Monday 27 February 2017

Cumberbatch and Cumberbitches

About two years ago, Benedict Cumberbatch "sweetly confronted" his female fans over their chosen nickname "Cumberbitches" in Ellen DeGeneres's talkshow.

"It’s like trying to squeeze a confession out of me getting me to actually say that word, because I squirm a little bit about it. 
I definitely didn't [come up with it]. That's part of my problem with it. I just went: 'Ladies, this is wonderful. I'm very flattered, but has this not set feminism back a little bit? Empower yourselves if you're going to get silly about a guy with maybe a little bit more of a sort of, you know, a high-regard, self-regarding name!'"
Benedict Cumberbatch

Photograph: The t-shirt was designed by Elle and Whistles, the phrase "This is what a feminist looks like" was coined by The Fawcett Society (via).

And in case you are having a masochistic moment and wish to torture yourself - here is a link to Breitbart's reaction to this photograph: LINK

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photograph via

Friday 24 February 2017

My Captain

"He had me at 'Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.' In my opinion, his Jean-Luc Picard is the only Star Trek captain worthy of helming the USS Enterprise; (...). For more than 20 years, my love for Patrick Stewart has burned strong and bright, “the star to every wandering bark”. (...) I’ve never met Patrick Stewart. I know almost nothing of his personal life beyond the fact that he choses to use his fame to support human rights. He’s been a long time supporter of Amnesty International in his native UK (...)."
Jennifer Prestholdt

"When it comes to protecting civil liberties and human rights you cannot be too active and too determined no matter what the matters are." 
Patrick Stewart

Sir Patrick Stewart speaks out against domestic violence, supports a charity that helps veterans with PTSD and is a declared feminist.
"The truth is that domestic violence and violence against women touch many of us. This violence is not a private matter. Behind closed doors it is shielded and hidden and it only intensifies. It is protected by silence – everyone's silence. Violence against women is learned. Each of us must examine - and change - the ways in which our own behavior might contribute to, enable, ignore or excuse all such forms of violence. I promise to do so, and to invite other men and allies to do the same." Patrick Stewart
::: Patrick Stewart's article "The legacy of domestic violence", The Guardian, 2009, LINK
::: Patrick Stewart's article "Domestic violence blighted my home. That's why I support Refuge", The Guardian, 2012, LINK

Photograph: In November 2016, Patrick Stewart posted his photograph with a safety pin on his jacket, a symbol of solidarity with groups of people that are marginalised or attacked. The movement started after the Brexit vote and continued in the U.S. where it communicated that e.g. immigrants or refugees were "safe" with those wearing the safety pin.

Sir Patrick Stewart supports Combat Stress, a charity that "helps thousands of Veterans to rebuild their lives by giving them access to specialist treatment and advice". Stewart's father had "suffered in silence with the psychological wounds he sustained in the Second World War" (via).

In 2014, he was mistakenly outed as gay by a newspaper. Patrick Stewart's reaction: "Quite frankly, I was utterly flattered by that assumption." (via)

::: Patrick Stewart in #WordsMatter: WATCH

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photographs via and via and via

Thursday 23 February 2017

Poverty is Sexist

ONE partnered with Don't panic to produce the video "Poverty is Sexist". The clip is part of the campaign "Poverty is Sexist" which was launched about three years ago - a campaign "to make the point that poverty and gender inequality go hand-in-hand".

"Our goal was to create something that people around the world who have experienced sexism could relate to, while encouraging viewers to see that their struggles are linked to the struggle of girls and women living in the poorest parts of the world. We’re calling on viewers to take action for the women hardest hit by gender inequality – those living in extreme poverty." (via)

Monday 20 February 2017

Hold Tight

ANZ (Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited) has launched the beautiful clip "Hold Tight" celebrating "one of the most basic display of human affection". The message is one ANZ has been dedicated to supporting and promoting for a while... because holding "the hand of the one you love is the most basic gesture of affection there is" (via) and for many more reasons.

"The campaign began with us commissioning a study across Australia and New Zealand, where we spoke with people about the concept of holding hands. Among the findings was that the vast majority of people agree that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, should feel comfortable showing affection in public by holding hands. However, the research found this was not always the case in reality."

On their website, the following information can be found:

"Building a culture of respect for all people and communities is one our key organisational values. The inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex (LGBTI) customers and staff is an important part of that work. (...)

ANZ is proud to be recognised as a Gold Tier employer for LGBTI Inclusion in Australia and Hong Kong, and a Rainbow Tick Accredited organisation in New Zealand. Results of these benchmarks provide us with key areas of focus to inform our approach to LGBTI inclusion.

The success of our super regional strategy depends on us having an engaged, diverse and inclusive workforce, and employees who deeply understand and connect with their colleagues, our customers and communities across our 34 markets.

ANZ is proud to have an LGBTI network available to our employees since 2007. The aim of the ANZ Pride Network is to be a voice, contact point and support mechanism for both LGBTI people and allies as well as to increase diversity, inclusion and respect through active engagement of our people.

ANZ is the Principal Partner of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and has been a major sponsor and participant since 2007." (via)

::: ANZ Bank Commercial 2015: The Only Gay TM in the Village: Watch/Listen

Friday 17 February 2017

"The work is dark, and it's dark on purpose."

Sean Coyle's project "Cruising Wonderland" is a memorial to sites of homophobic hate crimes in Australia and New Zealand. Coyle chose to print most of his work on metal, a glossy surface that makes visitors of his exhibition see themselves reflected into the work.

"The work is dark, and it's dark on purpose. Not just thematically dark, but the works are actually dark to see—so that they sort of just appear out of darkness, and I think that's really important for the work and in thinking about it. For me, lightness means clarity, and because I don't have that much clarity on the reasons behind why these things happen, the darkness is a really important aspect of it. Highlighting the dark history, for me, in particular the queer dark history in Australasia, I think is important. They become memorials, and it's important for us to remember. To remember our histories and move forward."
Sean Coyle

"I photographed this toilet block in Hamilton, where a man was stabbed in the back by another man. The attacker also stabbed another man in a different toilet block as well. In court, he said he wanted to rid the world of homosexuals."
Sean Coyle

"I was looking at the history of New South Wales in Australia, which has a horrific history of homophobic violence, especially in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. I was looking at where that had happened, and the cliffs of Bondi were one of the significant sites. A number of men were thrown off the cliffs, and it was ignored by police or just treated as a suicide. Multiple men this happened to, and they didn't think to connect the dots."
Sean Coyle

Photographs by Sean Coyle via

Thursday 16 February 2017

Muslims, the Perils of Perception Survey & the Index of Ignorance

According to the latest "Ipsos Perils of Perception" survey carried out in forty countries, most countries hugely overestimate the proportion of Muslims in their population. In Britain, for instance, people think that 1 in 6 Britons is Muslim (in fact, it is fewer than 1 in 20), that 15% of the population are Muslim (instead of the 4.8%). In addition, Britons believe that the Muslim population is growing to a much greater extent than it actually is: 22% by the year 2020 (they will probably make around 6%).

Great Britain, however, is far from being the most extreme example as it is the third most accurate country in Ipsos's so-called "Index of Ignorance". Most of the countries are much more wrong. In France, the average guess is that 31% of the population is Muslim (it is 7.5%), Canada and the United States guess 17% (it is 3.2% and 1%).
The level of growth over the next few years is highly overestimated, too. In France, people tend to think that 40% of the population will be Muslim by 2020 (the projection is 8.3%). The United States has an average guess of 23% (the projection is 1.1%) (via).

The German city of Hamburg carried out a similar survey in 2014 and came to the conclusion that only 8% of its inhabitants were close to reality when guessing the proportion of the Muslim population (via).

Photographs (mostly?) by Eve Arnold (The Nation of Islam, 1961) via and via and via and via and via

Friday 10 February 2017

"The world is more beautiful the more you accept"

Online homestay network Airbnb has a clear message: The world is more beautiful the more you accept. Their clip #WeAccept was shown during the last Superbowl, their tweets - followed by more than 571.000 persons - are dedicated to diversity and acceptance. The company also announced that they would offer free housing to refugees and blocked travellers (via).

Here are some tweets:

"Acceptance means being culturally sensitive toward each other and loving our similarities rather than hating our differences."

"If we all wrote down our own hopes and dreams, I think they'd be similar around the world. We're more the same than different."

"No matter how different we are, there's one thing we should agree on: Every human is deserving of equal opportunity and respect."

"Acceptance means being seen, heard, understood, recognized, respected & embraced for one's own truth."

"It is our duty as a progressive and thoughtful society to make everyone, regardless of background, feel welcome and celebrated."

"I think acceptance is the ability to see strangers—people that may not look like you—as potential friends, not as enemies."

"Acceptance to me means having the ability to go anywhere in the world and still be yourself without discrimination."

"Acceptance is when someone knows I’m different, but treats me the same."

“It's always been part of our family's value system to love everyone. We all belong to this world."

And here the clip:

The following message was published by the founders of Airbnb on 5 February 2017

We believe in the simple idea that no matter who you are, where you're from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong. We know this is an idealistic notion that faces huge obstacles because of something that also seems simple, but isn't - that not everyone is accepted.

People who've been displaced, whether because of war or conflict or other factors, are acutely vulnerable to not being accepted. They are, quite literally, in need of a place to belong, which is why we've been inspired to take action.

We started by providing housing for evacuees of disasters and have since provided housing during 54 global disasters. We partnered with organizations dedicated to the needs of refugees around the world. And just last week, we announced that the Airbnb community will provide free housing to refugees and those recently barred from entering the US. When we announced this, there was an outpouring of interest from our community, and we were inspired to go bigger.

Today we're setting a goal to provide short-term housing over the next five years for 100,000 people in need. We'll start with refugees, disaster survivors, and relief workers, though we want to accommodate many more types of displaced people over time. To help people around the world facing displacement, we'll work with our community of hosts to find not just a place to stay, but also a place to feel connected, respected, and a part of a community again. In addition, Airbnb will contribute $4 million over the course of four years to the International Rescue Committee to support the most critical needs of displaced populations globally.

We couldn’t talk about the lack of acceptance in the world without pointing out the challenges in our own community at Airbnb. The painful truth is that guests on Airbnb have experienced discrimination, something that is the very opposite of our values. We know we have work to do and are dedicated to achieving greater acceptance in our community.

These efforts are just the beginning, and we hope you consider joining us by sharing your home with someone who is displaced or donating to organizations that assist those in need. It’s possible that a child today will grow up in a different kind of world, one where they're accepted for who they are, no matter where they are. Because we really do believe that the world is a better, more beautiful place the more we accept each other.

- The founders of Airbnb

Brian Joe Nate

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images via and via and via and via and via

Wednesday 8 February 2017

The Next Doctor Who

"Doctor Who", the British science-fiction TV programme that started in 1963, has had twelve doctors so far. After Peter Capaldi, the current Doctor Who since 2014 (and who was a "risk" for the BBC because he was older than most of the doctors before him), announced that he would leave the show, fans called "to seize the opportunity to appoint a black or female actor as the 13th incarnation of the Time Lord".

Current writer Steven Moffat said that it would be "amazing" to have two non-white leading actors (via). Since shape-lifting is part of the narrative, more flexibility is given. The new cast certainly is "an obvious opportunity - at a time of urgent debate in British TV about diversity" (via).

“Of course there should be a female Doctor Who, but what we need is a man as her assistant. She has got to tell him what to do. He will need that leadership.”
Harriet Harman, former Labour deputy leader

“Before the BBC consider changing the lead role to a female Doctor, they should consider getting more female directors on the show. In the entire 50 years that Doctor Who has been on air there’s only been 10 female directors, which is a terrible reflection of the time we live in. Doctor Who’s very first producer was a woman, now there’s a success story for taking a risk. If they could do that a bit more now, it would be a better series as a result.”
Sebastian J. Brook, founder of Doctor Who Online

images of John Pertwee (1970-1974), Patrick Troughton (1966-1969) and William Hartnell (1963-1966) via and via and via

Monday 6 February 2017

The -ism Series (28): White Supremacism

“We can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.” 
John Wayne

"someone who believes that a particular type or group of people should lead or have control over other types or groups of people because they believe they are better" Cambridge Dictionary
"It’s about a fragile sense of superiority (covering a sense of insecurity) that must be actively promoted to be maintained. It reflects a system that is inflexible, rigid, and socially autistic (awkward social relations)." Darcia Narvaez
White supremacy is an "institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of color by white peoples and nations" in order to maintain and defend the established system of power, privilege and wealth (via) based on the racist ideology that white people are superior to other ethnicities. This privilege, in fact, is given by society without asking whether one wants it or not. According to Harry Brod, there is no option of not taking. And due to this very view of our heritage we can grow up without ever questioning our supremacy based on skin tone. We are deprived of the skills of cricital thinking (via) and may not even realise the privilege. According to a poll released in November 2015, about half of white US-Americans believed they faced just as much discrimination as blacks (via).
White supremacy is a deeply rooted system, a complex multi-generational socialisation process that defines relationships of power between whites and non-whites; it is a social control mechanism. This system started to develop when Europeans started conquest, colonisation and slavery in the 1500s (via) and continued e.g. with Jim Crow laws in the United States and the apartheid legislation in South Africa. White supremacy still exists, it just looks different.
"Historically white identity has been grounded in the experiences of fear, control, and violence. White supremacy leads to fear of people of color. Fear of slave revolts. Fear of loss of political power as in the time of Reconstruction. Fear of declining property values when neighborhoods change. Fear of losing social capital as in integrated education. Fear that whites will become a “minority” in the United States by the year 2050." (via)
"The white race is not a passive demographic act but an invented voluntary social institution whose only utility is oppression." Gardiner, 2009

"The Jewish people and the Negro people both know the meaning of Nordic supremacy. We have both looked into the eyes of terror."
Langston Hughes

- Gardiner, W. J. (2009) Reflections on the History of White Supremacy in the United States; pdf
- Narvaez, D. (2016). The Psychology of Supremacism: Whether White, Male or Human. Online: Psychology Today
- images of John Wayne (1972) via and via and  via

::: America's white fragility complex: Why white people get so defensive about their privilege; Salon
::: Kendall, F. E. (2002). Understanding White Privilege; pdf

Saturday 4 February 2017

Audi's Daughter

"What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa is worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?..."

"Progress is in every decision we make, every technology we invent, every vehicle we build. It’s our past, our future, our reason to exist. Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. A 2016 report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee found that women were paid 21% less than men on average. 
This is a story of a young girl competing in a downhill cart race in her hometown. As the fearless daughter weaves her way through a field of competitors, her father contemplates whether his daughter’s worth will be measured by her gender through a series of provocative questions. It is a reminder that progress doesn’t belong to any one group. Progress is for everyone." Audi USA
Audi launched its ninth Super Bowl ad stating in a press release that is committed to supporting women's pay equality in the workplace. In addition, 50% of candidates of its graduate internship programme have to be female. The commercial was created by Venables Bell & Partners and will be aired tomorrow in the third quarter of the game (via).

Friday 3 February 2017

Time Use Survey & Gender

According to a 2013 survey carried out by the Pew Research Center, women in the United States have about five hours less free time per week than men. When there are children under 18 at home, the gap is three hours as both men and women have less free time when there are children. Working fathers, on average, have three more hours of leisure time per week than working mothers (via and via and via).

"Men were more likely than women to participate in sports, exercise, or recreation on a given day--23 percent compared with 18 percent. On days they participated, men also spent more time in these activities than did women--1.7 hours compared with 1.2 hours."
American Time Use Survey, 2015
A Dutch study comes to the conclusion that men and women have the same amount of free time but that the times they are free differ. Women have more free time on weekdays while men engage in leisure activities more often than women at weekends. Interestingly, women seem to have a smaller "free time budget" as their free time is more fragmented, divided up into shorter segments of leisure time (via).

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Photograph of Paulette Dubost by Robert Doisneau (1959) via

Thursday 2 February 2017

Alt Det Vi Deler

"All that we share" is a commerical that features eighty Danes from all walks of life. Before filming, participants were given forty questions to consider. During filming, they clustered according to their responses...

"It’s easy to put people in boxes. There’s us. And there’s them. The high earners. And those just getting by. Those we trust. And those we avoid. There’s the new Danes. And those who have always been here. The people from the countryside. And those who have never seen a cow. The religious. And the confident. There are those we share something with. And those we don’t share something with.

Welcome. I am going to ask you some questions today. Some might be a bit personal – but I hope you will answer them honestly. Who in this room was the class clown? Who are step parents? And then there’s suddenly us. We who believe in life after death. We who have seen a UFO. And all of us who love to dance. We who have been bullied. And we who have bullied others. And then there’s us who had sex this past week. We who are brokenhearted. We who are madly in love. We who feel lonely. We who are bisexual. And we who acknowledge the courage of others. We who have found the meaning of life. And those of us who have saved a life. And then there’s all of us who just love Denmark. So maybe there’s more that brings us together than we think."

Developed at &Co, Copenhagen.
Shot by director Asger Leth via Moland Film
Music “Heartfelt Universe” by Michael Sajic