Dolce & Gabbana

Written by Tony Lacerenza

As a staunch believer in ‘Freedom of Speech,’ I can gladly say that Dolce & Gabbana’s fundamental right to voice their opinion is valid. That much is understood. However Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, as prosperous as they may be,  made some pretty distasteful statements that  received full recognition. I am not impressed.

The fashion designers  made statements to Italian magazine, ‘Panorama’ about children born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and made irrational comments about same-sex families. They referred to these children as “children of chemistry” and “synthetic”. I must have missed it in the newspaper somewhere, I didn’t know that the circumstances in which a child was born were even relevant. Shouldn’t what you choose to do with your life matter, instead? What makes Dolce & Gabbana experts anyway?

Their views on conception seem to be more ‘traditional’. Again, they’re entitled to their beliefs as I am and as we all are. But, sometimes you just have to stop and think about what you’re going to say before you say it. Some families cannot conceive children the ‘traditional’ way. IVF has been used not only to the full advantage of same-sex couples, but straight couples as well. Yet, it still doesn’t seem to click for Dolce & Gabbana.

In the most recent issue of Panorama, the fashion designer goes on to say, “I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.” Gabbana said, “A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it’s cruel to take a baby away from their mother.”

Unfortunately, we commonly hear of cases where children are raised without either parent, whether their parents are deceased, in jail or deemed as “unfit.” It’s almost unavoidable, cases such as these are bound to happen. So where’s the harm in two loving mothers (or fathers) raising the same child? Gabbana can’t imagine a life without his mother, so aren’t two moms better than one (or none)?

I can’t help but think that their opinions come from insecure feeling. It’s quite hypocritical, actually and especially when Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana identify as gay themselves. They have even confessed to having romantic affairs with each other.

So I guess it’s okay to say what you want. Our constitution defends your right to speak freely, even if that includes being hateful and backwards, feel free to take that on and do so. But, expect me to do the same.

‘Freedom of Speech’ does not equate to freedom from criticism.


Sony silences “The Interview”

This past Wednesday, Sony Pictures announced the cancellation of The Interview, a movie set to be released in theaters on Christmas Day, in response to the alleged terrorist threats made against movie theaters by Kim Jong-Un, leader of North Korea. They vowed to distribute it “somehow,” but did not announce any plans.
The comedy stars American actors Seth Rogan and James Franco as two entertainment who snag an exclusive interview with the North Korean dictator. They are then asked by the CIA to assassinate him. Sony had announced that they have “no further release plans” for this film, according to the New York Times.
Prior to this announcement, the movie premiere had already been cancelled in New York City due to reported threats made by hackers, who pilfered sensitive and confidential data from Sony and published it on the Internet. Other leading theater chains began cancelling their screenings as well.
Threats consisted of a terrorist attack upon any theater that showed the film. Kim Jong-un himself gave an ultimatum back in June, stating that if the United States does not ban the film, North Korea will be “resolute and merciless” in response.
Sony Pictures has also suffered from a recent security breach, this past week. This cyber-attack has been declared to be one of the most damaging on an American corporation. Followed by this, Sony has been pushed in to a more difficult position. Not only taking an economic hit, but this business faces a loss in a large source of income, nearly millions as “The Interview” strikes out.
With Sony’s unexpected decision to no longer press forward with the film, criticism from celebrities on social media platform Twitter, arise also. Actress Mia Farrow goes on to describe Sony as “a disgrace.” Actor Rob Lowe, who makes an appearance in the film, tweeted, “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.”
Apparently, the North Korean dictator’s wish was America’s command as screening of the film has been canceled. Those familiar with the Constitution of the United States and freedom as citizens understand that one of our major moral tenets as a leading country—a super power – pertain to freedom of speech and expression. We as a country should not find ourselves in the position of having to negotiate with terrorists.
The move to cancel the premiere of this movie is one that many Americans were shocked to see. Sony’s decision silences what staunch believers of the first amendment fight for everyday. To depict the assassination of a leader (an unstable one at that) is an absurd premise, however the right to produce, screen and watch this comedy is completely our right, especially within our own borders.
That being said, Kim Jong-Un would have been better off to ignore this film’s distribution and its content. The Interview is certainly not the first movie to place North Korea in the comedic limelight. It’s not the first parody made involving North Korea.
In 2004, Team America: World Police had made its debut on the big screen. This movie mocked Kim Jong-Un’s father and former dictator, Kim Jong-Il, for our entertainment. Kim Jong-Il and North Korea had no public reaction, seeing as it was just a movie. Now, in 2014, it had been reported that Paramount has placed a ban on the film, ordering it not to be shown in certain theater chains after seeing the recent events involving Sony and terrorists.
The United States as a nation must reflect and understand that once we slowly start to give in to the demands and threats of foreign nations we must also brace ourselves for the reality that we might never recover the rights we sacrificed.
Safety in such circumstances as this one has been raised as a concern. But what about our freedoms? No matter the situation, are we supposed to just abandon our rights and all that we stand for when someone’s feelings are hurt? Our rights as American people are supposed to be protected and celebrated, so why give them away when the going gets rough?
President Barack Obama has publicly spoken on the matter, saying how Sony Pictures “made a mistake” by crossing out the comedic film. Mollifying Kim Jong-Un wasn’t an option in his eyes, despite what the movie giant had already done. “That’s not who we are,” the president said. “That’s not what America’s about.”

All Things Being Equal?

Last month, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson spoke to the United Nations in New York City promoting the campaign “HeForShe.” The ongoing campaign is one that is working to get men involved in the feminism movement and the fight for gender equality.

But what does NHS believe about equality?IMG_0080

“I believe that the only thing that separates men from women is a women’s ability to become pregnant,” English teacher John Carino said, adding that he considers himself a feminist. “Women are sometimes put in a place of submission. I try to help young ladies who have been harassed.”

NHS Athletic Director Thomas Pompei also considers himself to be a feminist. In Emma Watson’s speech, she describes how women are often paid less than men, even if they perform a job identical to their male co-workers. “I believe that women should most definitely receive equal pay,” said Pompei.The athletic director pointed out that some women who also serve as an athletic director may receive less pay, not because of their gender but merely based on the teacher’s contract and salary structure, such as in towns like Wolcott or Watertown.

Principal Janice Saam said, “I don’t think gender, race or religion should impact equality. As long as you’re qualified for the job, you should be paid accordingly.” Saam also stated how even though she considers herself to be a feminist (especially after Emma Watson’s re-definition of the word) she hasn’t really received the chance to necessarily “promote” it, however, she said, “Every opportunity that I have to correct someone’s perception that might be faulty, I will do so.”

Students also had plenty to say about feminism. Junior Amanda Valentin considers herself to be a feminist. “If men get involved, it would make feminism stronger. Not just women can fight for equality,” she said.

Junior Brianna Durante doesn’t see any difference between the genders. “I believe that women have just as many rights as men and can do anything men can do,” she said.

“I believe in equal rights,” said Senior Smay Joseph. “What’s the difference between men and women?”