Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 7.31

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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23 Comments

  1. I saw Jordyn Weiner and was thinking of the issue and how it would be covered. It seems to me that a teenager crying is entirely cultural. One gender is taught it is normal while the other is not. I mean young children always cry regardless of gender. It seems ridiculous that this could be seen as a sign of weakness.

  2. I don’t know if Pochahantas is a feminist movie but it’s certainly a racist movie. Forget about the historic anachronisms (of which, there were many) the whole presentation of Fist Nations people as “Noble Savages” who were at one with Nature? Eeee….

    1. That’s a problem that all cultures seem to have with “more primitive” people. Just look at the way popular culture sees ancient Egyptians for example, they are either backwards people who couldn’t possibly have achieved anything as grand as the pyramids without advanced help (thank you Erich von Danikan) or at least lots of slave labor (thanks to the bible) or they possessed magical powers and/or advanced technologies that have been lost to time (as in every archaeological video game ever and most of the movies).

      They are never seen as an advanced civilization that achieved great things through planning, sweat, and lots of time but that also were prone to all the political treachery, human pettiness, and outside influences as to culminate it the destruction of their wealth of knowledge.

      History is rarely black and white but you would never know it by reading most history books, the poorly written ones at least.

      1. Yeah, particularly when the people in question are brown. The tendency to imbue them with supernatural or “ultra” natural abilities is so offensive and yet it seems to pass unnoticed – in some cases, it’s even regarded as complimentary.

  3. I love the War of 1812 as a living example of how history books are biased. Canadian, US, and British history books all tell different stories about what this war was about and who won.

    It’s beautiful.

    1. As a brit I wasn’t even aware that there was a war in North America in 1812. Mention war and 1812 and I thinkg of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and the overture that the subsequent defeat inspired.

      1. It’s glossed over in most US history classes as well. The only time I remember it being discussed was really for the impact it had upon reinforcing US dominance of the Western Hemisphere (Monroe Doctrine). Even then it was only discussed in an AP American History course.

      2. Basically, when Britain was busy with Napoleon, the US decided to invade the British North American colonies. The Canadians and a small British force repelled the invasion and penetrated far enough into the US to burn down the old White House.

        Skirmishes continued through out North America, although mostly it was at the cost of companies operating in the interior who wanted to gain control of more area (ie. Canadian versus American fur trading companies). After the war ended, the US defeated the British as the Battle of New Orleans. Canada was not involved in that battle.

        Compared to what happened in Europe, it was small potatoes but it does allow Canada to, rightfully, proclaim that it has never lost a war.*

        *Unless you include the French losing to the British in the French Indian Wars, which we don’t because we became British. Quebec takes a decidingly different view on the matter.

        1. Don’t forget to mention that British were provoking the Americans by stopping our merchant ships and impressing anyone with a British sounding name. Including those of Scotish and Irish heritage.

    1. I think they pointed out that they were specifically talking about those “princesses” that Disney markets as such. Other wise Alice, Wendy, Esmeralda, Jane, and Lilo all get short shrift, and that’s not even counting the non-human leads.

      There are 10 “official” princesses although it looks like they are going to add Merida.

  4. For myself, I’d probably have trouble keeping back tears if I failed to achieve that thing for which I was getting up well before dawn every morning, was practicing at for hours a day every day, and was putting my young life on hold. I don’t think I could have behaved as well as Jordyn Wieber.

  5. Another interesting thing I noticed about the coverage of the women’s gymnastics is that the athletes were all referred to by their first names only, unlike any other sport covered and unlike the men’s team. The teenage swimmers on the other hand, are treated as adults and not infantilized.

    I also agree that it is hardly surprising that a gymnast would cry in that situation. She is the current world champion and she will not compete for an all-around medal in this Olympics because the team she is on is too good. Unlike many other sports, this is essentially the peak for a gymnast’s career. Some of them go on to compete in the NCAA but many retire by college and by the end of college that is it. She is 17 years old so this almost certainly her only shot at the Olympics and she cannot compete in all-around because only the best two per team can go and not the actual best gymnasts by overall ranking. I would cry too, for days and I think anyone would.

    1. Me too!
      Russia’s fancy-pants “1812 Overture” may have awesome canons to commemorate their war in 1812, but the US has “The Battle of New Orleans” with canons, muskets, squirrel guns, AND bacon.

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