Here ya go - Jillian and Dorothy had this on the news this a.m. and neither they nor Steve thought it was a very good idea. Photographer Jill Greenberg used lighting tricks that she's publicized heavily to make John McCain look like a horror movie monster. Those on both sides of the campaign will probably try to misstate what she did - don't look to conservative commentators to emphasize how disgusted the magazine that hired her is. Jeffrey Goldberg, who wrote the article that the photo was used to illustrate, said that she "betrayed" The Atlantic.
My students have been discussing the election. As young people, most of them will be voting for the first time in this election season. Students have questioned whether their vote counts, and argued passionately for each ticket. On both sides, issues of "media" have arisen. But I think that the strong reaction from the publication does indicate that yes, some minimum standards still exist. Gross unprofessionalism isn't tolerated or rewarded in any truly professional media publication or outlet. Here are some more descriptions and images of the photographer's use of her talent. Her website is called - no kidding - "The Manipulator." This ugly photo is her main photo (and current claim to fame) - and right now it says "i'll have my girl kill roe v wade".
If all the rest wasn't enough, I think that qualifies this woman as officially insane. Of course The Atlantic is responsible for hiring her. Obviously, whoever assigns photo work is aware of what a maniac she is, and before the results occurred, probably thought they'd get either a funny or "hard-hitting" photo. She's done a lot of covers, and seems to be able to restrain from making people look like monsters on most occasions. In terms of "manipulating," she's got one cover of Howard Stern that makes him look about 22 years old. So there ya got that for that.
I don't know what to say. I actually feel badly for The Atlantic. Not only is this whole type of thing not to my taste, it's kind of shameful that somebody with a good career like this would blow it over an election - No matter what anybody's politics are, the deal is - if you don't like somebody, don't vote for them. No matter what, there will be another opportunity in four years' time. And try being aware of your local representatives, too. Why people rant and rave like this over the Presidential election while letting nutburgers and maniacs get reelected for years and years is beyond me. This photographer is also known for this - making toddlers cry by baiting them with candy to make her idiotic "political" points. I don't know if she's naturalized, but several web sources refer to her as "Canadian." Way to go.
You know, psychologically, I've given the tendency to extreme overreaction among some people, who get hysterical in their day-to-day lives over political candidates, some thought. I don't "get" it, but it's probably a similar human behavior to extreme religious fervor, although it's applied to politics, and it seldom accompanies actual religious fervor. People were all lathered up about Hitler too, in pre-war Nazi Germany. People swooned, went over his every word, and applied every epithet in the book to his political opponents when he still had them. They drew cartoons - and soon enough, began to apply the fear and hatred toward racial, ethnic and other groups when the actual political opponents died and went away, either due to natural or Nazi causes.
How irrational is this woman? Why does she consider abortion (yes) the most important thing in the world? Our world is cruel enough to women and children - it doesn't help to beat a drum in favor of something that is not really positive for anybody. Women still make a fraction of what men make to do the same jobs, most abortions really are promoted by MEN who don't want to pay child support or have 18 years of responsibility for a baby, and check out these statistics:
I first came to understand this during the Laci Peterson case, when everyone was so upset that a husband would kill his beautiful young wife, shortly before she was about to deliver his first child - a little boy that had already been named Connor. This was simply the first time this behavior had been brought to light in a personal way - her picture and the story was something everyone could relate to.
Here is another statistic: On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day.
I did a lot of thinking, because the current election is bringing two very real, very serious and very negative human trends to the fore: racism and sexism. Sexism is often overlooked. Just as lynching was overlooked until - after the efforts of many brave people giving their lives - it at last became something 99.9% of people would abhor, speak out against, and not allow.
According to this complete, professional academic survey, between 1882 and 1951, 4,730 people were lynched in the United States: 3,437 Negro and 1,293 white. The survey begins with stating that the United States has a long and shameful history of domestic violence, of which the most shameful part was racist lynching.
Lynching was a behavior applied to a "weaker" opponent by angry, hate-filled murderers. It was covered up, denied, and justified for many generations.
The point I'm trying to make is - it took many years for people to recognize the scourge of racism. The main leader who was able to finally make that point, and finally break through to the majority of people, gave his life in service of the effort: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The people who are documenting crimes against women and children - our law enforcement and nonprofit organizations and activists, are following Dr. King's methods for nonviolent change. But the change has still not occurred.
People like this photographer may not realize that, if they truly believe in nonviolent change and a better life for everyone, including women and children, that they cannot achieve this by applying the same brutal and brutalizing methods to people that they think are in opposition to them. We are still "okay" in our society with more women being murdered in one year by their spouse or boyfriend than were lynched in the entire lynching era described above. We are "okay" with the chilling statistic that the number one cause of death for pregnant women in this country is - homicide.
We have still not addressed the root issue of genuine peace. President Reagan was not wrong when he promoted "peace through strength." Black people were at last protected from lynching when lynching was forcibly stopped. Lynching stopped when everyone realized - not just for moral reasons, but for real-world practical reasons - that it wasn't going to be "okay" any more. That last lynching party that got turned in - they discovered to their dismay that their friends who lied and protected them weren't going to do it any more. Now, there are movies like Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? that show KKK racist lynchers as the beasts that they are.
In a way, serial killer slasher movies actually may help, if the killer is caught, stopped, and punished. It at least shows that the behavior is off-limits, and people have a cathartic experience of realizing that this is not the way to go.
But our country is so far down the River De Nile that people who state they are "progressive" are obsessed over matters like "the right to choose" while women and children are paying with their lives every single day, in agony and fear - for just having the misfortune of being born female.
Yes, in my personal life, I have experienced this very thing. I am the survivor of rape - and I was raped by a person in a position of authority over me in a situation where most people would have "assumed" they would be perfectly safe. I know how the people who were molested or raped by pedophile priests, scoutmasters or school coaches feel, let's just say that. After living a "normal" life, without daily experiences of people pigeonholing me as whatever stereotype they had of "blonde woman," I experienced gross sexism in the science fiction field, and I experienced the bizarre circumstances surrounding my friend Alan Rodgers' divorce and custody battle -- with a person so bizarre and twisted that he thought he both could, and should control my actions, thoughts and personal choices. Someone who could bleat about being the defender of women and children who clearly, was domineering and controlling in a way seldom seen - extending beyond his immediate family to virtual strangers - with no problem whatsoever exploiting, harassing and threatening a female, a teen, and a special-needs baby that had no relation to him at all. His pals lathered up about "defending a dead baby" knowing literally nothing about the situation at all. All of them: male. All, one might say - misfits, or not the highest coconuts on the tree of life. And I've had to fight like somebody who was the first minority player on an all-white sports team.
Not that I object to that - I have to fight just the same as everyone else, but this situation points up that women are by no means as "far along" as many might think. People still do not truly comprehend the seriousness of the matter. I didn't receive abuse, suffer rape, or get targeted by a rabid psychopath because I "asked for it." I got it because I was female, and in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is very much what happened, and still happens, to the victims of racist violence. The overwhelming majority of them were just walking in the wrong place at the wrong time, when a mob of angry, insane and violent monsters came by and destroyed their lives and threw their families into turmoil and grief. Or, for example, Jamiel Shaw, whose promising life was cut short by a gang member hunting for somebody to kill - a solution can't be found to this situation, because people have to continue to try to blame Jamiel and lie about him. It's "blame the victim." She made me do it. He made me do it. It's her fault. It's his fault.
We are not so far along - not at all. Peace through strength.