Scarlett Johansson, by Craig McDean for Vanity Fair
holy hell when did it become legal for someone to be this hot
Omg. Hello there.
So I watched this music video, and this is in fact completely untrue. There are many scenes in which black/brown girls are casted.
One could conceivably argue that any white star who features twerking in a music video is automatically being exploitative.
However, that was not my perception of this video in particular. It actually appeared to me the director took pains to portray a variety of dance styles (ballet, interpretive dance, rhythmic gymnastics, break dancing, twerking, cheerleading, etc.) all as equally valid art forms. Every performing group in the video includes a variety of ethnicities. I think I did actually see a black/brown dancer in the ballet troupe, though it’s difficult to tell. Look in the rear left of this gif:
We don’t know if they cast individual dancers or hired a dance troupe, so if black women are underrepresented that might say more about the dance troupe’s selection practices than the video director’s casting practices.
All the styles of dance, ballet or otherwise are presented in the same fashion — talented professionals being brilliant + Taylor Swift being endearingly incompetent. The black women in the video aren’t portrayed as Taylor’s dancing accessories, but rather as experts in their style:
Moreover, at the end of the video there’s a sequence showing all the different professionals being silly and dancing in a non-choreographed manner, thereby humanizing them, showing they exist outside of their role as dancers in Taylor’s video:
I think if we interpret the twerking scenes in this video as demeaning, that says more about our cultural perception of black women than it does about this particular video’s specific portrayal of black women.
The Law of Equivalent Exchange
Classy. Of course.
- Because when someone doesn’t want to date me because I’m poly it’s ‘understandable’ but when I don’t want to date someone because they are monogamous it’s ‘ridiculous.’
- Because all relationship advice tells you that if you have feelings for someone else while you’re in a relationship you’re a bad person.
- Because even feminists try to slut shame me.
- Because when I tell people me and my partner have an open relationship they assume it’s because we’re going through a rough patch.
- Because people equate ‘multiple partners’ with ‘predator’ and think everything I say is an attempt to get in their pants.
- Because I am fed up of love triangles as easy plot devices in my media.
- Because the LGBTQA+ movement are so desperate to show ‘allies’ they are ‘just like everyone else’ that they shit on everyone with a non-monogamous dynamic.
- Because when a monogamous couple have sex with each other every night it’s having an active sex drive. When I have sex with a different partner every night I’m a nymphomaniac.
- Because people think that monogamy = validity, always.
- Because monogamous hetronormativity is so ingrained that I don’t even feel like I can dance with someone without telling them the complete logistics of my love life.
- Because people genuinely believe that raising a child communally is damaging to development.
- Because when I say ‘I could never be monogamous' I get dirty looks.
- Because too many people have tried to confide in me when they’re cheating because ‘I thought you, of all people, would understand.’
- Because I can’t talk about my relationship troubles with my monogamous friends because ‘I always have something to fall back on.’ As if my relationships are meaningless.
(please reblog and add more if you like)
- Because I know I am going to be judged when I come out about the fact that I am in love and have a relationship with a man in an established relationship
- Because infidelity “just happens sometimes”, but being in a consentual, honest relationship with multiple partners is “weird”
[Speaking on behalf of myself and not Cracked-at-Large, the policies and shape of which are not under my sole jurisdiction.]
I’m not talking/thinking about every sub-faction of feminism and every misguided protest or action that has resulted from a misinterpretation OF feminism, because feminism is such a huge thing and, as Soren pointed out, not everyone is going to be getting it right, all the time. There will be feminist spin-off groups that don’t quite grasp the message, there will be groups that pervert and distort it for their own agenda, and there will be groups that go overboard and so on, but that is true of literally every movement (civil rights-related, political, religious or otherwise) in the history of time.
I’m by no means an expert, which is why I’m trying to learn, but what I think about when I talk about feminism is what I remember being articulated to me by my sisters-in-law and what I saw/see embodied by my Mom’s example (and my Dad’s, for that matter), and it’s a really simple and clear message to me: Equal political, economic and social rights for men and women. There are smaller and more specific aspects of this broader conversation that are a particular focus of mine (representation in fiction/pop culture, educating people to help make an America where a woman can walk down the street at night feeling exactly as safe as I do, every night of my freaking life [which is to say, very]), but the core remains the same: Equality where it doesn’t currently exist.
So, when you talk about “taking sides,” my knee-jerk response is, uh, what’s your side? I’m not trying to be glib here. I could be wrong but, according to my slow, caveman brain, if my side is equality for men and women then the other side must be inequality, right? And if that’s the case, then, no, I don’t feel any responsibility to give the other side representation in my writing. There’s the potential that in doing so I’ll be alienating readers that either want men to have more rights than women or women to have more rights than men, but that’s a risk I’m absolutely fine with.
Reeeeead a lot. I may have mentioned this before, but I was lucky because, in high school, our theater department had a really robust library of plays. Starting sometime in my Junior year I committed myself to reading a new one every single week for no reason other than I liked reading plays more than paying attention in certain classes. Plays are a great writer’s resource, especially if you’re struggling with dialogue.
I would also suggest trying some exercises where you write with a particular person in mind. If you’re writing a scene between two buddy cop characters, Jim and Megatron, for example and you can’t seem to wrap your head around making them sound real or fleshed out, just cast them (when I was writing Dan in Agents of Cracked, I was alternately writing for Jason Bateman or Tobias Funke).
Pretend Jim is going to be played by Michael Cera (who I’ve chosen because he’s got such a specific way of speaking). When Megatron asks Jim if he likes to party, nonexistent Jim might say “Sure” or “I like to party,” but Jim-as-Michael-Cera would say “Party? Oh, I mean, yeah, if you- I’m not exactly, I wouldn’t call myself a party…partysaurous, but, yeah, no yes. Yes. I’m party. I have partied. Yes.” It doesn’t matter that you probably won’t get Michael Cera to play this part (and it doesn’t matter if you’re writing a book where the “parts” aren’t played by ANYONE); what matters is now you have a character with a distinct voice.
Then just pick someone else for your voice inspiration for Megatron (could be a famous person or someone in your life whose cadence and mannerisms you know really well), and see what organically happens when two people with established voices do when stuck together in a specific situation. Michael Cera and Omar from The Wire are in a police car together, on a stakeout. What would they say to each other?
this is my favorite thing of the day
Arizona Muse by Mark Segal
VOGUE PARIS August 2014
(1) Zadig&Voltaire (2) Maje
(3) Guess Jeans, boots Jean Paul Gaultier
(4) Tommy Hilfiger, top Uniqlo
(5) Isabel Marant, bomber Sandro, boots Diesel
we can all agree that lesbian sex is the best kind of sex