In the Defense of Anne Hathaway

This is mostly in reaction to this NY Mag article, but I’ve been meaning to make a post like this for a while. Why do people hate Anne Hathaway but love Jennifer Lawrence? I am on and have been on Team Hathaway since the day she shot into the spotlight of the faraway land of Hollywood (aka The Land of Rich, Beautiful White People) as the loveable teenage Princess of Genovia.

Anne Hathaway’s a kind, intelligent, and passionate woman who uses her celebrity to advocate equal rights; which is much more than what most other celebrities do. She’s involved in multiple charities, is a huge LGBT rights activist, and always speaks up when she’s asked sexist questions.

A man told me that for a woman, I was very opinionated. I said, ‘for a man you’re kind of ignorant’. – Anne Hathaway

Now here are some videos of her being awesome:


No one is perfect, but isn’t Anne Hathaway what you’d want all celebrities to be like? Someone who actively gives back to the world and means it? A woman who stands up and puts men in their place when they’re being misogynistic? If she is getting all this hate for being a decent person, what in the world do you people want? Here’s an actually good role model and all she gets is shade. There are far worse people out there who get a lot less hate than she does.

 

(Source)

And I really do think it has to do with her being a woman. If Anne Hathaway were male, she would get a lot of praise and love from the online community for being so liberal and humanist. Instead, she’s written off as an annoyingly goody-goody theater girl. But seriously, ever heard of Hugh Jackman, anyone? He’s just as into theater as she is, carries a rather happy demeanor, and lost a ton of weight for his role in Les Misérables. He did a whole Broadway number at the Oscars, for pete’s sake! Yet whenever she sings, it’s annoying, and when he does, it’s fabulous. When she’s chirpy, it’s grating, and when he is, it’s charming. When she’s asked about her weight loss, it’s about fitness not starvation, but when he’s asked about it, it’s about how committed he is to his craft.

It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that a billion women have been raped or beaten, just the enormity of that. When I was in college, I’d heard that one in four women would be raped, and I thought, God, that means I must know someone who was raped. Sure enough, I found out a week later that a friend had been. A billion is too big because one is too big. – on why she supports One Billion Rising, a group advocating the end of violence against women

Now let’s turn to Jennifer Lawrence. She has a fanbase almost comparable to (GASP! Dare I say it??) Beyoncé’s on Tumblr. The overall consensus is that she’s flawless, funny, and amazing. Oh, never mind the fact that she’s said and done some really offensive and transphobic things. Like the time she said her female cat has such a masculine energy that they call her Chaz Bono. And the time she said she was very “dykey” as a child. And how she took the role of Katniss, who was supposed to have olive skin, dark hair, and gray eyes due to years of ethnic mixing in a “post-racial” America. And remember that time she disrespected a sacred Hawaiian cultural site and had a good laugh over it?  It’s almost as if people want to love her so much that they ignore anything she says and chalk it up to her just being endearingly “stupid”. When it’s not just stupid—it’s offensive.

She has yet to apologize for any of her comments.

Jennifer Lawrence has an extreme case of logorrhea, and lucky for her, most people find it charming. But I honestly can’t with her anymore. It’s really great that she constantly talks about how she eats all the time, and I do find her to be genuinely funny. But then she goes on to say and do some things that make me squirm.

She’s very thin and claims to be a fat/obese actress. She flips the bird backstage at the Oscars and it’s funny, not crass like that time M.I.A. did it at the Super Bowl.  She never acknowledges any of her privileges even though she clearly benefits from them.  Oh, and she says things like, “[Katniss is] strong, like a male hero with a vagina.”

And while Anne Hathaway doesn’t do much about her white privilege, she at least works towards some causes and doesn’t say or do offensive things concerning that area other than only taking roles in movies with a bunch of other white people in them. But so does everyone else, and while it’s messed up, you kind of learn learned to deal. Kind of.  And oh yeah, she also apologizes when she thinks she has offended anyone.

In any case, although celebrities are real people, they’re real people with a very profound influence on the general masses. We have to understand that they aren’t perfect and treat them like people who have emotions and make mistakes, but also hold them accountable for their intolerable actions.

If a celebrity pulls a form of [insert color here]face, don’t excuse it with their ignorance on that subject. If someone claims to be an ally and then writes lyrics using gay as a pejorative, don’t continue to sing along. If a director uses the N-word in his movie to stay real to the times, yet doesn’t portray the full reality of abuse and oppression of that era as well, don’t approve of his film being nominated for numerous prestigious film awards.  And if a celebrity you really like says some very offensive things, don’t make up apologies on their behalf.

Why must we, as a society, choose instead to slander a woman for getting back with her abuser when we don’t fully understand the massive complexities of the cycle of abuse or the power of forgiveness involved? Why must women, especially women of color, be criticized for objectifying themselves when all they’re doing is gracefully wearing what might be considered to be a revealing dress? Why must we take a sadistic joy in pointing out non-conventionally beautiful features in celebrities in a way that we would never ever point out in our friends?

I just think … we shouldn’t scorn those who don’t deserve to be.

SO:

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Busty Girl Problems

I’m kind of in love with Busty Girl Comics.  They’re just so funny because they’re so true.  And relatable and wonderful and relevant.

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And the timing of this post is absolute perfection because the bras I ordered after combing through the Busty Girl tumblr for a few days finally came in today.  Bras that ACTUALLY FIT!!

 
  

And I so appreciate how the artist, Paige Halsey Warren, keeps her characters so diverse.  She draws girls, young and old, from all different ethnic backgrounds and of all different sizes, orientations, and etc.  She draws stretch marks and underarm hair, and doesn’t avoid TMI boob issues that may make male readers uncomfortable.  She doesn’t strictly draw prefect itty bitty women who meet Western standards of beauty.

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On Affirmative Action

The recent Supreme Court case brought on by one very white Abigail Noel Fisher made me laugh. And the fact that she tried to bring Asian-Americans into her plight was just …

Clearly, affirmative action wasn’t why she didn’t get into her university of choice. She would have fared better if she pointed out the other preferential treatments colleges hand out, like legacies, athletes, and “special” favors. This opinion piece does a good job summarizing the University of Texas’ admission policy. What it fails to consider is how Asian-Americans are indeed harmed by affirmative action in terms of admissions. Just because there is a high population of Asian-Americans students at a school doesn’t mean they were admitted through affirmative action policies. Because let’s be real here: it’s much more likely that they got in by being in the top 10% of their class. In fact, it’s definitely how they got in because affirmative action doesn’t aid the Asian-American population whatsoever.

It also fails to investigate how higher hurdles are placed for Asian to bar an overhaul of the student body by an ~Asian Invasion~.

A 2005 Princeton study found the SAT points on the 1600 point scale that were added to and taken from certain groups: Blacks +230, Hispanics +185, Asians –50, recruited athletes +200, and legacies +160.

A 2009 study found that white students were three times, Hispanic students six times, and black students 15 times more likely than Asian-Americans to be accepted into universities. YEAH. I had a great time applying to colleges.

Look at the racial demographics of some schools that utilize affirmative action:

NYU: Total number of Undergraduates: 22,280; White: 41%; Asian/Pacific Islander: 20%; Hispanic: 9%; African American/Black: 4%; American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0.4%; International: 10%; Race/Ethnicity Unknown: 14% [2011]

UGA: Total number of Undergraduates: 35,552; White: 74.9%; Hispanic: 9%; African American/Black: 7.4%; Asian/Pacific Islander: 5.9%;American Indian/Alaskan Native: 2.6%; Race/Ethnicity Unknown: 3%; International: 3.6% [2011]

BU: Total number of Undergraduates: 15,977; White: 50.6%; Asian/Pacific Islander: 14%; Hispanic: 8.6%; African American/Black: 3.2%; American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0.2%; International: 11.6%; Race/Ethnicity Unknown: 11.8%; [2011]

Columbia University: Total number of Undergraduates: 8,103; White: 88.1%; Asian/Pacific Islander: 14.8%; Hispanic: 13.3%; African American/Black: 7.7%; American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0.6%; International: 12%; Race/Ethnicity Unknown: 6.4% [2011]

Now look to California, where Prop. 209 essentially eliminated the use of affirmative action in college admissions. You will note a stark drop in white students, a small drop in black students, and that the percentage of Hispanic students actually increases (though that can be explained by the highly concentrated Hispanic population living in California).

Berkeley: Total number of Undergraduates: 25,151; Asian/Pacific Islander: 43%; White: 32%; Hispanic: 12%; African American/Black: 4%; American Indian/Alaskan Native: 1%; International: 3% [2011]

UCLA: Total number of Undergraduates: 26,536; Asian/Pacific Islander: 38%; White: 34%; Hispanic: 15%; African American/Black: 1%; American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0%; Race/Ethnicity Unknown: 5%; International: 4% [2011]

UCSD: Total number of Undergraduates: 23,143; Asian/Pacific Islander: 48%; Caucasian: 26%; Hispanic: 13%; African-American: 2%; Native-American: 0%; Race/Ethnicity Unknown: 10% [2011]

UC Davis: Total number of Undergraduates: 24,209; Asian/Pacific Islander: 41%; White: 36%; Hispanic: 13%; African American/Black: 3%; American Indian/Alaskan Native: 1%; Race/Ethnicity Unknown: 6%; International: 2% [2011]

… Need I go on?

Without affirmative action, people get into schools on merit alone. And this leads to an abundance of Asian students, and a lower percentage of students of other races. So indeed, affirmative action in higher education actually helps white people and works against Asian-Americans. We need higher SAT scores to get into schools, and essentially compete with one another in a rather vicious battle to get into good ones.

So in a way, thanks ignorant white people who are fighting against affirmative action. I didn’t know you cared!

But really:

Because I am definitely for affirmative action. Though, it could do with a few tweaks, like not limiting the opportunities of one of the smallest minority groups living in America. In theory, if affirmative action didn’t bar so many Asian students, there would be a more even spread of them and therefore more diversity at different schools. All colleges should also look at schools on a case-by-case basis, so students from all different areas would have a fair chance. It should promote diversity in all fields—in terms of race, income, orientation, gender, location, etc.

I was furious that I was attending Boston College with a relatively homogenous bunch of rich, ignorant white people who had much lower high school grades and credentials than I did, when some of my very accomplished Asian friends didn’t even get in. With people who harassed minorities and felt comfortable openly talking shit about them in front of their faces. With a guy who mistook me for the Korean girl who always sat next to me in class, even though we looked nothing alike (different hair color, different skin tone, height, body types, features, everything) and he spent hours with her in the library the night before. With people who asked me, “… Did you see that huge group of Asians? Why do they only hang out with each other?” when they themselves only hung out with other white people. With people who actually argued with and insisted to minorities that BC was indeed an extremely diverse school, even when presented with the fact that it was rated one of the least diverse schools in America. Under an administration that covered up who knows how many hate crimes, and permitted the prejudiced behavior of the campus police—an administration that brought in metal detectors for only the minority government-run events (and why the hell did they instate a separation between the “normal” aka white and minority student governments?).

And affirmative action isn’t meant to help only people of certain races. It’s meant to help any minority group. It’s there to level the playing field and work towards a future of equal opportunity. And given that men and white people still get paid more than women and minorities, you have to question how much the leg-up on a collegiate level even gives. Also, fun fact: affirmative action helps men of all races get into college with lower grades.

… Yeah.

Just like you can’t pick and choose which parts of the Bible you’ll emphasize and which you won’t even acknowledge, you can’t pick and choose who affirmative action will help and when it’s permissible. Affirmative action isn’t a black and white issue. So don’t forget to cover that hot mess of a cake in yellow frosting.

Abe Ten-ei

One of the stops E. and I took during our Golden Week holiday was the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art.

There was a special exhibit of the very varied works of one Abe Ten-ei, the most adorably handsome old man in all of Japan.

We were taking pictures of really frustratingly shiny copper bottles and suddenly I hear, “どこの出身 [Where are you from]?” and “芸術家です [I am the artist].”

Fancy.

I haven’t been able to find anything on him in English, so I’ll type up the good bits of his introduction at the museum.

Born in Sapporro in 1939, Ten-ei Abe devoted himself to studying art on his own during his high school years. At the age of 21 and 22, he entered abstract paintings in a national level painting contest and received awards. After that, he made the transition from paintings to reliefs and then to three-dimensional works, including objects, sculptures, and installations. His travels on the road of creation, which span more than half a century, are heavily infused in the avant-garde spirit, interweaving with the most advanced innovations of the times. But the wellspring of his approach to art actually dates back to his childhood years … [when he was] immersed in the hard work that [his] household needed to survive. It was there that the severe conditions of nature revealed their bountiful pleasures in ways he would never forget. The creatures of the sea that were constant companions in those days were to become one of Abe’s richest wellsprings of imagery, continuing to inspire him even now.

He kind of kept an eye out for us and tried to explain everything we were standing near since there wasn’t much English signage. What a sweet man. And he even let people take pictures of his work so bravo.


I cannot do these things justice. They were hyper-polished globs of molten metal.

Love his signature.

A wall of lovely brides, off to their wedding ceremony.

My favorite little bride.

He made a cute zodiac series for some children’s book. Look at those tiny glasses.

Just as we were leaving, we saw Mr. Abe again and I asked him why he used so many different media instead of focusing on one. He replied something along the lines of, “A painter uses colors like yellow and green on his easel. Well, silver and wood and clay are my colors.”

On Racism

I honestly don’t think we will ever live in a world free of racism. I’m not even being pessimistic here, it’s just the way I predict things will be given oh, I don’t know, almost all of recorded history and the ongoing discrimination people of color face even in this day and age. Hell, I can’t even go out to Manhattan for an afternoon without hearing a “ni hao ma” somewhere along the line (seriously, NYC, sometimes I am so ashamed of you).

I tend to make friends with decent human beings and given the very specific sample of society that I interact with day to day, I often forget how the rest of America/the world thinks. Then a hot topic like Linsanity comes along and I’m faced with a wall of racist comments to any article with a comment box and it’s like … oh yeahhhh, I forgot about you guys. And yes, it is the Internet and people are given a mighty Cloak of Invisibility to cackle under, but the fact that there are so many people who even THINK these things is revolting.

And I will not stop saying this until people finally get with the program, but what is it with people who still think it’s okay to be racist towards Asians? Running with the whole Jeremy Lin topic that sparked my post, ESPN fired a writer for publishing an article titled “Chink in the Armor” after playing it off as a mistake. Out of ALL the words available in the English vernacular, you pick the most offensive terms used towards Asians and call it a mistake?! Don’t go all Jeff Winger on me and pretend that you “don’t see the world through that lens” and somehow failed to catch what I’m sure you thought would be a clever, backlash-free play on words.

It reminds me an awful lot of Russell Peters’ bit on how white people are coming up with ways to degrade black people now that the n-word is off the table (ie. Could you pass me the … vinegar?). … Except chink reads chink no matter how you hard you try to hide behind its other meaning.

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