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Air host?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 11th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Air host?

All the articles about this airline employee and his misconduct call him a flight attendant in the body of the article, yet every  article on Stuff.co.nz (yesterday and today) has a title referring to him as an “air host”. I didn’t even know an air host was a thing; I thought that we just used the gender-neutral term ‘flight attendant’ for everyone now, but possibly that’s just me?Aside from the fact that I prefer ‘flight attendant’ (because it is neutral), air host just sounds weird to me.

(Searching the internet for air host leads me to many articles about air hostesses, and the Stuff articles talking about this “air host”).

Julie hits one out of the park

Posted in New Zealand, Uncategorized on August 9th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Julie hits one out of the park

Once again, Julie over at The Hand Mirror says it better than I ever could, talking about abortion and “the ick factor”.

…to go a step further and actively lie about what’s going on in the uterus, as some do, is unacceptable;  to promulgate doctored pictures of aborted fetuses, to make misleading claims on internet forums about how fetuses can consciously smile when they can’t, to publish spurious captions to inappropriate photos used to accompany news stories.

Making mistakes and repeating misinformation you’ve been told by someone you trust I have a little sympathy with.  But lying to deliberately drive up the Ick Factor and shut down reasoned debate I can’t stand.  If your argument is any good then you shouldn’t need to lie to make your point.

The last sentence – if your argument is any good, you shouldn’t need to lie to make your point- really rings true to me. It is astounding how much deliberate misleading is done by anti-choicers (not all, but many), and I have always had the opinion that if you need to lie and deceive and coerce and manipulate facts and people to win support, then how on earth is your point a valid one? If the support you provide for your point is based on lies, how does your point even exist at all?

Dogs and foxes

Posted in Uncategorized on August 4th, 2010 by steph – 3 Comments

I like this discussion of least favourite term/euphamism/slur for ‘woman’ over at Shakesville. There is such a wide vareity of personal preferences/pet hates, and it is very itneresting. It got me thinking about which ones I really dislike. I hate ‘girls’ when describing a group of adult women, absolutely hate it. I hate ‘dog’ to describe an unattractive woman. I used to think I would hate being called baby, but now (when said by the right person) I like it. And I really like how any time on Shortland Street someone wants to insult a woman/express their dislike of her, they call her a ‘bint’ (obviously the naughtiest word allowed); it is so awkward and unrealistic, andI like it purely for it’s humour value. Any ones that are your particular pet peeve?

Women don’t even need to be driving to cause car accidents!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3rd, 2010 by steph – 1 Comment

Luckily for me, my laziness at posting has paid off for once! This article about women’s skimpy summertime outifts causing men to crash their cars was sitting on my to-blogged-about-pile, but Melissa at Shakesville was onto it, of course. I do love the idea of changing the framing of the findings of the study from ‘Study finds skimpy outfits distract male drivers’  to ‘Study finds straight male drivers’ objectification of women has dangerous consequences’. See, what have we feminists been trying to tell you all this time? Objectification is damaging!

LadyBoxing on ‘Home and Away’

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31st, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on LadyBoxing on ‘Home and Away’

I’ve been watching a fair few episodes of Home and Away lately (so deliciously cheesy), and there has been a storyline where one of the characters, who runs boys’ boxing, is trying to start a girls’ boxing club, and his wife (a doctor) has huge problems with this because she’s a doctor and understands all the horrific injuries boxers can get, etc. In general, she thinks boxing is “barbaric”, but is especially vociferous on the subject of girls boxing. She thinks boxing is barbaric and dangerous, especially for girls. Maybe I am being hyper-sensitive, but every time I hear this character going on about this, I just can’t believe it. Especially dangerous for girls? Really? What I reflexively yelled at the TV the first time I heard the character express that view was “yeah, because one punch to the stomach will make their ovaries explode, and they wont be able to have children anymore!”. To be fair, there has (thankfully) been no talk of that, but that’s what this smacks of to me; women are delicate and easily hurt, and boxing is brutal and if anyone at all should do it, it should be men.

A quick google reveals that men’s boxing might actually be more dangerous than women’s boxing because women have more flexible necks, fewer muscles around the neck and shoulders, and (often) less upper body strength than the types of bodies desirable for male boxers. I also learnt that in sports that men and women both compete in, women have a higher concussion rate than men; so, this suggests that the character on Home and Away should also worry about women playing hockey, soccer, basketball, and so on.

When googling, I found an article (from 2009) where a female boxer argues that women’s boxing should be an Olympic sport, and a male boxing promoter says it should not, saying

I’m a traditionalist and I would never promote it. I applaud and appreciate how hard women work and train and, in this world, everybody is equal. But boxing is a tough sport. It’s a bit like I don’t want to see women on the front line in Iraq or Afghanistan. I wouldn’t want my daughter boxing and, as a parent, I wouldn’t allow it. I’m not so sure I’m even in favour of boys doing it at a young age.

A few years ago there was a woman who found out she was pregnant before a fight, but for eight weeks before that she would have been sparring in preparation.

Boxing at the highest level is the toughest sport of all. Medically it is regulated but there is still an element of danger or boxers wouldn’t be paid so much money.

When women’s boxing first became a big thing a few promoters jumped on the bandwagon but it never took off in the UK. There was a bit of a freak-show mentality. It’s just not for me.

He wouldn’t want his daughter doing it, but no mention of how he would feel if a son wanted to box. I imagine, as a self-proclaimed “traditionalist”, and a boxing promoter, he would be ok with it. He claims that everyone in this world is equal (which, as I hope we are all aware, is just not true), but then goes on to argue in favour of restricting equal access to choice. Well played, sir.

So, my raging feminism is now affecting my guilty soap opera watching experience. Far from being annoyed by this, I am actually rather pleased. Being a raging feminist is awesome!

I guess when I’m out dancing I should just keep the contents of my purse tucked into my bra instead of in a handy shoulder bag

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on I guess when I’m out dancing I should just keep the contents of my purse tucked into my bra instead of in a handy shoulder bag

Via  Jezebel:  set of results from a survey on a Christian website; the questions about what Christian guys consider “immodest” were submitted by Christian girls. How did these guys define immodest?

omething that is immodest is something that is designed to arouse lust within me (male, age 24).

Something that is immodest is something that is unnaturally revealing (male, age 20).

Something immodest draws attention to a girl’s body (male, age 28).

Basically, these dudes want to be attracted to women as people, not because of their exposed flesh. And it’s the job of the women to keep themselves modest. Which includes:

-no halter tops

-no miniskirts

-not wearing your purse over one shoulder so the strap cuts diagonally across your chest

-walking a certain way

-bending over with her backside to you

-stretching (arching back, sticking chest out, reaching arms back)

-DO NOT let your chest bounce as you walk

As Lisa on Jezebel puts it,

Immodesty, then, is not simply about being vigilant about your clothing (don’t wear a purse that falls diagonally across your body, don’t show your arms or your thighs), it’s a constant vigilance about how you display your body (don’t stretch, bend, or bounce).

This is a great deal of self-monitoring for girls. Not just when they shop, but when they get dressed, and all day as they move, and with constant re-evaluation of their clothes and how they fit. But, the rationale is, they must be vigilant and obey these rules in order to protect guys from the power of all bodies (both their own sexiness, and men’s biological response to it). Guys are burdened with lust, they insist.

This ‘women-as-gatekeepers’ mentality is problematic, because it essentially places the responsibility on women to make sure they are keeping themselves in check. And, as some of the survey results show, things that are modest can become immodest in certain contexts, so the goalposts for modesty can shift, which means that girls are aiming for a moving target.

One of the definitions of immodesty given by a respondant is worrying:

Immodest: Screams that her body is different than mine. Attempts to manipulate me. Forcefully offers to trade what I want (in the flesh) for what she wants: attention (male, age 30).

Because it assumes that women can’t actually be dressing for themselves, but purely for attention. I can imagine that, in fact, there are quite a few women out there who, when they dress, are acutely aware and wary of attention they might get from men, because it isn’t necessarily wanted.

And, not to put to fine a point on it, but it is fairly obvious that women’s bodies differ from men’s. And individual women’s bodies differ from other women’s bodies, and ditto for men. This isn’t necessarily about how you dress them: no bodies are the same, and a woman shouldn’t have to worry that wearing a bag diagonally across her chest is a lightbulb moment where a dude is realizing this.

At least the guys who responded to the survey admit that they should be controlling their own thoughts/urges, but the plea to women that accompanied this admission was very unsettling to me

Sisters in Christ, you really have no concept of the struggles that guys face on a daily basis. Please, please, please take a higher standard in the ways you dress. True, we men are responsible for our thoughts and actions before the Lord, but it is such a blessing when we know that we can spend time with our sisters in Christ, enjoying their fellowship without having to constantly be on guard against ungodly thoughts brought about by the inappropriate ways they sometimes dress. In 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul presents believers as the members of one body – we have to work together. Every Christian has a special role to play in the body of Christ. That goal is to bring glory to the Savior through an obedient, unified body of believers – please don’t hurt that unity by dressing in ways that may tempt your brothers in Christ to stumble (male, age 24).

To me, this smacks of ‘I realize I am responsible for myself, but please, please, please make my daily struggles easier by dressing to a “higher standard”, as defined by me’.

Personally, I’m not really motivated by modesty, or making sure I don’t tempt men, so I do find myself instinctively curling my lip at at this. But I am open to the fact that not everyone shares my beliefs, and some people don’t view this as oppressive and somewhat unreasonable in the same way that I do. I would just like to see an equal standard built in, putting men and women on the same playing field. Guys should avoid wearing skinny jeans that might emphasize their junk, or be tight around the legs, and stick to baggy shirts that don’t show any hint of the muscular chest beneath. Because surely women can view the male body with lust, just as men can view the female body with lust, right? I find men pretty enjoyable to cast my eyes upon at times. As well as being less than reasonable, the unequal standard actually erases women’s sexuality and sexual desires because it doesn’t acknowledge that their desires even exist. And I think there are already enough messages from society that women are less sexual than men, which can be incredibly misleading and damaging.

Katy Perry Lesbian Titillation Lottery

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Katy Perry Lesbian Titillation Lottery

Via Fatally Killed, a nice post about not only the stupidly repetitive nature of what stuff.co.nz considers news, but also about the how bored we all are of the ‘girl-on-girl-for guys’ thing.

The ‘girls kissing’ issue (and here I refer to girls kissing not out of real interest but because they think it is edgy/hot/a turn on for some third party/parties) isn’t anything new, and I don’t really have much to add to the ‘faux gay’ critiques. My main comment on the Katy Perry thing isn’t to do with her kissing girls (maybe she really does want to kiss them because she has a genuine interest, who am I to know?), but rather about the fact that is emphasized on Fatally Killed: the sheer inundation of puff pieces on her desires to kiss various people. Is there nothing more to Katy? I’m sure there is, and this coverage probably does her a real disservice.

(I have no beef with Katy, although the way she is marketed as an overly sexualized product is bothersome. Even if she is in control of that, and doing it because she is smart enough to know it will work well and net her a lot of money/fame, it is a bit sad to think a strategy like that does work and is employed by anyone. It would be nice if desirability wasn’t such a factor.)

Nick Cannon’s ‘Can I Live?’

Posted in Uncategorized on July 23rd, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Nick Cannon’s ‘Can I Live?’

Feministing.com has an awesome post about Nick Cannon’s song ‘Can I Live?’ and the video for it. The post on Feministing really covers all the problems with this song (and video), but I wanted to add a quick point: one of the lyrics that jumped out at me (and please, check out the rest, I do urge you to click through the link provided on Feministing) was “A strong woman that had to make a sacrifice” (in reference to his mother deciding against having an abortion). I find that infuriating; perpetuating the idea that only weak women have abortions, and having an abortion is weak and only borne out of lack of strength to ‘do the right thing’ is extremely hurtful (and, obviously, untrue).

Do check out Feministing for a great analysis of the problems with his song and video (most of which can be traced back to the ‘this is a personal story but oh actually I’m imploring all women out there, in the voice of the foetus inside them, not to have an abortion’). I also emphasize that, as Chloe states, I have no problem with any individual making the choice not to have an abortion, because it is just that: their own personal choice. Which, funnily enough, is exactly what I (as a feminist, and just a generally non-jerky human being) am an advocate for: choice.

But, one comment to Nick: I think instead of having ‘Can I Live’ on the t-shirts of all those kids in that crowd, it should have been ‘I could have been an abortion’. Way more powerful, and right to the heart.

Just because I’m a sucker for bingo…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

Anti-Feminist Bingo, parts 1-5

Rape-Apologist Bingo

And, especially for people who write on the internet:

Concern Troll Bingo

It all sounds so familiar, huh? The concern troll stuff especially, from both the internet world and the real world.

Surely this must be a joke…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19th, 2010 by steph – 6 Comments

Through The Hand Mirror I heard about a few articles that rightly denounce the Haden-ish views about rape that have come up in the media recently. While I am pleased that there are people at least trying to express their disgust at the rape-apologist chorus, what I wanted to briefly mention was this delightful piece from a commentor (‘Clinton3666’, to be precise) on John Roughan’s column

Men having sex with their wivies and girlfriends are doing naturally and acceptable. Having sex help men remain interested in women.

Men who enjoyed having sex 3 times a week, for 50 years from 18 year old to 68 year old, lives longer to reach ripe old age of 100-120+ year old and look younger and healthier than lazy men who did not had sex for 50 past years.

Men who are sexually active in 18 to 70 year old and are interested in having sex with women are desired men for women.

Men who had not had sex for 20 to 50 years are less healthy and lives much shorter lifespans, cannot reach 100 years old of age and often look older.

Healthy strong & fit women in 16 to 70 years old enjoy having sex with boyfriends and husbands and are desired women for men.

Women who are avoiding having sex with men are sick, weak and unhealthy women and are not desired women. A woman who cannot stand have sex with husband 3 times a week is a weak sick unhealthy woman.

Both men and women to have strong sex drives and be very interested in sex for pleasure is natural & acceptable.

I prefterred a woman who can stand 3 sex a week.

Surely this must be a joke,right? Some sort of weird piss-take on crazy and incoherant views normally spouted by stuck-in-history angry man?Because it is just a touch too incoherant and weird to be real…

I guess though, to be fair, a woman who doesn’t have sex 3 times a week is a weak and unhealthy woman.