“Sassy, styled, chic…disabled?”

The BBC has launched a reality miniseries following eight disabled women competing in a modeling competition. From news.com.au:

Based on the highly successful format of America’s Next Top Model franchise, Britain’s Missing Model is a six-part series selling itself on the catch-cry “Sassy, styled, chic…disabled?”

The eight contestants from the UK, Netherlands and the US range from age 19 to 27, and include a woman whose arm was severed in a bus crash, another who is profoundly deaf and an aspiring film director who suffers from a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder, which means she is largely confined to a wheelchair.

“Eight contestants live together in a fully accessible apartment, get fashion and model training from the best in the business, and fight it out for the ultimate prize…a fashion spread in one of country’s primier fashion magazines,” said the BBC website.

I’ve never even warmed to the original version. But it seems I’m always discovering another feminist, liberal, well-erudite, or male friend who watches and enjoys it–though they usually qualify it as a guilty pleasure.

One must admit this show sounds, on the face of it, only marginally worse than some Fox reality shows. (Anyone else remember The Littlest Groom?)

However, if done right, the show could sincerely challenge its viewers to reconsider ablism and aesthetics, it could be worth it.

“If done right” being a big if. The promo material isn’t promising. The title “Missing Model” misleads and condescends; most persons with disability come to adapt to their condition, and cease to feel something is “missing.” The teaser video is wholly dependent on shocking “reveals.” But if the show is better than the sum of its publicity, shock could draw people into something meaningful and consciousness expanding. In spite of the producers’ best efforts, the stars’ humanity might shine through.


Quick hit: A quote from Rove

“Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”

The above quote is attributed to columnist and former Bush adviser Karl Rove. The ppunditry agrees the comment is an attempt to paint presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barak Obama as “elitist.” However, no one has stated the obvious–it only makes Rove himself a snob.

How many of us really  know “that guy” hanging around “the country club”? Doesn’t that rather presuppose the speaker has been to “the country club”? In fact, it implies they’ve been around the club rather a lot, if the speaker can pigeonhole outsiders into “that guy”-paradigms.

Just a thought.

The Feminization of Salad

Tonight I ate organicgirl lettuce.  Although the salad was delicious, I couldn’t help but question the name of the brand.  Interesting, eh? Points of discussion: organic+girl+salad+”baby” greens+health food.  What does it all mean!?!?

What was your favorite book as a child?/ Oh, how times change…

Mine?  Goodnight Moon.  It’s a classic.  But I reckon if I had a kid now, I’d be reading Goodnight Bush instead…hehehehe.  Check it out.

Saudi Marriage Officiant: “There is no minimal age for entering marriage”

The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation provides a chilling interview with Dr. Ahmad Al-Mub’i, a Saudi Marriage Officiant:

The Prophet Muhammad is the model we follow. He took ‘Aisha to be his wife when she was six, but he had sex with her only when she was nine.

That statement is informed by 5:58:234-236 Sahi al-Bukhari of the Hadith, a collection of sayings and anecdotes of the life of the prophet Muhammad collected in the decades following his death in 632 AD, regarded as authoritative by many Muslims. 

Mub’i again:

There is no minimal age for entering marriage. You can have a marriage contract even with a one-year-old girl, not to mention a girl of nine, seven, or eight. This is merely a contract [indicating] consent.

Women disproportionately targeted by “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell”

Apparently, two service members a day are dismissed under President Clinton’s policy, almost half of them women. The New York Times, gleaning information provided by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network reports:

 While women make up 14 percent of Army personnel, 46 percent of those discharged under the policy last year were women. And while 20 percent of Air Force personnel are women, 49 percent of its discharges under the policy last year were women.

From the Washington Post’s military commentator Phillip Carter:

This is problematic because there are already gender tensions in the military. Introduce the targeting of women for discharge under this law, and you magnify those tensions considerably. I had several straight female colleagues on active duty who faced scrutiny because they were single or athletic or just plain tough (the way you’d expect an Army officer to be), and I think the witch-hunt dynamic is far worse for women than for military men. If we care about unit cohesion, this needs to stop.

(Link mine.)

Update: No pact in Mass. pregnancies

Remember the teenage girls in Massachusetts who made a pact to conceive and raise children together? Well, it turns out, they didn’t. Via Reuters:

“There was a group of girls already pregnant that decided they were going to help each other to finish school and raise their kids together. I think it was just a coincidence…”



Mayor Carolyn Kirk said she and Superintendent Christopher Farmer have been in touch with Sullivan, and he was “foggy in his memory” about how he came to believe there was a pact.


“When pressed, his memory failed,” the mayor said.

Sullivan has not spoken publicly about his comments and has failed to respond to repeated interview requests.

On Monday, Kirk denied any pact existed.

“Any planned blood-oath bond to become pregnant — there is absolutely no evidence of,” Kirk said.

My first mistake was assuming a high school principal had any idea what was happening in their own school.