March Links

I’ve got a few posts brewing in my head, but I’m still on a high from the game today, so I thought I’d do a quick post of links that I’ve found lately and what I’m thinking about them. Some of these ideas I want to explore in more detail later on.

Girl sues school over prom-wear. This 17-year-old is suing her school for the right to wear a tuxedo to her high school prom, saying that, as a lesbian, she doesn’t identify with the message of sexuality a dress projects. The American Family Association supports the school, saying that her sexual identity is an “impulse” and that her wearing a tuxedo sends “destructive message” to other students. This is blatant homophobia and a push for clear-cut, traditional gender roles, leaving out anyone who doesn’t conform.

Pope claims condoms “aggravate” the AIDS problem in Africa. This is not to say that abstinence is not effective, but this is looking at the spread of AIDS through Western eyes. What about addressing gender roles, rape, women who cannot, culturally, ask their parters (husbands or otherwise) to use protection? What about AIDS education? Why does the Catholic church always seem to spout one idea as the cure rather than look at the problem comprehensively? It seems that they value upholding their law more than the lives of their followers. It’s all about the message and the power, not the people, and, unfortunately, the pro-life people seem to feel the same way: that the fetus deserves more rights than the woman.

Effort in England to improve rape prosecutions.  Now, I have to admit that when I saw this headline, a part of me was worried that it would be about how rape cases are just about crazy girls trying to cover up a mistake, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was about improving the conviction rate. It’s nice to see something that recognizes the difficulty in women (or men, though that’s less talked about) seeking and achieving legal justice for the crime committed against them. Too often certain people are presented as unrapable (the victim was a man, the victim was a woman wearing seductive clothing, was drunk, she was dating or married to the perpetrator, she was asking for it, she engaged in some level of sexual activity, she’s a sex worker, she’s a lesbian, etc…) or as bitches who falsely accuse innocent men and ruin their lives. (As a note, I’ve used one sided pronouns here, not to discount rape of a man by a woman but rather as a reflection of the gender that is most often the victim.)

Tammy Bruce calls Michele Obama trashy. This is just another example of backlash toward the first family for rising up in a white-dominated world. When it’s (mostly) frowned upon to make blatant racist statements, people often resort to messages such as this.

And finally, 14-year-old girl arrested for child pornography for posting naked pictures of herself on MySpace. I find this problematic for a variety of reasons, not least because of the double standard set for females in this country that they must be simultaneously innocent and sexual.

What have you been reading in the news lately?