Superbowl San Francisco

The San Francisco Bay Area is preparing  for an influx of sports fans this weekend. Sunday brings the yearly Superbowl into Santa Clara where a new football stadium was recently built. However since the 49ers retained “San Francisco” in name, San FRancisco is the host city.

This week has brought with it a slate of  protests regarding the Superbowl and the expenses incurred by San Francisco! in a city where there’s virtually hundreds of homeless, ignored for decades, it should give people pause to wonder how SF has money to shell out for a one weekend event. The construction of Superbowl City in SF is coming at a cost to the taxpayers of $5 million, none of which is being paid for by the NFL Yet City officials will tell people that their homeless problem is too big, too expensive, too complicated to solve. Imagine how much easier it would be for $5 million to go towards transitional housing, job training, soup kitchens, clean clothes, day shelters and college classes for the city’s homeless population.

I believe protesting down a street is a start, but why stop at that? I think calling attention is good, but more needs to take place than hanging out on the street where people are getting aggravated thus missing the actual message. City council meetings, mayors office, the Superbowl planners, the NFL, the newspapers, the residents….they all need to hear it too.

I was just having a conversation, wondering why Santa Clara wasn’t hosting Superbowl City since they’re the actual city the game will be played in. The feeling is there aren’t places to hang out, eat there, entertain, etc in Santa Clara. Pretty ironic considering plenty of people don’t have anything to eat in San Francisco either. I don’t think it’s much to ask with the millions being made for this, or any other big event really, for a portion to be donated to social services and city needs.

SF is using 5 million dollars of tax payers money to host Superbowl City, which is not being reimbursed by the NFL (like it is in Santa Clara). I’d wager a guess that they will be clutching onto any profit they make to try and break even from the poor contract deal they made that has now caused them deserved public scrutiny.

It’s good to remember (and put it into perspective) that those of us who have homes, even with bills and struggles, are far better off than a lot of people. A bit a traffic to let protesters by is a very first world problem to have,  when people who have lost everything are being ushered into a World War II era-like encampment because they aren’t pretty to look at when a big party comes to town this week.

 

Grease LIve, with a mix of gender stereotypes and rape culture

 

 

Reposting from another blog & will add my thoughts later when I mull them over and collect them coherently

From the Femmegelical Facebook post/blog

“Saw clips this morning of last night’s live “Grease” and thought, good God, we need to talk about the rape culture woven so deeply throughout this classic musical. Girls: “Tell me more, was it love at first sight?” Guys: Tell me more, did she put up a fight?” Ugh. And I’ve always hated that in the end Sandy has to forsake who she is and dress in skin tight sex pot leather dominatrix outfit for everyone to fully accept and acknowledge and Danny to be with her, and to wrap the moral of story up in a neat bow. She teaches people to be kind along the story, but in the end has to change. Definitely art imitating life in that time, but what message do little girls get when we don’t discuss it? I sure remember what Grease taught me and my friends about who we were supposed to be, and it was to be whatever men wanted (the universal change of female looks and behavior into male fantasy that made Danny to that “hubb-a hubb-a” thing he does at the end when he sees Sandy and gives her the absolutely creepy “up and down” with his face over her entire body ). The message is confusing for girls…virgin or whore? Somehow impossibly both. What do we perpetuate when we don’t break down the social and sexual dynamics of art and music for the girls too young to know the history and parse it for their own understanding of themselves? Blog probably forthcoming.

Hollywood B(l)acklash

I want to post my opinion about the Oscars & the boycotting that is being called for. It’s not my wish to “whitesplain” or speak for anyone. I just have a reaction & an opinion and want to express my own feelings of dismay over this in my blog. I will get into this later. I Feel; its more involved than a lack of nominees. Some (non POC) say its a lack of qualified nominees. I digress. HOWEVER if that were true the reason for that wouldn’t simply just be a lack of qualified actors interested in good Oscar worthy roles. Just as Hollywood still plays sexist stereotypes so to does it racial ones. I think now is the time we can have strong female characters & show they can be a box office draw but the people in  power are still playing by old rules. WE are at a time when lead roles can be filled by more than muscled white men & be a box office draw, but too many execs don’t want to stretch themselves & read a new playbook.

More on this later but you get my gist…

“Diversity is America’s superpower.” – Will Smith

So when this first came to my attention, I really had not thought about it that much. Admittedly part of that is privilege &* part of that is I’m just not that into Hollywood Awards shows. That said, I feel this important. Its important because Hollywood & all forms of media surround us, reinforce societal ideals and give us ways in which some people view life. It is important that all forms of media reflect all facets of society.

That said, diversity in the movies is held back by a history of racism, sexism, segregation, lesser pay, ideals of masculinity and femininity, stereotypes of how people are viewed, opportunities, privilege and so much more.

First off, we are now finally at a point in time where there are more than white actors in leading roles, but we’re still catching up. There are actors and actresses just starting out in Hollywood that need to reach major star status too. Currently if you ask a random person to list actors of color they can probably list of the big names (Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith), and while that is great, chances are most people will list those same names when asked that same question, There is a limited number of leading man actors (or leading actors in general) that are not white. There’s a handful of leading Hispanic, Italian, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, etc actors.  Hollywood needs to diversify much more for there to be even more of a pool of non-white actors in movie roles and thus up for nominee consideration.

THAT SAID that does not mean the complete absence of non-white nominees is due to a lack of available actors this year. The fact that there are none in a year where there ARE in fact Oscar worthy contenders is shocking. Will Smith should have been nominated for “Concussion.” Michael B. Jordan should have nominated for “Creed.” I have not researched enough to come up with other examples yet, however statistics from the Census Bureau state that people who identify as African American represent 13.2% of the US. Hispanic and Latino identifying people comprise 47% of Census respondents./ I think its not much to ask that the Oscars reflect the population and that Hollywood does the same.

 

For what its worth here is a list of nominees of color from the history of the Oscars: I will do more with this later as well. I want to research how many non-white actors were in leading roles this past year as well as throughout some of history (Besides the nominees listed).

1958 Sidney Poitier The Defiant Ones Noah Cullen Nominated First African-American actor to be nominated for Best Actor.
1963 Lilies of the Field Homer Smith Won First black male to win an Oscar.
First African-American actor to win Best Actor.
First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations (Best Actor).
Youngest African-American actor to win Best Actor (age 37).
1970 James Earl Jones The Great White Hope Jack Jefferson Nominated
1972 Paul Winfield Sounder Nathan Lee Morgan Nominated First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
1986 Dexter Gordon Round Midnight Dale Turner Nominated First jazz musician to be nominated for Best Actor.
1989 Morgan Freeman Driving Miss Daisy Hoke Colburn Nominated
1992 Denzel Washington Malcolm X Malcolm X Nominated
1993 Laurence Fishburne What’s Love Got to Do with It Ike Turner Nominated Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
1994 Morgan Freeman The Shawshank Redemption Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding Nominated
1999 Denzel Washington The Hurricane Rubin Carter Nominated
2001 Training Day Alonzo Harris Won Second African-American actor to receive the award for Best Actor.
First time two African-American performers won in leading role Oscars in the same year (Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball).
Will Smith Ali Muhammad Ali Nominated First male hip hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
First time multiple African-American actors received Best Actor nominations.
2004 Jamie Foxx Ray Ray Charles Won First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year.
Don Cheadle Hotel Rwanda Paul Rusesabagina Nominated
2005 Terrence Howard Hustle & Flow DJay Nominated
2006 Forest Whitaker The Last King of Scotland Idi Amin Won
Will Smith The Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner Nominated
2009 Morgan Freeman Invictus Nelson Mandela Nominated
2012 Denzel Washington Flight William “Whip” Whitaker Nominated Denzel Washington has the most nominations for an African-American Actor: Best Actor (4 nominations) and Best Supporting Actor (2 nominations).
2013 Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave Solomon Northup Nominated First black British actor to be nominated for Best Actor.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1954 Dorothy Dandridge Carmen Jones Carmen Jones Nominated First African-American actress to be nominated for Best Actress.
1972 Diana Ross Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holiday Nominated First African-American actress to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
First time multiple African-American actresses received Best Actress nominations.
Cicely Tyson Sounder Rebecca Morgan Nominated First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
First time multiple African-American actresses received Best Actress nominations.
1974 Diahann Carroll Claudine Claudine Nominated
1985 Whoopi Goldberg The Color Purple Celie Johnson Nominated First time multiple African-American actresses received nominations for the same film.
1993 Angela Bassett What’s Love Got to Do with It Tina Turner Nominated Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actor and Best Actress.
2001 Halle Berry Monster’s Ball Leticia Musgrove Won First African-American actress to win Best Actress.
First time two African-American performers won in leading role Oscars in the same year (Denzel Washington, Training Day).
2009 Gabourey Sidibe Precious Claireece “Precious” Jones Nominated Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
Second African-American actress to receive a lead Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
2011 Viola Davis The Help Aibileen Clark Nominated Third film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress categories.
Tied with Whoopi Goldberg as the most nominated African-American actress with 2 nominations.
2012 Quvenzhané Wallis Beasts of the Southern Wild Hushpuppy Nominated Youngest ever Best Actress nominee (aged 9).
Third African-American actress to receive a lead Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1969 Rupert Crosse The Reivers Ned Nominated First African-American actor to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
1981 Howard Rollins Ragtime Coalhouse Walker Jr. Nominated
1982 Louis Gossett, Jr. An Officer and a Gentleman Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley Won First African-American actor to win Best Supporting Actor.
1984 Adolph Caesar A Soldier’s Story Sgt. Waters Nominated
1987 Morgan Freeman Street Smart Fast Black Nominated First time multiple African-American actors received Best Supporting Actor nominations.
Denzel Washington Cry Freedom Steve Biko Nominated
1989 Glory Pvt. Trip Won First African-American actor to receive two Best Supporting Actor nominations.
1992 Jaye Davidson The Crying Game Dil Nominated First black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut film performance.
Youngest black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination (age 24)
First black British actor to receive an Academy Award nomination.
1994 Samuel L. Jackson Pulp Fiction Jules Winnfield Nominated
1996 Cuba Gooding, Jr. Jerry Maguire Rod Tidwell Won Youngest African-American male actor to win an Academy Award (age 29).
1999 Michael Clarke Duncan The Green Mile John Coffey Nominated
2003 Djimon Hounsou In America Mateo Nominated First black actor born in Africa (specifically in Benin) to receive an Academy Award nomination.
2004 Morgan Freeman Million Dollar Baby Eddie ‘Scrap-Iron’ Dupris Won Oldest African-American actor to win an Academy Award (age 67).
Jamie Foxx Collateral Max Nominated First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year.
2006 Djimon Hounsou Blood Diamond Solomon Vandy Nominated
Eddie Murphy Dreamgirls James ‘Thunder’ Early Nominated First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
2013 Barkhad Abdi Captain Phillips Abduwali Muse Nominated Second black actor born in Africa (specifically in Somalia) to receive an Academy Award nomination.
Second black actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for a debut performance.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Year Name Film Role Status Milestone
1939 Hattie McDaniel Gone with the Wind Mammy Won First black female to win an Oscar.
First African-American person (or black person of any nationality) to win an Academy Award.
First African-American person to be nominated for acting.
First African-American actress to win Best Supporting Actress.
Oldest African-American actress to win an Academy Award (age 44).
1949 Ethel Waters Pinky Mrs. Dicey Johnson (Pinky’s Granny) Nominated Second African-American person to be nominated for an Academy Award.
1959 Juanita Moore Imitation of Life Annie Johnson Nominated
1967 Carol Channing Thoroughly Modern Millie Muzzy Van Hosmere Nominated First time two African-American actresses were nominated in the same category.
Beah Richards Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Mrs. Prentice Nominated
1983 Alfre Woodard Cross Creek Geechee Nominated
1985 Margaret Avery The Color Purple Shug Avery Nominated Second time multiple African-American actresses received Best Supporting Actress nominations.
First time multiple African-American actresses received nominations for the same film.
Oprah Winfrey Sofia Nominated
1990 Whoopi Goldberg Ghost Oda Mae Brown Won First African-American actress to receive two acting nominations overall.
Second African-American actress to win Best Supporting Actress.
1996 Marianne Jean-Baptiste Secrets & Lies Hortense Cumberbatch Nominated First black British actress to receive an Academy Award nomination.
2002 Queen Latifah Chicago Matron Mama Morton Nominated First female hip hop artist to be nominated for an Academy Award.
2004 Sophie Okonedo Hotel Rwanda Tatiana Rusesabagina Nominated
2006 Jennifer Hudson Dreamgirls Effie White Won First African-American actor (male or female) to win an Academy Award for a debut film performance.
Youngest African-American actress to win or be nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Youngest African-American actor (male or female) to win an Academy Award (age 25).
First film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
First African-American actress to win an Academy Award for a musical film.
2007 Ruby Dee American Gangster Mama Lucas Nominated Oldest African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award (age 83).
2008 Viola Davis Doubt Mrs. Miller Nominated Third time two African-American actresses were nominated in the same category.
Taraji P. Henson The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Queenie Nominated
2009 Mo’Nique Precious Mary Lee Johnston Won Second film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
2011 Octavia Spencer The Help Minny Jackson Won Third film to feature African-American nominees for both Best Actress and Supporting Actress.
2013 Lupita Nyong’o 12 Years a Slave Patsey Won First black African (Kenyan) actress to be nominated.
First black African to win in any category.
Second black actor to win for a debut performance.

Best Cinematography

Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1998 Remi Adefarasin Elizabeth Nominated First black person to be nominated for Best Cinematography.

Best Costume Design

Academy Award for Best Costume Design
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1992 Ruth E. Carter Malcolm X Nominated First African-American person (male or female) to be nominated for Best Costume Design.
1997 Amistad Nominated
2004 Sharen Davis Ray Nominated
2006 Dreamgirls Nominated

Best Director

Academy Award for Best Director
Year Name Film Status Milestone
1991 John Singleton Boyz n the Hood Nominated First African-American person to be nominated for Best Director.
Youngest person ever nominated in this category (age 24).
2009 Lee Daniels Precious Nominated Second African-American person to earn a Best Director nomination.
First African-American director to earn a Best Picture nomination.
2013 Steve McQueen 12 Years a Slave Nominated First black British person to earn a Best Director nomination.
First black director to direct a Best Picture winning film.
First black directo

I think its sad that with all the AIDS education out there the FDA is unaware that ANYONE having unprotected sex with ANYONE should be the rule to go by. Gay men aren’t at higher risk just by BEING gay, unless they’re in an obvious high risk group like , say, sex workers. FDA progress & <face palm> at the same time.

 

More on this later…

 

http://kron4.com/2015/12/21/fda-eases-restrictions-on-blood-donations-from-gay-men/

Planned Parenthood de/funding by a hysterical Congress

From the Planned Parenthood website: “In the wake of unspeakable violence, leaders in Congress are once again putting politics over compassion. They’re pushing the same extreme agenda — block access to Planned Parenthood health centers, cut funding for health care, and undermine women’s health and rights. And they’re threatening a government shutdown unless they get their way.These out-of-touch politicians are endangering access to health care for millions of Americans — and it’s up to us to fight back and help elect champions of women’s health and rights. Make your gift to Planned Parenthood Action Fund now and your donation will be DOUBLED by a special matching gift, up to $100,000 The Planned Parenthood Action Fund exists to ensure that elected officials support policies and programs that help women and their families make responsible choices about family planning and reproductive health.Contributions to the Action Fund are not tax-deductible as a charitable contribution or business expense. A minimum contribution of $10 qualifies an individual annual contributing membership in the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. A contribution of $300 qualifies you for lifetime membership. By providing your contribution you are affirming that you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident of the United States, and that you have used your own funds to make this gift and not the funds of another person or corporation.”

The majority of these people  & politicians in support of “defunding” PP centers are clueless and completely unwilling to accept the facts. They obsess over defunding PP because it doesn’t require any critical thought to do so, and it allows them to feel morally superior to everyone else. And conservatives accuse liberals of voting.  The fact of the mater is most people who know nothing about PP (like conservatives) Seem to view it as a drive through abortion clinic that does nothing but abortions all day, every day. In reality, PP performs a wide range of services each day with a small percentage being abortion services. I think, if someone were truly concerned, that they could easily call their local PP medical center and ASK what they do, ASK how many abortions they perform on an average day…but I also think those who so ignorantly call to “defund” it are petrified of real facts and make very little effort to gather them. MORE TO THE POINT: Planned Parenthood aside, MOST medical centers and major hospitals (exception for obvious catholic hospitals etc) offer abortion services. From the squeaky wheels of internet activists, I can tell that most people who oppose PP genuinely don’t seem to understand this. PP is NOT the only place that women can go for birth control or abortion services, and stripping it of federal funds will not end those things. If you’re a conservative, please reread that sentence.

Planned Parenthood clinics aren’t the only ones who perform abortion and defunding them wouldn’t stop it either because the money doesn’t go toward abortion. So why exactly do they obsess over just one organization?

Defunding PP only eliminates access to health care for low income citizens. And by healthcare access this specifically means:  prenatal care,  preventative care, cancer prevention, birth control, vasectomies for men (yes men go to PP too!), pregnancy tests/counseling, ADDITIONALLY -and here is the kicker for 99% of the population as well as politicians who apparently are unaware: abortions are NOT federally funded. They havent been for close to 4 decades now.  The Hyde Amendment passed in 1976, prevents federal funds from being used for abortion services, thus defunding Planned Parenthood is removing federal funds from preventative procedures, medical procedures & Health services for men & women NOT abortion. In 1976, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, which banned Medicaid coverage of abortion. This is the only medical procedure that has ever been banned from Medicaid. What’s more, Medicaid covers other reproductive health care needs, including birth control and sterilization.

Now I admit that I don’t like the idea of abortions. I think very few people do, but the fact is, things happen. Birth control fails. Condoms break. Assaults happen. These ARE the facts. Do you know whats also a fact? That people in countries or areas of our country with comprehensive sex education (not simple abstinence talks) and access to a broad range of birth control options have fewer (far fewer) abortions.

People are uncomfortable thinking about the idea that women may want pleasure and not babies. This ultimately is the heart of the problem. Don’t believe me? Look at previous historical events involving women and sexual freedom: legalizing & dispensing of the morning after bill, legalizing RU486 the abortion pill (*this is NOT the same thing as the morning after pill), Obamacare coverage for birth control, Roe vs Wade. universal sex education in schools. Give me time I’ll think of more, these are just what I know off the top of my head!

I think ultimately in our post-Victorian era country, the majority of citizens – or at least politicians- seem to be uncomfortable with the idea that women may enjoy sex. They are uncomfortable with the idea that a woman may engage in sex recreationally for the sole purpose of pleasure, similar to what men are often encouraged to do by society & media messages. Women are equal under the law but still not in society by a variety of invisible standards and stereotypes. Ultimately most people seem to still cling to the idea women only have sex for emotional reasons and that all women harbor a maternal instinct & need to make babies.

 

Pop music & its proselytizing of rape culture

Don’t get me started on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

OK never mind. I hate that song. I hate the fact that the lyrics seem so clear but the rest of the world sings and dances to that song without a concern. But “Blurred Lines” came and went a few years ago, it unfortunately helped continue the topic of blurry consent lines being sung about in mainstream music that is sung by the masses.

Fast forward to this current year of 2015 has brought Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” Upon first listen, assumption would think Justin’s just confused about what a woman wants, no harm intended right? You could even make a joke using classic stereotypes with this,  like Justin is just a classic man trying to understand women and their complexities.

Too bad thats not actually what the song is describing. Lets take a look at some of the lyrics shall we?

What do you mean?
When you nod your head yes
But you wanna say no
What do you mean?
When you don’t want me to move
But you tell me to go
What do you mean?
Oh, what do you mean?
Said you’re running out of time, what do you mean?
Oh, oh, oh, what do you mean?
Better make up your mind
What do you mean?

You’re so indecisive, what I’m saying
Tryna catch the beat, make up your heart
Don’t know if you’re happy or complaining
Don’t want for us to end, where do I start?

You’re overprotective when I’m leaving
Trying to compromise but I can’t win
You want to make a point, but you keep preaching
You had me from the start, won’t let this end

First you wanna go to the left then you wanna turn right
Wanna argue all day, make love all night
First you’re up, then you’re down and then between
Oh, I really want to know…

So on first glance, my initial assumption – that Justin is just singing frustrations about not understanding women – seems correct. But digging deeper, if we as listeners take apart each segment and really think about whats being said, it seems less simple. Especially when coupled with JB’s video to the song which is just as bizarre as it is disturbing.

The premise that women do not actually know what they want and that they are notoriously bad at communicating their desires (sexual and otherwise) is pervasive. In the song, Justin sings “What do you mean? / When you nod your head yes / But you wanna say no / What do you mean?” The lack of clear consent isn’t just present in the song; it is what provides the sexual tension. It’s part of what is intended to make the song “sexy.”

Sexualizing women’s sexual indecision is an important part of the way rape culture works. It is one way that conversations about consent often over-simplify a process that is and should be much more complex. The song itself presents Bieber nagging the woman to whom he’s singing to make a decision about their relationship. But there are many elements suggesting that the decision she’s being asked to make is more immediate as well—not only about the larger relationship, but about a sexual interaction in the near future. Throughout the song, the click of a stopwatch can be heard as a beat against which Bieber presses the woman to make a decision while berating her for the mixed signals she has been sending him.

(TO BE CONTINUED)