Rant September 8, 2010
GAH! This ad has already been retracted by the company because of so much backlash…but still, enough people thought this was a good idea for it to get printed in the first place.
It’s little things like this ad or this or this or this or this or this that really get to me, because they’re generally viewed as harmless. They’re just advertisements, they’re just trying to sell something — no big deal. Too many people don’t think twice about what they’re seeing on a daily basis, when really, the majority of ads you see every day deserve to have a serious critical eye taken to them.
It makes me wonder whether people would take the effort to get riled up if they saw something like this printed as a current advertisement:
I’m really trying not to lose my faith in humanity, but everyone is making it so hard on me!
Oh yeah, and DOUCHING IS BAD FOR YOUR VAGINA. DON’T DO IT!
Go forth and bulk up! September 1, 2010
In my ongoing quest to become a badass runner, I’ve become entirely fascinated by super athletic and buff women. I’m totally confused as to why people generally find muscles on women unattractive. Even fitness magazines like Women’s Health make sure to promise alongside strength-building workouts that they won’t make you bulk up – heaven forbid! I happen to be totally in favor of muscles on women and hope to one day hold a candle to some of these foxy ladies. Thus, here is my personal homage to muscley women…keep up the good work ladies!
Some light reading August 9, 2010
I found a few really interesting articles over the past couple days that I wanted to share.
“I’m telling you this because juries still think women who even look like they might possibly be sluts are “asking for it.” I’m telling you this because some people still think it’s OK to drive a teenage girl to suicide because she was probably a slut. I’m telling you this because our policymakers would rather girls get sometimes-fatal diseases than be perceived as condoning sluthood. I’m telling you this because it’s important for everyone to understand: Sluthood isn’t a disease, or a wrong path, or a trend that’s ruining our youth. It isn’t just for detached, unemotional women who “fuck like men,” (as if that actually meant something), consequences be damned. It isn’t ever inevitable that sluthood should inspire violence or shame. Sluthood isn’t just a choice we should let women make because women should be free to make even “bad” choices. It’s a choice we should all have access to because it has the potential to be liberating. Healing. Soul-fulfilling. I’m telling you this because sluthood saved me, in a small but life-altering way, and I want it to be available to you if you ever think it could save you, too. Or if you want it for any other reason at all. And because even if you don’t ever want sluthood for yourself, you’re going to be called upon to support a slut. I’m telling you this because when that happens, I want you to say yes.”
4. If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities.
8. On average, I am taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces much less than my female counterparts are.
11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I’m even marginally competent.
17. As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children’s media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male protagonists were (and are) the default.
25. I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability.
33. My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
34. I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.
46. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.
“As scientists see it, a comparative consideration of what we find freakish or unsettling in other species offers a fresh perspective on how we extract large amounts of visual information from a millisecond’s glance, and then spin, atomize and anthropomorphize that assessment into a revealing saga of ourselves.
‘No one would find the star-nosed mole ugly if its star were iridescent blue,’ said Denis Dutton, professor of the philosophy of art at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. ‘But the resemblance of the pinkish nose to human flesh subverts our expectations and becomes a perverse violation of whatever values we have about what constitutes normal or healthy human skin.'”
Lists August 6, 2010
A few months ago I found myself with a gift card to Barnes and Noble and not a clue what to do with it. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and I especially love buying books just for the sake of buying books, but I prefer to purchase them used. Not only are they waaay cheaper, but they have more character and a great old book-ey smell too. Anyway, so I wandered around B&N for a little while, trying to figure out what to spend this gift card on when I finally stumbled across this book in the journal section called Listography. This book simply consists of subjects for lists (places you’d like to visit, best gifts you’ve ever received, personal fashion trends over the years, etc) and several lines on which to complete your list as well as funny little illustrations. For me, list-making falls under the category of inexplicable but intense pleasures — so of course I bought the book.
To my added joy, there is also a website where you can sign up and makes even MORE lists on whatever subject strikes your fancy. Since I’ve been spending the majority of the last couple days in bed with a box of kleenex and some DayQuil, I’ve spent a lot of my time either listing or watching movies on netflix. I think my listography is coming along quite nicely so far.
SUAMPO August 1, 2010
Last night was the all member co-op party also known as SUAMPO. I had a blast hanging with all my housemates and meeting some new people. I’m really going to miss this place when I move out in a few weeks — O Haus is full of some truly fantastic people.
I discovered this great new band Stepdad last night when they played at the party. I danced my ass off to their music which seemed really fitting for the party theme — “Last night at 80s summer camp.” They have a free download of their EP on their myspace which you should all definitely check out. The songs “Baby Hammers”, “My Leather, My Fur, My Nails” and “Squares” are particularly awesome.
On a separate topic, I recently watched the movie Surf Nazis Must Die. It was not very good. However, the badass, revenge-seeking , gun-wielding, sexagenarian black mama did her best to save the destined-to-fail movie. Though the movie had a lot of potential, I was expecting a lot more gore and post-apocalyptic scenarios and was sorely disappointed.
Do teens need maternity wear? July 27, 2010
I recently saw this post on the Ms. Magazine blog, and it’s gotten me thinking a lot about some of its assumptions. According to Ms., popular retailer Forever 21 whose clothes mainly target teens and 20-somethings has launched a maternity line. So far, in addition to being online, the only store locations that stock these clothes are located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Texas and Utah. Of these states, Arizona and Texas are in the top five for highest teen pregnancy rates in the US, with California hanging close behind in the 15th spot.
The main critique Ms. launches against this new clothing line is that it “normalizes” teen pregnancy. First of all I think this post wrongly conflates the term “normalizing” with “encouraging” or “glamorizing.” It’s simply an (unfortunate) fact of life that young women/girls get pregnant and need new clothes to dress their pregnant bellies. Providing these clothes isn’t going to make girls want to get pregnant any more than providing access to free contraception is going to encourage them to have more sex.
Honestly, becoming pregnant at a young age has got to be difficult enough without the added annoyance of not being able to find clothes you actually want to wear through said pregnancy. Obviously the U.S. has a pretty dysfunctional relationship with teaching teens about safe sex and dealing with unwanted pregnancies, but how does ignoring the existence of teen pregnancy help solve this problem? I’m leaning toward the opinion that more talk about the realities of teen pregnancy is a good thing. It seems to me that the less common people think teen pregnancy is the more likely they’ll be to think “oh that’ll never happen to me” and fail to take the necessary precautions. I’ll freely admit I’m a sucker for MTV’s new shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom and I actually think that these shows handle teen pregnancy surprisingly well. Ms., however, criticizes them saying,
“How about we talk about what it’s really like to be a mom–the money it takes, the time it takes, the effects on a young woman’s body–instead of making teen pregnancy a mere fact of life in the US with shows like 16 and Pregnant?”
Anyone who’s watched Teen Mom will tell you that these girls are definitely not having the time of their lives with their new family arrangements. The main topics of the show include money issues, absent fathers, unsupportive families, difficulties continuing their education, and a slew of other terrifying scenarios that would make lots of teens consider swearing off sex till middle-age. Not only that, but after every episode there’s a link to MTV’s helpful sex-ed resource itsyoursexlife.com.
All in all though, let’s get real, F21 probably doesn’t have any major nasty agendas trying to get as many young girls as they can to start boycotting condoms and getting knocked faster than you can say “child support.” They’re a business trying to make a buck with a demographic that hasn’t really been tapped yet. And maybe, just maybe, when people start realizing that teen pregnancy is more common than they first imagined, they’ll start getting a little more concerned with having that sex talk with their kids.