Showing posts with label LGBT Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LGBT Related. Show all posts

13 April 2017

What The Casting Of The Next Doctor Who Will Tell Us About The BBC


Image 20170413 25894 14l4mg4
Des Willie/BBC/BBC Worldwide/Shutterstock
By Alec Charles, University of Hull

If, frozen in time in 1989, an old-school Doctor Who fan were roused from cryogenic slumbers, he (and in those days it would almost certainly have been a “he”) would be astonished to see the direction taken by the latest series. He’d note that the hero’s arch-enemy had been reincarnated as both a man and a woman, that his companion was both black and gay, and that the show’s audience demographic had broadened (beyond anyone’s wildest expectations) to include women. The Conversation

But he might be reassured that two things had not changed. The BBC is still beset by government animosity – and the British press still speculate obsessively about the possibility of a female Doctor Who.

In 1985, Margaret Thatcher’s government had established the Peacock Committee to explore “replacing the BBC license fee with advertising revenues”. This was partly prompted by an antagonism towards the BBC’s perceived liberal bias, a hostility escalated by the BBC’s refusal to adopt jingoistic rhetoric in its coverage of the Falklands War – which went as far as seeing allegations of treason being levelled against the broadcaster.

In July 1986, the home secretary, Douglas Hurd, had thus reported his government’s enthusiastic response to Peacock’s proposals to promote a “free broadcasting market including the recommendation to increase the proportion of programmes supplied by independent producers”.

Two years earlier, that champion of popular broadcasting, Michael Grade, had moved from commercial television to become controller of BBC One. Although feared by traditionalists as heralding a “tidal wave of vulgarian programming”, Grade reestablished the BBC’s reputation as a bold and popular innovator. Those who saw Grade’s ascendancy as a sop to Thatcherism would have been reassured by the controversy he sparked in 1988 by broadcasting Tumbledown, a TV play depicting the indifference of the state towards a serviceman wounded in the Falklands.

Michael Grade giving evidence to the media select committee in 2007. PA/PA Archive/PA Images
As a result of Grade’s forceful endorsement, the drama was, as Mark Lawson has observed, “transmitted despite sustained political and military complaints”. So much, then, for the view of Michael Grade as a corporate collaborator. As noted in a Guardian profile of Grade:
To every generation of BBC executive there is the one programme which irritates the government so much it defines the corporation’s relations with Downing Street for a decade and Tumbledown was Grade’s.
The BBC website notes that Grade “was not afraid to make tough decisions – like scrapping sci-fi favourite Doctor Who”. Grade took the series off air for 18 months and fired its star, Colin Baker – but it was his successors who actually cancelled the programme. Grade remains demonised by die-hard fans as the executive who dispatched their favourite show. Yet his opposition to Doctor Who was indicative not only of his own confidence, but of the institution’s confidence under his management. It was a bold decision, symbolically important in his bid to modernise the organisation, to put a moribund old favourite out of its misery.

Yet Grade was not dogmatic about Doctor Who. When Russell T Davies resurrected the series in 2005, Grade wrote to congratulate the BBC’s director-general, Mark Thompson on this “classy, popular triumph”. Indeed, Thompson and Davies’s bold move in bringing the series back was only possible as a result of Grade’s bold decision to send it into exile two decades earlier.

Under pressure
Let’s fast forward to the present day – 13 years on from when the Hutton Report scarred the BBC’s confidence and led to the resignation of chair Gavin Davies and director-general Greg Dyke. It’s also nine years since the on-air conduct of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross prompted the resignation of the controller of Radio 2 and five years since the Jimmy Savile scandal broke. Just last year, the findings of Dame Janet Smith’s investigation emphasised that, in that latter context, the BBC had “missed opportunities to stop monstrous abuse”.

In 2015, a battered BBC dithered in its response to the latest incident involving the presenter of its global franchise Top Gear. The organisation prevaricated for a fortnight between the suspension of Jeremy Clarkson following a “fracas” with a producer and the presenter’s termination.

The loss of Top Gear was a big blow for the BBC. via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY

The following year, the organisation’s confidence was further dented when Clarkson’s replacement, Chris Evans, quit following poor reviews. Clarkson’s successful move that year to Amazon Prime (along with co-hosts Hammond and May) did not bolster the BBC’s morale.

The situation was hardly improved by the arrival of the government of Theresa May and Philip Hammond, and their allies’ claims of the “pessimistic and skewed” BBC response to Brexit – despite the robust defences advanced by Lord Hall, Nick Robinson, Ivor Gaber, The Guardian and a sizeable group of MPs.

In 2015, the BBC relinquished The Voice, one of its most successful formats, to a competitor. Late in 2016 – as a result of production processes promoted by Peacock three decades earlier – the institution lost another treasured asset to another competitor, the quintessentially “BeebishGreat British Bake Off. Having lost its Voice, Auntie was now in danger of losing her identity.

Going, going, gone: another BBC crown jewel. Mark Bourdillon via Flickr, CC BY

Michael Grade had once fought off bids by rivals to usurp the BBC’s rights to the popular American import Dallas. But today’s BBC lacks Grade’s showmanship. It now bravely clings on to its rights to broadcast such staples as Wimbledon and the Olympics.

Is there a Doctor in the house?
That is why the choice of the next star of Doctor Who counts. In its international sales, critical success and popular following, the series ranks alongside such titles as Top Gear, Bake Off and Sherlock. The new series – Peter Capaldi’s last – is scheduled to start on Saturday April 15. It will be the programme’s tenth full season since Davies brought it back. The corporation is clearly keen to retain and regain its success as a highly remunerative global brand.

The casting of its lead may signal the BBC’s confidence as a bold trendsetter – or not. Who it chooses to play the Doctor may be even more significant than the all-female Ghostbusters remake or Tamsin Greig’s Malvolia – or than Idris Elba’s chances of playing Bond.
(In a show of exquisitely pertinent impertinence, Doctor Who’s new cast member Pearl Mackie has this week declared her own desire to play James Bond.)​

Lorna Jowett, of Northampton University, has suggested that the relentless white maleness of this pointedly progressive series’ lead has prompted “increasing criticism. A 2015 episode provocatively presented the regeneration of a white male Time Lord into a black woman, and this prompted renewed press speculation – speculation rife since the 1980s – that the next actor in the role need not be male or white.

When it was revealed last month that the Time Lord’s new companion would be a lesbian, showrunner Steven Moffat expressed surprise that anyone thought this was a big deal, commenting: “The correct response should be, ‘What took you so long?’” This was, after all, the show that had given us John Barrowman’s glorious bisexual Captain Jack.

The hype around the casting of the series’ next lead may be seen as a barometer of the BBC’s sense of confidence in itself as a cultural driver and leader of social mores. Since Peter Capaldi announced his departure in January there has been much speculation as to who might fill his boots. David Harewood threw his hat into the ring, while Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Natalie Dormer, Olivia Colman and Tilda Swinton have all garnered support.

Confidence motion
In recent days, however, speculation that the BBC may cast a woman (and/or an actor of colour) in this flagship role has given way to tabloid reports that they may make a rather safer choice. “Hopes of a woman have been dashed,” reported The Sun, while The Mirror announced that TV bosses determined to recapture “the glory days of the David Tennant era have set their sights on finding a dashing male actor”.

If the Mirror is right, we may at least hope that Sacha Dhawan is in the frame. This strategy would, however, exclude both Thandie Newton and Vicky McLure – despite their thrilling performances in the latest Line of Duty – from the running.

Thandie Newton and Vicki McClure in Line of Duty. World Productions/ BBC / Bernard Walsh

After Hutton, Savile, Top Gear and Bake Off, the question as to whether a BBC rocked by waves of crisis and beset by political hostilities will seek to retrench or renew itself is of massive cultural and political significance. Will the organisation see this critical period as an opportunity to emulate Michael Grade’s modernising chutzpah – aligned with the cultural zeitgeist, yet unafraid of antagonising the establishment?

The impending decisions it takes as to the casting of this particular role may offer a gauge as to its confidence (and dexterity) in negotiating a route towards a post-Brexit Britain. It will certainly be something worth watching for.

About Today's Contributor:
Alec Charles, Head of the School of Arts, University of Hull

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

11 February 2017

Tonner Doll Company Introduces Jazz Jennings Doll At 2017 New York International Toyfair

Jazz Jennings book cover and Jazz Jennings doll by Tonner Doll Company, Inc., debuting at New York Toyfair February 18, 2017.
Transgender star of TLC's docuseries "I Am Jazz", Jazz Jennings, will take form as the newest Tonner play doll.  The 18" portrait doll was designed and sculpted by renowned doll artist Robert Tonner.

Robert Tonner founded the Tonner Doll Company in 1991 and has continually created the best and most fashionable dolls in the world.  Designers such as Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, Betsey Johnson and Anna Sui have dressed Tonner dolls. Tonner has also participated in myriad licensing programs including DC and Marvel, Twilight, Harry Potter, Dr Suess, Peanuts, Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

With the Jazz Jennings doll, Tonner continues its history of ground-breaking doll line introductions based on socially transformational heroes, who have included the plus-size model Emme and Carmen Dell 'Orefice, whose first Vogue cover was in 1946 and who remains a working fashion model.  
Robert Tonner, CEO of Tonner Doll, states "Jazz stands for everything I respect from a human nature point of view-she's incredibly brave, intelligent, warm-hearted and creative." 
16 year old Jazz Jennings, is an honorary co-founder of the Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation.  Jazz speaks at universities, medical schools, conferences, conventions and symposiums all over the country. She's also a Youtube Vlogger, a youth ambassador for the Human Rights Campaign and an advocate for GLAAD.

When she was six, Jazz appeared on 20/20 with Barbara Walters. Since then, she's been featured on a variety of major programs and news outlets, including an Oprah Winfrey Network documentary, "I am Jazz: A family in Transition" and many others. Jazz and her family now have their own GLAAD Media award winning docu-series, "I Am Jazz," now on TLC.

Jazz is the youngest person ever to be recognized in The Advocate Magazine's, "Top Forty Under 40" annual list. She was named as one of TIME Magazine's Most Influential Teens for 2014 and 2015. She is also listed on Huffington Post's 14 Most Fearless Teens of 2014. In 2015 she became one of the faces of Johnson & Johnson's Clean and Clear Campaign: "See the Real" Me

In June of 2015, Jazz was invited to the White House where she met President Obama.  In October of 2015 she was honored as Miss Teen Pride USA.  In August of 2016, Jazz was recognized on Teen Vogue's 21 under 21 list.  Jazz served as Grand Marshall during the 2016 New York City Heritage of Pride March. She is the youngest person to serve as Grand Marshal in the history of the march.

In 2014, Jazz co-wrote a children's picture book with Jessica Herthel titled "I Am Jazz". She and her family continue to participate in many media projects with a goal to educate, and spread the message of tolerance and acceptance for all Transkids.  

Jazz's memoir, "Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen" was released in bookstores and digitally on June 7th, 2016.
The Jazz Jennings dolls will be available in specialty stores and on in July, 2017.    

SOURCE: Tonner Doll

Bonus Video:

10 February 2017

Berkeley, #Milo Yiannopoulos And The Lessons Of Free Speech

Protestors at the University of California, Berkeley campus oppose the appearance of Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos. AP Photo/Ben Margot
By Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California, Irvine and Howard Gillman, University of California, Irvine

Recent events at the University of California, Berkeley reflect the enormous difficulties that campuses can face when trying to ensure freedom of speech while, at the same time, meeting their duty to ensure an inclusive learning environment and to protect everyone’s safety. Many, including President Donald Trump, spoke out about these events, but with apparently little understanding of what actually occurred or all that the campus did to try and protect speech.

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial speaker who prides himself on being inflammatory, was scheduled to speak at the University of California, Berkeley, at the invitation of the College Republicans student group. A demonstration of approximately 1,500 people developed to protest his presence and to stand against what they considered to be “hate speech.”

Masked protestors speak out against Yiannopoulos’ appearance on campus. pietropiupparco/flickr, CC BY-SA

A few hours before the scheduled talk, a group of protesters pulled down police barricades, hurled Molotov cocktails, smashed windows, and threw fireworks and rocks at police, resulting in US$100,000 of property damage. According to the university, the violent protesters were 150 masked agitators who had come to campus to disturb an otherwise peaceful protest.

Perceiving a serious threat to public safety, campus officials called off Yiannopoulos’ talk, while also condemning the violence and reasserting their commitment to free speech principles. As university administrators and professors who teach and write about First Amendment law, we see what happened at Berkeley as enormously important in our current debate over free speech.

Did campus officials infringe Yiannopoulos’ freedom of speech and the rights of the College Republicans to hear his views?

The event has triggered intense debates about the scope and limits of free speech. However, to understand who did the right thing and who did the wrong thing, you must also understand a few basic First Amendment principles.

Basic free speech principles
First, by law campuses must allow all views and ideas to be expressed, no matter how offensive. Above all, the First Amendment means that the government cannot prevent or punish speech based on the viewpoint expressed. This also is a crucial aspect of academic freedom.

Milo Yiannopoulos speaking at the LeWeb13 Conference in London. LeWeb14/flickr, CC BY

Even the expression of hate is constitutionally protected; court cases have addressed this very issue on college campuses in the past. Although hate speech unquestionably causes harms, it nonetheless is expression that is covered by the First Amendment. We therefore strongly disagree with those who say that campus officials at Berkeley could keep Yiannopoulos from speaking because of his hateful and offensive message.

Campus officials at Berkeley recognized that Yiannopoulos had a First Amendment right to speak. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks rightly resisted demands, including from Berkeley faculty, to ban Yiannopoulos’ appearance.

Second, campuses must do all they can to ensure that audience reactions against a speaker are not allowed to silence the speaker. Free speech can be undermined, not only by official censorship and punishment, but also by individuals who seek to disrupt or shut down others when they attempt to exercise their rights. If officials do not work to prevent or punish disruption then there will be a “heckler’s veto” of all unpopular or controversial speakers, and this is not consistent with free speech principles. Campus officials have a duty to protect the free speech rights of protesters, but they must also protect speakers and prevent heckling. Apparently, this, too, occurred at Berkeley. Staff members spent weeks planning extensive security arrangements, including bringing in dozens of police officers from nine other UC campuses.

Third, there may be situations where controlling the audience proves impossible and there is no choice but to prevent a speaker’s presence to ensure public safety. This should be a last resort taken only if there is no other way to prevent a serious imminent threat to public safety. This appears to be exactly what occurred at Berkeley, where the riotous demonstrators could not be controlled. In such cases, authorities should do all they can, after the fact, to identify and punish those who used violence and violated the law, and should assess how different security arrangements might be more effective in preventing future disruptions. Campus officials should also do what they can to reschedule the speaker for another time.

Misguided criticism of Berkeley officials
A number of commentators were outraged that Yiannopoulos was not able to speak, and claimed that free speech was under attack at Berkeley. But the campus itself consistently reaffirmed his right to speak, resisted calls to cancel the event and arranged for extraordinary security at great expense. The vast majority of the demonstrators were also merely exercising their free speech rights. Thus, the campus efforts were consistent with free speech principles. If there is blame to be assigned it should focus on the small number of outsiders who were intent on using violent and unlawful means to disrupt the event.

Nonetheless, President Trump tweeted after the event that federal funds might be withheld from Berkeley unless it allowed freedom of speech.

Putting aside that he lacks the legal authority to do this, Trump ignored the fact that freedom of speech never is absolute. Campuses can punish speech that constitutes true threats or harassment or incitement of illegal activity. Campuses also need to act to protect the safety and welfare of all on campus.

Campus officials at Berkeley faced an enormously difficult situation. They were not insensitive to speech and they did not deserve the disapproval of the president. The campus did not keep Yiannopoulos from speaking because of his views, but because public safety at the time necessitated it.

The Conversation
About Today's Contributors:
Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the School of Law, University of California, Irvine and Howard Gillman, Chancellor, University of California, Irvine

This article was originally published on The Conversation

Other Milo Yiannopoulos Related Posts:

6 February 2017

NUNE Short Film Rewards #LGBTQ Global Millennial Fan Base with Direct-To-Fan Digital Release

A shy Nune Lusparian meets American Beauty in NUNE
LGBTQ, short film Nune by Ji Strangeway of GYATRi Media will be digitally released on VHX with a special offer of 99 cents for 3-day streaming on February 14, 2017, Valentine's Day.  VHX is a direct film distribution platform acquired by Vimeo.
Nune (pronounced noon-nay) tells the story of a 15-year-old Mexican-Armenian girl, who creates a fantasy world to escape the pain of social rejection and bullying. 
The arthouse film gained momentum on social networks, with a message that strikes a chord with queer-questioning millennials and their allies around the world.  Yet, fans eager to see the movie on VOD have waited over a year due to online distribution restrictions imposed on films under review by the film festivals.
After discovering the political agenda of film festival competitions and the oversaturation of films in the indie marketplace, the director deemed the prospective platform irrational and unfit for reaching Nune's true audience. She regrets not taking her movie direct-to-digital sooner.
"The festival route always felt wrong for my film. Direct-to-Fan streaming technology was at my fingertips," said Strangeway. "That's what all this amazing self-distribution technology is here for, so the independent artist can reach their audience. Yet, I didn't take full advantage. Instead, I stuck to the path of film festival exposure. I had forgotten my spirit of independence."
Brianna Joy Chomer and Jessica Lauren star in NUNE, an LGBTQ short film by Ji Strangeway
To reward the movie's growing fan base and to celebrate film independence, Nune will stream on VHX at a discount price of 99 cents for three-day rental (reg. $3.99) on February 14, 2017
Broad streaming options include computer, smart mobile devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, and VHX Roku channel.  Nune fans outside the USA (in countries, such as BrazilIndiaAustralia and various parts of South AmericaAsia, and Europe) often face sales restrictions imposed by providers, such as iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. On the VHX platform, 
Nune will stream globally in the spirit of Valentine's Day, apropos for the story's theme of heroism and romance.
  • Nune 99 cent Valentine's Day special can be redeemed with this code: "IHEARTNUNE" at
The Official Trailer:


5 February 2017

Let's Denounce Trump's Appointment of Steve Bannon!

Image via Daily Kros
The following is another email I've received earlier on and, as usual, I'm very keen to share with you guys (and ladies)... It's from the peeps at Daily Kros and it's about a campaign regarding Donald Trump's having appointed  Steve Bannon (former CEO of the Breitbart "News" site and current unelected president of the US) on the National Security Council.

You probably know the drill by now: feel free to read the email and act accordingly.

Thanks in advance

Stay safe!

Loup Dargent

Bonus Piccy:
(Courtesy of The Loupster)
Click here to see post on Facebook

The Email:
"Loup, this is terrifying. President Trump just removed top military and intelligence officials from our National Security Council -- and appointed Steve Bannon in their place.

You read that right: Trump just gave a white nationalist unprecedented power over our national security.

SIGN ON: Condemn Trump’s appointment of white nationalist Steve Bannon.

Bannon is the mastermind behind Trump’s cruelest executive orders.

Grassroots pressure is the ONLY way to reverse this disastrous decision.

Will you demand Bannon's removal from the National Security Council immediately?

Add your name today and join DCCC in this fight to take Bannon OFF the National Security Council.

Keep fighting,Kimm Lett, Daily Kos

Paid for by DCCC."

More Donald Trump Related Stories
Click here for more Donald Trump related stories...

1 January 2017

A Million Reasons To Hope In 2017

Images via 
Dear Avaazers, 
In 2016, hate was given hope -- but now we take it back! 

From terrorism to Trump to Syria, it was a rough year. But hidden by all the darkness filling our screens, there's a simple, beautiful, truth: 

The world has never been in a better place. 
From poverty to literacy, the rise of women and fall of deadly disease -- on virtually every metric -- the world is better off than it's ever been. It's a powerful reason for us all to have hope, and rise to 2017. 

So to kick off the new year, here's a video of 10 beautiful reasons to have hope -- let's share them, add our own, and together give the world a million reasons to hope in 2017: 

Even on the environment, we're winning epic progress on everything from historic ocean conservation to an unstoppable revolution in clean energy!

Political extremists and divisive zealots thrive on fear and desperation. That's why they try to convince us that the world is falling apart.

Master trolls like Trump and Putin have even hired vast armies of both real people and fake "bots" to hijack our social media with smears and lies about how awful everything and everyone else is, except them. (this is true! see sources below). What better way to answer them than a million new year's posts about what gives each of us and all of us hope: 

Let's take this dose of hope, and let it fuel our determination and that of our friends. Because in 2017, together, we rise. 

With hope, 

Loup Dargent
On behalf of Ricken, Pascal, Bert, Emma, Mike, Fatima and the whole Avaaz team. 

PS - This new year's reflection feels so important, for each of us, and for a world that is at a tipping point -- between love, hope and wisdom, and fear, anger and ignorance. Here are 5 points of reflection that might be useful for your reflection this year: 

      1. Yes, things are serious. A new autocratic world order (60% of Avaazers believe even a second rise of fascism) could threaten everything we love.

      2. But this is also a tremendous opportunity. Humanity, like each of us, learns best from mistakes. Much of our greatest progress has been catalyzed by crisis. If we meet this moment right, we can emerge from it stronger and wiser than ever.

      3. We need to be strong, and to challenge the forces of regress. But let’s not be twisted by the darkness and act from fear and anger. We are warriors for love and wisdom. We must act from that light.

      4. When we do come from love and wisdom, we can see that our ‘enemy’ is not so much any people, as it is unwisdom. Misplaced fear and anger. Lack of awareness and understanding.

      5. These are age-old foes of our people. Our grandparents faced far worse with far less, and they won progress. We have every reason to hope, and no excuse for despair.
And lastly - all the forces present in our world are present within us. Fear and love. Hope and despair. The choices we make in our personal lives shape our world through billions of acts of kindness or cruelty, wisdom or foolishness. All we can do is our best. Let's hit that mark this year :).


17 December 2016

Tell Colleges: Don't Let Milo Yiannopoulos Harass Your Students [Petition]

Alt-Right's poster boy, Milo Yiannopoulos - image via Wikipedia
The following is an email I've received from Media Matters earlier on... as the subject of that email is Milo (I have written a post about the deluded Breitbart/alt-right's poster boy, quite a while ago), I definitely have no problem whatsoever sharing it on here.

Stay safe!

Loup Dargent

The Email:
Harassment is not a part of the marketplace of ideas. Campuses need to be places where ideas can be debated vigorously, and sometimes that debate will become uncomfortable or controversial. But when discussion devolves into outright harassment of students, it is time to draw a line.

When failed tech entrepreneur and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at a Wisconsin university in December, he used the opportunity to harass a transgender woman. According to a local report, Yiannopoulos "named and showed a picture of the student to his audience, and accused the student of being a man trying to find his way into women's bathrooms." Yiannopoulos added "The way you know he's failed is I can still bang him."1

Yiannopoulos is defined by his harassment. He is a champion of the "alt-right," a coalition of white supremacists and misogynists that have consistently used online platforms to organize harassment.

In October, the Anti-Defamation League found a drastic uptick in anti-Semitic tweets sent to journalists.2 A conservative writer connected them to the "alt-right" and Yiannopoulos personally.3 Twitter banned Yiannopoulos in July for what the organization described as "participating in or inciting targeted abuse of individuals."4 The ban was widely understood as a reaction to the harassment campaign Yiannopoulos led against African-American actress Leslie Jones.5 This approach can be traced back to "Gamergate," where conspiracy theorists engaged in sustained harassment of women, including directing threats of violence against them.6 Yiannopoulos was a key figure in that as well.7

>> Tell Colleges: Don't Let Milo Yiannopoulos Harass Your Students
Colleges are rightfully reluctant to ban speakers based on their viewpoint. But they should not shy from taking a stand against people with a lengthy track record of harassment, especially those who have demonstrated a willingness to target and harass students.

Campuses have a simple way to prevent Yiannopoulos from harassing students on campus: They should require him to contractually agree to avoid such behavior before they permit him to speak on campus. If Yiannopoulos is truly interested in participating in an exchange of ideas, he should have no trouble agreeing to this. Campuses would also be doing their due diligence to protect their status as an open forum.

It's time to draw a line, and we need you to add your voice.

Erin Fitzgerald
LGBT Program Director, Media Matters

[1] Herzog, Karen. (2016, December 15). Breitbart writer targets transgender UWM student Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
[2] ADL's Task Force on Harassment and Journalism. (2016, October 19). ADL Report: Anti-Semitic Targeting Of Journalists During The 2016 Presidential Campaign Anti-Defamation League.
[3] Pesca, Mike. (2016, November 23). The Alt-Right Is Using Trump Slate.
[4] Ohlheiser, Abby. (2016, July 21). Just how offensive did Milo Yiannopoulos have to be to get banned from Twitter? The Washington Post.
[5] Singal, Jesse. (2016, November 4). Twitter Exile Has Not Been Good for Milo’s Brand New York.
[6] Jeong, Sarah. (2016, December 14). If we took ‘Gamergate’ harassment seriously, ‘Pizzagate’ might never have happened The Washington Post.
[7] Biddle, Sam. (2014, October 20). The D-List Right-Wingers Who've Turned Gamergate Into Their Loser Army Gawker.

10 September 2016

Psychology Behind The Unfunny Consequences Of Jokes That Denigrate

A joke isn’t just a joke. elycefelizCC BY-NC-ND
By Thomas E. Ford, Western Carolina University
Q: Why did the woman cross the road?
A: Who cares! What the hell is she doing out of the kitchen? 
Q: Why hasn’t NASA sent a woman to the moon?
A: It doesn’t need cleaning yet!
These two jokes represent disparagement humor – any attempt to amuse through the denigration of a social group or its representatives. You know it as sexist or racist jokes – basically anything that makes a punchline out of a marginalized group.

Disparagement humor is paradoxical: It simultaneously communicates two conflicting messages. One is an explicit hostile or prejudiced message. But delivered alongside is a second implicit message that “it doesn’t count as hostility or prejudice because I didn’t mean it — it’s just a joke.

By disguising expressions of prejudice in a cloak of fun and frivolity, disparagement humor, like the jokes above, appears harmless and trivial. However, a large and growing body of psychology research suggests just the opposite – that disparagement humor can foster discrimination against targeted groups.

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