(Left to Right): Peter Buffett, Jimmie Briggs, Joe Ehrmann, Tony Porter,
Dave Zirin and Moderator Eve Ensler.
“Every woman knows the word slut has power. Whether you love it or hate it, the word “slut” is an evocation of a gender double standard used to control women and no woman alive hasn’t thought about what it means to be labeled in this way. In some cultures, where honor killings take place, it is a matter of life or death.
If you’re a “good” woman, don’t kid yourself. It means you’ve spent your life and will continue to spend your life calibrating your appearance, speech and behaviour so that you are not a slut. By not acknowledging how the word is used you are embracing its power over you and other girls and women. And you will pass that corrupt and misguided abuse of power on to your daughters and mine. That’s because you know, deep down, that at any point that word can be used against you. Every woman is a slut waiting to happen. Women who abhor the word, find it vulgar, and fear it, the ones who slut-shame others, gain a little bit of power by participating in a system that denigrates them.
Other women, and their male allies, reject the power of the word and the social structures that perpetuate its harm. These women and men know it for what it is - a word used to control women and their bodies, and it is useless as a weapon against them.”"
How about some love for a good police officer?
Officer Gaetano Acerra
Responded to a call where a 13 year old boy didnt want to live in his home anymore. He found out that the family couldnt afford a bed or much else for the teen.
So he bought him one. A big queen sized one.
He also bought him a Tv and someone donated a Wii, so now they play whenever Officer Gaetano Acerra has a chance
He also plans to get him a dresser, mirror, and a hamper. Among other things he needs but cannot afford.
People. They’re not ALWAYS a bunch of bastards.
The corruption needs to go.
This guy can stay.
Mass produce this guy. There needs to be more of him
This man could narrate my life. And I would be completely OK with that.
"Only in very hard times, when the pride is extremely hungry, will issues of priority be settled by fighting."
This man could narrate me opening a jar of mayo and make it sound like Earth’s most epic struggle for existence.
Hello! Killjoy here. This left a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth because fangirls are not an inferior class of fans, nor are they animals. Would we have these strong reactions to fangirls were they not female? In things like this, are we not (as a friend wiser than me put it) “sidelining women’s voices by characterising them as hysterical and subhuman?” I suppose I’m just kind of sick of fangirls being the butt of the joke.
OOPS, I WOTE AN ESSAY:
This video is really well made, and it’s great satire. But it only makes me laugh if i turn off a pretty big part of my brain. Let me tell you why.
I guess any kind of stereotyping of “fangirls” (a term which I’m still not sure how I feel about) makes me pretty sad. Portraying them as crazed, rabid, disrespectful, and inhuman might be the easy joke to make, but comedy as an influencer should not be underestimated.
If it wasn’t for the negative stereotypes I would probably consider myself a “fangirl”. After all I identify as female (although I’m 24 so, maybe not truly a girl anymore), and a fan of many things. When I talked to Natalie Tran at VidCon I was so nervous I don’t remember anything I said to her. I adore Taylor Swift and I’d call myself a pretty massive fan of the extremely talented people I am lucky to call my friends.
I think although it’s probably obvious, it’s worth noting first that pictured in this video are real life SitC attendees, not actors (I believe the bit at the end with Evan was staged though). These are people who pay good money to see creators they like, they also pay good money for merch, and these are the people who allow many YouTubers to make their living. They are the people who queue for hours, sometimes in the rain, who deal with panic attacks and sometimes convention disappointment. These are the people who make conventions like SitC, VidCon, Playlist etc possible. I’d even go as far to say that these are the people who make the YouTube world go round.
And it’s also worth pointing out that all of the young women in the video were behaving entirely appropriately and understandably for a person who is seeing someone they really like, enjoying a concert, or just, you know, having a good time. It’s important to keep this in mind when all the other elements of this film (the music, the sweeping aerials, the staged shot, the slow motion, the narration) are working hand in hand to make you think otherwise.
Except for of course, the one shot at the end which was staged, where you see a YouTuber being chased down by a group of “fangirls”. Swarming is something that I have unfortunately seen first hand at conventions, and it’s very dangerous and disrespectful and desperately unfunny. And yeah I do worry about making light of that kind of conduct, normalising it, and inadvertently inviting copycat behaviour. In light of Robin William’s death there’s a lot of discussion on the appropriate reporting of suicide as to not contribute to further similar behaviour. Bit of a healthy stretch here, but in that perspective, I wonder if trivialising this behaviour is responsible journalism. But, it’s not journalism is it. It’s a YouTube video - not the news. Anyway, getting off track.
I guess I just worry that when we portray fangirls in this way, as animalistic, as careless, as unstable, as a constant in the world of YouTube - they in turn become disposable, voiceless and insignificant. They become strictly watchers, and nothing else. And they are one of very very very many. And I worry that this kind of thinking potentially contributed to situations that have recently come to light about YouTubers abusing their position of power and influence over their audience. And I worry that it posits “fangirls” and therefore females as merely viewers, who watch what is potentially a majority of male YouTubers. And I worry seeing this unbalance discourages females from becoming storytellers themselves and that it discourages males from identifying as part of that body of fan culture that has been so gendered. Not to mention where those who don’t identify as strictly male or female end up. I worry that we are shown a vicious sea of young women as con-goers at YouTube conventions where the average special guest list boasts a mere 29% of female creators*. That although conventions are trying to reflect and respond to YouTube celebrity they are in fact curating it. And I worry this idea of fangirls being fans, and fans only contributes to the polarisation of the viewer vs creator dichotomy. That you can’t be both. That if you don’t have a Special Guest badge at conventions that you probably don’t make anything, or at least nothing worth watching. Basically what I’m saying is that I worry a lot.
But whether you care or not, these “fangirls” are the highest currency on YouTube - and the way you treat them will and is defining the space. So why are we allowing them to always be the butt of the joke?
I’ve talked to “fangirls” - I’m even related to a couple of them. My two younger cousins love YouTubers and I’ve spent a good chunk of time talking to them about who they watch and why. Are they the type of girls who might scream and cry at something like SitC? It’s really possible. But does that make them shallow? Dumb? Part of the herd? Talentless? Hell. No. I’d even go so far to say that they have more talent, charisma, humour and intelligence in their pinkie fingers than some of the large scale YouTubers they watch. And I’m sure this is the case for many “fangirls”. But give them that name - and that all seems to melt away. The power of a word.
Something I can’t shake is the idea that it’s a badge of pride to be a “nerdfighter” but shameful to be a “fangirl”, when both are essentially defined as being unapologetically enthusiastic about something they like. But yet, “Fangirl” is the word that has sadly come to mean a hell of a lot less than the sum of it’s parts.
And it’s pure laziness. To let the ones who shout the loudest spoil the pot when what we should really be doing is imagining them complexly - to see them as the smart, talented, thoughtful and beautiful people that they are? Who you are often seeing one tiny side of? Try to think of other situations in the real world where making that kind of sweeping generalisation would be considered careless and discriminatory.
It’s important to remember that the “natural habitat” of the “fangirl” is not at a YouTube convention - and the way they behave there is probably not an accurate representation of their daily lives. What if you were put in the same room as a person you seriously admire, do you think you’ll be the best, coolest version of yourself? Probably not. If I ended up in a room with Taylor Swift I’d probably actually pass out.
Do I like it when people at conventions chase YouTubers down? Do I like it when people scream? Loiter outside hotel rooms? Are verbally abusive to volunteers and staff and security? Not by a long shot. But when I condemn this behaviour I do not use the word “fangirl” in place of the word “people”. I do not put that behaviour in a box and label it with a word I do not identify as so that I can feel superior and respectful and something “other” than.
Words have power. And you have the power to choose your words. So do it with care.
I’m not saying jokes are bad, and in some ways I did enjoy this video. But it’s hard for me to not look at the bigger picture and see how this dot can be connected to that dot and then that dot and how a small, lighthearted joke can be extrapolated into something bigger and much more damaging.
Am I reading too far into this video? Probably. This video is merely a small piece of the puzzle, it’s just the specific piece that challenged me to say something. This is just my commentary, and I invite you to make your own. If it made you laugh, or made you upset. Try to figure out why exactly that was. Who knows, maybe this was the intention of the filmmakers all along? In fact, I really hope it was.
And in the meantime - who’s up for reclaiming the word “Fangirl”?
-Emily (a proud fangirl)
PS: Shoutout to the filmmakers who have been really cool about listening to different perspectives on this video! Discussion is a good thing.
•based on lineups as seen on the websites from 2014 SitC, VidCon, Buffer Festival, Vlogger Fair and PlaylistLive
Postcards from Scotland by JB Knibbs
Scotland: effortlessly, breathtakingly beautiful. I took over 200 photographs on a three and a half hour bus journey from Fort William to the Isle of Skye. I love this country.
"Image Credit: Carol Rossetti
When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would become.
Thousands of shares throughout the world later, the appeal of Rosetti’s work is clear. Much like the street art phenomenon Stop Telling Women To Smile, Rossetti’s empowering images are the kind you want to post on every street corner, as both a reminder and affirmation of women’s bodily autonomy.
"It has always bothered me, the world’s attempts to control women’s bodies, behavior and identities," Rossetti told Mic via email. "It’s a kind of oppression so deeply entangled in our culture that most people don’t even see it’s there, and how cruel it can be."
Rossetti’s illustrations touch upon an impressive range of intersectional topics, including LGBTQ identity, body image, ageism, racism, sexism and ableism. Some characters are based on the experiences of friends or her own life, while others draw inspiration from the stories many women have shared across the Internet.
"I see those situations I portray every day," she wrote. "I lived some of them myself."
Despite quickly garnering thousands of enthusiastic comments and shares on Facebook, the project started as something personal — so personal, in fact, that Rossetti is still figuring out what to call it. For now, the images reside in albums simply titled “WOMEN in english!" or "Mujeres en español!" which is fitting: Rossetti’s illustrations encompass a vast set of experiences that together create a powerful picture of both women’s identity and oppression.
One of the most interesting aspects of the project is the way it has struck such a global chord. Rossetti originally wrote the text of the illustrations in Portuguese, and then worked with an Australian woman to translate them to English. A group of Israeli feminists also took it upon themselves to create versions of the illustrations in Hebrew. Now, more people have reached out to Rossetti through Facebook and offered to translate her work into even more languages. Next on the docket? Spanish, Russian, German and Lithuanian.
It’s an inspiring show of global solidarity, but the message of Rossetti’s art is clear in any language. Above all, her images celebrate being true to oneself, respecting others and questioning what society tells us is acceptable or beautiful.
"I can’t change the world by myself," Rossetti said. "But I’d love to know that my work made people review their privileges and be more open to understanding and respecting one another."”
From the site: All images courtesy Carol Rossetti and used with permission. You can find more illustrations, as well as more languages, on her Facebook page.
I saw my name and got REALLY EXCITED