South Korean “comfort women” being abused again. Time for honesty not revisionist history.

“Japan has leveled insults at them rather than offering an apology,” South Korean President Park Gyeun-hye told visiting US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month.

This sounds all too familiar. Revisionist history. Blame the victims. If they wait long enough, they’ll all die and this will be over. Not.

Let’s be vocal about our support of these women.  If the situation was reversed, what would Japan expect from South Korea? How about standing in the “other’s” shoes for a while. Respect and honor for all people.

Comfort women

Peter Ford/The Christian Science Monitor

The abuse of “comfort women” has proved a particularly painful memory, not least because for nearly half a century it was repressed. Only in 1990 did the first South Korean women lift the veil of shame they had drawn over Japan’s forcible recruitment of an estimated 200,000 young women and girls to serve in military brothels.

Just 56 of the 239 women who publicly acknowledged their experiences are still alive.

The controversy has grown since Shinzo Abe became Japanese prime minister last February. Six years ago, during his first term as prime minister, he argued that there was no evidence that any of the “comfort women” had been coerced into prostitution. That contradicted the earlier finding of an official Japanese commission, and caused an outcry around Asia.

Read the article at: Korea to Japan: Time running out for ‘comfort women’ resolution

What Liquor Ads Teach Us About Guys

Study shows people view women as a collection of body parts

From physics.org — a really great resource of all sorts of new research, NEW research on the objectification of women! Who knew. See the posting here:

Study shows people view women as a collection of body parts.

The article, which was just published, is titled “Seeing women as objects: The sexual body part recognition bias.” It’s a collaboration between international scholars from the U.S., the Netherlands, and Italy including Sarah J. Gervais, Theresa K. Vescio, Jens FÖrster, Anne Maass, and Caterina Suitner. They state:

In the present research, we introduced and tested the sexual body part recognition bias hypothesis that states that women’s (versus men’s) bodies are reduced to their sexual body parts.

The article is published in European Journal of Social Psychology, Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. (2012) by Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.1890

Here’s the link to article for UConn community http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.1890/pdf (requires authentication)

STOMP & HOLLER : Because We’ve Had Enough!

I want to thank all the women of color who have spoken up about the use of the term “slutwalk”. It offended me from the start because it’s meaning and purpose was certainly not obvious from this name. (See my previous post: Would a rose smell as sweet if you called it a slut?). Reference to “A rose is a rose is a rose” differs greatly from “A slut is a slut is a slut”.

Now I thank the Northampton group for speaking up on this topic and understanding the issue. See their site for more great photos to go along with their message below.

We, the organizers of Stomp & Holler; Because We’ve Had Enough Northampton, have decided to march in solidarity with SlutWalk. We believe that the word ‘slut’ was chosen in direct response to the cop’s statement in Toronto, but this movement is about addressing a global issue. We, collectively, felt uncomfortable with the call to ‘reclaim’ the word ‘slut.’ It is our mission to stand up and speak out against sexual assault and victim blaming, but we don’t feel that reclaiming this derogatory word accomplishes what we want to accomplish. In addition, there have been multiple critiques of SlutWalk in the past few weeks (including, but not limited to, the letter from Black Women’s Blueprint.) These critiques state that SlutWalk has not made room for people of color and has been predominately gender-normative. We, Stomp & Holler; Because We’ve Had Enough, want to make sure that our mission of inclusivity is known. We cannot fight sexism without working against all other forms of oppression. We must make a call for solidarity. Our first step may be changing our name, but the fight does not end with this march.

We continue to stand in solidarity with SlutWalk, because the message of the movement is clear: No one is ever ‘asking for it.’ No one deserves to be raped.

via STOMP & HOLLER : Because We’ve Had Enough!.

Shira Tarrant speaking at UConn Storrs: Pornfed: SexySmart Choices in a XXX World

Shira Tarrant will speak at UConn Storrs campus during  2011’s  National Women’s History Month events.  She is an “expert in gender and sexual politics, pop culture, and masculinity” and is a prolific author on these topics.

Here’s the scoop on her Storrs CT appearance:

Shira Tarrant

Shira Tarrant speaking at UConn Storrs

WHEN:  Wed 3/23/2011, 7 pm

WHERE: Student Union Theater, University of Connecticut, Storrs CT

TALK TITLE: Pornfed: SexySmart Choices in a XXX World

Event is free

Tarrant is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at California State University, Long Beach, CA,

Her most recent publication is below, posted on AlterNet.

AlterNet / By Shira Tarrant

Pornography 101: Why College Kids Need Porn Literacy TrainingMobile technology and abstinence-only guarantee that more young people get their sex ed from pornography. Its time to talk to them about what they’re watching.

via Pornography 101: Why College Kids Need Porn Literacy Training | Media | AlterNet.

Rosalind Gill, “From Sexual Objectification to Sexual Subjectification: The Resexualisation of Women’s Bodies in the Media”

Ever wonder if “Girl Power” and the “new” open sexuality popularized in clothing and other outwardly visible paraphernalia is a result of the feminist movement or an insidious manipulation by media (not to mention the “p” word)? Read this illuminating article.

Rosalind Gill, “From Sexual Objectification to Sexual Subjectification: The Resexualisation of Women’s Bodies in the Media”

On the one hand, then, we are confronted by a popular culture increasingly saturated by representations of women’s bodies as objects, and on the other, a mantra-like repetition and celebration of ‘women’s success’ and ‘Girl Power’. One way of reading the re-sexualisation of women’s bodies in this strange, contradictory context is as part of a backlash against feminism. It may serve as both an attack on women — putting women back in their place — and, simultaneously as a reassurance for men threatened by girls’ increasingly good performance in public examinations and women’s success in the workplace. In an excellent, insightful analysis, Imelda Whelehan suggests that we have entered an era of ‘retrosexism’, premised on real fears about the collapse of male hegemony. She explores the nostalgic quality of much contemporary television, which harks back to a time and place peopled by real women and humorous ‘cheeky chappies’ (p. 11). She argues that representations of women, ‘from the banal to the downright offensive’ are being ‘defensively reinvented against cultural changes in women’s lives’ (p. 11).

I want to suggest that what we are seeing is not just a harking back to a safe, bygone or mythical age when ‘men were men and women were women’, but rather the construction of a new femininity (or, better, new femininities) organized around sexual confidence and autonomy.  Indeed, what is novel and striking about contemporary sexualised representations of women in popular culture is that they do not (as in the past) depict women as passive objects but as knowing, active and desiring sexual subjects.  We are witnessing, I want to argue, a shift from sexual objectification to sexual subjectification in constructions of femininity in the media and popular culture.Nowhere is this clearer than in advertising which has responded to feminist critiques by constructing a new figure to sell to young women: the sexually autonomous heterosexual young woman who plays with her sexual power and is for ever ‘up for it’.  The exhortations to young women to ‘be yourself’ and ‘please yourself’ are emblematic of this shift in which women are presented as knowing and active sexual subjects.

t r u t h o u t | Commodifying Kids: The Forgotten Crisis

t r u t h o u t | Commodifying Kids: The Forgotten Crisis

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Henry Giroux writes so strongly about how our financial markets are using our children to make their profits at the expense of the moral, ethical, and educational development of our future generations. I recommend you read his entire post and the links he has in his end notes. Below is one paragraph especially about young girls. Though I saw this market behavior when my now 23 year old daughter was young, it has continued to expand and is now at an absolutely outrageous level for young girls. After you read it, think about what can be done and start at your local level. Talk to girls, get rid of your TV, talk more about values. And, please, post more ideas for all of us.

Some of these identities are on full display in advertising aimed at young girls. Market strategists are increasingly using sexually charged images to sell commodities, often representing the fantasies of an adult version of sexuality. For instance, Abercrombie & Fitch, a clothing franchise for young people, has earned a reputation for its risque catalogues filled with promotional ads of scantily clad kids and its over-the-top sexual advice columns for teens and preteens; one catalogue featured an ad for thongs for ten-year-olds with the words “eye candy” and “wink wink” written on them.(18) Another clothing store sold underwear geared toward teens with “Who needs Credit Cards …?” written across the crotch.(19) Children as young as six years old are being sold lacy underwear, push-up bras and “date night accessories” for their various doll collections. In 2006, the Tesco department store chain sold a pole dancing kit designed for young girls to unleash the sex kitten inside . Encouraging five- to ten-year-old children to model themselves after sex workers suggests the degree to which matters of ethics and propriety have been decoupled from the world of marketing and advertising, even when the target audience is young children. The representational politics at work in these marketing and advertising strategies connect children’s bodies to a reductive notion of sexuality, pleasure and commodification, while depicting children’s sexuality and bodies as nothing more than objects for voyeuristic adult consumption and crude financial profit.

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