must be banned because it is inherently wrong to "commodify" the human body. Yet most of them have no objection to letting a wide range of people profit from organ transplants, including doctors, insurance companies, hospital administrators, medical equipment suppliers, and so on. All of these people get paid (often handsomely) for helping transfer organs from one body to another.
Perversely, the only participant in the process forbidden to profit from the "commodification" of organs is the one who provided the organ in the first place. If you believe that people should be forbidden to sell kidneys because earning a profit from organs is immoral "commodification" of the body, you must either oppose paying all the other people who currently earn money from organ transplants, or explain why they, unlike the original owner of the kidney, are not also engaged in commodification. In reality, a person who actually earns a large part of her livelihood from organ transplants - like a doctor who specializes in such operations - is engaged in commodification of bodies to a far greater extent than the typical paid donor who earns a profit from a kidney once, but otherwise earns their living in other ways.
What's it like to give someone a kidney? My friend Virginia Postrel did it. And when I first talked to Sally Satel, I think I said something really goofy, like "I believe you have my friend's kidney."
In Virginia's words:
Sally Satel and I have been friends since 1997. We're kindred spirits -- strong-willed, intellectual iconoclasts who are a bit too ingenuous for our own good. But she lives in Washington, D.C., where she's a fellow at a think tank, and I live in Dallas. We almost never see each other and communicate mostly by e-mail. We follow each other's work but don't share our day-to-day lives. Last fall, no one would have called us close.
So I had no idea Sally's kidneys were failing. She needed a transplant, our friend told me. Otherwise, she'd soon be on dialysis, tied at least three days a week to a machine that would filter poisons from her blood. For someone who prizes her independence and freedom of movement as much as Sally does, dialysis would have been a prison sentence.
With no spouse, children, siblings, or parents to offer her a kidney, I thought she must be desperate. I knew the chances of getting a cadaver kidney were low, although I didn't realize how truly miniscule: More than 66,000 Americans are on the waiting list for the 6,700 or so cadaver kidneys that are available each year. Just thinking about her situation made my heart race with empathetic panic.
"Maybe we can do something to get Sally a kidney," I said. It probably sounded as if I were proposing a publicity campaign. After all, she and I and our mutual friend are in the persuasion business: We write books and articles and have lots of press connections. What I really meant, though, was "Maybe I can give Sally a kidney." At the time, it seemed like a perfectly natural reaction.
Cool, huh? I've posted this before, but I love the story and I hope you'll go read the entire thing.
I don't think that if there's a market in organs that the Virginias of the world will not donate their kidney -- but maybe they wouldn't need to, and maybe this would work well for everybody involved.
Smutty, smut, smut. With a side of smut-shaming.
Slate Sneers At Ivanka Trump For Not Paying Interns -- Having Only Started Paying Their Own Interns In 2014
Those eeeevil! libertarians at Reason Magazine have long made it possible for both poor and rich kids to be interns at the magazine, giving a kid $5K for a 12-week summer internship.
Slate, meanwhile, only recently started paying their interns -- probably in response to the big furor about interns not being paid.
Oh, and for anyone new around here, I loathe both Hillary and Trump, but, as for my vote, say, "at least Hillary's a corrupt adult."
I also know very little about Ivanka Trump, about whom Katy Waldman has a piece at Slate's XX -- sneering at how Ivanka Trump's interns are unpaid.
It may be time to face the fact that Ivanka Trump is a bad person. Failing to compensate your interns when your company centers on female empowerment, on paradigms for a freer, more creative office, and on professional self-respect looks awful, because it is. Ivanka's own branding aside, how can she claim to stand for wage equality and paid parental leave when she can't even acknowledge the importance of coupling labor with a salary?
Gotta love that considering -- per the link above at whopaysinterns -- Slate only started paying interns in 2014.
Slate - Yes, Finally
We previously reported that Slate only paid some of its interns. On Monday, the site announced it will begin paying all interns, starting in Spring 2014.
All interns will be paid $10/hour, according to Slate editor David Plotz.
As for the internships that were paid previously, it was only six-month intensive social media and photography internships, possibly because these involve too much grunt work and/or because they felt too evil having a kid there working for free for six months.
There will always be kids who can take those internships -- those whose parents have unlimited wealth or lots of money or those who go into debt on student loans.
And sure, you can argue that students can choose to take these positions, but if Ivanka Trump's evil for offering them, isn't Slate recently evil?
P.S. I would never, ever have an intern. Anyone who's ever worked for me has been paid and, if they want it, mentored and helped in as many ways as I can help them. That mentoring actually comes with the job. It just seems the right thing to do, once you've accomplished something -- to help people who are on their way up to learn and grow so they can make the most of their abilities.
My previous assistant, who wrote a great column for McSweeney's after winning a contest, sold her book on the same subject to Simon & Schuster and is repped by my former agent's assistant-turned-agent. My current assistant sold her book to Hachette and is completing it now, and it's fantastic. I'm proud as hell of both of them and thrilled to have been a guide and some help in their putting their (immense, in both cases) talent out there.
"Diversity" Police In The Boardroom: Warren Buffett Instead Takes A More MLK Approach
This "diversity" business, which is a code word for "hire black people and people with vaginas" is insulting to accomplished black people and, um, vagina people who are desirable as employees or as corporate board members because they've made something of themselves.
Mike Gonzales writes in the WSJ that Berkshire Hathaway does not have a "diversity" push in choosing board members:
Berkshire Hathaway, the profitable holding company run by the Obama-supporting investment guru Warren Buffett, has for a few years included an interesting nugget about diversity in its proxy disclosures:
"Berkshire does not have a policy regarding the consideration of diversity in identifying nominees for director. In identifying director nominees, the Governance Committee does not seek diversity, however defined. Instead, as previously discussed, the Governance Committee looks for individuals who have very high integrity, business savvy, an owner-oriented attitude and a deep genuine interest in the Company."
But, in very disturbing news, the government seems to want to do for board rooms what it's done for colleges with that "Dear Colleague" letter.
SEC Chairman Mary Jo White ... suggested the SEC would propose a new rule requiring companies "to include in their proxy statements more meaningful board diversity disclosures on their board members and nominees." She also left the door open to having the rule specifically define what diversity means. These developments should trouble businesses that simply want to hire the best people.
Investors are not clamoring for politically motivated disclosure requirements on the theory that forced diversity improves performance, if they seek the requirements at all. Berkshire--which chooses directors by integrity, business savvy and interest in the company--has enjoyed good governance without diversity initiatives. The company currently tracks the S&P 500 average and outperforms its industry. On revenues of $200 billion, it has become the fourth-largest company on the S&P 500 list, behind Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil and Apple.
But this push isn't about performance. Rather, its proponents want to open a new front in the campaign to have government allocate participation in society for groups it designates as protected classes. Mr. Dhir, Rep. Maloney and the others want these disclosures so activists can use them to intimidate companies.
As the subhead of the piece noted, "Forcing firms to disclose the race and gender of their directors is a step toward de facto quotas."
I'm hoping big businesses will stand up to the government a little better than colleges have.
I like this lady, commenting at the WSJ:
Even a competent government has no business dictating management of businesses owned by private investors. That right belongs to the investors. Now, where the government does have managerial oversight, public schools, why not look at gender diversity in the teaching staff and require that at least 50% of the teachers be men and black men at that. In the many failing urban schools, this would finally give the students, who are typically from fatherless homes, a role model of a working male. of course, it would probably create an instant shortage of teachers, but reality has never stopped the government before.
And, of course, if the government really cared about diversity, they'd be all over that NBA, as I noted in a recent blog item:
You want me on your NBA team. You really do. Because diversity is good, right? And it would be a nice change of pace to have not only a woman but an Ashkenazi Jew who ducks any time a ball bigger than a tennis ball comes at her. (Admittedly, I don't flinch at beachballs.)
There's been all this daddygate stuff on Twitter.
The Real DUI Test Is Whether You're Sober Enough To Spot Their Checkpoint From A Half-Mile Away
The real sobriety check in Los Angeles is whether you're clear-headed enough to spot the checkpoint up ahead and turn off the street to avoid it.
I made this observation after my boyfriend, who doesn't drive drunk and hadn't had a drop to drink the other night, evaded yet another one of these checkpoints.
Yes, I want the cops to stop somebody who's weaving in traffic. I am highly, highly opposed to these searchpoints for everyone. I like to check Dennis J. Romero's weekend checkpoint alert in LA Weekly to make sure we avoid them.
And again, not because we drive around drunk -- we don't -- but because we prefer not to be stopped, interrogated, and to put ourselves at the mercy of a bunch of cops and never mind the Fourth fucking Amendment.
Though the Supreme Court has declared DUI checkpoints constitutional, are they really about stopping drunk drivers or are they a catchall?
From the above link atFindLaw:
In the case concerning DUI checkpoints mentioned in the introduction to this article, Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, a majority of the Supreme Court Justices determined that the needs of the state to prevent drunk-driving accidents outweighed the minimal intrusion on sober drivers who just happen to get caught up in the DUI dragnet. Thus, the Justices argued, DUI checkpoints did not constitute an unreasonable search and seizure.
The Free Though Project's Matt Agorist notes that these checkpoints -- much like the TSA -- don't catch who they contend they're about catching.
Here are the numbers from the checkpoint that night (and a link to a related issue):
•250 vehicles passed through the checkpoint
•20 vehicles were detained that required further investigation
•Three vehicles were searched
•One misdemeanor arrest was made
•32 citations were issued: Two child restraint device citations, one DUI, 10 citations for violations of the registration law, four citations for violation of the light law, one revoked/suspended driver's license, six financial responsibility (no insurance), six other driver's license law violations, and two safety belt law violations.
That's right -- one DUI.
Props to this kid -- at only 21 years of age -- who has the balls to stand up to the cops and risk violence and arrest. Every person who takes action like this advances the cause of rights, liberty, and police officers doing actual policing -- catching bad guys -- rather than using their power to violate people's rights.
Some quotes from the video, from Agorist's piece:
"He's perfectly innocent, he knows his rights, he knows what the Constitution says." mutters the power tripping jackboot cop as he tears apart this innocent man's vehicle for no other reason than to flex his "authority."
"It wasn't a very good alert..." brags the other jackboot about the drug dog "giving them permission" to search this man's vehicle. He was likely about to confess to just how arbitrary their decision was in violating this innocent person's rights, when he spots the camera.
"Hey Jim..." and they realize they've been bamboozled.
Hire Wal-Mart To Run FEMA!
If only there were a service Olympics, in which government would have to compete against businesses to see who does the best job. The gold medal, of course, would be the job.
Jennifer Larino writes for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans about the handling of disaster relief efforts:
Wal-Mart trucks were among the first to deliver much needed supplies after Hurricane Katrina tore through the Gulf Coast in 2005. As many Katrina survivors still note, Wal-Mart trucks arrived well before the Federal Emergency Management Agency did.
Over the weekend, Wal-Mart was again among the large companies in Louisiana able to keep supply lines open and operations going despite catastrophe -- this time historic flooding that devastated whole communities and shut down major roadways.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Erica Jones said the corporation's emergency operations center in Bentonville, Ark., kicked into high gear late last week as forecast warnings of record rainfall started to roll in. Wal-Mart has about 30 locations in the affected area, including stores in the heavily flooded communities of Denham Springs and Baker.
Jones said early planning included mapping alternate routes for trucks delivering to stores in and around Louisiana. Corporate meteorologists monitored the weather and helped inform plans. Preparations were made to ramp up shipments of essential supplies -- from bottled water to baby formula -- to the region as it became clear conditions would worsen.
...corporations can serve as a model for how disaster response should work. Experts point to Katrina. While FEMA's response was lethargic and inefficient, major companies ushered in needed supplies quickly.
There is one major difference, and it's if you totally suck at your job when you work for a business, your ass gets fired.
Working for the government, however, you win big for sucking big. Melanie Zanona writes for The Hill about TSA honcho Kelly Hoggan failing his way into a $90K bonus:
Hoggan came under fire during an Oversight hearing for receiving a $90,000 bonus, which was paid in small increments over a 13-month period, despite a damning report that showed that screeners he oversaw were failing to detect fake bombs and weapons during security tests.
The agency has been scrambling to alleviate overwhelmed security lines and increased wait times at airports around the country.
Oh, and note that whichever cronies got Hoggan that bonus paid it out in small increments -- probably so it wouldn't be noticed.
When ordinary citizens do this, this is a crime called "structuring" -- even if they were just banking the $9,996 their liquor store brought in and had no idea depositing $10K increments of honestly earned money was against the law.
What happens is that the government takes their money for "structuring," and they have to hire a lawyer (if they can even afford one) to get their own money back.
New Orleans via @Mark_J_Perry
Dance a little dance.
Slate Finds A New Way To Shame White People For Daring To Say Something About Anything
This is speech on Twitter -- the completely benign tweets I've enjoyed seeing from a variety of people on #First7Jobs.
No, Slate associate editor L.V. Anderson doesn't say "white people" when she writes about "privilege," but that's surely what she means.
We're all supposed to feel terrible white guilt -- and accomplished, wealthy black people are supposed to feel they're accidents, I guess -- whenever we speak or do anything.
The unbelievable headline and subhead on her ridiculous piece?
Stop Tweeting Your #Firstsevenjobs
It's just a way to disguise your privilege.
She continues in the piece:
But what really bothers me about #firstsevenjobs is the ideology it reflects. #Firstsevenjobs promotes the ideal, as old as America, of the self-made man who creates his own destiny through hard work. The archetypal #firstsevenjobs tweet begins with a few humble, menial jobs--babysitting, retail work, slush-machine operating--and culminates in glory. Even if the seventh job on the list isn't anything to write home about, the tweeter's bio will demonstrate that she has overcome adversity to attain an interesting, lucrative, or high-powered career. "What is compelling about this snapshot of career trajectories is that it, by nature, emphasizes a career as a journey and not necessarily the logical result of a blinkered, do what you love mantra," writes Adam Chandler in a piece praising the hashtag at the Atlantic. "It also implicitly belies and discourages narratives fashioned by nepotism and privilege."
It's true that the hashtag discourages narratives of privilege, but that doesn't mean those narratives aren't true! #Firstsevenjobs obscures the extent to which the socioeconomic status we are born into shapes our career potential.
What seems to make a huge amount of difference -- about whether you grow up middle class or poor and in poverty, in a dangerous neighborhood -- is whether your parents are married and together.
This isn't something you can control as a child, but you have a far better shot of growing up in an intact family if you are white, Latino, or Asian. Black families have a 70-plus percent out of wedlock rate.
So, yes, there's a problem, but not one that isn't solvable -- and the way to solve it isn't for white people to feel bad about their first jobs but for black leaders and others to attach a stigma to out-of-wedlock births and push for black kids to get their lives and careers and relationships together before having babies.
I do this -- for black and Latino and other "at-risk" kids -- when I speak at a local high school mainly populated by inner-city kids. But where are all the black-ortunists (my brand new word, just now, for the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons)? If black lives really do matter, shouldn't they matter in the ways that don't involve TV cameras on a fire?
I talk to these kids at this school about some of the things they can do and the thinking they can employ to make it and explain to them that it is possible for them to do things with their lives. (One of the things I talk about is life history theory, from ev psych, though in very simple terms -- about how, if they grow up in a risky environment, they're likely to have what I explain as a strong need for excitement. Recognizing that, they can get their excitement in healthy and legal ways, like through adventure sports.)
Maybe, if they're in 11th grade with not the greatest school skills, they can't go become a software coder, but they can apprentice with the best person they can find to take them on (while working and earning a living) and then become great at something and earn a living.
Then again, there are now an increasing number of free online courses out there, including one that's probably the most popular in the world right now, by engineering professor Barbara Oakley, called Learning How To Learn. (Next one's August 22, and I'm in one of the videos that goes along with the course, talking about tricks I use to be more productive.)
To tell you what's possible, Oakley made the video for this course in her basement for $5,000, and I think it has had more students than all of Harvard's put together -- or close to that. Big corporations and organizations and universities bring her out around the world to talk about the science of learning and how to create a successful MOOC.
Who is Oakley? Not some fancy Ivy League princess who went to private schools. A woman who had a tough childhood and did poorly in school (failing all her math and science classes) and who had to pay for college by going to the army.
She later went to a community college and worked to figure out math and science -- to the point where she became a tenured professor of engineering, and then blazed over into psychology to take it on in non-doctrinaire ways (thanks to not being part of the social science mafia).
So no, shaming white people and others who've perhaps had intact families and who've worked to make something of their lives isn't the answer.
Oh, and Cathy Young said it so perfectly on Twitter in response to this Slate piece:
Stop telling people what to tweet and not to tweet. It's just a way to disguise your bullying as "social justice."
Europe Has Imported Its Own Death Squads
Stoyan Zaimov writes at Christian Post of a Muslim man, the 16-year-old son of Imam Sheikh Alami, a local radical cleric with Dutch and Moroccan citizenship, who had voiced some nice gentle thoughts while he marched around Verviers, Belgium:
"Allah, kill the despicable Christians. Allah, kill each and every last one of them," the Muslim man is heard chanting as he walked down the main street of Verviers.
In Strasbourg, France, a rabbi was just knifed by man shouting Allahu Akbar.
By the way, that doesn't mean "god is great," but "god is greater," as in Allah is greater than your god.
Islam is nothing if not supremacist.
This is instructive from Bill Warner:
Let's examine the ethical basis of our civilization. All of our politics and ethics are based upon a unitary ethic that is best formulated in the Golden Rule:
Treat others as you would be treated.
The basis of this rule is the recognition that at one level, we are all the same. We are not all equal. Any game of sports will show that we do not have equal abilities. But everyone wants to be treated as a human being. In particular, we all want to be equal under the law and be treated as social equals. On the basis of the Golden Rule--the equality of human beings--we have created democracy, ended slavery and treat women and men as political equals. So the Golden Rule is a unitary ethic. All people are to be treated the same. All religions have some version of the Golden Rule except Islam.
FP: So how is Islam different in this context?
Warner: The term "human being" has no meaning inside of Islam. There is no such thing as humanity, only the duality of the believer and unbeliever. Look at the ethical statements found in the Hadith. A Muslim should not lie, cheat, kill or steal from other Muslims. But a Muslim may lie, deceive or kill an unbeliever if it advances Islam. There is no such thing as a universal statement of ethics in Islam. Muslims are to be treated one way and unbelievers another way. The closest Islam comes to a universal statement of ethics is that the entire world must submit to Islam. After Mohammed became a prophet, he never treated an unbeliever the same as a Muslim. Islam denies the truth of the Golden Rule.
By the way, this dualistic ethic is the basis for jihad. The ethical system sets up the unbeliever as less than human and therefore, it is easy to kill, harm or deceive the unbeliever.
Now mind you, unbelievers have frequently failed at applying the Golden Rule, but we can be judged and condemned on its basis. We do fall short, but it is our ideal.
There have been other dualistic cultures. The KKK comes to mind. But the KKK is a simplistic dualism. The KKK member hates all black people at all times; there is only one choice. This is very straightforward and easy to see.
The dualism of Islam is more deceitful and offers two choices on how to treat the unbeliever. The unbeliever can be treated nicely, in the same way a farmer treats his cattle well. So Islam can be "nice", but in no case is the unbeliever a "brother" or a friend. In fact, there are some 14 verses of the Koran that are emphatic--a Muslim is never a friend to the unbeliever. A Muslim may be "friendly," but he is never an actual friend. And the degree to which a Muslim is actually a true friend is the degree to which he is not a Muslim, but a hypocrite.
He winds up with this:
FP: So summarize for us why it is so crucial for us to learn the doctrine of political Islam.
Warner: Political Islam has annihilated every culture it has invaded or immigrated to. The total time for annihilation takes centuries, but once Islam is ascendant it never fails. The host culture disappears and becomes extinct.
We must learn the doctrine of political Islam to survive. The doctrine is very clear that all forms of force and persuasion may and must be used to conquer us. Islam is a self-declared enemy of all unbelievers. The brilliant Chinese philosopher of war, Sun Tsu, had the dictum--know the enemy. We must know the doctrine of our enemy or be annihilated.
I have a couple of Warner's books, The Simple Koran and the Abridged Koran, which cuts out a lot of the needless and boring repetition in the Simple Koran. Both are arranged in chronological order, which makes them much more understandable. Some Turkish idiot at some point way back when had apparently rearranged the Quran according to the length of chapters. Genius!
Having them in chronological order makes far more sense. And save your brain waves and your sanity. Read the shorty. It does the job.
Oh, and here's Bill Warner on Islamic totalitarianism:
No yoga. Just links.
Judgy, Judge, Judge, Judge: The Internet Witch-Burning Of Gabby Douglas
People are quick to know it all -- to be sure they know the motives of a young gymnast being watched by the world on TV and the Internet and by thousands of spectators around her. (And all of this on top of the tremendous pressure of competing in the Olympics.)
This is the story of Gabby Douglas, the gymnast who didn't put her hand over her heart when the national anthem played at the Olympics.
The LA Times Editorial Board writes:
After the medal ceremony Tuesday in which Douglas stood with her arms down, apparently clasping something in both hands while her colleagues on the U.S. women's gymnastics team followed the accepted hand-to-heart protocol, social and traditional media blew up. What was she trying to convey? Was this a willful act of protest? Was it a Black Lives Matter thing (coming as it did on the second anniversary of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Mo.)? Did it reflect a disrespect for the country that gave her the opportunity to be an Olympian?
No, Douglas said later, when she apologized. It was inadvertent. She was overwhelmed, she said, and meant no offense.
But the real question is this: Why should she have to apologize? Why are we making judgments about a gold medalist who has spent countless hours of her life training and preparing for these Games based on whether or not she displays her patriotism in some socially approved manner?
As I noted about the outragers who came down on Ellen DeGeneres as "racist" (for her Photoshopped pic of herself supposedly running errands on the back of Usain Bolt), these standard bearers often seem to be motivated by two things: A need to put out "content" while not personally having much to say and a need to belong to the group of people who accuse a particular person of a particular thing.
As somebody noted at the LA Times site, in the comments:
While it's obviously a speech issue and Gabby can behave as she wishes on the podium, there will in many cases be repercussions for not following norms. That's to be expected.
In this case, however, Gabby's behavior was quite normal and reasonable. And respectful. Take a look at the 1992 Dream Team during the playing of the anthem at their medal ceremony. Why weren't the 10 of 12 players who were showing "disrespect" pilloried back then? It's simple: Internet bullying had not been invented yet. Now, in a new low, it's being re-broadcast on the LA Times sports pages.
I also write in "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck" about how it's easy to excuse ourselves for a "mistake," and yet be sure that the same mistake in others comes from some nasty place:
Finally, it can help to recognize that whether you excuse a driver's behavior as a result of simply being confused or preoccupied (rather than flagrantly rude) often depends on whether you happen to be that driver.
This is called "attribution bias" and describes how we tend to think far more charitably about ourselves and our own behavior than other people and theirs.
It's something to remember the next time the light turns green and the driver in front of you is just sitting there growing roots--just like he did at the previous light.
Consider the possibility that he is lost and looking down at his directions--tempted as you are to believe that he knows who you are, sat outside your house waiting for you to leave, and then followed you down the road just to screw with you.
Finally, It Becomes Clear: The Point Isn't Whether Somebody's Actually Racist
Ellen DeGeneres was the subject of a recent social media witch hunt after she posted a Photoshopped picture of herself riding Usain Bolt.
Supposedly, it was racist because she's a white woman riding a black man. Well, if you had been kidnapped by space aliens 25 years ago, and you were only dropped off on your parents' front lawn a few mornings ago, that would have been a plausible belief.
There is nothing, however -- nothing -- to support the notion of Ellen as racist and quite a lot that argues against that. Strongly.
As I tweeted then:
John McWhorter gets it right in TIME:
Um, OK. I guess the photo isn't the very best of ideas in the grand scheme of things. If I had been watching over Degeneres' shoulder as she composed the photo, I myself would frankly have understood it as coming from her studiously daffy sense of humor combined with an open admiration for Bolt's ability. But in view of that grander scheme of things always out there, I would have told her that there are people who will interpret the photo as racist.
Interpret, that is, as opposed to actually thinking it's racist. There's a difference, and I wonder how many people out there really think Ellen DeGeneres thinks black people are lesser beings than white ones in any sense worthy of public debate. For example, here's a thought experiment--if the runner of the moment happened to be white, who among us thinks DeGeneres would not have composed the exact same picture?
Yet we might say that DeGeneres forgot that the image of a white woman on a black man's back is less than optimal given certain realities of American history.
Clearly, clearly, that is the case.
Welcome to outrage culture.
I think a big part of this -- but not the entire explanation -- is people who feel a need to be "content" producers on social media and really don't have much that's original or interesting bouncing around in their heads.
Beyond that, I think it's a way to say, "Hey, I'm one of you."
The sad thing is, this is supposedly about improving our culture. What it's actually doing is putting a chill on free speech -- which is not something that results in making the world a better place; just a less free one and an uglier one.
Free speech tends to be a right that supports other rights.
And ugliness doesn't disappear because it's unspoken; in fact, unspoken ugliness is the ugliness that sticks around.
Hang 'em all here, like socks on a clothesline.
Those Poor Palestinians! In Their Fabulous Homes!
Check out the fab, wedding cake-like building -- the dwelling of the Palestinian family of the 17-year-old who murdered an American-Israeli 13-year-old in her bed, as she slept. They live on the second floor of this building, which is nicer than any place I've ever lived.
Judah Ari Gross writes for the Times of Israel:
Israeli troops demolished overnight Sunday the home of a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed to death a 13-year-old Israeli girl in June.
A large military force, including members of the Combat Engineering Corps, arrived in the West Bank village of Bani Na'im, outside Hebron, in the early hours of Monday morning to raze the family home of Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, 17, who on June 30 broke into the nearby Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba and stabbed Hallel Ariel to death as she slept in her bed.
The settlement's security team arrived on the scene and shot Tarayrah dead. A member of the community's emergency response team was also injured in the attack.
The Tarayrah family lives on the second floor of a three-story building in the village.
...Last week, the Supreme Court approved the demolition order, noting that some of Tarayrah's family members were at least partially aware of his intentions and supported the murder after the fact.
Tarayrah's family was first served with a demolition order on July 5, but appealed it through the Center for the Defense of the Individual non-governmental organization.
Though the order was upheld, the court did alter it, refusing the state's request to demolish not only the second floor of the building, but the first and third floors as well.
That decision was "based on the principle of proportionality to which the prosecution is beholden," the court said in its ruling. "It is not possible to approve the prosecution's decision to demolish the first and third floor of the building. There is no disagreement that the terrorist lived on the second floor of the building, and only there."
As per Israel's Emergency Security Regulations -- which has its origins in Ottoman law -- the military commander of a given area "has the right to order the demolition of any house, structure or land" of anyone who took part in a violent act or assisted those who took part in a violent act.
Israel argues that home demolitions are not punishments, but rather serve as a deterrent, preventing future attacks, according to section 119 of Israel's Emergency Security Regulations.
The Palestinian terrorist murderers also get monthly payments to their family (probably at least in part in American dollars) from the Palestinian Authority when they kill an Israeli. Nice incentive, huh?
So you can maybe understand the Israelis' need to provide a bit of a disincentive.
Oh, and if you think being Palestinian means living in squalor, think again. Pretty sparkly and fab, huh?
We've Just Reached (And Passed) Maximum Feminist/SJW Stupid
Panties have been bunched (sorry...are we still allowed to say "panties" and "bunched"?) over a review of the Seth Rogan film "Sausage Party."
It went up on the progressive blog Autostraddle (which sounds to me like something you do with a dildo to a Smart car).
William Hicks writes at HeatStreet:
The original piece that was stricken from the site was titled "Salma Hayek Is a Surprisingly Endearing Lesbian Taco in 'Sausage Party.'" The freelancer thought Hayek's taco character was a surprisingly nuanced and positive portrayal of lesbians.
The readers, however, were pissed.
"We heard from readers who questioned the consent of the sexual encounter between the taco and the hot dog bun," the apology read. "We heard from readers who found the taco to be a damaging portrayal of a predatory queer woman."
Spoiler Alert: At the end of Sausage Party, all the food participate in a giant orgy. Hayek's taco eats out Kristin Wiig's hotdog bun--and there is NO affirmative consent on screen.
The senior editor writing the apology, Heather Hogan, was incensed by her mistake. Not only did she let a white writer write about Latinx experiences, but Hogan, a white ally, did nothing to stop it.
"I was blinded by my own whiteness existing inside a system of white supremacy," Hogan wrote. "I must do better."
Please don't, as we're enjoying the comic relief.
And here are some choice bits:
We heard from readers who were upset that we labeled the taco a lesbian when it seems more likely that she was bisexual.
I can't stop laughing.
[Yes, these are above, but they're worth repeating]
We heard from readers who questioned the consent of the sexual encounter between the taco and the hot dog bun.
We heard from readers who found the taco to be a damaging portrayal of a predatory queer woman.
And then there's this:
We understand that (like most online media for LGBTQ folks) the majority of our senior staff is white, and that because of that, we make decisions based on our conditioning by white supremacy.
I will redouble my own efforts to unpack my role in the systemic oppression of people of color and to check the ways in which I benefit from that system. I love you very much, and I want to work with you to make the world better.
What this seems like to me is a way to fit into a particular group by parroting the victim/oppressor speak. (Victim chic.)
There are those who are the victims and those who have to accept blame, and it's all a decoder ring to get admitted to this society.
I have lesbian friends and they are normal women, not victim-cult followers like these nutbag Autostraddlers.
However, in a tiny ray of hope, there's this normal, non-woundypants, non-victim woman -- Dawn -- who posted on the site.
It doesn't seem that anyone actually saw the movie... did I miss that part of the article? I saw the movie last weekend and thought it was hilarious. I'm a lesbian, Puerto Rican mutt and saw no issues. I also never got the the impression she was Bi. Seemed like a gay, taco lady to me!
Oh, and on a speech-squashing-related note, I asked that about whether "panties" and "bunched" are still permitted speech because Princeton is frowning on the use of "man."
I'm from Michigan, where we use the slang "you guys." And no, I'm not going to start saying "you xl4ts" or "you desk lamps." But I will say "you pussies" if you whine about it.
The Red and the Black.