Archive for July, 2009

Drowning in the Shallow End

“The [feminist and woman of color] movements came out of activism,” explained poet, playwright, and woman of color feminist Cherrie Moraga in an interview for this article.  “The movements came out of social protest. So how can you talk about a third wave feminism when there is no viable activism off the page?”

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luciedating advice

also, i am pleased to report that one of our very own bloggers, lucierohan, should also be on the list of great female comedians.

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hostessNYTimes has decided to explore the exotic world of Japan and a new “trend”–women there it seems “are often limited to low-paying, dead-end jobs or temp positions.” And thus these “well-paid flirts” are stuck with the job of drinking with men.

I see several problems with this piece.

My first, what qualifies a “well-paid” flirt. How much is flirting worth? Apparently “$100,000 a year, and as much as $300,000” is considered a good salary for faking affection for men, according to Hiroko Tabuchi.

Good to know, I think some of us are underpaid.

How many times are you expected to smile for a man, simply because you’re a woman. You’re supposed to be happy, you’re supposed to at times fake enjoyment of a man’s company. I’ve never been a good faker, but think about it. A job interview? A meeting with a professor? Someone’s uncle? Some man says a joke and regardless of the level of hilarity, a certain level of enjoyment must be shown or else names get called. And this isn’t something just experienced by young women like myself. Female politicians must laugh a little to avoid looking “bitchy”. Female waitresses are often forced to accept harassment simply to get their tips (which keep in mind is actually their salary). It’s the sort of situation I suspect anyone who has been in the presence of someone with more power, regardless of gender, has felt. But unfortunately sex alone can create this sort of subtle imbalance in everyday situations. Everyone laughs at the King’s jokes. And unfortunately for women, there are many Kings.

My guess is that this “trend” is not new for the women of Japan. And it’s certainly not limited to Japan’s borders. And I’d wish that oppression of women would be treated as a world wide and local problem as opposed to an exotic concept.

While Hiroko Tabuchi seems to be mildly concerned about this “less-than-glamorous reality” of women “lavishing adoring (albeit nonsexual) attention on men for a hefty fee,” hoping they would instead get a job as a “civil servant” or “nurse,”  I hope the civil servants and nurses are charging that “hefty fee” for their attentions to men as well.

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i liked this

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colbert_reportI actually jumped out of my seat clapping when I saw this on the Colbert Report.  I was also kind of high, but I watched it again when I was not and it was equally awesome.  It was kind of surprising because generally I see the colbert report as being sillier and less insightful than the daily show but colbert got into some deep shit here for a second.


I don’t how to give you the link that takes you straight to the video, but just look up the clip called “neutral man’s burden”.

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Keep Makin’ Babies

A woman in Canada wants to get her tubes tied. The problem is the doctor says no.

She’s 21, her husband is 23, and the doctor says she (and sort of by extension they) are too young to decide to stop having children forever. There’s a lot going on here. There is the sexism of not letting a grown woman decide what to do with her own body, the ageism of expecting young adults to not be able to make joint decisions.

Also, the husband doesn’t want to get a vasectomy even though it is easier, cheaper, safer, (and for those of you wondering, reversible) than tube ligation. Shows how much of a sacrifice he’s willing to give I guess.

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Apparently there are a number of kids who have begun to use “yo” as a gender neutral pronoun.

This was reported forever ago elsewhere, but I don’t care

I really like this because:

a) It sorta sprang up by itself.

b) I like the word “yo.”

c) I’m really bad with other gender neutral pronouns. For some reason I can’t keep them straight (except Thon, but thats easy).

The one thing I noticed is that, including this article, whenever yo as a pronoun is talked about people start talking about how crass it is. That said I’m not surprised that everyone from “feminist scholar” to random blog commentors. Everyone seemed amazed that Baltimore teenagers would use a gender neutral, and people seem to be upset because yo is “crass and disrespectful,” i.e. Black, Brown and/or poor folks use it. It ain’t spivak, so it can’t work.

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Girly Colors?

pinkA recent-ish feministing post got me thinking about colors, and gender. The post was about how it is sexist for companies to make pink electronics to market to women. But then the author said that the only grown people that she knows of who like pink are high femme women and gay men.

That was sort of alienating, in a weird way.

My favorite colors when I was a kid were pink and yellow, followed by purple and black. I was made fun of a lot for being a sissy (it didn’t help that I was a notorious cry-baby). I ended up pushing black to my favorite color, with red and blue following close behind. Pink and yellow are too sissified.

I’m a grown man, and (now) my favorite colors are yellow and pink. One of my best friends is a grown, straight man, and his favorite color is pink. Neither of us is high femme, nor are we gay men. Is it petty to feel invisible because the author of a blog post doesn’t know men like us?

We buy electronics and other consumables based on aesthetics. We buy things that are pink and yellow and pastel colored. We love Hello Kitty. We both happened to use the girly, ice cream gmail theme because it is the best looking. I don’t even know if our color preferences are campy or not, but they are there.

That said we probably are not a large enough market to be the reason that pink things are sold, but we’re definitely a counter example and I know I am often almost drawn in by the idea of a yellow computer (the pinks in electronics are too not pastel enough for my tastes).

I also don’t know what this post is really about, but I’m mostly just sharing my thoughts. It probably is going to lead up to something else a little later.

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Raising Pop

A Swedish couple is attempting to raise their kid without gender. Pop is already 2 and a half, and is genderless. The article about it is funny to me because there is the biological determinist who is convinced that the parents are ruining the kid because children need gender to be individuals. And then there are the others who are certain that raising a child genderless allows the child to be a complete individual.

There were also a number of quotes about how people didn’t ‘know what they [the parents] were trying to do.’ Even though it seems pretty obvious that they are trying to raise their child in a way that allows Pop to be more free from set gender roles.

I’m also curious about how Pop will be when Pop is older.

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There is a new movie coming out soon– “Deadgirl.” From what I’ve gathered from watching the preview and the entry on Salon this movie is basically about a couple of guys who get made fun of a lot finding a zombie in an abandoned mental institution that they then rape and pimp out to other loser-guys. As the Salon entry says its hard to judge this movie until I see it, but I do have some qualms as I worry about how critical it is, and how much of it becomes necrophilic pornography. The tagline, “Every Generation Has It’s Story About the Horror of Growing Up,” freaks me out. This is why I don’t think the movie will critique very much– but makes rape into a rite of passage for growing up. (Also Looking at the movie poster it seems pretty clear that this movie is also suppossed to be sexy for the viewer).

What I’m most upset about now is the Salon piece about “Deadgirl.” There is one line where she compares the fictional rape of a zombie woman with the actual rape of a ‘mentally disabled’ girl (I’m going to use the AP style guide on this one–though I don’t like the term disabled). It seemed like a bit of a throw away phrase until I rephrased it; that the raping of a zombie isn’t “that far off” from the raping of a ‘mentally disabled’ girl.

There is a denial of humanity on the part of the girl who actually was raped. Why else would the rape of a ‘mentally disabled’ woman be any closer to the rape of a zombie woman, than of any other women. This sort of abject subhuman status given to both of them is what bothers me.

And that this connection between zombie and ‘mentally disabled’ can be so easily, and casually made without anyone really caring is mind boggling.

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