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November 2018

One For The Ladies

I bring saucy celebrity news, which we don’t often cover. The catch is, it’s from the Guardian

The US magazine People has crowned Idris Elba the sexiest man alive,

A handsome chap, and popular, so not entirely surprising. Indeed, the author of the piece, Mr Caspar Salmon, refers to Mr Elba as “incontrovertibly loin-tugging.”

It’s heartening that Elba, long held to be a favourite to become the next James Bond, has cracked another predominantly white institution.

So far, so Guardian. But it could, I think, be a little more Guardian.

Elba fits squarely into an amusing pattern that People has been building up over the years, which sees them plump for decidedly masculine, established, patriarchal figures. The award, in other words, is relentlessly straight.

There we go.

The prize tells us a good deal about the cult of masculinity still prevalent in the world, which equates male looks with “sexiness” rather than beauty. This emphasis on sexual attraction brings power and dominance into consideration alongside mere aesthetic qualities.

“The cult of masculinity.” Now we’re cooking. And a trashy magazine that once a year ranks famous men by sex appeal tends to favour men who strike its readers as sexy, statusful, and manly. Shocking stuff. They even - brace yourselves - put “emphasis on sexual attraction.” Despite the aforementioned loin-tugging, I suspect this may prove problematic: 

[The magazine’s] museum-like display of strong, mostly white, straight-acting men does tell us something about the dominant culture, and is, let’s face it, funny.

What’s funny, apparently, is that the largely straight and female readers of People magazine - readers whose average age is 38 - often rate as sexy men of roughly similar age:

Elba is the fourth man in his 40s in a row to win the award… The average age of winners is 38.7 years old.

And which, it turns out, is also problematic: 

Continue reading "One For The Ladies" »

You Will Wax That Lady’s Scrotum

Decency demands it

16 Vancouver women are facing human rights complaints for refusing to wax a transgender woman’s male genitalia. The anonymous individual “JY” has filed 16 separate complaints with the Human Rights Tribunal after being refused a Brazilian wax from businesses that only service women.

The faintly surreal news item is worth reading in full, though one passage seems to, as it were, brush against the nub of things:

In spite of the fact that JY is able to obtain a Manzilian in Vancouver, JY has filed 16 complaints against these women at the BC Human Rights Tribunal, claiming discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.” […] One of them, Shelah Poyer, is a single mom who works out of her home. JY was willing to withdraw his complaint in exchange for $2,500. 

The term naked shakedown comes to mind. Via Claire Lehmann

Elsewhere (285)

Andy Ngo on media dishonesty and racial shakedowns: 

The genre of “white people doing something to black people” is, by now, a well-established media genre that generates easy clicks. But there is also an unsettling subplot that few seem willing to discuss. Rashsaan Muhammad and Mattie Khan, the two people of colour who star in last week’s viral video, both act abominably toward a young woman they’ve just met… And it was Ms Khan, not the pedestrian, who instantly racialised the incident, while her male partner called the woman an “idiot” and told her that she doesn’t belong in the neighbourhood. Who’s the racist—not to mention segregationist—here?

The couple’s abominable behaviour didn’t end after that encounter and the publication of the video, however. Within hours, Ms. Khan named the bicyclist publicly and posted her photo on social media. Friends and followers of Ms Khan then continued the doxing, publishing more photos and personal details of the woman… Sha Ongelungel, who was recently profiled glowingly as a racial justice activist in the Guardian, published the woman’s employer information on Twitter and encouraged others to call or email them. They obliged and demanded that she be fired. Ms Ongelungel stopped responding after I inquired if she took any steps to verify the couple’s (false) allegation.

Previously and somewhat related: When “dismantling the white supremacist hetero-patriarchy” trumps little things like opening hours. 

Heather Mac Donald on pathological academia and the barking left: 

The epithets used by the left are simply reflex actions. They have nothing to do with reality. “White supremacy” is now the favoured term of art and it’s trotted out in situations that are ludicrous… We saw this during the feminist hysteria over the Brett Kavanaugh nomination. Those who defended the idea of due process… were accused of supporting “white supremacy” and “white privilege.” What was left out of the equation was that his accuser was also white. So how does race come into this?

And in unambiguous hate-crime news

Continue reading "Elsewhere (285)" »

Friday Ephemera

Thank goodness he’s wearing a safety harness. (h/t, Rita) || Insertion of note. (h/t, Obo) || When tarpaulin attacks. || Unprovoked shark attack interactive map. (h/t, Things) || A caterpillar transforms. || Caffeinated energy ham. || “As sure as my name’s Boris Karloff…” || A brief history of Soviet calculators. || Lordy, that’s a big one. (h/t, Dicentra) || Shimla, India. || Irony. || Return of the social justice kittens. || Animated book covers. || Today’s word is binary. || Shibboleth names, by which the elevated identify their social inferiors. (h/t, Coudal) || Oh dear. || I detect dissonance. || “Neither age nor death need stop performers from working.” || And finally, Love Will Tear Us Apart, a tweaked rendition.