Archive for the 'Men' Category

26
Oct
15

today’s feminist non-rant, aka on my Facebook feed today

This:

indiangirls

(click on the picture to read the article)

Then this:

gsteinem

(“…If you add up, in terms of the numbers of people, I would say that competing for [the] No. 1 [concern] would be violence against females worldwide. If you add up all the forms of violence, whether it’s domestic violence in this country, which is at an enormously high rate — I mean, the most dangerous place for a woman in this country is her own home, and she’s most likely to be beaten or killed by a man she knows — or it is FGM, female genital mutilation, or it is female infanticide, or honor killings or child marriage. … “)

and this:

iceland

Too bad that only the last one was from 40 years ago.

And somewhere else.

 

22
Sep
14

More better feminism

Emma Watson at the UN. Well written, well said.

She’s not “just” Hermione Grainger anymore, although I was a fan of Hermione as well — smarter than the boys, and not afraid to say so.

30
Aug
14

better feminism

Rather than Beyoncé and her cohorts pole dancing  for 15 minutes and then standing in front of large letters that proclaim their feminism, and getting a lot of credit from women who should know better — like Jessica Valenti — for being “flawless” — The Emperor Has No Clothes!!!, these:

 

And he’s right — we have to stop labeling this a “women’s issue” — this is everyone’s issue.

 

27
Aug
14

true feminism

 

 

So it’s not just me!

13
Jan
14

Why We Still Need “Feminism”

Reblogged from here.

Why Society Still Needs Feminism

Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.

Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.

Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.

Because rape jokes are still a thing.

Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.

Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a college organization.

Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.

Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time of the survey?”

Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking expensive.

Because Rush Limbaugh.

Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.

Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist. Could. Not. Fathom.

Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.

Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.

Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings.
Weird, right?

Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?

Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.

Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.

Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.

Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to protect herself.

Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation.

 

 

26
Dec
13

Coolest “F word” ever

We should, all, be Feminists.

10
Dec
13

and the rant continues

Firstly, good for Pantene. I wash my hair with baking soda now, but if I didn’t I would use Pantene just because of this ad.

Secondly, what can we do to change this? Frankly, I’m fed up with exactly this thing. Women are still, in the 21st century forcryingoutloud, expected to be quiet, agreeable, friendly, nurturing, submissive.

WE’RE NOT!! At least not all the time. Or at least we shouldn’t be. Especially not submissive.

It’s time the world got used to it. Who knows, it might just be good for all of us.

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/amazing-pantene-ad-defiantly-tackles-how-women-workplace-are-labeled-154385

12
Mar
13

is it really true?

Two thoughts, as I head off to bed to start reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.

I commented to Husband tonight that the three most loyal and vocal followers on my blog are all men* (and he’s not one of them; guess he hears enough from me in the real world). He replies that he thinks that there are quite a lot of men out there who really appreciate and enjoy women, and that women, often, are not really all that supportive of each other.

While I think this is not true in terms of personal relationships — except for him, all of my truly close friends in my “real” life are women, I do think it can be true professionally.

And this got me thinking about something Ms. Sandberg apparently says in her book (I am remembering this from an interview; perhaps the NPR one I referenced a few posts ago) — that women look around at the few other women around “the table,” and realize that only one of them is going to get promoted, as the token Woman in a Position of Power, so, therefore, the other women are her direct competitors. And not in a we’re-all-going-to-do-our-best-and-whoever-does-it-best-gets-the-prize-GO-Team!!!; but in a we’re-all-going-to-do-our-best-and-whoever-doesn’t-piss-off-the-most-men-by-appearing-to-be-shrill-or-godforbidbossyassertive-is-g0ing-to-get-the-prize.

She wants us to demand a place at the table, to raise our hands, to speak our minds.

But what about when we’ve done that, over and over and over again, and it’s only hurt us?

Then what?

. . .  Guess I’ll have to read the book and find out.

Or maybe not.

*Thank you oldblack, Quieter Elephant, and TEStazyk

04
Dec
12

the gift for the man who has everything

men'skneeboots

Well, except for a pair of front-laced, hard-sole knee-hi boots.

 

13
Nov
12

Who knew?

20121113-224242.jpg

21
Jun
12

We can all, actually, have it all (but who wants it?)

Kristin Howterton posted recently on the underlying tension of gender roles in the pursuit of an egalitarian marriage. You can read it here.

The underlying premise is that, despite our (meaning, mostly women’s) efforts to find equality in both the home and the workplace, many women still feel guilty getting home to see their husbands cooking dinner with a crying toddler on his hip or wonder whether it’s fair to expect that men should PROBABLY contribute to the household chores if their wives are working outside the home.

I know, right?

Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but this kind of thing does not make me feel guilty.

I responded at length, including replies to other commenters.

Most substantially:

I think we all learned the lessons of our childhood, and watching our parents, and have to struggle with these lessons, maybe just a little. But when I read these two sentences:

“When I walk though the door and see him cooking dinner with a crying toddler on this hip, I get a gut check that says, ‘Oh dear. I should be doing that.'”

and

“I think people our age have wised up to the idea that if a woman works, then the husband should probably step it up and help with some of the domestic duties as well.”

I just want to weep.

You think you should be doing that, but he shouldn’t? And the husband should PROBABLY step up? Ugh.

It’s his household as much as yours, his children as much as yours; and even if they’re not “his” children, but, say, maybe even “only” his stepchildren, his marriage to you makes him an equal partner in domestic needs if he wants to be an equal partner in domestic bliss.

I think there are ways people can balance things. I knew a couple once where the mom stayed at home, so the “housework” was her job, but when he was home, the childrearing was shared. That seemed fair. I guess you could do a proportional thing: he works 40 hours per week to her 30 so she does 60% of the housework. I guess you could even divide it proportionally to reflect the amount of money brought in, but I think that’s a terrible idea and think I shouldn’t even suggest it. (The jury will disregard the last statement.) My husband make 50% more money than I do, but my scheduled work time far exceeds his, so he does most of the cooking, laundry, and shopping. I clean when I can get to it. It works for us.

No shoulds, no probablys about it.

Fortuitously, Anne-Marie Slaughter writes in the issue of The Atlantic about “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.”

It’s a very good article. It’s long, but worth it. Some of the best stuff is at the end.

Her arguments could be summarized thusly:

Women can have it all, but only if there is a radical paradigm shift, including if men start demanding the right to have it all, too. Meaning that it’s not a sign of unprofessionalism or a lack of commitment for ANYONE to want to take time to take care of their children, their aging/ailing parents, or even, GASP, themselves.

The idea that women who take a different track so as to raise their own children are NOT less ambitious; the realization that one of the biggest challenges is that the hours of a school day continue not to coincide with the hours of a work day (we won’t even talk about the havoc wreaked by snow days and 2-hour delays); the fact that women have to make trade-offs that men do not — these are realizations that can and should trigger real change, change that requires an effort by the majority of us out there, male AND female, or they won’t.

Ms. Slaughter ends with a goal, if not a challenge:

I continually push the young women in my classes to speak more. They must gain the confidence to value their own insights and questions, and to present them readily. My husband agrees, but he actually tries to get the young men in his classes to act more like the women–to speak less and listen more. If women are ever to achieve real equality as leaders, then we have to stop accepting male behavior and male choices as the default and the ideal. We must insist on changing social policies and bending career tracks to accommodate our choices, too. We have the power to do it if we decide to, and we have many men standing besides us.

We’ll create a better society in the process, for all women. We may need to put a woman in the White House before we are able to change the conditions of the women working at Walmart. But when we do, we will stop talking about whether women can have it all. We will properly focus on how we can help all Americans have healthy, happy, productive lives, valuing the people they love as much as the success they seek.

That’s the ticket.

Where do I sign?

08
Apr
12

sex sells

Even Kias, the ultimate “family” car.

Am I the only one who’s tired of women’s bodies being used to sell EVERYTHING? I guess it’s supposed to be acceptable because he’s “only” dreaming, and he “rescues” his wife from the handsome interloper on the white horse at the end.

But still, what does this

or this

have to do with owning a midsize sedan?

I know, I know, it’s advertising, the whole point of which is to convince us that if we buy this thing or use this shampoo we will be sexy and desirable;

(just look at the adoration with which she is gazing at him as he drives away in his stodgy-white-middle-aged-man car)

but I’M SO TIRED of women’s bodies being the primary selling point.

Besides, the premise is ridiculous. You’re a pasty-faced, middle-aged, middle class worker bee. She’s just not that into you.

I guess I could be comforted by the fact that the rest of this man-fantasy involves a giant sub sandwich and Motley Crue signaling their approval as he drives through their performance arena (likethatwouldeverhappen); and then some cowboy riding a rhino. . .a little bizarre, but logical in some kind of a surreal way.

I know, I should stop being such a feminist fuddy-duddy. Or maybe I should just stop watching television.

04
Mar
12

untangling the tangles

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was going to start a new project — one Goldberg Variation a week until the whole piece is learned.

Yesterday I started the first Variation.

But let me digress for a moment.

I’ve noticed over the past several months that when I’m feeling emotionally turmoiled (isthataword?) I turn to Bach. At the end of a particularly long day or in the middle of a stressful week or after a difficult or disappointing conversation or encounter, I find myself sitting at the piano, working my way through a Prelude or Fugue; musical Valium, if you will.

The past couple of days were particularly trying.

To spare you all of the gruesome details, let’s just say that a student of a colleague of mine at “my” college misinterpreted and/or misrepresented a very brief and casual exchange and the colleague, someone I like very much, and thought liked, trusted, and admired me, assumed the worst. And, rather than asking me what had happened, wrote me an email telling me how unprofessional and insensitive I was, and then blithely went about the rest of his evening, not getting my phone message, not reading my email. I, being the I-must-be-the-crappiest-person-in-the-world type, was awake until 3 a.m., and awake again at 6:30, and had a generally overwhelmed and in-the-overtired-induced-ozone all day Friday.

We exchanged a few emails after he FINALLY returned my call at 9:30 the next morning (15 hours after his message), and he apologized for jumping to the wrong conclusion, and for not asking me about it first, but I still generally felt like crap about the whole thing, but for gradually evolving reasons.

After I got over the self-loathing stage, I was angry, and had a few questions.

Why did this person so easily assume the worst? This isn’t the first time this has happened to me; it seems to be my superpower; I’d rather have another. I’ve always worked really hard, I’m fairly good at what I do, I’m organized and responsible and conscientious. This seems to have hurt me rather than helped me. I’ve actually been told that, as an adjunct, I “didn’t know my place.”

Anyway. . .

Even if things had happened as the student seems to have portrayed them, why is this automatically a bad thing? We coddle students too much, we treat them like customers rather than students; our job seems to be more about patting them on the head and making sure they feel good about themselves than about actually pushing them to achieve their best or challenging them when they don’t. This can’t be good for them, nor for society in general.

And, finally, why do I ALWAYS go so easily to self-critical, self-loathing, even when righteous indignation or outright anger is what’s called for? I think it’s a woman thing. I’m not sure, however, that it’s a good thing. Husband points out that he goes right to anger; he is much more efficient that way. I think it’s a guy thing, and I’m not sure that’s such a good thing either.

I always end up feeling like this: (from thisisnotthatblog.com)

when I should probably be feeling like this

So, back to Bach. . .(remember Bach?)

His music often seems like a tangle. It can take days to work out fingerings that allow you to navigate the passagework; and often there seems to only be one fingering that actually works. The melodic lines can be easily identified and unraveled when listening to a good recording, or even just by looking at the score, but making them audible can feel like trying to untangle a large skein of yarn after the cat has spent a night “playing” with it. A forest of whirls and knots and undergrowth. And then, often seemingly suddenly, the order is revealed, and everything clicks into place.

Maybe that’s why. Order from chaos, eventually, but always ultimately, revealed.

In a not-completely unrelated story, we were without power for around 18 hours because of “bad weather.” (We’re not really sure what it was, although it was a little windy and we live in the forest, and apparently 74,000 Consumers Energy customers were without power in Michigan today, so I guess we’re lucky that it’s back on “already.”) Anyway, nothing restores a sense of order like coming home from good Thai food and Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in the same movie, to lights and heat and finally being able to clean up the kitchen.

Husband says that the clean kitchen is a sign of hope.

That makes sense to me, although I think the order-from-chaos thing helps.

I would post a recording of me playing the first Variation, but Husband thinks that recording it at 11:52 p.m. after a glass of scotch might not be a good idea.

He’s probably right.

Another time, then.

29
Feb
12

men on women’s health

Hmmmm, an aspirin between the knees. Never thought of that.

Men on Women’s Health

04
Feb
12

the end of the week

1. Dexter the Dancing Dog will go to great lengths to lick the cayenne-laced-butter I’ve applied to the pole that holds the bird feeder (trying to discourage poaching by the resident squirrel population), but will not eat a salt-and-vinegar potato chip. He seems to think it’s trying to attack him.

He also will play outside for an hour and then come in and pee on the kitchen floor. Any suggestions? I’ve just about had it.

2. Nothing tells internet sites to make your passwords not work like your being in a hurry.

3. Komen backed down, and has reinstated funding to Planned Parenthood. Girl power!

(We need a salute — anybody got any ideas?)

Although I just found out that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms. Why not? Maybe they should.

4. Only Daughter came to me last night with a dental flosser and a request to remove the “seed” from behind her last tooth. It was a new tooth. And lo and behold, there was another one on the other side! She’s 11. Barely. A very tiny 11. Aren’t these supposed to come in around 12 or 13? Hope there’s room. Plus she wanted to know if these were her “smart teeth” like her brother just had taken out.

5.  A girl around 12 fell off the balance beam last night at Only Daughter’s meet, and hit what seemed to be seven points on her way down. She laid on the mat for what seemed to be a really long time while the coach leaned over the beam and encouraged her to get back up. (O.D. sat, a handful of feet away, hands over her mouth in horror.)(She’s terrified of the beam, as well she should be. But still.) The girl stood up, gave the coach “ten,” got back up, and nailed the rest of her routine. I had tears in my eyes. Granted, I was a complete sap yesterday to start with — I also cried over  Billy Collins’ line from On Turning TenI used to believe there was nothing under my skin but light; if you cut me I would shine” while attempting to read it to a student. (It is a really good line. But still. Get a grip forcryin’outloud.)

During the meet First Son called asking for my homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. I emailed it to him. That was kind of fun, in a “look at you all grown up” sort of way. (I can write that because he tells me he doesn’t read this blog anymore. So much for my captive audience.)

6. O. D.’s friends for her birthday sleepover finally just arrived — 13 minutes late. She stood at the window, Dexter in her arms, wondering if they were going to show up or not. I made her a heart cake with chocolate frosting and lots of different kinds of sprinkles, thinking about a colleague of mine whose son just died of complications from Hodgkins disease and a rare blood disorder. He was 26. I was picturing her making him his 11th-birthday cake, and envisioning his life, and not seeing this in a million years. Meanwhile Jeff Buckley sang about how, when his time comes, he knows he will leave the world with a satisfied mind. I wonder how many weeks before he died it was when he recorded that song.

Life’s too short. And too busy.

I suggested to Husband that we quit the ratrace and start an alpaca farm. In Italy. I think he thought I was kidding. I’m not. Well, not completely.

In a not-really related story; a conversation from earlier in the week:

Husband: I think we need to get a more “manly” dog like a German Shepherd or a Wolfhound or something. I feel like such a whimp walking Dexter.

Me: But he’s so cute.

Husband: I know. That’s the problem. He’s all puffy, and plus he doesn’t really walk, he kind of prances and bounds around. It’s humiliating.

Me: Maybe we can put a leather vest and one of those collars with the spikes on him.

Husband: Well that might help a little. Like the really long spikes?

Me: Sure. But think of the attention you can get from women who see you; we’re all saps for cute dogs.

Husband: I saw some women while I was walking him. I think they were laughing at me.

Me: What made you think that?

Husband: Well, they were walking and smiling, and kind of talking out of the corners of their mouths like I wouldn’t notice that they were talking, and then when they met me one of them said, “Okay, that might be just about the cutest dog I’ve ever seen.”

Me: See?

Husband: Exactly. Completely emasculating.

I’m thinking this:

rather than this:

Any thoughts?

18
Dec
11

am I the only one who thinks this is inappropriate?

Went with Husband yesterday while he got his hair cut (at Jude’s Barbershop: “where men get their hair cut”) before braving Target eight days before Christmas on a Saturday afternoon.

I took a Sunday NYTimes magazine to read during the shearing, but he got put in the chair right in front of me, so I spent some of the time making helpful suggestions, such as pointing out to the “barber” (an 18 year-old girl with spiky black hair and tight jeans*) where he had over-clipped his sideburns. (Her diagnosis: “It can’t be fixed.”)

[*Apparently you have to look like this to work there:

I say this because that’s how all of the women who worked there looked. Is there a Jude’s-“Barber”-cookie-cutter out there somewhere?]

Anyway, I actually spent most of the time watching the two early-adolescent boys in the corner waiting for their dad or brother or whoever gaping at the photos on the wall.

Here’s a sampling:

The differences being:

1.  There were a lot more naked or nearly-naked women in provocative poses at the store itself than Jude’s displays on their website, including a topless woman, facing away, with her jeans halfway down her behind (poster ~ 2.5′ x 5′); and a naked woman in a shower, her modesty protected by one hand and a sponge (poster ~ 3′ x 7′).  Maybe they at least have the sense to be just a wee bit ashamed so they try to play this element down in their publicity?

I think I might be giving them too much credit.

2.  On the wall in the store we were in, the woman in the upper right quadrant above, in the skimpy bathing suit and the (for the sake of delicacy) “Do Me” pose, was at my eye level right inside the door.

I was going to take a picture with my phone, but didn’t want to embarrass Husband.

While I was waiting, a father came in with his two young boys, one two years old, one around four.

Really?

As if there aren’t already enough men who grow up to over-sexualize and objectify women, let’s make sure it happens and start them young.

Two things I want to make clear: 1. I am not a prude, and 2. Jude’s can put whatever they want on their walls. But I would much prefer that the beauty of the female body be displayed artistically rather than pornographically, and maybe in balance with depictions of male bodies; and I certainly wouldn’t take my young sons there.

Maybe it’s just me.

01
Sep
11

what happens to the girls?

We’ve all noticed this; don’t pretend you haven’t.

Yeah, girls might be snarky, and obsessed with their hair/skin/clothes, and whisper behind their hands about someone else’s hair/skin/clothes, but they at least know how to behave in public and can tell you how something makes them feel beyond “sad” or “mad.”

Okay, sometimes we wish they’d talk a little less, but that’s my mother’s curse raining down on my head (“May you have a child exactly like you.” And I didn’t stop talking until I was 27. I would like to impose a rule at home that no words be spoken before 8 a.m. unless Absolutely Necessary, but I fear Only Daughter would explode.)

So a girl, from a young age, is more disciplined, and more organized, and more conscientious, and can read social cues, and can communicate effectively (!), and can eat a meal without drooling or picking her nose or putting ketchup on everything; of course, a lot of this (except maybe the ketchup) is because she Cares a Great Deal What Other People Think (okay, maybe the ketchup, too). And this, I fear, is her, our, downfall.

Men run the world, while we worry about whether people like us or not.

(Sorry, youtube removed my original clip; fast forward to 3:33; try not to gag)

And if we’re smart, and capable, and strong, we’re considered to be bitches (Hilary), and we’d rather be liked.

Husband and I had a long conversation today about whether that problem is solved by sending girls to all-girls schools, but I think the desire to be liked is as strong regarding our desire to be liked by other women/girls as it is to be liked by men/boys.

I’m not sure what, if anything, we can do about this. I would like for women to be happier, and to be nourished in our strengths while being nurtured in our needs, and to feel that we are beautiful even if we don’t look like the world tells us we should look, and that sociability and communicability were seen as strengths rather than weaknesses, and that our capabilities were honored rather than viewed as threats.

That’s all.

15
Jun
11

official survey

My husband and I are having a bit of a disagreement over each gender’s basic responses to images of “buff” members of the opposite sex.

I am enlisting your help.

If you’re a woman, or a man who is physically/sexually interested in men, pick the sentence that best describes your reaction to this image:

A)  Sign me up, here’s my phone number_______________ (please, don’t actually include your phone number).

B)  Nice to look at, but I would be intimidated by his physical perfection.

C)  I prefer “my” men more ____________ (feel free to fill in the blank; keep it R rated please).

D)  No thanks, this man obviously spends too much time in the gym.

If you’re a man, or a woman who is physically/sexually interested in women, pick the sentence that best describes your reaction to this image:

E)  Sign me up, here’s my phone number_______________ (please, don’t actually include your phone number).

F)  Nice to look at, but I would be intimidated by her physical perfection.

G)  I prefer “my” women more ____________ (feel free to fill in the blank; keep it R rated please).

H)  No thanks, this woman obviously spends too much time in the gym.

Please honor the scientific intent of this unofficial study, and only answer the question which applies to your particular preference.

12
Jun
11

what would you do if you weren’t afraid?

A good question for all of us.

I may have to think about it for a few days and get back to you.

Meanwhile, read this.

If you know already, please share.

08
Jun
11

Public service/private lives: never the twain shall meet?

Why is it that so many male politicians seem to be lascivious little boys who think that their various and sundry salacious acts will remain private?

Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Weiner.

And it’s not just confined to Americans — recently there’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Silvio Berlusconi, an ongoing embarrassment for Italians for both political and personal reasons.

Perhaps we should start by asking why so many people men in power seem to have such a hard time (no pun intended) behaving themselves.

A recent New Yorker article points out that women politicians have their share of sex scandals, too, and lists nine examples. Particularly telling is the fact that four of them date from previous centuries, one of them involved a videotape of the female politician in question, (Chu Mei-Feng, councilwoman for Taipei), having sex with her husband, and another is a woman whose husband had purchased pornographic films using her parliamentary account. Hardly seems to fit in the same category. Plus, is it really such a slow news week that the editorial staff at the New Yorker decided this was worth reporting? Maybe that’s an even more important topic. Discuss?

 

 

 

01
May
11

shopping with g

Went to the big Macy’s Friends and Family sale with husband today to help him buy jeans that don’t look like they were made in the 1980s. It was quite successful overall: he came home with two pairs of flat-front dockers and two very nice pairs of jeans, dark, acid-wash, nicely fitted. He also bought two shirts, one which looks a little like something Kramer would wear and which will NOT be tucked in.

Also bought second son a Guess plether jacket for his upcoming 18th birthday — marked down from $194 to $67, with nice zippers and perforated styling without looking like it’s trying too hard.

****

I only bought myself necessities at the Clinique counter, which I then got to carry around the store in a brilliant pink gift-with-purchase beach/tote bag. Perfectly appropriate as a beach/tote bag; not so much as a purse, but what can you do?

*****

Seen on a Dockers sign: Fits like jeans. Feels like manhood. Cool. Just one question: What does it mean?

*****

Despite my husband’s shopping success, there were several trying minutes waiting outside the men’s dressing room. Not, btw, the one with the nice chairs and other women waiting for their husbands/sons who can commiserate about shopping with men and show me how to send a photo as a text on my iPhone; rather, one tucked behind a register, surrounded by tables for sorting and rack upon rack of hideous flourescent pastel madras stripe Ralph Lauren Tommy Hilfiger hideousness. I’m sorry, did I write hideous twice?

Behold.

In case I wasn’t being clear, these are for MEN. I actually lined the three up to show husband, in case he comes shopping sometime without me, no, no and no.

Sheesh.

Seems like if they’re charging $89 a shirt they at least ought to have decent taste.

26
Apr
11

is it just me?

Or does this ad seem to be about something else?

12
Apr
11

aren’t we glad we know better now?

A friend of mine with a unique sense of humor sent me a link of old advertising clips for my amusement.

I laughed a little, but mostly felt a kind of sick horror, like how one feels when passing a car that’s upside down in the median, wheels still spinning, or on the shoulder surrounded by fire trucks and ambulii and stretchers.

They seem to fall into a few very distinct categories.

Aren’t We Glad We Know Better

So what if the alcohol consumption interferes with their ability to learn to read later, or to form emotional attachments; at least we can count on those pesky little critters to sleep through the night!

It’s hard to know for sure, since when I zoom in it gets quite blurry, but I believe the claims include that it will help you get your homework done properly, AND strengthen family ties. What’s not to like?

Of course we don’t really know if the ingredients help cure your toothache, but you’re so flippin’ high, who cares?

What We Didn’t Realize We Wanted


Offensive

Chubbies? CHUBBIES?????

Yeah, because my primary concern when I’m suffering from the myriad adverse physical affects of PMS is whether I’m GOOD TO BE AROUND.

Sorry; I’m so offended I have absolutely nothing to say. Those of you who know me well will probably be flummoxed by this, but I’m flummoxed by that.

And then we have the best-represented category of all:

Women’s primary objective is to appear to be sexually appealing to you (men) while performing her housewifely duties

(ugh; I’m feeling a little queasy)

The answer to your question, honey, is that you’re actually a lazy whimp, and I am enervated by the smell of dust and burning bacon.

Seriously? Is anyone believing this crap? She WON’T be happier with a Hoover, she’d be happier with a man who could get off his fat lazy ass and pick up some of the potato chip crumbs he’s managed to scatter around himself while watching Monday Night Football. How did man survive the 1950s? If I’d have been there, there would have been some serious trouble.

(Gag.) O, but look how happy they both are; this must be true.

First of all, could this BE more patronizing? Cry a little? Just a little? What are we, five?

And secondly, um, no.

Try these instead:

And then there’s this one. Inexplicable.

Praise be we all know so much better now.

Sigh.

10
Oct
10

Versace II

I don’t get it.

I don’t get this either.

Maybe it’s just me.

This, on the other hand, makes perfect sense.

28
Sep
10

Versace

I was reading the New York Times after a particularly long day and I encountered a Versace ad that I wanted to post — 2 vacant-eyed women, apparently starving. Lacking even the strength to hold their mouths closed.

Alas, the ad is not to be found online, and I’m afraid if I try to scan it it won’t show up well, as it is in black and white.

(October 10: found it!):

I did find myself on a trip through the strangely-thematic surreal. Let me share some of the landmarks along the way.

Firstly, we have women disguising the fact that they are naked by hiding behind their voluminous handbags:

I think her handbag may weigh more than she does; she also looks as if she may be inside the handbag; then again, I may be wrong.

There also seems to be a theme where we are apparently supposed to be noticing the woman’s shoe as she is stepping into her clothing. This photo spread kills the proverbial two birds, by having her hide one of her (naked) legs behind her purse while stepping into her dress with the other leg. And look! she’s managed to accomplish her task, and is now fully clothed in the picture on the right. Good for her.

Now I don’t know about how models do it, but I tend to put my shoes on last, and have not usually picked up my purse until after the belt is on. Maybe it’s just me.

Then we have the group shots.

I’m not even going to presume what the women on the left are doing, but the one in the middle looks like she’s trying to work in her workout during the shoot, (poor lunging form, btw), Stephanie has longer legs than I am tall, and Claudia really needs to pee. Maybe we could take 5?

Now how about the men.

My son plays a game with pictures of his band on facebook called “what is ____ looking at?” Maybe there’s a giant spider on the floor or something. But do any of us know any men who would do this willingly? I guess they’re pretty well paid, but does that make them “prostitutes”? I can’t really figure out what market Versace is trying to reach with this one, but I guess that’s their marketing department’s problem.

Nothing wrong with this one; at least not as far as I can tell, although I’m not sure what we’re supposed to make of the hands in underwear/handcuffs. Hmmm. . .

Quite fine.

So what are we supposed to make of this?

This just makes me want to cry.

Men get to be strong, muscular, virile; women are wisps, hiding behind our handbags, not allowed to go to the bathroom.

Sigh.

11
Jun
10

Would you Rather. . .?

Husband is putting on new pair of shorts for the first time.

Husband: Wow, there ARE a lot of pockets!

Me: Yup; you look like you’re ready to go on safari.

Husband: Well it’s important to have all of these. Think I’ll latch up these back ones and use the side ones for my wallet. You know how men end up with all of those misalignment and back problems from sitting on their wallets for years.

Me: Yeah, it’s really tough on you guys. Women only have to deal with pregnancy; men with the havoc wreaked on their bodies by their wallets. Could you give me a moment? I’m all verklemt.

05
Jun
10

The Complex Male

Men play sports so they can beat the crap out of each other, and hug.

Behold:

What’s not to like? They get to embrace (pun intended, sorry), the aggressive side of their natures while benefiting from the warm, physical camaraderie of the “pack” in a situation for which they can not be ridiculed.

02
Jun
10

Is it just me? or are men in better shape than ever?

There is now apparently a garment, labeled “Shapewear,” available to help men “streamline their appearance.” At first I thought this was some kind of a joke, a theory which wasn’t threatened in any way by the fact that one of the spokesman for the item is named Nickelson Wooster and that much of the article sounded like an advertisement “[Although Mr. Viscusi is 39, he wears Spanx* T-shirts routinely. He recently wore them to see executives from Bravo and VH1. ‘It gave me pecs, gave me definition, it gave me confidence,’ he said. . .”].

And maybe it could only be a good thing for the world if men felt a little bit more of the pressure women feel to look a particular way. A little shared pain in the interests of empathy and all that.

One problem is that the men who really need this particular item are most likely the men who are walking around without any shirt on at all.

The other is that I think most women would just appreciate a little less pressure.

Instead we have created yet another market to appease yet another set of insecurities people feel about their bodies. Instead of learning more about how to eat healthfully, taking actions against the salts, sugars, and chemicals hidden in our foods, getting more exercise, and developing self-esteem which includes acceptance of ourselves and our imperfections, we have managed to devise yet another way to improve our “appearance” without actually changing anything.

To paraphrase the woman who has looked in a mirror after having removed her Spanx “foundation garment” (now THERE’S a eumphemism), “I look like a blob, an amoeba.” Or how about the man realizing that the “shapewear” garment he wears routinely has only served to mislead his date, and can only cause her to wonder how he has managed to gain 45 lbs between the restaurant and the bedroom.

The thing that really cracks me up is the myriad ways men justify wearing these garments. Rather than just admitting that they weigh a little bit more than they should, they emphasize the fact that it improves their posture, eases their back pain, and/or masks their man boobs nipples. One man complains about the tendency of undershirts to bunch up, causing it to look like you are wearing “. . .a tire around your waist.” It’s not the shirt, dear, it’s the tire around your waist. They don’t even call it what it is — a girdle foundation garment — it’s “Shapewear.” But no, actually: it’s spandex and rubber made into a garment that’s one-to-two sizes too small for you and hides the fact that you eat ice cream every night when you really shouldn’t.

Apparently there is also such a thing as “profile-enhancing underwear,”

which seems to act as, and I quote, “the equivalent of a ‘push-up bra’ for men.” Seriously? Do we really want need to see more of That?

Supposedly these garments have not been designed to “take off” pounds. The woman who designed them points out that stars as lean as Gwyneth Paltrow wear Spanx, and that she herself designed them when she was a size 2. Maybe it’s just me, but what exactly is the spanx holding in if you’re a size 2? Your kneecaps? Your spine? And if Gwyneth feels the need to wear it

I’m thinking that maybe the rest of us should just stop going out in public altogether.

Maybe we should all just wear Spanx/Shapewear and never take them off.

*Why “Spanx”? Why?

24
Mar
10

Y Chromosome

Has there been any research done on the apparent presence of a visual filter provided by the Y chromosome which prevents men from seeing the dirt on the kitchen floor?

Just curious. It would explain a lot.

04
Feb
10

Are you kidding me?


Listening to NPR today; a very interesting discussion about how the economic downturn seems to be affecting men’s employment more than women’s. I was running errands, so was in and out of the car, so I missed whether they talked about how this probably reflected rampant sexism in who was doing which jobs, but I did get back into the car in time to hear this: A woman caller, discussing the fact that she was working and her husband was at home with their little boy. She wasn’t complaining that they were unhappy finding themselves in roles they had not chosen, nor that her husband was an inept housekeeper nor a poor cook (apparently he’s neither). [She did comment on how much she missed cleaning, which is not a sentiment I recognize, and which did immediately make me a little suspicious.]

In any case, she was calling to inquire of the guests — I believe they were constituted of a researcher from the Pew Foundation and a woman psychologist or therapist who worked with families — as to what kind of confusing, disturbing, and/or damaging messages they were conveying to their young son regarding gender roles.

How those ideas can still be out there in the 21st century completely boggles the mind.




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