Posts filed under ‘media’

wha-happened?

Don’t worry, the soy so lindo team is still alive and well.

 We’ve been a bit quiet for the past month or so because of a sudden unexpected trip back home (New York). Will we be back in good ol’ BsAs? Sure hope so, although as of now there is no ETA. In the meantime, expect the occasional post about Buenos Aires, New York, or whatever else tickles our fancy.

Today we’ve got some just-shot photos of soy so lindo’s favorite musicians Princesa and No Lo Soporto, shot by soy so lindo’s favorite photographer Flor in soy so lindo’s favorite secret store, Tremendo (don’t worry, in time we’ll be giving Tremendo its own post. Patience!). They’ll be featured in story I wrote in a not-so-secret magazine in late November.

 Enjoy, and besos–REBECCA

Princesa por Flor Lista

No Lo Soporto por Flor Lista

October 1, 2007 at 3:58 pm Leave a comment

just say “no” to sweatshop labor

Buenos Aires is attempting to put a stop to sweatshops in the city by going on the offensive. Today Clarin reported that the city government has named names, citing some of the biggest brands here of being guilty of producing their garments in sweatshops. Included among these are Puma, Fila, Arena, Bensimon, Topper and Le Coq Sportif.

Many of these sweatshops are based out of Parque Avellaneda, a neighbourhood to the west of the city center. According to IPS News, “In this district alone, there are approximately 40 small sweatshops,” with wages totalling about $20 pesos a month. Most people (perhaps best described as slaves) working in sweatshops are immigrants from Bolivia, although there are also Peruvians, Paraguayans, and Argentines. According to one former sweatshop worker, “They take advantage of us because they know that we Bolivians are submissive and hard-working.”

While the city has denounced these brands for their use of sweatshop labor, it doesn’t look like the government has actually done anything about it. Previous court cases against sweatshops have ended in the owners’ favor, and there still isn’t a federal law that prohibits the trafficking of humans.

So for now, the only way to really respond to these allegations would be to boycott the guilty labels. I haven’t read about anyone protesting outside of Bensimmon, and I don’t see it happening. Am I just being cynical?–REBECCA

July 30, 2007 at 6:02 pm Leave a comment

transvestite travesty

Prostitutes and transvestites are nothing new in Palermo– in fact, prior to the recent gentrification of Palermo, it was one of Buenos Aires’ main red light districts— but the recent lifting of a prostitution ban in the area may give them more visibility.

Pagina 12 reports that the suspension of Resolución 38 (“declaraba ‘el Rosedal de Palermo y su entorno’ como ‘espacio no autorizado para la oferta o demanda de servicios sexuales”) by a new resolution, Resolución 43, was done in part to increase awareness and reduce transmission rates of HIV/AIDS.

Basically, making prostitution illegal doesn’t stop it from happening. Instead, prostitution will still go on, but the government can’t officially talk about it or do any sort of outreach, like HIV/AIDS prevention, because it’s supposed to be illegal! So by lifting the ban on prostitution (although not outright repealing it), the government is attempting to address the problem rather than sweep it under the rug.

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Despite yesterday’s protest by a transvestite organization pushing for the resolution’s complete repeal, it looks as though the government has actually been including sex workers in its discussions. As was reported,

‘Decidimos entonces convocar a una amplia mesa de diálogo.’ Se decidió ya incluir a la Asociación de Travestis, Transexuales y Transgénero de la Argentina (ATTA); la Federación Argentina de Personas Gays, Lésbicas, Travestis, Bisexuales e Intersexuales (Fagltbi); la Asociación de Mujeres Meretrices Argentinas (Ammar); la Asociación de Amigos del Lago de Palermo, otras entidades vecinales y vecinos interesados; el Inadi; por parte del gobierno porteño participarán los ministros de Medio Ambiente, de Gobierno y de Derechos Humanos, así como la Procuraduría General.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the government will actually listen to what any of these groups have to say, but at least there was some effort to talk to sex workers before making a decision.

Prostitution doesn’t exist just because it’s legal or allowed; instead, it exists because we live in a society where sexuality (and sexual expression/desire) is repressed, where objectifying and treating people (specifically women) a certain way is promoted, and where increasing rates of poverty (especially among women) forces people to take certain jobs. So making it legal doesn’t necessarily deal with the root of the problem, but it at least addresses safety and health concerns for sex workers.–REBECCA

July 24, 2007 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

toing, toing, gone

MySpace may have the American music scene in a choke-hold, but My Toing is attempting to give it a run for its money here in Argentina.

Through My Toing, bands can create their own pages with songs, videos, photos, blurbs, and tour info. Language options currently include Spanish and Portuguese.

Despite copying half of MySpace’s name, My Toing doesn’t seem poised to mimic the site’s success. There are currently only a handful of bands registered, and of those, only three seemed worth checking out. And none of those three bands impressed me with their music. In fact, I did a quick search, plugging in the names of some indie bands we’ve recently covered here at soy so lindo, and not a single one of them showed up. Not to be a total snot, but would you really want to buy an album from one of these bands?

 

Which could of course be because the site was only recently launched. MySpace was around for years before it actually became the cultural phenomenon that it is today. At this point, it’s a matter of My Toing getting enough buzz to draw in more (interesting) bands. What will it take? A smart ad campaign? An aggressive marketing? Being bought out by a conservative Australian?–REBECCA

July 23, 2007 at 6:56 pm Leave a comment

los pelirrojos son peligrosos

 

If there’s anything to learn from Clarin today, it’s that being a redhead in Buenos Aires sucks!

 Oh, and if you’re not a redhead, you can add the taunts “Fideos con tuco,” “fosforito,” “ketchup,” and “mufa,” to your anti-redhead arsenal.

Clarin wondered outloud what it’s like to grow up with red hair and concluded that as bad as things are here in Argentina for pelirrojos, they’re not nearly as bad as in England. Which struck me as a bit odd, since there seem to be plenty of flaming redheads from England (Kate Winslet, Ginger Spice, or Ron from Harry Potter, if we’re just talking big names), and yet few from here. But maybe I’m just color blind and can’t see the full spectrum of rainbow colored heads in Buenos Aires.

Regardless, I’m looking for redhead taunt retorts in Spanish for when my dear redheaded friend from NY comes to visit in August. Any suggestions?–REBECCA

July 18, 2007 at 3:27 pm 1 comment

Europeans and South Americans ‘Just Have Sexy in Their Blood’

Female leaders 

It’s been a little over a week since President Kirchner announced that he would not be running for re-election, allowing his wife, Senator Cristina Kirchner, to run instead, and already the media has been all over Argentina’s political drama.

Inevitably, there is much that can be said about the Kirchner-Clinton connection; both couples met in law school, both men became presidents, both women became senators, and now, both women are aiming for the White (or in Argentina’s case, Pink) House.

Yet for some writers, the most important thing is that…Cristina Kirchner is sexy and Hillary Clinton is not!

Yes, that’s right, apparently ABC News thought it necessary to devote three pages to analyzing the differences in dress and appearance between the two women:

When Argentina’s foxy first lady and fashionista Cristina Kirchner announced July 2 that she would run for president, she allowed her long, black hair to cascade over a plunging neckline.

But America’s first lady of politics, Hillary Rodham Clinton — who has often been compared to Kirchner — opted for a solid black pants suit during her recent presidential debate.

Other international women with brains and power, such as France’s Ségolène Royal, flaunt their sexuality. But Americans prefer to play the dowdy card.

And that’s just the first three paragraphs. The atrocious dek of the piece declares, “Europeans and South Americans ‘Just Have Sexy in Their Blood,” making a sweeping generalization about entire continents based on the evidence of just three people. Apparently ignoring the existence of “dowdy” (or–gasp–women who fall into neither category) leaders like Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Mary McAleese of Ireland, Tarja Halonen of Finland, and Angela Merkel of Germany will make your already-shoddy argument work.

It goes without saying that you would never find an article dissecting the dressing habits of Bush, Sarkozy, or any other male politician (except perhaps John Edwards, but that’s just veiled homophobia at work). Nestor Kirchner is in no way easy on the eyes, plus he’s got a major lisp, and yet not a peep about his physical appearance. 

Cristina Kirchner hopes to succeed her husband Nestor

Like with most things, women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t; that same old virgin-whore complex means that she’s either totally dowdy (and, in Clinton’s case, a lesbian) or a complete vamp. Getting dressed to go to a fundraising event is no longer just a simple routine, but instead an indicator of how a woman is as a political leader. And that’s worrisome.

Because even if they are elected, they will never escape the judgements that are passed on them and not on their male predecessors. We can say that we’ve made history and elected a woman president, but it won’t mean anything if we still hold her to a double standard.

And it’s not just some small time blogger saying this (and believe me, several have), but ABC News. Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is not, “Are we ready for a female president?” but rather, “Is the media ready for a female president?” We’ll know it is when the answer is, “We’re ready for a president.”–REBECCA

July 11, 2007 at 7:34 pm 1 comment

r.i.p. JANE

jane 

Yesterday I received the sad news that Jane magazine was shut down. Conde Nast claimed that, “the magazine and website will not fulfill our long-term business expectations,” and various people have reported that no one, save editor in chief Brandon Holley, knew about it until Monday morning. Editors were given until the evening to pack up and, basically, get out.

While  Jane wasn’t perfect (and what magazine is?), it was a Trojan Horse of feminist beliefs in a sea of women-hating women’s magazines. Sure, Jane would put Ashlee Simpson and Avril Lavigne on the cover, but the content inside the magazine was anything but ditzy. With Jane gone, there is no other mainstream women’s magazine that will teach women how to change a flat tire, tell them where to go for a BBQ-centric road trip, or show them a fashion spread shot at Bonnaroo.

A year ago I wrote an analytical piece about Jane for a class and, despite its overall academic dorkiness, think that the message of this paper gets at why the shuttering of Jane is so disappointing:

“JANE is able to reach out to readers who may never have encountered feminism in the media if it weren’t for stumbling upon the magazine; in a recent letter printed in the magazine, Krista writes, “It makes me sick now, but I started reading JANE ‘cause the grocery store was out of Cosmo. Thank God the stock boy was sick. This clever, insightful publication takes the good from other mags and mixes it up in a dorky way. I find comfort in the sarcasm of every journalist on payroll.” Magazines like Bust and Bitch aren’t able to make it onto most grocery store stands, therefore it’s important to at least have a magazine like JANE sitting side-by-side with the latest issue of Glamour. Although it might not be able to present its central value of women’s empowerment 100-percent of the time, JANE makes use of what it can in order to have the biggest and broadest impact.”

On a more personal note, I interned at Jane for a year, which in media internship years is about 5. It was one of the best experiences I have had at a magazine, mostly because of the people who worked there. They taught my how to copy edit, how to write a proper pitch (and would then actually read my pitches), and how to develop my passion for writing about all things pop culture-related. So the first thing I thought about when I heard that Jane was folding was all of the great writers/editors/etc. who worked there. I wish them the best and hope that everything works out.

In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Missbehave stays afloat (since it has potential), and I’ll have to figure out how I can cancel the gift subscription to Jane that I bought for my sister at the end of–and I’m not joking– last week.  So long, Jane. –REBECCA

July 10, 2007 at 2:57 pm 4 comments

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