Victoria Secret Causes Racial Controversy Over “Go East” Lingerie: Much ado about nothing?

 Victoria Secret is receiving accusations of demonstrating racism through  their new “Sexy Little Things” collection called “Go East,” intimate apparel inspired by oriental influences.

The lingerie retailer removed the collection off of their website after a feminist website called Bust came across a blog on Racialicious by 26-year-old Nina Jancito, a non-profit development manager, bashing the latest “Sexy Little Geisha” design donned by model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

“When someone creates a collection like this, making inauthentic references to ‘Eastern culture’…it reinforces a narrative that says that all Asian cultures–and their women–are exotic, far away but easy to access,” Jancito wrote. “It’s a troubling attempt to sidestep authentic representation and humanization of a culture and opt instead for racialized fetishizing against Asian women.”

Jancito makes a strong argument (obviously, since the company removed the collection from their website), but I think she’s chalking the situation up to be way more than what was intended. The company was taking a fashion cue from a culture and came up with something different from other lingerie companies–in short, doing what Victoria Secret does best. 

Then again, Jancito is right in a sense: if society allows big-time retail companies like Victoria’s Secret to continue to perpetuate racial and social stereotypes, there will be no end to them. Taking a stand against the powerful is the only way to ensure the stigmas are put to rest. So what may seem like no big deal at first glance may really be something quite influential on the mentality of today’s society and how they perceive individuals.

Although what Jancito did was the right thing to do in the end, I still say don’t take everything so seriously; you’ll never be able to enjoy life.

For those who don’t know, I’m blonde. When I saw this bumper sticker, I thought it was hilarious, so I took a picture of it. I know it’s not near as serious a topic as race, but it’s a minor example of how we should all relax and laugh at how silly stereotypes are.

 

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Best of Luck, Alabama: Voters Say Yes to Trust Fund Referendum

Alabamians voted in favor of the Trust Fund Referendum Tuesday evening, which will transfer $437 million from the state’s Trust Fund to its General Fund to cover the expenses of non-education related services, such as Medicaid and prisons.

At 10:20 p.m., the Associated Press reported 65 percent of voters chose yes. What. Were. They. Thinking. 

A temporary fix to a soon to be ongoing–and possibly bigger–problem, the amendment will only aid the state for the next three years, during which $145.8 million of the sum pulled from the Trust Fund will go towards General Fund spending each year. Yes, the thought of Governor Bentley making budget cuts towards the education fund is a terrifying idea, especially when the state of Alabama ranked as the 45th dumbest state from 2006-2007. Yes, the thought of children state wide getting kicked off Medicaid and not receiving the medical attention every child needs is devastating. That doesn’t justify voting in favor of the amendment.

What many are not taking into account are the multiple ways the state could save money and avoid pilfering from the Trust Fund. For one, the state would save an estimated $48 million simply by switching from paper checks to electronic. Another proposal from Governor Bentley’s Commission on Improving State Government found the state could save an additional $82 million by allowing some government employees retire early.

What really irks me the most are the scare tactics those involved with the Keep Alabama Working committee used to frighten those on the border of the subject to vote yes. One threat they stated was the early release of convicts due to insufficient funding for the prisons. That’s not okay.

I guess we’ll see where the state is three years down the road.

Here’s a video by award-winning journalist Quin Hillyer better explaining the Trust Fund Referendum:

You Can’t Fix a Leaking Pipe With Duct Tape: Vote No for the Alabama Trust Fund Referendum

Today is the day Alabama voters decide to vote in favor of or against the Alabama Medicaid Amendment, Amendment One, which would allow the state legislature to transfer $437 million from the state’s Trust Fund to its General Fund.  The transferred sum would go towards beefing up General Fund spending that has continued to decrease since the 2008 recession.

Although the Birmingham News reporter Joey Kennedy presents a well-informed and thoughtful perspective on why voters should choose yes, I’m going to have to disagree with his opinion. Voting yes to allow the Alabama State Legislature to transfer $437 million from the Trust Fund to the General Fund would be like duct taping a leaking pipe—it may hold for now, but eventually the leak is going to start again and maybe worsen until the issue is addressed properly.

This is for you, Governor Bentley

Kennedy argues that by voting no, the government would have to further cut back on the General Fund Budget, which would in turn adversely effect certain agencies that aid the public such as child welfare, Medicaid, and prisons.

State Representative Craig Ford couldn’t have put it any better: “You would not loan one-fifth of your personal savings to someone without first making sure that all other avenues of funding/assistance or money was not available to the borrower before raiding your personal savings.”

Plus, the amendment doesn’t mandate the money “borrowed” from the Trust Fund be returned to the account. The General Fund covers all expenses related to Medicaid, prisons and courts. Money for the General Fund comes from interest payments received from the Trust Fund. The Trust Fund receives its funding from royalties collected from digging for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico. So if the amendment is passed, interest payments on the Trust Fund will be lower, which will therefore reduce the amount of money going into the General Fund later. As Scooby-Doo would say, “ruh-roh.”

In my humble opinion, Governor Robert Bentley should re-evaluate all of the options instead of taking the easy way out. Don’t try to duct tape the leaking pipe, Governor Bentley.  Fix the problem with the longer-term in mind.

Luke Kiszla Discusses ACE Project in Douglas Moore

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.—The Athletic Community Environment demonstrated the power of volunteer work when they refurbished a recreational facility for the Douglas Moore community this past summer.

Luke Kiszla, a sophomore majoring in history with a minor in theater at The University of Alabama from Mobile, Ala., was one of several ACE students working on the project. The group tore up and repaved two tennis courts along with a baseball batting cage in the blistering Alabama heat.

“We’re really looking to inspire following classes and the rest of the community to help pitch in and help us realize this goal of this beautiful recreational facility we have in mind,” Kiszla explained. “Right now, since we’re not able to really achieve it all ourselves or bring it up in these three weeks, we’re really hoping that this will inspire the rest to continue the work to give this community what it needs and deserves.”

Caroline Kennedy’s Speech at the Democratic National Convention Addresses Women’s Rights

Caroline Kennedy’s speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday,Sept. 6 in Charlotte, NC addressed why the re-election of President Obama is important for women and children.

“The president has been a champion for women’s rights. The first bill he signed was to make sure women can fight for equal pay for equal,” Kennedy said. “His commitment to women is about even more than economic rights—it’s about health care, reproductive rights, and our ability to make our own decisions about ourselves, our families, and our future.”

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Caroline Kennedy’s approach towards appealing to women was more subtle that Mrs. Ann Romney’s speech at the Republican National Convention, but not quite as well spoken or powerful, regardless of the derogatory way Romney attempted to persuade, specifically women, why her husband Mitt Romney is the best presidential candidate, using love as her accoutrement.

Kennedy is notorious for her lack of public speaking skills and, unlike her father, has difficulty getting her point across to her audience in an effective manner.

However, she discussed a key issue women are faced with today: reproductive health concerns, such as birth control and abortion. Unlike Ann Romney, she brought up a controversial topic that not only effects mother’s and the romantics of the female sex, but each and every female and even, arguably, male.

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