we're clearly soldiers in petticoats

There's a long post from Joss Whedon over here. It's on women's rights.

It's well worth reading. For me, it's an example of something that started off excellently but then gets a bit problematic in parts.

Let me explain with a few highlights:

A point worth reiterating--it's not just them, it's also us who do this:

Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable.

But, a bit further:

It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself.

Now, I like the chap--he has helped me while away some of the precious little time I have in this world but, really. "True enlightened activism"? What is that when it's at home? Whose enlightened activism should we favour?

Any one of you would have cried out, would have intervened, had you been in that crowd in Bashiqa.

Would we?

So what can we do? According to him:

All I ask is this: Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause – there are few unworthy ones. And nudge yourself past the brink of tacit support to action. Once a month, once a year, or just once.

I rather like the implicit optimism of this preceding paragraph--there are few unworthy causes and action (though undefined as to what this entails) is always a good thing.

Overall, though--his comparison between a girl being stoned (and the footage then shown on CNN) and a film poster? Well, in the latter, the actress presumably had a bloody choice as to whether she wanted to be in the film (or not). The former? Not so much. By ignoring the issue of choice, isn't Mr. W also denying women their voices, an act he spends quite a lot of words arguing against?

Also, the post starts by describing how some people were filming a young girl being stoned (to death). But, then, if I were there at that time, I'd probably do the same (film, not stone). It's just damned easy to sit on my sofa in front of the telly in some city and express outrage.

I do like how he ends it though--an example, as I wrote earlier, of the sentiment of the post itself being excellent, its execution slightly shoddy:

I have never had any faith in humanity. But I will give us props on this: if we can evolve, invent and theorize our way into the technologically magical, culturally diverse and artistically magnificent race we are and still get people to buy the idiotic idea that half of us are inferior, we’re pretty amazing. Let our next sleight of hand be to make that myth disappear.

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