Tag: POP

Netflix’s Five Second Rule:  High Heels & Sexual Display in the Workplace

By: Glen Paul Hammond

We tell children it is impolite to stare at another person—and it is—though it is not always easy to explain why.  In one way, we can say, unusual things draw attention and people are uncomfortable being seen as unusual, so we admonish against it.  Yet, in another way, extraordinary things also draw attention and this kind of attention is not always undesirable.  There are further complications: We are visually drawn to things that horrify and, oftentimes, we look at such things for much longer than we even desire; at the same time, we also tend to look at things that attract us and, if they attract us absolutely, we fall out of time and become unaware of how long we have been looking.  It’s complicated; it’s natural; it’s impolite—but is it harassment?

Netflix’s alleged ban on employees looking at each other for more than five seconds as part of its new anti-harassment policy suggests it is on the verge of being codified as the latter (Timpf).  If this is true, then who is the culpable party and how might this effect the way employees visually present themselves in the workplace? To give these inquiries a more specific focus, I will repeat a question that came across as outrageous when the much discussed public intellectual Jordan Peterson first posed it to a VICE interviewer during a discussion on possible rules for sexual harassment in the workplace:  “What about high heels?”

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Lorde’s Crusade

By: Caleb Mills

Here’s a story whose cast of characters couldn’t be more odd: The Washington Post, “America’s Rabbi”, and Lorde. Even though it may sound like the beginning of a bad joke your uncle would tell (The Washington Post, a Rabbi, and the ‘Lorde’ all walk into a bar…) the spat between the singer and the rabbi is actually a perfect encapsulation of a serious problem in contemporary political discourse.  

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Harvey Weinstein and the Aims and Structure of Hollywood

Howl of the Day: Oct 13, 2017

Political scientist Corey Robin has an interesting take on the current Harvey Weinstein debacle. Robin observes that power relationships leave little room for morality:

In virtually every oppressive workplace regime—and other types of oppressive regimes—you see the same phenomenon. ….

Those at the bottom of the regime, these less established actresses who need the most, look up and wonder why those above them, those more established actresses who need less, don’t speak out against an injustice: The more established have power, why don’t they use it, what are they afraid of?

Those higher up the ladder, those more established actresses, look down on those at the very bottom and wonder why they don’t speak out against that injustice: They’ve got nothing to lose, what are they afraid of?

Neither is wrong; they’re both accurately reflecting and acting upon their objective situations and interests. This is one of the reasons why collective action against injustice and oppression is so difficult. It’s Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand at work (in both senses), without the happy ending: everyone pursues their individual interests as individuals; the result is a social catastrophe.

This seems true, but at the same time, focusing on the power dynamic at play as opposed to the ends for which the power is used obscures something essential about the problem.

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No More Play for Playboy

Howl of the Day: Feb 25, 2016

It is now old news that rise of digital media has upset the entire publishing world. With almost everything just a click away on the internet (and free to anyone with flexible morals and a modicum of technical ability), traditional publishers are scrambling to adapt. Some are trying to fit digital publication within their existing business model, bringing their content to the web on their terms, while others are trying to wholely reinvent themselves for the digital age.

The proverbial canary in the re-invention mine is Playboy, which recently announced a plan to drastically change its focus, dropping the nudes in favour of more long-form journalism.

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Realism in Fantasy, Concerning George R. R. Martin

By: Ned Fichy

George R. R. Martin’s fantasy saga, A Song of Ice and Fire, has drawn as much interest as any literary project of recent memory. For good reason. Mr. Martin is a powerful writer and he tells compelling tales. He is good enough at what he does – and what he does is itself a rare enough thing – that it seems appropriate to call him an artist, and to consider his works as art rather than just entertainment.

For artists, the stakes are higher, and in Martin’s masterpiece they are high indeed. His project is to recast the world of fantasy in a realistic manner. And, indeed, the realism of his saga is one of its most compelling features.

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