In other news, Yo, Is This Racist? is fucking hilarious and accurate.
(SPOILER: yes. chances are, whatever is being asked about is indeed racist.)

In other news, Yo, Is This Racist? is fucking hilarious and accurate.

(SPOILER: yes. chances are, whatever is being asked about is indeed racist.)

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How to be a Firefly fan (even though their Chinese sucks and no one is Asian)

The other day I went to see The Amazing Spiderman.

But I’m not going to talk about the movie today. I’m going to talk about the previews. While sitting through a preview about prisoners in a federal penitentiary who start a band (or something), I began to think about the profound lack of female presence in movies. 1/20 of the people shown in the trailer I was watching were female. Just the narrator, actually.

The next trailer was worse, with only one female appearing (who spoke maybe five words.) The third trailer included no women with lines. The fourth had two (both with lines!). That was the remake of Total Recall.

Since I have begun to take Sociology classes, since I have begun to read feminist blogs, since I have begun to take a closer look at our culture, it has become harder for me to enjoy popular media.

It’s Sturgeon’s Law: 90% of everything is crap.

But reading How to be a fan of problematic things has at least begun to convert the flames of my discontent into a constructive force. For those unwilling to click the link, the major points are

Firstly, acknowledge that the thing you like is problematic and do not attempt to make excuses for it.”

It’s definitely fine to listen to the other person and then say “That’s interesting, I think that’s a totally valid reading of the text, here’s how I read it…”. But don’t say “No you read it wrong, here’s why they did this!” – that’s making excuses.

Yeah, some things can be argued. But assume Death of the Author, here. It doesn’t matter what the author thought, it matters what comes across to readers/viewers.

"Secondly, do not gloss over the issues or derail conversations about the problematic elements."

Thirdly you must acknowledge other, even less favourable, interpretations of the media you like.”

TL;DR: It’s ok to like Firefly, but you don’t get to deny that the complete lack of Asian characters in what is supposed to be a Chinese/American space-empire looks very suspicious (and contributes to a larger trend in American media where non-white people don’t get to play main characters. See Nobody’s Asian in the Movies).

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DoesntAfraid Learns about SCIENCE

And the award for most awesome name for an academic paper goes to…

You do not talk about Fight Club if you do not notice Fight Club: Inattentional blindness for a simulated real-world assault

Inattentional blindness—the failure to see visible and otherwise salient events when one is paying attention to something else—has been proposed as an explanation for various real-world events. In one such event, a Boston police officer chasing a suspect ran past a brutal assault and was prosecuted for perjury when he claimed not to have seen it. However, there have been no experimental studies of inattentional blindness in real-world conditions. We simulated the Boston incident by having subjects run after a confederate along a route near which three other confederates staged a fight. At night only 35% of subjects noticed the fight; during the day 56% noticed. We manipulated the attentional load on the subjects and found that increasing the load significantly decreased noticing. These results provide evidence that inattentional blindness can occur during real-world situations, including the Boston case.

Anecdotal example of inattentional blindness:

When I was in high school, a girl in my class won a trip to Obama’s inauguration. A film crew came into our web design class and filmed a few seconds of her for the local news story.

Or so I hear.

I managed to completely fail to notice any of this happening, despite the fact that they were, at best, 20 feet away from me.

Because I was reading articles on the internet. Way to go, Doesnt.

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Gaydar exists- but it only works 60% of the time.

So basically the study shows that, given a bunch of photos of men and women, a bunch of college students (age 18-25) will accurately guess each person’s sexual orientation 60% of the time. Before you ask, the photos did not include hairstyles, makeup, and piercings.

For those of you keeping track at home, random guessing works 50% of the time. Interestingly, gaydar accuracy differed in the study by gender: women were accurately classified 65% of the time, and men 57% of the time.

Wait, that’s assuming your only options are “gay” and “straight”. I have serious questions about this study. Were any photos used of bisexual or asexual people? If so, were they counted as “gay”, or what? What does an asexual face look like?

Excuse me while I search the internet for answers.

Ok, I found an explanation in the original study:

The stimulus set included facial photographs of 111 gay men, 122 straight men, 87 gay women, and 93 straight women. Facial photographs were gathered from profiles, cf. of individuals living in 11 major US cities who self-identified as straight or gay; photographs of self-identified bisexual people were not used as target stimuli. Each photograph had been posted by a target or a target’s friend.

No bisexuals or asexuals were harmed in the making of this study. So we still do not know what an asexual face looks like. Or if we could tell.

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