Context Is Credibility

I’ve written before about the importance of context; and ranted too about “stolen” images used, uncredited etc., at Tumblr and other sites. I’ve tweeted and posted at Facebook about my hatred of such things. Others have taken a far more direct and pointed-tongued approach (NWS) regarding the issue. But Sarah Werner‘s It’s History, Not A Viral Feed is the most direct and well-articulated article — complete with excellent resources.

— A. History (@AhistoricalPics) January 24, 2014


Desperate To Be Obscene

EBay seller LadiesOnFilm carries a large number of vintage risque and nude images from publishers of adult magazines from the 60’s through the 90’s. It’s rather clear that many of them are the unused outtakes; but then, I guess “outtakes” are in the mind of the viewer.

It’s funny how often the “bad” pictures seem more natural than the “good” pictures. I find this photo of Carol Newell (by Ron Vogel, 1968) charming. It’s how a woman sits on the stairs, relaxed, not worrying about the planes of her face and the contours of her body… There’s no arching of her back while pointing her toes. That’s how the real girl next door sits.

The women struggle to look natural in odd poses. While the props are often dated and hysterical, it’s the desperate poses for the sake of sexual puns which are far funnier. I can just hear the photographer saying, “That’s it, that’s it, baby. Now just crawl along the floor and choke that plaster snake statue…”

I’m not saying that no simply nude woman has ever taken a bad photo, but they are far more beautiful than those photographs which overreach — either in physicality or in attempts at innuendo.

Men Who Get It — And Do Something About It (#1)

I do a lot of talking here about the fact that men need to take responsibility for their personal roles in rape and violence against women — this includes making a loud vocal stand against such crimes & attitudes. So I figured it was about time to show some of the men who are doing such work.


To debut the series saluting men who care, the work of the White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women (VAW):

In over fifty-five countries, campaigns are led by both men and women, even though the focus is on educating men and boys.

… Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Wearing a white ribbon is a way of saying, “Our future has no violence against women.”


We do not think that men are naturally violent and we don’t think that men are bad, however we do think all men have roles and responsibilities in ending violence against women. The majority of men are not physically violent. Researchers tell us many past cultures had little or no violence.

At the same time, we do think that some men have learned to express their anger or insecurity through violence. Far too many men have come to believe that violence against a woman, child or another man is an acceptable way to control another person, especially an intimate partner.

By remaining silent about these things, we allow other men to poison our work, schools and homes.

The good news is that more and more men and boys want to make a difference. Caring men are tired of the sexism that hurts the women around them. Caring men are also concerned with the impact of this violence on the lives of men and boys.

All images shown here are posters belonging to the White Ribbon organization; go get yourself some & spread the word while supporting the cause.

For more on the White Ribbon Campaign:

The White Ribbon Campaign
365 Bloor St. East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4W 3L4
Phone: (416) 920-6684 | Toll Free: 1-800-328-2228 | Fax: (416) 920-1678
Email: info(at)whiteribbon(dot)ca
Charitable Registration 14105 0708 RR0001

You can also keep up with them at Twitter. (I am.)


Puppies, Kittens & Vampires, Oh My!

We humans want, crave, unconditional love and acceptance — but we’re pretty unrealistic in the terms. Our highest heights of female romantic fantasy too-often focus on Bad Boys. You know, those hard men with elements of danger — not that they’d ever hurt us! Oh, the intoxicating power of what could crush, but doesn’t.

It makes us puppy putty in their hands.

These big strong men could hurt us, but they won’t. We’re the one good thing in their lives, the Good Woman who truly know that beneath that rough exterior of the Bad Boy lies a tragic side — their true tender side — that only we hold the key to unlocking…

We’re the kittens in their big strong man-hands

We tame the Bad Boy, leashing the unleashable wild child & binding him to us.

As women, we can’t help but see ‘the potential’ in these men. We see behind the swagger, to the hidden wounds; behind the drug addiction, an artist or profoundly brilliant man who suffers; behind the womanizer, a man who has been so injured in the past, he fears to really try again… And we can heal him if we love him enough. No matter how big the challenge, the obstacles.

In fact, the bigger the challenge, the larger the danger, the least understood or accepted he is, the more romantic the relationship becomes.

The ultimate pinnacle in Bad Boys are vampires and other supernatural creatures. Not only are they dangerous and misunderstood, the big strong Bad Boy arms we want to swoon into, but there is no larger a separation than between living and dead, making these men the most unobtainable of all.

The notion of vampires and other immortals who live forever, doomed through their isolation and loneliness to never quite consummate the real physical thrust of human connection, is the exaggerated dramatization of the isolation and loneliness — the fear of unrequited love — we all wish to overcome. Even if that romantic love cannot be consummated. This is the popularity of un-dead men in television shows & films, such as Angel, Moonlight and Twilight.

In some ways, I find this more disturbing and potentially damaging than the unrealistic media images of romantic comedies for it teaches women self-sacrificing denial. Not just in physical pleasure, but in tolerating distasteful and reprehensible acts for the sake of love; real love doesn’t ask you to tolerate violence because he’s just bound by different morals than you are. Women already are asked this stuff too often — and too often they comply, making room for danger in their relationships

But supposing you can separate fantasy from reality, intelligently enjoy fiction and not tolerate unpleasant friction, then by all means, consume such things. And if you’re a real fan of Twilight, perhaps you’d like to enter this contest.

The Grass Is Always Greener When There’s No Snow

A friend of mine, Marta, was complaining that it was more difficult to “meet people” during the holidays — and by “meet people” she specifically stated that she meant, “to have the possibility of a relationship, not drunken groping at an office party or with some friend of your sister’s from college who is also the only single person at her holiday party.”

Marta has a point — but it’s likely not the one she was thinking of.

I agree drunken groping is like the relationship fruitcake of the holiday season; people take it because it’s what they get. (My advice is don’t take it — and certainly don’t re-gift it either!) But Marta, like most single people, wanted her point to be her complaint: that the the holidays are for those who are already in pairs ready to board Noah’s ark.

Not only do I detest whining, I have to say that’s bullshit.

When you are single, lonely and not-lovin’ it, the world seems full of couples. It doesn’t matter what season it is. Here’s a reminder of a lovely spring (or perhaps summer) afternoon at the park:

Couples, couples everywhere.

Not only have you whiny pessimistic folks forgotten that, but you even complain about those bickering &/or unhappy couples — like those on the bench. “At least they have someone to argue with,” you mope. But honestly, now, is that what you want?

So stop looking at (imagining) greener pastures on the other side of the fence; stop looking at the glass as half empty — or even half full. And start planting your own seeds for lush greenery, fill your glass all the way up, if that’s what you want. Create the world you want — it’s much more inviting to others than complaining.

Photo by alev.adil.