Tag Archives: men

Dave Chapelle is more worried about being mistaken for gay than for ISIS

Just days before his just-post-election monologue on SNL, Dave Chapelle made a few small headlines when he downplayed the seriousness of both sexism and homophobia. And when it came time for him to actually deliver that big monologue, Chapelle put his money where his mouth was, making jokes that could be construed as mild examples of both. The astounding part: It only took him three words, one of which was “a”, and you probably missed it.

The sentence clause in question came during Chapelle’s discussion of whether the Pulse shooter could rightly be considered a soldier of ISIS. See if you can spot the three-word sequence in this excerpt taken from the Washington Post’s transcript of his routine:

Continue reading Dave Chapelle is more worried about being mistaken for gay than for ISIS

The subtle sexism of closed captioning

After Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for President by a major political party in the United States (one helluva baseball stat), a lot of ink was spilled in the matter of her outfit. To many, the fixation on the female nominee’s sartorial decision-making was clear evidence of sexism. For the media to give the same sort of attention to what a man chose to wear, they pointed out, would come off as absurd.

Continue reading The subtle sexism of closed captioning

Cory Booker was so conveniently nonspecific about the children he imagined

Here’s how Cory Booker tried to put Hillary’s nomination last night into perspective this morning on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert (taping of which began at five minutes to midnight) :

Continue reading Cory Booker was so conveniently nonspecific about the children he imagined

Colbert has no idea how female astronauts really train

His show may be off the air, but I have yet to close the book on Stephen Colbert.

Back on 10/2 (fun fact: today is 2/10), he hosted Lynn Sherr, former partner of U.S. astronaut Sally Ride. Their conversation turned to a discussion of Ride’s training when C.O.L.B.E.R.T. (of all people) betrayed his tremendous ignorance about the space program:

Continue reading Colbert has no idea how female astronauts really train

A new way for me to resent my least-favorite idiom

There’s one particular idiom I find exceptionally irritating: “sea change“, when used with no sea shore in sight. Use that phrase, and I will judge not only your writing — I will judge you.

But this post does not represent an effort to explain my (perhaps irrational) dislike for “sea change”. I write instead to identify one particular instance in which an author’s desire to properly use this most improper of phrases led directly to the displacement of one object of my (perhaps irrational) affection — a pun:

Continue reading A new way for me to resent my least-favorite idiom

Amazon’s “Transparent” might converge with Season 5 of Arrested Development

Jeffrey Tambor appeared on The Colbert Report last night to promote his new show on Amazon, “Transparent”, in which the actor formerly known as George Bluth plays the role of Maura Pfefferman, nee Mort Pfefferman. Patriarch turned Matriarch of the Pfefferman family is undoubtedly a challenging role to play, but Tambor might have gone a little too far when he told Colbert, “It’s the greatest transformative role I’ve ever played in my life”:

Colbert tambor

You see, playing a man who becomes a woman — for Tambor — is sort of old hat (pun intended):

Continue reading Amazon’s “Transparent” might converge with Season 5 of Arrested Development

Facebook censorship of Israeli nudity lays bare (pun intended) unfortunate double standard

Shortly after publishing my previous post, Draconian Facebook censorship may have saved Israelis from themselves, I made two important discoveries.

One, that the creators of “Standing with the IDF” (a misleading name, if I’ve ever heard one, given the various states of repose exhibited within) are optimistic their page will be restored soon (במהרה בימינו): Continue reading Facebook censorship of Israeli nudity lays bare (pun intended) unfortunate double standard

Does Facebook intentionally limit who you can love?

I have better things to be doing, and I’m really behind on a lot of serious topics I want to write about, but Facebook doesn’t give its users fifty six different ways to describe their gender identity every day. My first pass, titled Are Facebook’s relationship status options a little bit sexist?, garnered the following comment on — appropriately enough — Facebook:

Let’s be real here: what the author’s upset about is the third gender, and is using the widow thing as a pretense B)

I wasn’t sure if this was a fair characterization, so I took the opportunity to interview the author and evaluate his true intentions for myself. As it turns out, the widow thing was, indeed, a pretense – however, the commenter got the rest of his/her/variant assertion wrong. The author is not upset that Facebook added a “third” gender — assuming he is “upset” at all — but simply miffed that the service deigned to limit its options to a mere fifty six.

Since when does Mark Zuckerberg get off on being the arbiter of what qualifies as a legitimate gender identity? The author’s point, he told me, is that if Facebook can give fifty six options for gender, why not do the same for relationship statuses? Better, why straightjacket us into those preselected categories? Why not just let everyone choose whatever the hell gender they want?

In the course of our interview, the author admit that he felt a shred of remorse about the article — not because he felt it belittled or diminished the tremendous achievement of the gender-interested community, but because his focus on relationship statuses as a foil to gender was a strategic and rhetorical blunder. A better option would have been to highlight the strict binary Facebook foists upon its users when it comes to their sexual preferences:

Continue reading Does Facebook intentionally limit who you can love?

Are Facebook’s relationship status options a little bit sexist?

[Editor’s note: Granted, everyone’s a little bit sexist. But because the headline might imply otherwise, I should really tell you upfront I’m only talking about one of them.]

Facebook made a lot of headlines today with the announcement that it will now allow its users to choose from among fifty different descriptors of gender:

In a nod to the “it’s complicated” sexual identities of many of its users, the social network on Thursday added a third “custom” gender option for people’s profiles. In addition to Male or Female, Facebook now lets U.S. users choose among some 50 additional options such as “transgender,” “cisgender,” “gender fluid,” “intersex” and “neither.”

[Editor’s note: Gender fluid certainly does sound like it would go nicely with a seafood dinner and a box of chocolate.]

The new options appear to be quite progressive, but is Facebook really just trying to cover up some of the other ways in which it is insensitive to gender differences? Just take a look at the various relationship statuses from which the service asks its users to choose:

Continue reading Are Facebook’s relationship status options a little bit sexist?

Sharks prefer men – so why did this one attack a woman?

Judging by the reaction to Sharknado, people on the internet really like sharks. And while I don’t normally write for anyone but myself, I’m going to make an exception for the sake of making a truly tasteless* “joke.” OK, so I guess I am still writing for myself.

*1. Pun intended. 2. You’ve been warned.

A teenager was attacked and killed Monday by a shark off the coast of Brazil near Recife. She was in the process of drowning when the shark decided to lend her a hand… by biting off her leg. Per Newser:

It’s hard to imagine a worse way to die: Bruni Gobbi was drowning, with lifeguards on their way to help the 18-year-old and her cousin on Monday, when a shark attacked. It bit Gobbi’s left leg, and though rescuers were able to get her ashore, she died that night at a hospital, CNN reports. The Daily Mail adds that her leg was amputated before her death, but she had lost too much blood. Gobbi and her cousin were swimming at Boa Viagem beach in Recife, Brazil, at the time.

“The rescuers came in a matter of five minutes, but to us it felt like five years,” the cousin tells a local CNN affiliate. “We knew there were risks of an attack, but I didn’t think that it would happen in the shallow [water], but in the deep.”

I would quibble over the claim that it’s hard to imagine worse ways to die (there’s always ebola), but as things go, this one is pretty horrific. And I recognize that. Which is why I’m also aware that the remainder of this post is way over the fishing line. But the Newser article went on to share a curious statistic I was drawn to like a shark after blood — and quite frankly, I couldn’t help myself:

Such attacks aren’t exactly rare in the area: In the past two decades, about 23 people have been attacked off Boa Viagem beach. Gobbi is the first woman to die from an attack in the state of Pernambuco during that period. Officials believe she was attacked by a bull shark.

Apparently, Brazilian sharks have a preference for men — just like Brazilian piranhas.

I find the existence of sex preferences surprising. Gun to my head, I’d have guessed sharks find women tastier (and I’d have been totally wrong). Indeed, it’s unlikely sharks find people all that tasty to begin with, meaning that the question of Why hangs over just about every shark attack.

So what prompted this shark to gobble up Gobbi? My theory: a case of mistaken identity by a really bad speller:

Continue reading Sharks prefer men – so why did this one attack a woman?