Archive for December, 2010

Just a small comment about intent

Posted in controversy, doin' it wrong, New Zealand on December 2nd, 2010 by steph – 17 Comments

I,  like many people, am appalled and annoyed by the “I’ve got a lovely pair” fundraiser launched by NZGirl (it’s pretty easy to find if you want to find it). This is just one more brick in the wall that is the sexification of titty breast cancer. Better bloggers than I have already hit this one out of the park (yes, each of those is a different post!). But what I wanted to say concerned the idea that maybe NZGirl had good, honest intent. That they did this because they genuinely believed this is a good way to raise awareness and somehow help people with breast cancer or help people be more aware of how to get check and be proactive about their health. When I hear the word ‘intent’ thrown into the mix, I can’t help but think of this post over at Genderbitch: “Intent! It’s Fucking Magic!”. While the post is not about this topic specifically, I can’t help but think of this passge on the power of intent whenever someone says “I didn’t mean to offend!”

Because you see, Intent is the ultimate alchemy. It doesn’t change lead to gold, it changes harmful, negative or damaging actions into happy, fun, “everyone hugs and no one is oppressed”, magical unicorn actions. It dips its eerie powers into the pools of time and space and counters each and every ripple of fuckery and pain created by the actions of an unthinking douchebag who was too privileged or self absorbed to see that their actions were a problem.

So, I really don’t think that NZGirl having good intentions really makes this excusable. Maybe you don’t intend to be offensive but that certainly doesn’t mean that the thing you do isn’t offensive. And in that case, you shouldn’t get a free pass and an “oh, okay then, I see now”; you should get a chance to apologise for the inadvertant offense and a chance to understand the perspective of others and maybe learn something.

Haircut hate

Posted in doin' it wrong, stuff.co.nz on December 2nd, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

Once again, good work Stuff.co.nz for their fine work. Stupid enough is that this story about Jo Nicholls-Parker changing her hair style was the featured article on the main page at all (when really it belongs in the Life and Style section at best). But to open comments on the article too? Yes, most of the articles under the Life and Style category are open for comments. But most of these are on new lipstick trends or how probiotics work, not the appearance of a public figure. Basically, having open comments on this is just a green light to critique this woman; and not just her hair, the topic of the article, but her makeup, skin, and gender. There are 315 comments on the article; many are saying “why is this news?” (some saying it is inappropriate because it is the day of the Pike River memorial; personally, I think it is never news), but an overwhelming number are critical comments on her looks, or are comments that use the quote

“He [husband Bob Parker] likes the new cut. It’s much more page boy and that’s what he likes,” she said.

to joke about how this must mean Bob Parker is a pedophile. Flawless logic by the commenters, really.

So yeah, once again Stuff has given me evidence that they are utterly tactless jerks when it comes to which articles they open comments on; not only are they cool with having this woman’s appearance ripped to shreds, but if they ever have an article discussing anything race-related, you can bet money on the fact that comments will be open for people to spew “I’m not a racist, but…!” bile all over the place.