By Guest Contributor Anna Cabe
Like many feminist-cum-superhero fanatics, I eagerly awaited the Marvel Cinematic Universe mini-series, Agent Carter, the company’s first real attempt at a female hero-driven property. In many ways, it delivers. The show makes good use of its 1940’s setting with strong costume and set design and snappy period music. The cast are mostly wonderful and show great chemistry—with the standout, of course, being Hayley Atwell, the titular Strategic Scientific Reserve (S.S.R.) Agent Peggy Carter.
Agent Carter Premiere Poster, via Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia.
As Agent Carter, Atwell kicks multiple men’s (and one equally badass woman’s) asses, wrings tears from viewers’ eyes, makes us laugh with an archly delivered quip, and looks smashing in an evening gown and red lipstick. She flips the script of the superhero’s girlfriend—She doesn’t die! She isn’t always being rescued!—and has her own adventures after her boyfriend, Captain America, “dies.” When I finally finished the season (I live overseas with sketchy Internet so I’m slow to catch up to broadcast shows), I sang its praises all over Twitter and Facebook.
That said, Agent Carter has not escaped criticism for limitations when it comes to both race and gender, namely a painfully white and very male cast. Defenders of the casting have deflected this criticism in the name of “historical accuracy,” as though American history is exclusively white unless the subject is slavery, immigration, and the Civil Rights Movement. And of course, this is a show set in an alternate timeline in which superhuman Captain America is the United States’ first line of defense against a Nazi supervillain named Red Skull. A few substantial brown characters hardly seems a stretch of credibility or a distortion of history by comparison.
Indeed, Agent Carter’s roster represents a lost opportunity to cast meaty roles for Black actors in particular, as the New York City of the era had a vibrant Black culture and societybarely touched in the series. Building on this criticism, in this piece I explore how Agent Carter also marginalizes Asians.
Firstly, there aren’t many Asian faces on the cast. Only two Asian characters get any significant screen-time: a woman who is one of Howard Stark’s many former conquests and is unnamed onscreen in episode 6, “A Sin to Err,” and S.S.R. Agent Mike Li, introduced—and promptly killed off—in episode 5, “The Iron Ceiling.” To put it concisely, one is a red-shirt, killed off to show the danger the main characters are in, and the other merely more evidence of Howard Stark’s raging libido and callousness towards women. At least we know Stark’s pecker is #YesAllWomen. Okay, gotcha.
Edith Oberon, Howard Stark’s former paramour, in “A Sin to Err” (1.6). via Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia.
In the “The Iron Ceiling,” Peggy, Agent Thompson (Chad Michael Murray), and the Howling Commandos go into the U.S.S.R. to track a lead on Howard Stark. S.S.R. believes Stark has committed treason by selling his dangerous inventions to enemy powers. By this point, we know Agent Thompson as a competent agent and a Navy Cross winner but also an arch-chauvinist, having told Peggy in the last episode, “The Blitzkrieg Button,” that no man would ever see her as an equal and believing up until the mission really goes underway in the U.S.S.R that Peggy will be a burden and not an asset. We also know Thompson received his Navy Cross for service in the Pacific Theater in World War II, after he killed six Japanese soldiers about to attack his sleeping camp in Okinawa.
As it turns out, however, Agent Thompson isn’t the hero his country thinks he is. At the end of “The Iron Ceiling,” Thompson—who has showed signs of PTSD throughout the episode—admits to Peggy that the soldiers he killed had come to his camp to surrender. He hadn’t noticed their white flag until it was too late.
“I’ve been trying to tell that story since I came home from war,” he says to Peggy.
“You just did,” she answers sympathetically.
Agent Thompson confesses to Agent Carter in “The Iron Ceiling,” via Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia.
The exchange is meant to be a tender moment of bonding between two people who, up to this point, have been antagonistic; it’s a moment of character-deepening vulnerability for Agent Thompson. Both Atwell and Murray sell the hell out of the scene.
And yet, it doesn’t completely work for me.
The problem: humanizing Agent Thompson’s character comes, as it so often does in TV storytelling, at the cost of treating people of color as marginal and purely instrumental bodies. Time and again we see how the deaths of people of color or white women are used to generate sympathy for white male characters, to give their seemingly impermeable armor a few cracks. The viewer is invited to lament—oh no! They died because of him? Because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Let’s pity the man for his mistake. To err is to be human.
But “human” is a label rarely afforded those whose deaths are used to create a tragic backstory for more central, white characters. Agent Thompson’s Japanese victims aren’t given the time or space to be human, much less superhuman; they are mere specters that haunt Thompson’s past. What’s more, the kinds of bodies that too often serve this narrative function belong to the already marginalized, to those already denied anything resembling significant, nuanced characterization in television and other media.
The cheap tragedy of Agent Thompson’s backstory is highlighted by the fact that the incident isn’t meaningfully brought up again in Agent Carter. Thompson is nicer to Peggy after confiding in her, but to the show’s credit, he doesn’t really change substantially by the end. When Peggy, Howard Stark, Stark’s butler and Peggy’s sidekick Jarvis, and a team of S.S.R. agents, who finally recognize Peggy’s worth, save the day, Thompson takes all the credit and buries any mention of Peggy’s or the disabled Agent Sousa’s contributions. Because if he already lied about the much bigger problem of having murdered six surrendering soldiers, why not lie again for another prize?
There’s really no one on the show to push back against Agent Thompson’s lying. Peggy chose compassion, and as I mentioned before, there’s no developed Asian, much less specifically Japanese, character in the show who might challenge Thompson on that count. Hell, the only Asian agent with a name, Agent Li, dies in the same episode Agent Thompson confesses that he isn’t a WWII hero.
This episode is especially galling given the historical setting of the show. The United States imprisoned Japanese-American citizens in internment camps all along the West Coast because they might be “dangerous,” just as Agent Thompson assumed the soldiers approaching his camp to be. There are also troubling echoes of all-too-real coverups of U.S. military atrocities, and the lack of consequences for those responsible when such atrocities are brought to light. When American soldiers murdered about 500 Vietnamese people in My Lai hamlet, mostly women, children, and the elderly, on March 16, 1968, claiming, incorrectly, they were harboring Viet Cong, the murders were covered up for nearly a year by high-ranking officials. The eventual leak of the story led to such outrage that 14 officers were charged with the crime in 1970.
Only one was convicted.
This history of the U.S. government and its military abducting, detaining, killing, and hiding from sight the Asian bodies they fear and call enemy makes the erasures of Agent Carter all the more painful. This is the history in which the bodies are buried and forgotten.
With yesterday’s announcement Agent Carter has been renewed for a second season, its creators have a new opportunity to respond to this and other criticisms. Let us hope that the bodies they uncover in the future—Asian bodies and all the bodies of the marginalized—stay unburied and unforgotten.
Anna Cabe lives, teaches, and writes in Indonesia. Her work appears or is upcoming in The Hairpin, The Toast, the Atticus Review, and Pink Pangea, among others. She will be attending Indiana University-Bloomington’s MFA program as a fiction candidate in the fall. In her spare time, she’s either ranting about movies on Twitter (@annablabs) or killing it at karaoke.
The post Unburied but Forgotten: Asian Bodies in Agent Carter appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.
4 Webz. Seems dumb. Only 1 feijoa thing
Spring is here and you know what that means. In high schools across the country, it means the dress code enforcers are sure to be cracking down on girls and their “distracting” knees, clavicles, and shoulders.
Nothing to add.
who doesn't love being worn down?
Suzanne Venker is back at Fox News doing what she does best: blaming feminism for
something everything. This time, it’s feminism’s fault that men supposedly don’t want to get married anymore. Why? Because there’s exactly “nothing in it for them.”
Beyond the fact that there’s no actual evidence of the “problem” that Venker is addressing, this quote really drives home what a sad view of romantic relationships between men and women anti-feminists like Venker have:
Men used to marry to have sex and a family. They married for love, too, but they had to marry the girl before taking her to bed, or at least work really, really hard to wear her down. Those days are gone.
When more women make themselves sexually available, the pool of marriageable men diminishes.
After this point, Venker defiantly writes, “Scoff if you wish. Call me a fuddy-duddy. But how’s that new plan working out?” as if she imagines feminists’ problem with this statement would be its prudishness and not the idea that men need the incentive of sex to marry — and that the era when men had to “wear [women] down” to get laid were the good ole days.
As for how the new plan’s working out? Personally, I can safely say that even if I end up a life-long spinster, I will be thankful to live in a time when people marry out of love, mutual respect, and a desire for companionship.
After the magnitude 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25th, international media has provided what is surely a disproportionate number of pieces on the ordeal of foreign citizens during a disaster that has killed 7,500 Nepalis, injured twice as many, and according to the UN, affected 8 million — more than one quarter of Nepal’s population.
Among these human interest stories focused on white families is one that really caught me off guard: “How an Earthquake Highlighted the Plight of Israeli Gays and Their Surrogate Babies” (or for more nuance, read Time‘s “Israel Evacuates Surrogate Babies From Nepal but Leaves the Mothers Behind).” As Time reports, an Israeli Boeing-747 returning from Nepal last week completed the evacuation of 26 babies, all born within the past six weeks to surrogate mothers in Nepal. Some of the babies were with their parents — mostly gay Israeli men denied access to surrogacy at home –and others were cared for by Israeli passengers.
None of the surrogate mothers were allowed to travel.
There is something particularly unnerving about Western men gathering their Nepali-born babies and boarding a foreign aircraft, while the women that birthed those babies are left stranded in a disaster zone. DarkMatter shared this news on their Facebook page with the caption, “so many layers.” I think they are right, and unpacking these layers has left me with more questions than answers, but here are some initial thoughts.
Much of the media coverage of the evacuation has glamorized Israel — and other Western countries — as humanitarian actors. While the relief currently being provided to Nepal is undoubtedly helping many, it is crucial not to confuse such false charity with what Paulo Freire described as true generosity, which fights the systemic injustice that necessitates such charity in the first place.
In many ways, this is an example of pinkwashing, which DarkMatter has covered extensively: in which the state of Israel uses gay rights (everything from Pride celebrations to asylum to evacuating gay fathers) as a distraction from its occupation. As they duly note, “the erasure of race and class violence and suppression of race and class warfare by gay rights is not an Israel-only phenomenon.” This case in Nepal is just another example of the focus on white, Israeli, and other settler queer bodies, while ignoring the ways in which they benefit from race and class privilege.
It also reveals the hypocrisy of Western countries calling poor countries homophobic, backwards, etc. — remember the reason that these Israeli men are going to Nepal is because gay parents are discriminated against at home. While Israel or the United States do not have a monopoly on anti-queer violence, they certainly are not exceptions.
While this increased attention to why discriminatory laws exist preventing gay couples from having surrogate babies is important, that the well-being of the surrogates in Nepal has been largely ignored is really disturbing. It reflects the fact that our media only tends to care when white couples and white babies are hurt. It shows how social justice movements in wealthy countries can be completely detached from their role in perpetuating global inequality. And it reveals, as Israeli social activist Alon-Lee Green writes in Haaretz, that “without much deep or serious thought and almost without noticing, we have allowed capitalism to expand to include the bodies of numerous disadvantaged women.”
Indeed, this case leaves me with just a whole lot of questions about how surrogacy can operate justly in a world that routinely exploits poor women and women of color.
What does it mean for brown women to be commoditized machines to deliver white babies? Western gay men are using women in the Global South largely as gestational surrogates; the eggs come from elsewhere, mostly from women in Europe, Ukraine, or South Africa. It seems nothing less than utterly fucking absurd to me that men are going out of their way to seek a white woman’s eggs to implant into a brown woman’s womb. What does it mean when low-income, brown women’s bodies are desired for bearing the brunt of pregnancy — for exclusively facing potentially fatal health risks — but not seen as desired genetic material? What does it mean for a gay man in the Global North to ask a woman of color in abject poverty, “Will you carry a child for me?” in the same breath as “I don’t want my child to look like you.”
What does it mean for a surrogate mother in India or Nepal to be “cheaper” than a mother in the United States? As Time reports, “[Surrogacy] can cost up to $150,000 in the U.S. and Canada but only $30,000 in Nepal.” When the service in question is a woman’s body itself, by sanctioning these uneven prices with our language, are we suggesting that brown woman bodies are literally “worth” a fraction of the amount? Some people have pointed out that this fraction is still much more than a woman in Nepal or India might be able to make in a year. How then do we look at individual choices and autonomy while recognizing systems that collectively put certain women at risk, limit their financial agency, and rarely do anything to support women long-term?
On that note, what support do surrogates have long-term? Again, there was something particularly eerie and symbolic about Western men gathering their Nepali-born babies and an aircraft forbidding the mothers from leaving a disaster zone. But while a state may only be expected to airlift its own citizens, this tragedy is just a painfully explicit reminder that the responsibility for a surrogate mother’s well-being is often absolved right after delivery — leaving mothers with the medical costs and health risks that often do stem directly from their pregnancy.
All of this just goes to show the need to reimagine transational solidarity, as well as the fact that while surrogacy is an issue on which few reproductive rights and justice groups are currently working, it is one that deserves our close attention. As Helen McDonald writes over at AutoStraddle, “as we fight for reproductive justice, let us also advocate for surrogate safety, so that assisted reproductive technologies are not simply another system that commodifies and exploits Black and Brown people around the world.”
Header image credit: Time
A peer reviewer’s suggestion that two female researchers find “one or two male biologists” to co-author and help them strengthen a manuscript they had written and submitted to a journal has unleashed an avalanche of disbelief and disgust on Twitter today—and prompted an apology from the publisher of the journal, which media reports have identified as PLOS ONE.
Evolutionary geneticist Fiona Ingleby was shocked when she read the review accompanying the rejection for her latest manuscript, which investigates gender differences in the Ph.D.-to-postdoc transition, so she took the issue to Twitter.
Earlier today, Ingleby, a postdoc at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, posted two excerpts of the anonymous review. “It would probably … be beneficial to find one or two male biologists to work with (or at least obtain internal peer review from, but better yet as active co-authors)” to prevent the manuscript from “drifting too far away from empirical evidence into ideologically biased assumptions,” the reviewer wrote in one portion.
“Perhaps it is not so surprising that on average male doctoral students co-author one more paper than female doctoral students, just as, on average, male doctoral students can probably run a mile a bit faster than female doctoral students,” added the reviewer (whose gender is not known).
To recap: A reviewer who thinks it’s not surprising that the study found male students authored more papers than female students on the basis that men, on average, can run faster thinks that it’s the paper’s authors who would might be unduly influenced by “ideologically biased assumptions.” The reviewer also suggested that perhaps the male students tended to get published in better journals than their female counterparts “simply because men, perhaps, on average work more hours per week than women, due to marginally better health or stamina.”
I mean, when you’re reaching to supposed physical differences between men and women to explain away gender disparities in academia, you might want to question how your ideological bias against seeing sexism at all costs might be blinding you to the empirical evidence.
I don't usually wanna eat Zumbo too much but I wanna eat that lemon meringue thing at the top
Sociologists are interested in studying how our institutions — in addition to our ideologies and interactions — reflect social norms in ways that tend to reproduce the status quo. A great example happened recently in South Carolina. In this case, the institution is the Department of Motor Vehicles, the norm is that boys and men don’t wear makeup, and the case is Chase Culpepper, a male-bodied trans teen who wanted to wear makeup in her driver’s license photo.
The officials at the DMV told her that she wasn’t allowed to wear makeup in the photo because it would be a “disguise.” As reported by NPR:
The department… cited a 2009 rule that prohibited applicants from “purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity.”
They told Culpepper to take off her makeup or go home without a license. She did what they said. She shared these before and after photos with the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, who shared them with the public.
It’s hard to defend the idea that somehow makeup distorts a man’s identity, but not a woman’s. It has exactly the same illusory power on a female face as a male one; that’s exactly why women wear it. The DMV’s policy did nothing, then, to help it do its job, it only served to press citizens of South Carolina to conform to the gender binary, at least as far as their primary form of identification went.
With the help of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Culpepper sued and the DMV settled. As part of the settlement,
[they] agreed to change its policy to allow people seeking drivers’ licenses to be photographed as they regularly present themselves, even if their appearance does not match the officials’ expectations of how the applicant should look. The department also promised to send Culpepper a written apology and train its employees in how to treat transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in professional settings.
This is what institutional change looks like, at least potentially. Thanks to Culpepper and her advocates, the South Carolina DMV is a little bit less gender binary than it was before.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Though the majority of rape jokes told at comedy clubs are neither funny nor empowering, I’ve always thought that rape humor, in and of itself, is not inherently and automatically off limits. In comedy, as in all forms of art, the issue isn’t the content, but rather the perspective and framing.
Adrienne Truscott’s one-woman show, “Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy And Little Else!” which I saw at Joe’s Pub, proves not only that rape jokes can be acceptable but that they can be powerful tools of protest and education.
Over the course of an hour, Truscott, a choreographer, circus acrobat, dancer, writer, and comedian, skewers rape culture, taking on Bill Cosby, Todd Akin, Daniel Tosh and more, while wearing a wig on her head, high heels on her feet, and a jean jacket/ rolled up dress/bra(s) above her waist and for almost the entire piece, absolutely nothing over the area between her waist and ankles.
Truscott describes her humor as twisted and dark, in an interview with Australia’s SBS2 The Feed (see the video below), but is careful to distinguish between humor which challenges rape culture and humor which perpetuates it:
It’s a show that certainly satirizes rape culture and the notion of making jokes about the topic of rape…. Comedy provides a really razor’s edge sharp way to talk about tricky things. So, whereas I don’t think the act of rape is funny, I think the way that people talk about it and think about it is open to satire. I think as a comic you could partake in areas of material that are potentially offensive and tricky. But I think you have to be really rigorous about the joke and really give it some good thought. I personally wouldn’t make a joke that makes the victim of rape the punchline or making rape easier to pull off is the punchline.
“Asking For It” is coming to Australia and New Zealand and will be back in New York City on May 30th at Joe’s Pub.
Transcript of the video is below.
If I had to describe my sense of humor I think I would say it can be pretty twisted and dark and I guess edgy. It was a bit of a dicey project to try to pull off. I guess I would describe my show as an hour-long standup show with a few extra hijinks that come from the performance art world. It’s a show that certainly satirizes rape culture and the notion of making jokes about the topic of rape. I’m pretty solidly outraged by violence against women, particularly sexual violence. It’s still dealt with in a really cavalier way. And in the States some people were trying to legislate and define rape. It’s just outrageous and unacceptable in 2014. Comedy provides a really razor’s edge sharp way to talk about tricky things. So, whereas I don’t think the act of rape is funny, I think the way that people talk about it and think about it is open to satire. I think as a comic you could partake in areas of material that are potentially offensive and tricky. But I think you have to be really rigorous about the joke and really give it some good thought. While I think Daniel Tosh’s comeback was really weak, in a way I’m glad he did it because I think it sparked a really interesting conversation about rape. about gender and about comedy. I personally wouldn’t make a joke that makes the victim of rape the punchline or making rape easier to pull off is the punchline. The audiences have been really diverse. I’ve gotten several interesting reactions after my show. I had a young woman, who’s also a comic, come up to me after the show and say, “I’m so glad I saw this show, I was sexually assaulted when I was 17 and I’ve never sorted out how to deal with it and seeing your show and laughing with you about this stuff is the first time I’ve felt like I’ve opened the door to think my way through this in a way that’s gonna make sense to me.” My hope for my show is that it’s funny and that it continues to evolve and draw mixed audiences and gives them something to think about and laugh about and maybe when they leave it stays with them a little bit longer than the average joke.
Yeah! It's self-saucing pudding season!
I love soft serve let's go
Before I visited Japan last year I was never a big fan of tuna, preferring salmon instead. And then I tried otoro, the incredibly fatty belly of tuna and I was hooked! Word on the street (ie the wonderful world of Instagram) brought me to Toriciya, a tiny Japanese restaurant in Cammeray known for their yakitori but also said to have the glorious otoro.
The O-toro Sushi and Sashimi ($13 each) is amazing and melt in the mouth rich. It’s buttery, fatty and pretty damn awesome that a piece of fish can taste this good! It’s exxy but once you’ve tried it you will have dreams about it. We ordered 2 more rounds because hey, life’s too short for regrets :P
The Charcoal grilled extra large clam ($12/2 pieces) is freaking massive! I was worried the clam would be chewy but it is beautifully tender.
The Kingfish and jalapeno carpaccio ($18) sets our tastebuds alight, the yuzu soy dressing has the perfect sweet/salty balance for the delicate slices of kingfish and the zing from the jalapeno has us fighting over the last piece.
We rub our hands with glee when the plate of Tasmanian Long Spine Sea Urchin ($28) arrives. Some of the pieces of sea urchin are a little smooshy in appearance but still fresh and tasty nonetheless. Grab a sheet of dried seaweed, add a piece of sea urchin and a dab of wasabi, roll the whole shebang up and BOOM! FLAVOUR EXPLOSION! Sea urchin is a bit of an acquired taste, it’s super briny and can be weirdly creamy at first so if it’s your first time trying it there’s also sea urchin sushi ($8/piece).
The Grilled Armorhead Head ($10) might be a little confronting in presentation especially with that eye staring right at you but dig around the bones and you’ll be rewarded with flesh that’s fatty and smokey and oh so tasty.
Our last dish is the Homemade Crab Cream Croquettes ($15/2 pieces), the mashed potato innards are fluffy but they are extremely filling and we may have had to admit defeat barely halfway through because I knew dessert was a must!
I absolutely love anything Genmaicha- green tea combined with roasted brown rice and the Roasted Green Tea Ice Cream ($4) just has this depth in flavour that lingers on the palate and has you reaching for more! It’s slightly nutty, sweet with a teensy edge of bitterness.
The food and service at Toriciya was seriously amazing, the restaurant is quite small so make sure you have a booking because we saw quite a few people being turned away. Public transport in the area is a bit meh but there’s heaps of street parking and they’ve also opened a sister restaurant En Toriciya in Crows Nest which I’m keen to visit!
18 Cammeray Road,
Tue – Sun: 6pm – 10pm
In the classic book, Purity and Danger (1966), Mary Douglas points to the social construction of dirt. She writes:
There is no such thing as absolute dirt: it exists in the eye of the beholder.
If dirt and dirtiness is socially constructed, what do things we identify as dirt, filth, rubbish, and refuse have in common?
Douglas suggests that dirt is really a matter of disorganization. Literally, that a thing becomes dirt or garbage when it is out-of-place. “Dirt,” she writes, “offends against order.”
Eliminating it is not a negative movement, but a positive effort to organise the environment.
I chose the images above to try and illustrate this idea. Hair in the drain, like dirt on our hands, is out-of-place. It doesn’t belong there. In both cases, our reaction is disgust. Hair on the head, in contrast, is beautiful and becoming, while dirt outside is life-giving soil and part of the beauty of nature.
Images royalty free from Getty. Originally posted in 2009.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Lots of people mad about how secret it is. Also about how much drugs are gonna cost under it.
Marginalized women and their interests are not given a seat at the TPP deciding table. Image credit
If passed, the Trans Pacific Partnership will be one of the most far-reaching “free trade” agreements in history — and a huge boost to global corporate power.
Up until this point, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been one of the most famous free trade agreements. This pact between Canada, the United States, and Mexico created “free trade zones” in which corporations are free to do business in an open market, unhindered by tariffs and subsidies that protect certain industries, countries, or public interests. It also facilitated the process through which corporations could offshore jobs, essentially looking for communities that would accept the cheapest wages for their work with few labor protections.
NAFTA and other neoliberal policies like it allow for the free movement of goods and capital, but create economic incentives for governments and corporations to militarize and police the Border. In every case, they prioritize corporate profits over people and environmental and social protections.
Women working in maquiladoras deal with terrible working conditions and low pay. Image credit.
This often means women, particularly low-income women of color, get caught up in the neoliberal machine, exploited through all kinds of physical and structural violence to work in abhorrent conditions. In addition to causing American job losses, NAFTA lead to what we now know as maquiladoras: factories in Mexico that employ mostly young women under terrible working conditions and for miserable wages.
And the the Trans Pacific Partnership, otherwise known as the TPP (easy to confuse with — and just as shitty as — toilet paper) will only expand these kind of policies. It’s been called “NAFTA on steroids.”
Here are a few things you should know about this latest attack on justice:
1. It’s big.
This is an agreement between the U.S. and 11 other countries in the Pacific Rim: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The TPP will create rules that govern more than 40 percent of the world’s economy.
2. It’s bad.
While its proponents are calling it a “free trade” deal, it’s more accurately a deregulation agreement that would protect corporations at our expense. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now describes the deal like this: “The TPP, if passed, would implement trade rules that make it illegal for governments to create and enforce regulations on everything from environmental standards, to wage and labor laws, to the duration of copyrights. A law prohibiting the sale of goods made in sweatshops in Vietnam could be ruled illegal, for example, as a barrier to trade.” The TPP would see people as “barriers to trade.”
3. It was written by corporations that hope you’re not paying attention.
The deal is being written by industry groups and corporations without public input, and the negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy. As economist Dean Baker told Bill Moyers, “This really is a deal that’s being negotiated by corporations for corporations, and any benefit it provides to the bulk of the population of this country will be purely incidental.”
4. It’s coming.
Obama has been aggressively seeking “fast-track authority” for the TPP, despite Democratic opposition. If granted, this would allow the president to negotiate the trade deal and then present it to Congress for a vote, no amendments allowed.
5. It’s up to us to stop it.
If our president won’t wake up and smell the corporate greed, we need to kick our politicians into caring about middle and lower income folks again. Check out Public Citizen’s extensive research on the TPP and share this video on the “Dirtiest Trade Deal You Never Heard Of.” Right now TPP supporters are counting on the fact that no one quite knows what this deal is, and we need to change that. If enough people get loud and angry about this, we can still stop it.
Let’s get to work.
At Vox, Phil Edwards dug up and revived an article from the American Journal of Sociology published in 1976. It tracks facial hair trends — or what the author whimsically calls “frequencies in whisker forms” — from 1842 to 1972. He notes, in particular, the overwhelming dominance of the clean face at the time of publication.
This is your image of the week:
The original author uses the data to make an argument about the existence of fashion trends. He’s interested, too, in why fashions change and, in like any good sociologist, recommends further research. He does speculate, though, about one possible driver of change: old people. He writes:
Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
…as long as any considerable number of people who have stuck to a superseded form of personal appearance are still living, the young may tend to avoid such a mode as old hat. These distasteful associations seem to be safely overcome only after the passage of a century or more.
The next time you find yourself in conversation with someone who simply can not wrap their mind around why street harassment is a problem, and your words are failing to convince them that yelling at women on the street is disrespectful and makes those women feel unsafe, show them this Buzz60 video and ask, “Ok, but do you really want to be this guy?”
Where to begin? First, let’s note that this man starts out apparently believing the interview is about best practices for catcalling, and he shares some of his, which include clicking noises and whistling. The interviewer then asks, “How would you call a dog?” to which the man responds by whistling and adding, “Same way.”
This does not cause a moment of reflection. He sees absolutely no problem here. He laughs it off.
Then, he puts his techniques into action. He actually starts catcalling women while being filmed. And says, “Even when it’s far away, it’s even better, because they’re not that scared, you gotta have a little distance.”
He can recognize that women are scared, and instead of NOT DOING THE THING THAT’S SCARING THEM, he simply does it from farther away.
Next, he says, “I do a lot of ‘sweethearts’ — does that work?” He’s asking. He’s asking the interviewer if it works. On the most practical level, he has no idea if what he’s doing even works toward his stated goal, yet he persists.
Then the light bulb moment — he realizes that this is not an interview about how best to catcall women but rather about how much women dislike catcalling, to which he replies, “Get the fuck outta here, I don’t believe…” He’s just been told that women don’t like it and he’s in such a state of disbelief and anger that he couldn’t even finish his sentences.
“We’re just acknowledging that you did a good thing today, getting up out of bed,” he offers as his justification. Yes. Congratulations on getting out of bed. Here’s a whistle, sweetheart.
Then he yells at a woman walking past, who doesn’t respond, and he determines that she must have had headphones in and couldn’t hear him.
So again, if explaining why women should not be subjected to comments from strangers on the street about their appearance is proving difficult, just turn on this video and say: “This. This is who you are when you catcall. This guy. Do. Not. Be. This. Guy.”
Host: ‘No catcalling’ signs like this one are popping up all over New York City. They were put there by an apparel company. Let’s see what New Yorkers have to say about it. So what are your thoughts on catcalling?
Woman: It’s disgusting
Man: Yeah, it’s pretty shitty. You shouldn’t do that to somebody.
Host: And how did that make you feel?
Woman: Very uncomfortable.
Other woman: Horrible. Horrible. It makes me feel horrible.
Host: That was the original idea for the video, until I met this guy, who…man…doesn’t get it.
Catcaller: Sometimes, you know, you gotta call a girl. You know. [clicking sounds] [whistle]
Host: How would you call a dog?
Catcaller: Same way.
Host: So how do you think catcalling makes the person feel?
Catcaller: It feels good. Watch. See if we see a nice girl…I can’t even find a nice girl that I’m attracted to.
Catcaller: Yeah, dating. [clicks and waves at passing woman.]
Host: Oh my god.
Catcaller: Even when it’s far away, it’s even better, because they’re not that scared, you gotta have a little distance. I do a lot of ‘sweethearts’ — does that work?
Host: I don’t know, you tell me. I’ve never done that. Literally, not once has that even occurred to me to do.
Catcaller: Wait a sec…Are you reporting is that girls don’t like this?
Host: They don’t like catcalling.
Catcaller: Get the fuck outta here, I don’t believe…come on. We’re just acknowledging that you did a good thing today, getting up out of bed. Oh, sweetheart! [clicks and whistles at passing woman] Yo! See, she don’t even know. She’s probably got headphones on.
Host: Another day ruined.
I like the 3384 bottles of whisky photo
there's a fried breadstick in your crepe
sweet potato ice cream sounds like something i could get into
Fun fact: I’ve never eaten devon, let alone baloney. Growing up I was never given the weird Asian lunches, the mothership ran the school canteen and one of the perks was that I got free lunches of meat pies, sausage rolls and lasagnes but never sandwiches with weird coloured meats because my mum wanted my theoretical money’s worth.
So while I knew it was one of the dishes that ACME was famous for, I wasn’t too interested on eating the Baloney sandwich ($8) but our waitress could not stop talking about how awesome it was and so I caved. And thank god I did because I fricken loved everything about it! From the silky sheets of mortadella draped in the freakishly soft as a cloud potato bun to the smidgen of tangy house made tomato sauce.
And then head chef Mitch Orr aka Instakrill sent out a bonus sandwich which I’d seen on IG of the sandwich for staffies (Hey McParadise!) and it was even more amazing because now there was the added happiness of DEEP FRIED MORTADELLA AND FONTINA CHEESE! This baby would be pretty high up on my list of death row last meals, my god it was tasty stuff.
I apologise for the super blurry photo of the Burrata, fig, pistachio ($20) because I was just so keen to devour this that I barely paid attention to anything else because WOO! IT’S BURRATA! The cheese that begs to be stabbed! Seriously though, stab it and watch the river of creamy mozzarella curds envelope everything in proximity with creamy cheesy goodness and then dig out a slice of jammy fig and be prepared to be in raptures.
The Carpaccio parmigiana ($20) is pretty ace with thin slices of Rangers Valley topside beef, curls of eggplant, a swirl of parmesan cream cheese sauce and a scattering of panko crumbs fried in anchovy oil. Grab a bit of everything and get punched in the mouth with a kaleidoscope of flavours that will have you reaching for another serving before you’ve even finished chewing.
The Cold spaghetti, lobster broth, lettuce ($22) arrives tsukemen style with the cold spaghetti served separate to the hot dipping soup. Give the broth a good stir because there’s a glorious knob of konbu butter hiding within and we all know butter makes everything awesome! Dunk in some strands of spaghetti and slurp it all up- it’s lip smacking delicious.
We had no idea what to expect with the Maltagliati, washed kimchi, guanciale ($16) but ordered it because we were interested in having kimchi in a pasta. There’s a light dusting of dehydrated cavolo nero and while it could’ve done with a bit more kimchi, I was more interested in sneakily stealing all the guanciale aka gloriously crispy porky bits that just melts in the mouth :P
I’d heard enough about ACME to know that I had to order the Macaroni, pigs head, egg yolk ($18) and it did not disappoint. We stabbed a little too gleefully at the egg yolk and mixed everything together so that each and every delicate macaroni tube was coated in luxuriously rich yolk. Nubbins of gelatinous pigs head kicked this dish into the stratosphere of richness and a bunch of chilli slices sets the tastebuds a-tingle.
Then it’s dessert time and the Malteser ice cream, candied bacon ($10) is a must order, I mean cmon, CANDIED BACON!!! Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe this! The ice cream is creamy and studded with malteser bits and the whole shebang is covered in candied bacon crumbs. Holy crap I love bacon!
We’d ordered the Blood plum sorbet, sichuan meringue ($10) but instead received Coconut rice cream, white chocolate ($10). We were running a bit late with vacating our table for the next seating so didn’t complain but since I’m not the biggest fan of coconut cream in desserts I tried a spoonful and swiftly returned to my bacon. Definitely one for the coconut lovers- it’s pretty intense!
The Sweet potato ice cream, cinnamon donut($10) were a hit with me, the ice cream was ridiculously light and still incredibly creamy with buried treasure of cubes of sweet potato. The donuts were perfect- golden and crisp on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside, when I return I will not share this :P
So yeah, ACME blew my mind. I want to turn back time and re-eat everything! Service was top notch even when they got slammed later in the night and the music was awesome too I want their playlist! Oh and dear future self: they take bookings! Hooray!
56 Bayswater Rd,
Tuesday to Saturday: 6pm – late
I love how she's always hanging around Auburn