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Elizabeth Abinante

Horton Hearts a Sexist: somehow I'm not surprised

Horton Hearts a Sexist I love Horton. I do, I really do. While the movie wasn't the most amazing experience of my life, it was exciting to watch my favorite childhood book come to life with thanks to the advances made in computer animation. I was a little shocked at the subtle innuendos targeted towards adults, and my friends all swear these are fairly common in children's movies. I was, however, more than a little miffed when the book's adaptation included a new plot line with 96 daughters and 1 son. I doubt Horton's original creator would have enjoyed this adaptation of his story.

Apparently, I am not the only person who was disgruntled by the decision to give the mayor 96 daughters and 1 son, with his son being the only one he would give more than one minute to. Sure, the 96 daughters and 1 son plot is fairly amusing and makes for easy rhymes, but what are we teaching our daughters? Peter Sagal of NPR makes some good observations after the jump.

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Elizabeth Abinante

OMG! Hillary Clinton was there when the blue dress got stained!

bluedress.jpg Courtesy of Shakesville, I found an absolutely disgusting story on ABC News today with the following header:

Hillary At White House on 'Stained Blue Dress' Day
Schedules Reviewed by ABC Show Hillary May Have Been in the White House When the Fateful Act Was Committed

If you can believe it, the first paragraph of the story is even worse than the headline. No, really, it was. Allow me to paste it for you:

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Celebrities

Celebrity blow up dolls: creepy, disgusting, and absolutely awful

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Apparently, a company called Pipedream Products (google at your own risk) produces celebrity blow up sex dolls as part of their "Super Star Series". They have dolls of:

Eva Longoria: she's your whore next door!
Lindsay Lohan: no witty slogan, just references to her bad driving and Herbie movie
Jessica Simpson: Crazy Daisy! (pictured)
Jessica Alba: Jessica Sin, explore the dark side of this sexy lil angel!
Sarah Jessica Parker: Sex in her Shitty, She loves Big!, and Sarah Jessica Porkher

You can view all of the images here (if you dare). While some of the dolls do not look identical to the real person, they similarities are uncanny, especially when they borrow from current or past roles to encourage the sense of familiarity and desire.

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Elizabeth Abinante

The usual bullshit: sexism in the media and Hillary Clinton

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Sexism in media is kind of a big topic. A lot of people research it for a living, and quite a few people have gone to painstaking efforts to observe the sexism that is occurring in the Democratic presidential election and all the publicity that surrounds it. Feministing even has an entire section devoted to Hillary Sexism Watch. I really don't think there is anything wrong with this, it's quite nice to have the media's blatant sexism blasted into the average Joe's face. The problem is when mainstream media asks the "is the media treating Hillary Clinton different because of her sex" question, they never seem to do it without sexism.

When John Cafferty asked that question, he said Clinton "whined" at the debate. I don't think he needed to ask that question - he answered it himself. Whined? Seriously? Has that ever been applied to a presidential candidate prior to Clinton? I'm doubtful, and if it is has been, I will eat my words. Cafferty isn't the only one who has done this, many other media outlets have described Clinton as snide or whiny when trying to determine if the media treats her unfairly.

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Elizabeth Abinante

My life changing night with Bill Clinton

bill.jpg For many years I have been what my father calls a “raging liberal”. In 2004, I attended the March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C. on a scholarship from Planned Parenthood during my third semester in college. I was young and uninformed on some issues, but I understood the bigger picture. President Bush was conveniently away at Camp David the weekend we staged our over 1 million strong protest, and I have no doubt he wouldn’t have known what to do with us had we been there.

But last night was a different feeling than my protest of almost four years ago. Last night didn’t quite have the strong unified feeling that the March for Women’s Lives did. What it did have, however, was total and complete awe for Bill and his speaking prowess. We’ve all heard that it takes a charismatic person to lead a country, but I never quite believed it until last night. Seeing Bill in person is entirely different than watching him on television or listening to him on the radio. He commands such attention from the people he’s speaking and you feel so gripped by him that you can’t look away. While seeing Bill in person has always been one of my life long dreams, I can say with absolute certainty that last night far exceeded the dream.

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Columnists

The forgotten rape in Harry Potter

You have to admit, this picture is hilarious. The Feminist Wetlbanket is a weekly column where Liz looks at popular culture from a feminist point of view... and then beats it down with her sharp words. This week, she gives you a closer look inside something near and dear to her: Harry Potter.

I should probably preface this by explaining the background of this project. When I was a Women's Studies student, I wrote a topic for an advanced upper division core course doing a feminist analysis of Harry Potter. While only 6 books were out at the time (and I only had a quarter - 10 weeks - to work on the project), I pursued it with full force. I'm actually in the process of applying to graduate school in the hopes of turning this small (it was 25 pages, so not that small) paper into a thesis or dissertation. With that said, please know that this project involved mass amounts of research and is still an unfinished work.

When I began this investigation/obsession, the last things I thought I would find were rape and gay bashing (among others) ... but I did. Because this project was (is!) so intense, I have broken this up into several articles. This week? The rape of Dolores Umbridge.

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Columnists

What's to lose - besides the fat - with plastic surgery?

Out of work or aging gracefully? The Feminist Wetblanket is back (a day late and a dollar short - what does that mean, anyways?) with an article on plastic surgery and what exactly we're losing when we go under the knife.

Beauty and youth are perhaps the two most valued attributes in US society. While one could argue that money, fame, power, kindness, etc, are more valued that beauty or youth, it is difficult to argue against the facts and figures. The cosmetics industry alone spends about $18 billion a year in the United States alone marketing and creating products. Compare this with the statistic from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons: in 2006, almost 11 million cosmetic plastic surgeries were performed in the United States.

Whether it be a fear of growing old, losing a significant other, or not being valued anymore, tons of Americans are lining up outside of Dr. 90210's office to get their labia reduced, breasts and butts augmented, and noses chipped away. It may not even be fear, it may simply be the desire to be "beautiful". But with all this plastic surgery, what are we losing?

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Elizabeth Abinante

Ugly Betty's beautiful women and the Ugly Truth behind it all

America and her very well-deserved Emmy Liz is back from a short hiatus with The Feminist Wetblanket: a weekly column that combines feminism and two of her favorite things to poke fun at: media and popular culture.

I think it is very necessary to begin this week's column by pointing out that I love Ugly Betty. The witticisms are amazing, and it is just so deliciously evil at times that I want to explode with joy that someone finally managed to get good programming on television. But after I explode with euphoria, I realize that no matter how much I love the show (and America Ferrera), I can't get past the fact that it perpetuates terrible stereotypes of both men and women in pretty much every episode.

Now, part of the problem with Ugly Betty is that Selma Hayek borrowed (ok, took) the show's premise, characters, etc, from a Brazilian telenovela. So part of the blame for the stereotypes portrayed in the series rests with its original creators. Since I live in the United States and don't speak a language other than English, I've never watched the original Ugly Betty. I apologize for my ignorance.

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Elizabeth Abinante

Is the media coverage of the Jena 6 racist?

the Jena tree where the nooses were hungI was not planning on posting anything while Cate is away on vacation, but recent events have motivated me to write an article about the Jena 6. If you have not heard of this case, I recommend you read some of the articles I've listed at the bottom of this post to familiarize yourself with the events. Because you often can't separate racism from sexism, it's important to increase awareness of them to feminists around the globe. The Feminist Wetblanket will return shortly.

If you haven't heard about the Jena 6 by now, it's probably because major media networks haven't been willing to touch it until recently. I'm of the opinion that the story so classically represents how racism is still alive and well in the United States and, that because of this, networks like CNN, ABC, and especially FOX, weren't sure how to approach the issue when it was so obvious. I've seen dozens of stories that hinted at a racial bias that have been aired on major media networks, but I've haven't seen anything akin to the Jena 6 story in quite awhile.

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Elizabeth Abinante

Welcome to The Feminist Wetblanket: the place Pop Culture came to die

yaybooze.jpgHi I'm Liz, the crazy liberal feminist from California. I'm here today to bring you a new weekly feature here at DollyMix entitled The Feminist Wetblanket. I'm a huge fan of pop culture and the media, and since I spend so much time analyzing it in my head, Cate asked me to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and jot these thoughts down in some sort of coherent manner. So here it is, your introduction to The Feminist Wetblanket and a little look into my brain and what it's like to analyze pop culture from a feminist point of view (like you don't do that already!).

Now that I've graduated from college and possess a BA in Women's Studies and Psychology, I find it harder and harder to just sit back and passively enjoy mainstream entertainment. I analyze everything. I may not analyze it out loud or share my thoughts with others, but my brain is working overtime analyzing the gender roles and the ways race and class intersect and create discourses that shape the minds of young audiences.

See what I mean? ...

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