Have You Watched Our Profiles Series Yet?
In our attention-deficit throw-away society, very seldom is there room for the little guy (or gal) to say their piece in the spotlight. Our new series, Profiles by VICE, aims to change that. Profiles by VICE is a weekly distillation of our eccentric and idiosyncratic world. In each episode we take an intimate look at issues, people, and communities that burrow deep into the underbellies of society.
If this piques your interest—and we can’t see why it wouldn’t, unless you’re one of those humans who’s not interested in other humans, in which case we don’t know what to tell you other than, “Get your head out of your ass”—watch the series trailer here, and check out this handy episode guide:
- Slut-Shaming Preacher: We travel to Arizona to meet up with campus preacher Brother Dean Saxton, a student at the University of Arizona, whose “You Deserve Rape” sign has caused outrage among the student body.
- An Inside Look at the Exotic Animal Trade: We travel to Ohio to rescue a cougar, then to Texas for an exotic livestock auction and undercover visit to a gaming ranch where the animals are sold and hunted for up to $15,000 a piece.
- Reserection: The Penis Implant: We travel to Miami (obviously) to speak to one of the leading penis doctors in the country and find out what it scosts to get your penis operated on.
- My Homie Sells Homies: We travel to New York City’s forgotten borough, Staten Island, to find out how a guy named Sugarman created a small vending-machine empire—and how he subsequently lost it, one quarter at a time.
- Blind Gunslinger: We travel to North Dakota to meet Carey McWilliams, the first completely blind person in the US to acquire a concealed-carry permit.
- Prison, Bling Ring, and Redemption: We travel to Los Angeles and talk to Alexis Neiers about her struggles with addiction, her criminal involvement in the real-life Bling Ring, and her new life as a sober mother.
- Teenage Bullfighters: We travel to Merida, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, to meet Michelito Lagravere, who at 14, became the youngest bullfighter ever.
Profiles by VICE airs every Monday on VICE.com.
Watch VICE Profiles: Slut-Shaming Preacher
In August of last year, campus preacher Brother Dean Saxton caused outrage after preaching at the University of Arizona and holding a sign that read, “YOU DESERVE RAPE.”
This is typical behavior for Dean, who believes, among other things, that women shouldn’t be allowed to attend university, that feminism is evil, and that immodestly dressed women are asking to be raped.
VICE went to Arizona to meet up with Dean as he was preparing to protest the screening of a documentary about a rape survivor.
VICE Profiles is a weekly window into our eccentric and idiosyncratic world. Check back for new episodes every Monday.
Gay Men and Their Not-So-Cute Misogyny Problem
What’s up with all the misogyny, gay dudes? Seriously. I’m not saying you have to be deep-throating a copy of Feminine Mystique while blasting Julie Ruin, but could some of you (emphasis on SOME) not have such thinly-veiled contempt for women?
Maybe you don’t even realize it. You probably don’t. You probably think you’re just being cute when you belittle your best girlfriend’s appearance or call her (jokingly!) a whore, but no, it doesn’t work that way.
As glorious as a friendship between a gay man and a straight girl can be, it also has the tendency to get a little dark. For example, we are all aware of the whole “OMG, GAY BEST FRIEND” epidemic where women fetishize their friendships with homos and treat them like a Pez dispenser of fabulousness rather than, you know, a nuanced human being. What I don’t hear getting talked about as much, though, is when the gay guy treats the girl like shit. When his seemingly harmless taunts turn into something that resembles verbal abuse.
Last year, I was in San Francisco with one of my best girlfriends and her gay friend, whom I had only met once or twice before. We were drinking at some house party, having an A-OK time, when all of a sudden her gay friend starts shouting to her, “You’re a fucking slut. Look at you, you slut whore!”
This, I guess, was supposed to be “sassy” and “cute” but really it just made everyone in the room profoundly uncomfortable. He was drunk, too drunk, and his words felt like daggers. My girlfriend had no idea what to do so she just laughed it off and prayed it would stop.
Here’s Why Taylor Swift Will Never Be Called a Whore
I know this puts me in the minority, but I’ve never been a huge Taylor Swift fan. It’s great that she’s the highest grossing pop star under the age of 30 and everything, and that she’s worth $56 million and everything, but her music is dog-doo awful town. And with great power comes great responsibility.
Anyway, a few weeks ago, Ken Baker of E! News tweeted the above image.
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat here so I don’t have a bunch of fellow feminists jumping down my throat: Neither Taylor Swift nor Miley Cyrus are “sluts.” As Ryan O’Connell points out: “While it’s nice that people are starting to realize that calling Miley Cyrus a slut is bad news bears, that doesn’t mean we should deflect all of that sexist energy to Taylor Swift.” I agree completely! And what is a slut anyway? Especially with regard to giant pop stars? I’m pretty sure that being slutty or not slutty has nothing to do with a woman’s musical abilities. But that doesn’t stop us from judging a female musician on her neckline.
My problem with Taylor Swift is her lyrics. It’s not that she only writes about boys and love (even though I find this problematic and totally unprogressive).
It’s that Taylor Swift slut-shames other women constantly and no one says anything about it.
Here’s a fun little thought experiment. Try to think of a Taylor Swift song that isn’t about boys and boyfriends and lovey-dovey girl feelings. In her songs, romantic relationships usually end because of the actions of another woman.
Read the rest over at NOISEY.
Talking with 3 Virgins
In the last few years in North American culture, abstinence-only education in the US has proved unsuccessful, yet federally funded “Purity Balls"—where daughters pledge virginity to their fathers until marriage in a public ceremony—are strong and alive (and weird). Just look at TLC’s The Virgin Diaries, which highlights, among others, three famous virgins named Lisa, Danielle, and Tamara, whose specific brand of purity is everywhere: Dr. Drew, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Telegraph UK, and CBC.
Doesn’t the idea of “combating a sex-obsessed culture with purity” just validate the idea of a woman’s moral compass being her vagina? Staying pure, virginity by choice… it’s fine by me. What I do have a problem with is where the notion of “purity” leaves the others. The sluts. People like me. If it is morally right to wait to experiment with sex until you are married to a man, then that must make those of us who don’t wait morally wrong. Where is the middle ground? Beyond this, why is a woman’s morality always intertwined with her sexuality?
I was raging with questions. I’ve read Jessica Valenti’s The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women (now a documentary) like a bible-manifesto combo. I’ve angrily gawked over documentaries of Purity Balls and abstinence-only educators (like that psycho Pam Stenzel). I have a degree in gender studies, too. These virgins were pulling me in. I had to talk to them, get them to hear my side, the smarter side of the whole purity debate.
I decided to go and talk to Lisa, Danielle, and Tamara. I emailed them explaining that I was a feminist writer and even though I didn’t agree with their choices, I respected their right to have them. Surprisingly, they invited me over for a chat and a photo shoot. They even let us dress them up in Laura Ashley-style country-girl garb.