posted by Feminist News
The Ikea chain of stores is a “world-wide wonder” with locations in 49 different countries. Marketing, and more specifically the annual catalogue, are adapted to their respective countries. Quartz has an interesting article about some of these variations and resulting controversies. Image from The Moscow Times
Whitewashing in film is when either 1) white actors play characters of color and pretend to be of the character’s racial / ethnic heritage or 2) the story itself is changed and characters of color are made white. This has long been a problem, but has reignited recently with casting of films such as Aloha, Ghost in the Shell, and Doctor Strange.
In the case of the film Hell Boy, actor Ed Skrein decided to back out of his portrayal of Major Ben Daimio. He released the following on twitter concerning his decision:
Casting characters of color with actors of color can also be contentious. In the case of The Hunger Games, the casting of Amandla Stenberg and Lenny Kravitz, casted as Rue and Cinna respectively, resulted in a racist twitter backlash. Readers of the book assumed these characters were white, despite descriptions to the contrary. Similarly, the casting of black actress Noma Dumezweni as adult Hermione in the Harry Potter play was met with racist reactions.
A not – exhaustive list of some songs before 1980 that reference LGBTQ people and issues. (*Needless to say, these should all be contextualized for their relative milieu. Some are direct in their topic, others oblique. These are not necessarily advocacy or activist related songs and can contain tokenizing and stereotypical characterizations.)
Gene Malin – “I’d Rather Be Spanish than Manish,” 1932
Troy Walker – “Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe,” 1962
Van Morrison – “Madame George,” 1968
Lou Reed – “Candy Says,” 1969
The Kinks – “Lola,” 1970
Madeline Davis – “Stonewall Nation,” 1971
David Bowie – “John, I’m Only Dancing,” 1972
Jobriath – “I’m A Man,” 1973
Chris Robinson – “Looking for a Boy Tonight,” 1973
The Miracles – “Ain’t Nobody Straight in LA,” 1975
Valentino – “I Was Born This Way,” 1975
Rod Stewart – “The Killing of Georgie,” 1976
Sylvester – “You Make Me Feel Mighty Real,” 1978
The Village People – “YMCA,” 1978
Tom Robinson – “Glad To Be Gay,” 1978
Bonus spoken word:
Rae Bourbon – “Let Me Tell You About My Operation,” 1956
In the 2016, the Trump campaign accused Hillary Clinton of lacking “stamina,” being “nasty,” not looking presidential, and stated that she was unable to “satisfy” her husband, and therefore would be unable to “satisfy” America. Though an increasing number of Americans might say they are open to voting for a female president, it is inarguable that some of the anti Clinton rhetoric was rooted in sexism.
In 2014 the Eurovision Song Contest was won by Conchita Wurst from Austria. Conchita Wurst is the drag persona of Tom Neuwirth. “Conchita” is Spanish slang for vulva / vagina and “Wurst” is German slang for penis.
The Eurovision Contest is known for its eccentricity and gay representations are not new, but Wurst’s performance was particularly unique. Though wearing long, curled hair, full makeup, and a beautiful gown all culturally signifying female, she also had a full beard, a secondary sex characteristic associated with males.
The song “Rise Like a Phoenix” holds additional meaning when sung by Wurst. The lyrics “Peering from the mirror No, that isn’t me Stranger getting nearer Who can this person be You wouldn’t know me at all today” and “Once I’m transformed Once I’m reborn I rise up to the sky You threw me down but I’m gonna fly And rise like a phoenix” can all be read as referencing gender ambiguity or transformation. Neuwirth has stated “Conchita Wurst” is his drag persona and he does not identify as transgender, though, like many drag queens, uses ‘she’ pronouns when in character. Wurst’s genderqueer performance was attacked by the Russian Orthodox church as an “abomination” and Vladimir Putin as “aggressive” because non traditional gender identity was “put…up for show”.
In her acceptance speech, Wurst stated “This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity and we are unstoppable.”