How Odd!

[Trigger warning.]

Last Wednesday, Reuters reported on a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority in Britain banning American Apparel from printing an ad showing a very young-looking woman modeling an AA hoodie. The images (NSFW), which show the woman baring progressively more skin, evoke amateur porn, and the woman appears to be a teenager (American Apparel says she is 23). In its ruling, the ASA found that the images "could be seen to sexualize a model who appeared to be a child" and barred American Apparel from running them again.

This story, naturally, was featured in Reuter's "Oddly Enough," right next to a story about "Dog Hops Online, Looking for Date."

A couple of headlines below that, we find a story, titled "New school year puts French on forced marriage alert," about French Muslim girls sent overseas over the holidays only to be raped and forced into "child marriage. The story details the heartbreaking stories of these enslaved young women, more than half of whom are under 20.

This, too, was labeled "odd news," and featured right below an article headlined "Weird Science: Cosmic cannibals, an alien abduction, and clowns in space"

Underneath that, there's a column—this one actually titled "News of the Weird"—including an item about a man who fooled a female caregiver into changing his diapers by impersonating a disabled man with a mental age of five; an item about a loophole in Rhode Island that allows 16-year-olds to work as strippers; an item about hunter in Uganda who forced his wife to breastfeed his puppies, causing one of her own children to die of rabies; and an item about a Hong Kong paper that published a list of malls at which women were especially susceptible to "upskirt" photography.

Because ain't nothing more wacky—and, lest you forget, trivial—than underage pornography, child rape, sexual assault, child sex work, forced breastfeeding, and violation of women's privacy. Amiright?

Because Liss says it better than I could: "Being obliged to think about someone chuckling over the hilarious oddity of girls being forced into marriage and raped at 13 can make a gal angry as fuck, particularly as she recognizes that the constant positioning of humiliated women as the butt of jokes humiliates us all."

[How Odd: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen.]

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