Sexism: Historical Edition

April 19, 2009 § 4 Comments

Hey everybody!

So… I was just minding my own business, attempting to get through my history homework on one of those depressing Sundays when one side of you is fully aware of the fact that you have school tomorrow and the other side of you just wants to sit watching that Law and Order: CI marathon while eating left-over Easter candy (have I shared too much?), when I came across this gem in my textbook:

Immigrants with chalk marks were herded to the left, while most went to the right, filing by a matron who searched the faces of women for evidence of “loose character.”

If such evidence was found, the woman would be turned away and sent back to her country of origin.

No such test was given to men.

Gotta love that good old fashioned 1890′s sexism.

Really?! Tell me more about her clothing!

April 5, 2009 § 2 Comments

Seen above: Only Fashion.

Seen above: FASHION.

So, Michelle Obama has already been talked about here (in a great post by Joel), but today I found myself spurred to write about her again.

I was just minding my own business this morning, checking my email when AOL’s Sunday Style section featured an image of the Obamas with the Queen. The description said:

You’ve already seen what the First Lady wore to meet the Queen, but what about the rest of her European outfits? Click through to see her chic, sleeveless number & that colorful cardigan.

How depressing is it that I can’t, for the life of me, tell you what she’s been doing politically recently, but I can (thanks to AOL.com) tell you all about her European outfits? I’m so sick of this! She attended Princeton and Harvard, for God’s sakes! Please tell me what she’s doing other than donning a “teal-rrific” ensemble! Surprisingly, I actually already am quite in tune with the fact that she has great style. My eyes made me aware of this. You know what I can’t tell by just looking at her? The causes she’s most in support of, her opinion on the stimulus package, anything else, really!

One thing that’s occured to me though is this: What if it’s not all the media? What if a serious effort is being put forth to ensure that she doesn’t make the same “mistakes” that Hillary did as First Lady (i.e. having opinions)? The right wing and media jumped on Clinton during her husband’s presidency and recently during her presidential campaign calling her a harpy, shrill, and even Nurse Ratched. If this is the case, it may be considered a wise political move, but it saddens me so much that we may not be hearing much from Michelle for a while. After all, remember her at the Democratic National Convention?

Sigh.

Day of Silence Coming Up…

April 3, 2009 § 1 Comment

Hey everybody! It’s April, which means that this year’s Day of Silence (April 17th) is coming up. In case you’re unaware, the Day of Silence is a day organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and students across America in which a vow of silence is taken in order to bring attention to the constant verbal abuse that GLBT students face in school.

I’ve participated in it each year since eighth grade, and it’s always been an extremely positive experience. If you don’t think you can refrain from speaking for an entire day, at least be an ally to the cause and support those who do.

For more information on the Day of Silence, visit this website and if you have any unanswered questions, definitely check their FAQ section.

The Reasons Women Don’t Recognize Their Abusers

March 20, 2009 § 1 Comment

Irishwitch over at Daily Kos has an eye-opening article up about batterers and how they operate. She also covers the reasons why women often times don’t recognize the warning signs of abuse. She even touches briefly on Chris Brown and Rihanna, but mostly discusses a personal experience that a friend of hers had.

It’s amazing that we feel sympathy for the victims of a Ponzi scheme operator like Madoff—but, all to often,  not for battered women because “they should have seen it coming.” In the case of Chris Brown’s alleged abuse of Rihanna, he fooled not only her, but the fans, the media and some pretty big corporations who hired him as a pitchman.  He was Mr. Nice Guy.  If they all fell for it, it’s no wonder that a twenty-one-year-old girl did too.  And that is why women don’t recognize the red flags for what they are: they don’t look like red flags. They look like roses.

As horrifying as the article is, I think it’s also extremely important. I would definitely recomend you go read it.

Thoughts on America’s Next Top Model

March 15, 2009 § 18 Comments

I don’t know how many of you watch America’s Next Top Model, but the first episode of the twelfth cycle premiered last Wednesday and has sparked some controversy over the first official photo shoot. It involved the girls (all of whom are 18+ years old) being dressed up as and posing as little girls. As Tyra described it:

This issue is really important to me, the issue of teen girls and being what I call ‘out of control.’ I did a survey on my talk-show website, and I found that one in five girls that are teens that we surveyed actually want to be a teen mom. Purity and innocence is something that’s being lost and as you Top Models are doing this photo shoot, you guys are role models, too. The assignment was for you all to embody different little games that little girls play on the playground. (Emphasis mine.)

Silvia and I both watched this episode and cringed. Our thoughts below the jump, including pictures from the photo shoot.

« Read the rest of this entry »

There is no Witty Title that can Accurately Express how Angry I am

March 10, 2009 § 5 Comments

(Trigger Warning)

Holy shit. And we thought we’d seen the worst in anti-choice activity last week.

In case you haven’t heard, a nine-year-old rape victim in Brazil and her family were excommunicated by Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho for choosing to get an abortion. The girl’s rapist? Her step dad. The doctors that performed the abortion were excommunicated as well.

Abortion is illegal in Brazil, unless it is a case of rape or the mother’s life is endangered. This nine-year-old’s situation meets both of these qualifications, as being forced to bring a pregnancy to term before even reaching puberty could cause severe health complications.

I can’t even write eloquently about this. Every time I attempt to, angry, incoherent slurs come out. The Time article speaks for itself:

“God’s laws,” said the archbishop, dictate that abortion is a sin and that transgressors are no longer welcome in the Roman Catholic Church. “They took the life of an innocent,” Sobrinho told TIME in a telephone interview. “Abortion is much more serious than killing an adult. An adult may or may not be an innocent, but an unborn child is most definitely innocent. Taking that life cannot be ignored.”

What the fuck, Archbishop? How fucking dare you? This girl has gone through enough heartbreak, enough trauma, enough pain. Your excommunication is just the icing on the shitcake. Not only is she suffering, but her entire family is as well. You would apparently prefer that a prepubescent girl give birth to the twins of her rapist. And you proudly speak about the “life of an innocent.” Is she not innocent? Because a fetus has begun to develop, suddenly the well-being of the person who’s actually living (who’s actually a person!) is completely null? This goes beyond plain old victim blaming. The victim doesn’t even play a part in your thought process. The victim doesn’t matter. You also compare abortion to the Holocaust. I’m sorry, but the ruthless killing, torturing, and imprisonment of an entire racial group of people for years is not comparable to abortion in the slightest.

The article goes on to explain that despite the fact that abortion is illegal, approximately one million women get abortions secretly (with varying safety depending on what they can afford) in Brazil. And about 200,000 are admitted to hospitals with abortion procedure complications.

The (slight) silver lining is that this event has created a lot of public uproar opposition to the Catholic Church and its bullshit regarding a woman’s right to choose, even among conservatives. In fact, the article states that, “only 74% of Brazilians today admit allegiance to Rome, with large numbers, especially the urban poor, having defected to Protestant Evangelical sects.”

Again, I really am at a loss for words.

Favorite Responses…

March 7, 2009 § 1 Comment

I get to telling people I write for a feminist blog. It’s been a little over a month since I first started writing for Women’s Glib and since then, I’ve posted the link to it on my facebook and told many of my friends about it. Here are a few of the winning responses I’ve gotten:

  • “A feminist blog?… Whew.”
  • “No way is that going to help you get a boyfriend.” (Yes, this is the same person.)
  • Raucous laughter
  • Awkward silence
  • “Oh… that’s… great.”
  • “Loser.”
  • “Women are allowed to write for blogs?”

So, by winning, I actually meant saddening. It’s upsetting to hear some of my friends respond in such a negative way. It’s like they hear the word “feminist” in any context and alarms go off in their heads. To be fair, some of the responses listed above were just said to get a rise out of me. Mostly, I just smile at these responses, since… they are kind of humorously uninformed. This isn’t to say I haven’t received positive responses – I’ve actually gotten much more positive feedback, but posting those would just be obnoxious.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank the fellow Women’s Glib writers for including me in such an amazing experience. And the people who find what we have to say worthwile. And thanks to the sexist assholes in my life for providing me with so much good material.

Feminism and Porn

March 4, 2009 § 1 Comment

At my school, every Friday there’s a Gender Studies Round table during lunch. Usually a guest speaker comes and students convene in a room (at a table) to discuss a topic, ranging from homosexuality to white privilege. I’ve only been to a few, but I definitely want to go to this week’s.

This week’s topic is porn. While I’ve never been a fan of porn myself, I don’t judge those who do enjoy it. I just think that it’s important for people who watch it to understand exactly how realistic the situations in porn are (as in, not realistic at all). I also think that the way in which women are portrayed in porn has the potential to be an extremely interesting topic and debate. (Perhaps for another post, once I’ve gone to the Round table.)

But what really made me want to attend was a quote posted on one of my school’s bulletin boards about this week’s topic. It was a quote by none other than the infamous Hugh Hefner. While I’m unable to find it right now, it stated that anti-sexual beliefs were deeply rooted in feminism.

Because we all know what an expert Hugh Hefner is on feminism. I thought feminism was about equality no matter your gender, which includes sexual empowerment. Since when have feminists shunned sex? And here I thought it was the crazy feminists’ faults for fueling the so-called “hook-up culture” with their damned insistence on equal rights! Silly  me.

Forgive me for the ramblings; just trying to organize my thoughts. There will be a follow-up Friday or Saturday after I go to the Round table. Opinions anyone?

Update: Did Hefner forget that feminist porn exists?

Nothing’s More Tragic than a Single Girl

March 2, 2009 § 3 Comments

On Friday I had an orthodontist appointment and, as anybody who’s ever had metal in their mouth can relate to, it wasn’t particularly enjoyable. I’ve always dreaded orthodontist appointments. And it’s not even about the often painful tightening of my retainer – it’s my orthodontist.

I hate him.

He’s said so many ridiculous things to me (example: after almost breaking my retainer, “It’s a good thing I didn’t break it, because I never would have admitted to that! Aha!”) and doesn’t treat the nurses (that usually do the work) as equals. Overall, he’s a disgusting person, with a fondness for asking me about boys in my life, ESPECIALLY the appointment right before Valentine’s Day. However, Friday’s appointment was way after Valentines Day, yet…

Him: PHOEBEEE!

Me: Hi.

Him: (immediately) How was your Valentine’s Day?

Me: Eh… It was fine. I kind of forgot it was Valentine’s Day.

Him: (shocked, as if this is the saddest thing he’s ever heard) WHAT? DID YOU NOT GET ANY CANDY OR CARDS?

Me: Sure, I had some with my friends…

Him: (suggestively) What about Bobby Beautiful? Carl Cute?

Me: Uh… nope.

Him: (suddenly really sympathetic and gentle) Oh, well… Well, don’t worry about that. Boys are dumb! You gotta get them a card FIRST, then they’ll give you one. That’s what you gotta do, otherwise you’ll just end up cardless!

Me: It’s okay. I’m not really a big fan of Valentine’s Day.

Him: But that doesn’t mean the boys in your life aren’t! You listen to my advice, you’ll get one next year! Don’t worry!

The message from this, you ask? Single straight girls are tragic and in need of your comfort, boys! But, don’t make the first move, guys! (You’re dumb, remember? Wait for her.)

His, “Otherwise you’ll end up cardless,” sounded entirely too ominous for me to not put it in bold. You should have seen his face towards the end of this exchange – it was painful how sympathetic he was trying to be. He seemed to half-expect me to cry any minute for not receiving a Hallmark card. Even though I know he was just trying to be nice, he came off as really condescending.

But there was nothing I could have said to him differently… Was there?

Oh, this is rich.

February 26, 2009 § 1 Comment

So, well-established Republican, misogynistic, hate-mongering, asshole radio host Rush Limbaugh has just realized that women aren’t his biggest fans.

The first unsolicited reports from the upcoming female summit already in. They’re saying it’s a waste of time, women will not like me any more than the ones that already do, that you have to be an Oprah today in the media to attract.

No, Rush. You don’t necessarily have to be an Oprah to attract women (I have never personally been a huge fan of hers.). You have to not be a (as previously stated) Republican, misogynistic, hate-mongering, asshole.

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