Saturday, March 28, 2009

wonky tiaras

What I appreciate most about Mark Kermode's weekly film review on Five Live is his direct confrontation of nasty, stupid and dangerous perceptions of women in film.

It's rare for a male media personality to reference Andrea Dworkin; rare for a man to unambigiously criticise films that objectify, sideline, attack and fear women. So even though I don't share his interest in horror movies, or agree with his critique of SATC, I am regularly encouraged by Mark's feminist insight and commitment.

I wish more men would hold other men accountable for their treatment of women. I wish more men were brave enough to apply feminist perspectives to their work. I wish more men promoted strong, healthy, intelligent, independent role models for women and girls.

Mark's recent review of The Young Victoria is a case in point. He praised the film for its portrayal of a young woman finding her own way - yes, in partnership with her beloved Albert, but not at the expense of her own purpose and vision.

And on that theme... I'm loving this from think geek, via the consistently inspirational feministing blog

that introduced me to another man doing the feminist thing - author Robert Munsch and his creation, The Paperbag Princess.

Prince, frog, dragon...who needs them?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

counting the cost

Today Argentina marks 33 years since the start of the military dictatorship.

2818. The number of days under dictatorship (24 March 1976 - 10 December 1983)

30,000. The number of people who were kidnapped, tortured and 'disappeared' by the military

500. The number of babies taken from their mothers and illegally given up for adoption.

97. The number of children who have discovered their true identity - the latest in February of this year.

500. The number of illegal hidden detention centres established by the dictatorship. The largest of these was the former Naval Academy (Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada) in Buenos Aires, in which some 5000 people were held and tortured.

46,000 million. The number of dollars of external debt owed at the end of dictatorship.

517. The percentage rate of inflation between 1976 and 1983.

14, ooo. The number of soldiers and conscripts sent to the Malvinas/ Falklands in 1982.

694. The number that died.

29. The number of months since Julio Lopez, aged 77, disappeared for the second time, hours before he was due to witness against a former police investigator.

This is a translation of an article in today's Clarín

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

fairtrade fortnight 2009

This past year, £700 million of Fairtrade products were bought in the UK.

Tate & Lyle went Fairtrade last year. Starbucks, Sainsburys, more and more big companies (and lots and lots of small ones) are going Fairtrade. Great!

During Fairtrade Fortnight why not:

Go Bananas - Be part of the world’s biggest Fairtrade banana-eating record attempt. Join in by eating a Fairtrade banana anytime between noon on Friday 6 March and noon on Saturday 7 March.

Buy one of three thousand Fairtrade products - maybe one you've never tried before.

Start campaigning for a Fairtrade Olympics in 2012 - watch out for more details from the Fairtrade Foundation; and for now:
  • Play some Fairtrade games with sports balls – footballs, volleyballs, netballs and basketballs with the Fairtrade mark are all available
  • or, power your Olympian efforts with a Fairtrade banana smoothie (you can even use a pedal-powered smoothie maker!)