According to the AP, a law enforcement official has proof that not only did he send the tape to NFL execs, he has a voicemail from the NFL offices confirming that the tape was “terrible.”
How much evidence is needed to show that the Commissioner of the NFL needs to go?
Before this breaking news, NOW began circulating a petition under the hashtag #ResignGoodell:
With the release of the second video in the Ray Rice domestic violence case, it has become clear that you are only concerned with the NFL’s image – not the League’s violence against women problem. The following are just few examples that exemplify your failed leadership:
*According to FiveThirtyEight.com, the relative arrest rate of NFL players is fifty-five percent for domestic violence, and thirty-eight percent for sex offenses. *Since you started as commissioner, there have been fifty-six instances of domestic violence, but players were suspended for a combined total of 13 games and only 10 players were released from their team. *Days after announcing the NFL’s new domestic violence policy, you said that Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers, who is facing a felony domestic violence charge, could play in the team’s season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. *Greg Hardy is still playing for the Carolina Panthers, even after being convicted in July of choking his former girlfriend and threatening to kill her. *You have been silent in the face of accusations that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sexually assaulted a woman.
The NFL sets the example for college, high school, middle school and even elementary school football programs – the example currently being set by the NFL is simply unacceptable.
We the undersigned demand that you resign from you position as commissioner of the NFL and that your successor appoint an independent investigator with full authority to gather factual data about domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking within the NFL community, and to recommend real and lasting reforms.
New leadership must come in with a specific charge to transform the culture of violence against women that pervades the NFL. That’s the only way to restore honor and integrity to the country’s most lucrative and popular pastime.
I signed NOW’s petition and I hope you do to, but I’m also sick of signing petitions. I don’t know we’re sitting around waiting for him to choose to resign. Enough already. Do something right, NFL owners. It’s time to fire Roger Goodell.
I woke up this morning feeling like had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend…no one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family.
Janay’s words echo a public domestic violence case in San Francisco where I live, when in 2012, video evidence surfaced that city’s new sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi, had abused his wife, Eliana Lopez. At a news conference after his swearing in, Mirkarimi called the situation “a private matter. A family matter.” A few months later, upset that the Bay Area public didn’t want an abuser as the sheriff, Lopez defended her husband in an op-ed for the local paper:
From the beginning, my public voice has been ignored and treated as irrelevant. Many in the media keep saying that I just don’t get it. But I do get it: I get that I am being used to bring my husband down…Ross has paid an unfair price for his side of our family disputes. I have paid a terrible price, too. So has our son, Theo. The man I married is a wonderful man, a considerate father, and a loyal public servant who is demonstrating his ability to become better in all ways.
Violence is not a private matter. Abusers tend to offend repeatedly, often ending with the death of the woman. When Janay Rice or Eliana Lopez defend the violence, it’s much more than “not getting it” but helps to put all women at risk. Until we all take a stand and recognize that violence against women is not a private matter, it will continue to be epidemic in the USA and around the world. Here are some stats:
One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is one of the most chronically under reported crimes.
Only approximately one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes, and one-half of all stalkings perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police.
On average, more than three women are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.
So, I’ve decided one should watch the video and discuss it with kids who are of an age where they will likely see it, ESPECIALLY boys. Because it is adult men who decided Rice only warranted a 2-game suspension when they saw him dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator. And because when they handed down that suspsension they made this comment, which shows that they really can’t conceptualize what domestic violence really is or what it means to hit a person so hard she goes unconscious: “We respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.”
The NFL claims in a statement that no one in the league office had previously seen the tape. That is almost surely not the truth, unless the NFL wanted it that way. This is a league that works with Homeland Security, confers with the Drug Enforcement Agency, collaborates with law enforcement and has its own highly equipped and secretive private security arm. You’re telling me it couldn’t get a hold of a grainy tape from an Atlantic City casino elevator? But TMZ could?
I’m deeply sorry for Janay and the horrible time that she’s going through, but this isn’t only her problem. As long as Americans look the other way when domestic violence happens, it will never stop being a national epidemic. A crucial next step? Fire Roger Goodell. He doesn’t deserve to be the Commissioner of the NFL.
Jeffrey Toobin makes a similar point as I did here, writing for CNN: “It’s not up to victims to decide whether their husbands should be prosecuted. Abusers damage the community, not just the women they assault.”
I am not blaming Janay Rice. There are complicated reasons why women stay, and I have no idea what she has to say right now in order to be safe, but again, her abuse is not a private matter. To support that myth of privacy, of abuse being “a family matter” is to support a culture of violence towards women.
Yesterday, two of my kids, ages 11 and 8, and I saw the new animated movie by Hiroyuki Okiura, “Letter to Momo.” From the first scene to the last, we were riveted by the gorgeous animation and the fantastical story about how a young girl finds her courage.
When the movie opens, Momo’s father has just died in a boating accident, and she moves with her mother from Tokyo to a small village. Lonely, frightened, and displaced, Momo tries to cope with solitude while her mother spends her days in seminars training to be a caretaker so that she can be the breadwinner for the family. It is during these long days alone that Momo encounters three creepy, terrifying, and constantly starving goblins. These three creatures who only Momo can see play a key role in the story, and what I loved about them is that they are not cute, but grotesque. As Momo comes to love them, so do we. It is a rare and special narrative– and the polar opposite of Disney, not to mention Roald Dahl– where “ugly” beings are not only good, but also become beautiful to the viewer. This alone, is a crucial lesson for kids, and I was so happy my kids experienced it. My only complaint about them is that all three goblins are male.
The last few scenes of the movie are so stunning, I got chills. At one part, thousands of creatures create a tunnel out of their bodies to protect Momo. In another scene, the villagers set straw boats with lanterns out onto the sea. There are several thunderstorm scenes where the animation of the rain and lightning is mesmerizing. I read that “Momo” took seven years to make and that does not surprise me at all. I love Momo’s look too, her expressive eyes and messy hair, though she’s almost always in pink which I found kind of annoying.
Still, Momo is not a Minority Feisty. There are female characters throughout the story. Momo’s mother and great grandmother are main characters, and so is another young girl, Umi who is the only other character also able to see the goblins. Umi’s older brother, Yota, hangs out with a gang of kids that includes a girl and Momo becomes good friends with him, no romance.
I almost didn’t see this movie. It was not on my radar at all, and not only am I obsessed with children’s media, I am a huge fan of Hiyao Miyazaki to the point that I actually cried when I heard he was retiring. Yet, “Letter to Momo” did not make it on Reel Girl’s annual list of children’s movies coming out in 2014. The only reason I heard of “Momo” is because when I picked my daughter up at school on Friday, we went to get her a bagel, and while she was gobbling it up, I perused the left over free local newspaper. There, I saw the picture of a girl–a girl!– and then read the review. The next day I packed two kids in the car, planning to have my husband drop off the third. That was when I discovered the movie had subtitles. Never have my kids sat through or even attempted to sit through subtitles. I was also nervous because once I learned about the movie, I read a few reviews that it is bloated, should have been 20 minutes, and needs an editor. Though I sent the 5 year old home with her dad because she can’t read, the two older ones and I proceeded to the theater, an art house with a screen not much bigger than a TV. But my American kids who get way too bored way too easily IMO, could not disagree more with those reviewers. They did not even finish their popcorn. I can’t imagine one scene being cut. There is a dubbed version out too, and I’m going to take my 5 year old back to see that one.
Last night, like many of you, I Tweeted that to look at stolen pictures of Jennifer Lawrence is to participate in her assault. Today, I woke up to multiple Tweets on my account where the sender used a naked picture of Jennifer Lawrence as a profile pic. I’m assuming the picture is one of the stolen ones, though I’m not doing the research to find out. I Tweeted that I would be forwarding these Tweets to the FBI, to which I got this response: “Stop harassing me you fucking cunt.”
Last night, I posted on Facebook and Twitter that, contrary to reports on the internet from People Magazine and CNN, the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities is not a “scandal” but a sex crime.
I was relieved I didn’t have to argue language when I saw the LA Times report:
The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter,” an FBI spokesperson told the LA Times.
In spite of getting called a cunt (yet again) it is good to be able to forward info to the FBI’s ongoing investigation. It’s crucial that the U.S. Government take crimes against women seriously, and it’s a relief to see a fast and public step in that direction by the FBI. It would be nice if the media followed suit, not only using the word “crime” instead of “scandal” but by allotting crimes against women the news status they deserve.
Last week, the writer, filmmaker, and activist Anita Sarkeesian was forced to leave her house because of threats of violence against her. Sarkeesian’s work is about violence against women in video games. Those who attack Sarkeesian claim that violence against women does not exist. I suppose the irony here is lost on them. Why isn’t more mainstream media covering the Sarkeesian story? Sarkeesian is a hero-freedom-fighter-cyber-warrior whose actions are dedicated helping a new generation of children to grow up in a safer world. So why don’t parents know her name? When are we all going to start taking crimes against women seriously and stop ignoring or trivializing the safety and privacy of half of our population in the USA?
Today, I saw ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ with my daughter and niece. I enjoyed the movie (especially the 80s music and the jokes) as did they (mostly Groot, the resilient, dancing tree,) Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, is a kick-ass smart assassin who saves the universe with a team of misfits, but I had a minor (hint, hint) issue with her role. Tell me, what do you notice about the gender ratio in this poster for the “GOTG?”
Notice anything in common with the gender ratio of “The Avengers”?
What about this recent Justice League comic cover?
Lest you think this 1:4/5/6 female/ male gender ratio is exclusive to superheroes, here’s my post on the Minority Feisty:
The curse of the Minority Feisty in kids’ movies
If you see an animated film today, it’s likely to include a token strong female character or two who reviewers will call “feisty.” In “How to Train Your Dragon” Astrid; in “Toy Story,” Jessie; in “Ratatouille,” Colette. She’s supposed to make us feel like the movie is contemporary and feminist, unlike those sexist films of yesteryear.
Just one recent example: PeopleMagazine describes Anne Hathaway’s role as Jewel in “Rio 2:”
There have been other big changes as well for the actress who reprises her role as the feisty macaw Jewel in the new animated film ‘Rio 2.’
The problem is that because Pixar or Disney or Marvel has so magnanimously thrown in this “feisty” female (who may even have some commentary about sexism or male domination) we’re no longer supposed to care that almost all of the other characters in the film are male, including the star who the movie is often titled for and usually his best buddy as well. The crowd scenes in the film are also made up of mostly males.
“Feisty” isn’t a word that describes someone with real power, but someone who plays at being powerful. Would you ever call Superman “feisty?” How would he feel if you did?
The Smurfette Principle has evolved into the Minority Feisty. Now instead of a “token” female in a children’s movie, we may see a few females sprinkled around, a “minority” of them. Parents, the next time you watch a children’s movie, try not to let the Minority Feisty population distract you from the limitations female characters are almost always forced into. Ask yourself: Is the female the protagonist in this film? Does the narrative revolve around her quest? Or is she there to (play a crucial role in) helping the male star achieve his goal/ dream?
Imagine if the gender ratio presented in movies for kids was reflected in their world. Girls would be a minority instead of one half of the kid population. When females go missing from children’s media, another generation gets trained to expect and accept a world where girls go missing. It seems normal to them that there has never been a female president of their country, that there is just one great female chef among males, or perhaps, none at all as shown in this Time Magazine article on the greatest chefs, titled “Gods of Food.”
In the imaginary world, a world created for kids, anything is possible, so why is it so consistently sexist?
I haven’t seen the movie “Gone Girl,” and neither have you as it’s hitting theaters on October 3, though I did read the book this summer. I was horrified by the misogyny woven through the narrative. Perhaps I was so surprised by the sexism because the only controversy I’d heard of before I read the book was that people didn’t like the ending. I did like the ending. I’ll tell you why, and also go into the plot points of “Gone Girl” but before I do, consider yourself warned: spoilers will be in this post. If you’re going to read Gone Girl– and it is, like so many sexist books I critique, well written and well plotted, I’m talking about technique here– you may not want to proceed much further, except, perhaps, to take a look at this cover of Entertainment Weekly. There you see Amy, the protagonist of “Gone Girl,” shown as a “beautiful” female corpse, a trope Anita Sarkeesian dissects in her latest video: Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games. This image of the dead, sexualized female body is, quite literally, everywhere in popular culture. After you check out this cover, I want you to know just one more thing.
For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscar Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections? Any of the characters in Infinite Jest? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t “is this a potential friend for me?” but “is this character alive?”
Get that, people? Is this character alive?
OK, moving on to spoilers, if you don’t want them, it’s time to leave.
It turns out that the protagonist of Gone Girl, Amy Dunne (played in the movie by Rosemund Pike) fakes her own rape, pregnancy, stalking, beatings, and murder. That’s right, Amy goes through a veritable list of practically every act/ crime that a wicked and conniving (are men ever conniving?) woman can manipulate. While Amy fakes her victimhood, her husband, Nick, played in the movie by Ben Affleck, is falsely accused of killing his pregnant wife. Why, you ask, is Amy motivated to be so awful? She’s a woman scorned, of course, who discovered her husband’s affair with his student.
Here’s one passage describing Amy’s fakery:
I took a wine bottle, and I abused myself with it every day, so the inside of my vagina looked…right. Right for a rape victim. Then today I let him have sex with me so I had his semen…
That particular scene, by the way, refers to another man Amy is setting up, not her husband.
Here’s the problem, and once again, it’s not that Amy is a villain or unlikeable.
But Gone Girl is fiction not fact, you say. Why am I listing stats here? Am I trying, once again, to censor artists with my PC beliefs? Surely Amy’s story can fall into the 1- 2% of women who falsely accuse men of rape. This is a free country.
This is also a country where Washington Post columnist George Will, a man known as the “most powerful journalist in America” recently wrote that being a rape survivor is “a coveted status.” When others challenged Will that rape is not, in fact, something women want, the conservative group, Women’s Independent Forum called a conference “Rape Culture and Sexual Assault,” putting out this press release:
The White House has embraced the statistic that 1 in 5 women is sexually assaulted while in college…The White House has released its “first ever report” on the issue and are using it to push their policy agenda…But many question the validity of the White House’s one-in-five statistic, even as those who challenge this figure are silenced as being uncaring about women…The IWF takes any accusation of sexual assault very seriously. But we are concerned that there is a potentially harmful hysteria developing about this issue. Where does this come from? Where is it going? And who will be harmed?
Lucky for us, Gone Girl answers every single one of the IWF’s (hysterical) questions: Where does it come from? In Gone Girl, overachieving Harvard grad, Amy Dunne, was used but never truly loved by her egotistical writer parents. They penned a best-selling YA series based on their daughter. Where is it going? Female anger and, yes, hysteria, not to mention jealousy, vindictiveness, and aging, leads to violence. Who will be harmed? Nick, of course, innocent men in America who are falsely accused, lied to, manipulated, and victimized by the scorned, bitter women in their lives.
Yes, Of course Gillian Flynn can write about whatever she pleases, but I find it sadly ironic that when I argue for more diverse stories to permeate our popular culture, a culture where people believe that 50% of rape accusations are false, a culture where stories of rape remain secret to the point that the media hides names and identities of survivors, a media dominated by the same old trope ridden narrative, that I am the one who’s accused of stifling creativity. Gone Girl is a best-selling book about to be blockbuster movie that will help to perpetuate the myth/ story that rape and violence against women is not epidemic but mostly exists in our imagination.
By the way, the end of the book, you know why people don’t like it? Because Amy ends up OK. She and Nick get back together, they’re going to have a baby. (Pregnant for real this time, she stole his sperm.) Apparently, the no punishment-for-Amy-finale is so unpopular that the director changed the ending to make it more of crowdpleaser.
Within days of its appearance early this month, the Research Institute — a paleontologist, an astronomer and a chemist — sold out on Lego’s website and will not be available at major retailers, including Target and Walmart.
Toys “R” Us did carry the line, but according to associates reached by telephone at two of its New York stores, it sold out at those locations as well.
A Toys “R” Us spokeswoman, Kathleen Waugh, said in an email that it would be available in about a week at the company’s Times Square and F.A.O. Schwarz stores.
Lego said the set was manufactured as a limited edition, meaning it was not mass-produced. The true enthusiast can still buy the Research Institute at Amazon.com, however, but for about three times its $19.99 retail price.
So instead of launching a major marketing campaign for the scientists, the way they did for Friends, for example, showing non-stop ads on TV and creating mini-movies featuring the figs all over the internet, these scientists will be hidden from kidworld. The figs won’t be seen on T-shirts, shoes sold at Stride Rite, lunchboxes or cereal boxes. There is no upcoming blockbuster movie where a chemist, astronomer, and paleontologist are a team of brilliant, brave heroes fighting evil. No, instead, LEGO’s female scientists are destined to a similar fate as female superheroes, possible to find if parents scour the internet, but missing from your children’s daily life, not present in stores that sell kids’ clothing, books, and toys, a venue where our children will mostly likely have to settle for slave Leia
or girls who hang out at the cafe or beauty salon.
Almost since I started this blog, I’ve been writing about the ridiculously sexist stereotypes marketed to kids by LEGO. The problem for me is I see so much potential in this toy. It’s a great toy, but it’s so limited in what it creates. I’ve blogged about LEGO’s great gender inclusive ad from the early 80s,
I remember when we broke up the first time
Saying, “This is it, I’ve had enough,” ’cause like
We hadn’t seen each other in a month
When you said you needed space. (What?)
Then you come around again and say
“Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change, trust me.”
Remember how that lasted for a day?
I say, “I hate you,” we break up, you call me, “I love you.”Ooh, we called it off again last night
But ooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling youWe are never ever ever getting back together,
We are never ever ever getting back together,
You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back togetherLike, ever…I’m really gonna miss you picking fights
And me falling for it screaming that I’m right
And you would hide away and find your peace of mind
With some indie record that’s much cooler than mineOoh, you called me up again tonight
But ooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling youWe are never, ever, ever getting back together
We are never, ever, ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me (talk to me)
But we are never ever ever ever getting back togetherOoh, yeah, ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Oh oh ohI used to think that we were forever ever
And I used to say, “Never say never…”
Uggg… so he calls me up and he’s like, “I still love you,”
And I’m like… “I just… I mean this is exhausting, you know, like,
We are never getting back together. Like, ever”No!We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back togetherWe, ooh, getting back together, ohhh,
We, ooh, getting back togetherYou go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me (talk to me)
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together
I’m going on vacation with my family. You may have noticed I haven’t been blogging that much lately because I’ve been using all my free time to try and get ready to go. My goal is to stay off the internet while I’m gone and just hang with my husband and kids, but we’ll see how that goes. Have a great summer. See you in August.
“The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.”
Do you agree with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
Do something. Don’t stand by and watch women continue to be denied human rights. Tell Washington that the U.S. government is discriminating against women and that is not acceptable in America. Sign the petition from Planned Parenthood and please give money. If we all do something and take action, we can create change.
The letter from Planned Parenthood is pasted here, follow the links at the bottom to sign it and to give money.
Subject: JOIN THE DISSENT
To The Supreme Court:
To the five members of the Supreme Court who have given bosses — based on their own personal beliefs — the power to deny women coverage for birth control:
I dissent. Your ruling is an insult to the generations of women who have fought for control over their own bodies and their own futures. It is a step backward, and a threat to the future of women’s health and rights in America.
To employers like Hobby Lobby, who believe that their personal beliefs are more important than women’s fundamental rights:
I dissent. Religious freedom means that every person should be allowed to follow her own conscience, whether she owns a company or works for an hourly wage. Women earn health care coverage the same way they earn a paycheck — and they shouldn’t have it taken away because of the personal views of their employers.
To the politicians who support the Supreme Court’s decision — and want to go even further to deny more women access to birth control:
I dissent. I will continue to fight for the right of every woman to make her own private medical decisions without interference from anyone — not her boss, not politicians, not the Supreme Court. I call on lawmakers at every level to take immediate action to protect women’s access to health care no matter what their bosses say.
This is about our health and our lives. This is about our fundamental right to have control over our own bodies. This is about justice. And I’m not done fighting back.
Signed, [Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
Follow this link to sign the petition and to donate funds.
The day after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, a group of religious leaders sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he exempt them from a forthcoming executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people.
The letter, first reported by The Atlantic, was sent on Tuesday by 14 representatives, including the president of Gordon College, an Erie County, Pa., executive and the national faith vote director for Obama for America 2012, of the faith community.
“Without a robust religious exemption,” they wrote, “this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom.”
The leaders noted that the Senate-passed Employment Non-Discrimination Act included a religious exemption:
“Our concern about an executive order without a religious exemption is about more than the direct financial impact on religious organizations. While the nation has undergone incredible social and legal change over the last decade, we still live in a nation with different beliefs about sexuality. We must find a way to respect diversity of opinion on this issue in a way that respects the dignity of all parties to the best of our ability. There is no perfect solution that will make all parties completely happy.”
This is exactly what I just blogged about would happen, should and must happen, because it makes no sense to discriminate against one group because of “religious freedom” and not be allowed to discriminate against any group.
Pregnancy is a medical condition. I had an emergency c-section with my first child, not a rare end to a pregnancy in the USA. Pregnancy related diseases include ectopic pregnancies (also life-risking), blood clots, urinary tract infections, thrush, severe back pain, and the list goes on.
Why is it OK for religions to decree that women cannot have health care but it is not OK for them to demand that gay employees or black employees don’t get health care? Female bodies are different than male bodies and require different medical treatment. Why is it OK to deny one gender the medical treatment that their bodies require? Is the reason that sex is optional, therefore the medical condition of pregnancy is optional, therefore preventative health care is not required by law? Putting aside the situation of rape (which is just “rape hysteria” anyway, right) are we saying that medical conditions created by optional behavior should not receive health care? So if I choose to go skiing and break my leg, I shouldn’t get my health care paid for by my employer? If I choose to go on a hike and get bit by a tic, my employer should not be required to pay for treatment for my lyme disease?
I am ashamed to be an American today.
(I’m still wondering about Christian Scientists, by the way. Why should a Christian Scientist business leader be forced to pay medical expenses for any employee? Especially one who would be willing to let her own child die for that belief?)