SF Talking Points: Judge Rules That Women Who Wear High Heels And Tube Tops Are Inviting Rape

Canadian Judge Doesn’t Send Rapist To Jail Because “Sex Was In The Air”: In a case where the woman was wearing (gasp!) a tube top with no bra, high heels, and “plenty of makeup,” it was more OK for the man she was with, Kenneth Rhodes, to force intercourse with her on a dark highway. At least that’s what Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar decided. Poor guy; he was just a “clumsy Don Juan.” He sure was clumsy — he left a permanent scar on the victim’s knee from the the attack. But “Protection of society is not advanced one iota by putting Mr. Rhodes in jail,” Dewar said. That’s where he is oh, so wrong.

While the judge maintained that this case shouldn’t be seen as a precedent, how can it not be? This sounds like a ruling that would result from language like “forcible rape” — well, slow down there, let’s take into account just how forcible it was. She was dressed like she was asking for it? Check. The two involved were drinking? Check. Well, then, any time a woman wears a tube top and makeup and has a few drinks, she better expect to end her night with a bit of rape.

How does Dewer not realize how disgusting the message he’s sending is? [Read more...]

SF Talking Points: Why Female Authors Aren't Getting Reviewed

The Reason Behind The Male Domination Of The Book Review Pages: Ever since VIDA, a women’s literary organization, published these infographics, it has been widely questioned why reviews of books written by women occupy such a pathetically small fraction of space in top publications like Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, and The London Review of Books. But The New Republic looked into it, and found that it’s actually uniform with the number of books written by women at publishing houses, both big and indie. Ruth Franklin writes:

“Only one of the houses we investigated—the boutique Penguin imprint Riverhead—came close to parity, with 55 percent of its books by men and 45 percent by women. Random House came in second, with 37 percent by women. It was downhill from there, with three publishers scoring around 30 percent—Norton, Little Brown, and Harper—and the rest 25 percent and below, including the elite literary houses Knopf (23 percent) and FSG (21 percent). Harvard University Press, the sole academic press we considered, came in at just 15 percent.”

And the indie publishers did just as badly: Graywolf had the highest percentage at 25, while Dalkey came in at a pitiful 10%. So the real concern now is if books by female authors have not been getting published due to some intrinsic, and perhaps unconscious, partiality, or because we simply aren’t sending in as many manuscripts as men. [Read more...]

SF Talking Points: Ladies Who Make Us Laugh, And Ladies Who Make TVs So We Can Watch The Ladies Who Make Us Laugh

Female Comedy Writers…Show Yourselves! It’s Women in Comedy Week over at Splitsider, and Sarah Schneider of CollegeHumor looks into the reason why the ratio of male-to-female writers on primetime sitcoms and other comedy outlets is so skewed. Her conclusion? It’s not that not enough women are funny — it’s that not enough funny women are trying to break into the biz. She puts it best herself at the end of the article:

“…there is SO MUCH ROOM for women to write comedy! Holy crap! The comedy marketplace is completely over-saturated with men and under-saturated with women. We just need to realize that the lack of female representation falls primarily on our (strong yet breathtakingly elegant) shoulders, and no one else’s. If you’re a strong female writer, now is the time to get noticed. The generations before us did the tough part, fighting hard against the misconception that women weren’t funny. Now all we have to do is not make it awkward for them.”

But perhaps all of the funny females out there aren’t entirely responsible for their small presence in the comedy community. Irin Carmon at Jezebel argues that there are still plenty of obstacles for those women trying to break in — specifically, the fact that many comedy outlets still only cater to men. Probably the most obvious of them is Comedy Central, whose unabashed target demographic is exclusively male. As Carmon points out, “The very first thing the channel lists under ‘benefits to advertisers’ is ‘Comedy Central Is A Destination For Young Men.’” Yet men only make up of 60% of the people who watch the channel. OK, 60% is a lot, but so is 40%! And that 40% — nearly half of CC’s viewers — are women. One commenter on Schneider’s article even wrote that she had submitted a pilot to the channel and they loved it — but told her that it wasn’t “male-centric” enough. [Read more...]

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