September 16, 2008

COMING OCTOBER 10: "Barack and Curtis: Manhood, Power and Respect"

Film-maker, activist and lecturer Byron Hurt (creator of the documentary, “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes“) has completed his short web documentary, “Barack and Curtis: Manhood, Power and Respect.”

Byron Hurt’s intention is to examine masculinities.  Plural.

As Feminsting pointed out in June, Barack Obama has come under attack for not being “masculine” enough.   Obama was and is criticized for his lack of “masculine” hobbies such as hunting and  his “effeminate” values (peace? diplomacy? ) and “effeminate” charateristics (not shooting moose? caring for the environment?). Note: During her speech at the Republican National Convention, Sarah Palin criticized Barack Obama’s emphasis on the environment by stating, in her characteristic mocking tone, “What does he actually seek to accomplish after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet?”

Susan Faludi, in the New York Times, noted disparaging comments directed at Obama that referred to him as being “a kind of wuss.”

In line with anti-violence educator, Jackson Katz, who is best know for his documentary, “Tough Guise,” Hurt seeks to move beyond our narrow, one-dimensional notions of what it means to be a man in our culture.




September 9, 2008

Sarah Palin Action Figure

Filed under: Body Image,Media,Politics — Tags: , , , — Melanie @ 6:39 pm

The Sarah Palin action figure has arrived and joined the McCain and Obama action figures.  But, unlike the McCain and Obama doll, the Sarah Palin doll strikes an eerie resemblance to Britney Spears in her heyday and Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft. This doll looks more like the Bratz or The Pussycat Dolls. Hasbro planned on marketing a line of Pussycat Dolls for children which was subsequently scrapped after declaring it “inappropriate” for promoting “unhealthy behavior.”  According to the polls, a scantily clad, pistol packing, moose hunting “hockey mom” is not inappropriate nor does she promote “unhealthy behavior.”  On the contrary, she has riled and “energized” the Republican ticket.  I’m not surprised.  She upholds all of the mainstream, traditional values of hypermasculinity and arrives in a “hot” package. She’s titilating.  She’s a caricarture.

In a culture that primarily measures women by their physical assets, Palin fits in perfectly and the narrow-minded, conservative, anti-female rhetoric that comes out of her mouth only fuels her appeal.  I received an email, from a self-proclaimed “redneck” that is planning on naming his two children Smith and Wesson, confirming his vote by stating, “Yes to Palin! She is one hot gun slining mamma.”