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Showing posts from May, 2015

I am 100% going to watch this

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Confession: I love action films.

As in, they're one of the few things in life that makes me happy to momentarily throw aside my politics and critical thinking and just get lost in the insanely problematic maelstrom of explosions, car chases, violence, and special effects. I don't even need a plausible plot! I just love the total craziness of it all. That's not to say that I don't notice all the propaganda, sexism, racism and homophobia because you know I do. I so, so do. And it's not to say that I don't want the film industry to find ways to fix all of that stuff up. And of course all of this is something that is hotly debated online: Mad Max: Fury Road has certainly inspired some good debate and media around that, any film by Joss Wheadon* is also an opener of worm cans, and The Hawkeye Initiative sure highlights the degree to which comics and superhero films treat women really terribly. Of course, I think through all the issues later on and think of ways that…

Sexism: It can happen on a beach, it can happen in the air, it can happen anywhere :)

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One of my favourite things about New Zealand is their national airline, which has these great safety videos that take a totally different and engaging approach to seat-belts, emergency lighting and the brace position. Honestly, they're clever and funny and engaging and you actually want to watch them. Let me repeat that: You want to watch the safety video the whole way through. If you don't believe me, you can visit their YouTube channel, where they have all of these safety videos for public consumption.Think about that for a second.

A couple of months ago, there was on that made me feel pretty uncomfortable. It was all Swimsuit Illustrated girls and women in bikinis. They played on the bimbo stereotype, twirling their hair and doing their makeup, all in bikinis. I suppose that's okay on paper. I mean it's sexist, but pretty standard. But the experience of sitting next to people watching sexualised images of women for our entertainment and consumption - on a safety vid…

I would want to go, but... I'm not sure I could.

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So I know I talk a lot about the inherent sexism in surfing, especially in surf media. I know I also talk a lot about how social media offers a way for individual surfers to make their own decisions about the kinds of images they post and promote in relation to surfing and life more generally. I've been pretty stoked on how social media has contributed loads of new representations of women and women's surfing - @babesonwaves is a great example of this. Of course, it can also be used to sing the same song of butt shots etc, so don't think I'm saying it's all rosy, but still, there is lots of potential and lots of cool things happening. So when I see images like the one below being used to promote a really great cause, and being re-posted by people who want to sincerely want to promote that event, I get bummed out.


I found this image on Kassia Meador's Instagram site, which she uses in part to promote her new wetsuit range (which is pretty great, by the way). I d…