What the what?

Pick me, John Key

Posted in gender stereotypes, New Zealand, What the what? on February 1st, 2011 by steph – 26 Comments

I am so upset, folks. I found something out on Sunday- something that crushed my self-esteem and left me feeling jealous and rejected. Folks, I am not on John Key’s fuck list. I was truly shocked to hear this, and am so very, very jealous of Liz Hurley and Jessica Alba, because I wish that a slimy, disingenuous man who does a piss-poor job of running our country thought that I was “not too bad”.

Srsly.

I laughed long and loud at Dean Lonergan’s total brain fart of a comment that because I find Key’s comments to be awful that I must just be jealous

“Those women who might be upset at his comments are obviously just disappointed they never made John Key’s list and never will.”

Wait, you mean not only do I not make the list now, but I never will? Never??? Surely there’s something I can do, something I can change..I can change John, I can!

Yeah. The idea that I’m angry because I’m jealous? Ridiculous. In reality, the idea of ever being called “pretty hot” by John Key makes me feel ill. I feel glad not to be on that list, not jealous, because any dude who behaves like such a cliche of what masculinity sounds like is not a dude I want to be complimented by. I like my men to not describe me as a “benefit that comes with the job”, kthnx.

What was additionally gross was the comment made by Lonergan attempting to explain why there’s nothing wrong with what Key said

“He’s a normal man who expresses normal manly sentiments from time to time.”

Shit, how much do I hate people spouting ideas about masculinity and femininity and the normal ways of showing performing those things and being male or female. Come on ladies! He’s just being a guy! That lovable scamp! What a charmer! A smooth-talker! He’s just an aficionado of women, ya know? Just expressing normal, everyday, totally red-blooded heterosexual dudely thoughts.  Don’t hate the player, hate the game!

I hate the word manly (unless used with a supremely sarcastic tone by someone mocking gender stereotypes). You know what I think when I hear someone use the word manly?

Yep, when Dean Lonergan defends John Key’s stupid comments by calling them “normal manly sentiments”, the sounds of Tim Allen’s ‘manly’ grunting fills my head. That’s the first thing I think of when I hear the word manly, the association I have with the word. A pathetic caricature of a man grunting enthusiastically to express his manliness. I guess my view is a little different to those who would consider this descriptor as some sort of legitimate defense of reasonable actions.

Grimacing is for the beautiful people only. Not for you, Plain Jane!

Posted in New Zealand, What the what? on January 24th, 2011 by steph – 7 Comments

Another dictate from Deborah Hill Cone,

Only very beautiful women should be allowed to grimace.

Apparently Petra Bagust can get away with pulling faces that would “make most women look mildly deranged”because it just makes her look even more adorable by cutting her “exquisite beauty” with even more character.

In accordance with this I probably should’ve spent my morning practicing my cheerful smile in the face of the stressful work I’ve been doing (given that I doubt I am classified as “very beautiful”), but instead I decided to spend the morning practicing my best grimace- in honour of DHC, of course.

How romantic

Posted in weddings, What the what? on September 3rd, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on How romantic

Wedding cake topper ornaments via Shakesville

‘Daddy printed T-shirt’

Posted in What the what? on September 1st, 2010 by steph – 6 Comments

Am I alone in finding this ad from Supre for  the ‘Daddy Printed T-Shirt’ really weird?

I wish I had a bag with half a woman’s body printed on it

Posted in What the what? on August 31st, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on I wish I had a bag with half a woman’s body printed on it

If only these pills could really trim my waist just like a drawstring bag being closed…

How to deal with hatred and misrepresentation

Posted in Ask Men, Feminism, What the what? on August 27th, 2010 by steph – 7 Comments

Finally, there is hope for all those people in my life who, for so long now, have been saying “I just don’t know how to deal with her. How do I deal with an angry feminist???”. Hallelujah, an answer is finally here! Hopefully the haters are taking notes. (I have to point out this this advice is proferred by a woman, which is another level of terrible on top of the terrible sandwich it already is).

Where to begin with this ridiculous piece of rubbish?

Feminism is a great thing. As a movement, it has allowed women to be seen as people every bit as worthy and deserving of the privileges that men enjoy. Women still don’t earn as much income as men in comparable occupations and there is still a tendency to think that women belong in the kitchen, but the feminists that have fought for equality over the years have had a huge effect on gender roles in our society.

Feminism is cool, you guys. I like that it exalts the work of feminists who have fought wicked hard to be seen as human beings that deserve the same rights as men, then mentions some good examples of why this hasn’t actually happened. Without even a note of awareness of how funny this pairing of ideas is. Feminism has done so much! And women are treated decently now! Except in these two examples here, which negate my point.

While most women who identify as feminists these days are champions of equality, there is another type of feminist that despises anything male and claims that women are superior in every way. These man-hating feminists are rare and sometimes refer to themselves as “radical” or “militant.” We just think they’re angry. When you come across an angry feminist, you may find yourself instinctively shielding your balls while trying to figure out what to do next. AskMen has your guide to dealing with angry feminists.

Yeah, um, I don’t know if you got the memo that has been circulating for a good few years now, but hating men isn’t actually a tenet of feminism. Hating men kind of goes against the whole ‘wanting everyone, men and women, to get a fair and equal deal’. Busting out the tired old man-hater cliche? Ten points for originality!

Tip 1. : Don’t say you’re a feminist. Because that is her secret activation phrase, and will cause her to rip off your balls!

Don’t ever try to empathise with angry feminists by claiming that you are also a feminist. These women think that by simply being a man you are part of the oppressive male-dominated system that is keeping women down. So, even if you’ve always respected and loved the women in your life, the angry feminist will say that men are privileged in our society and, whether you actively choose it or not, you’re to blame for participating in the patriarchy.

The thing is, by being a man, you kind of are part of the system that is in place against women. Even good men who have loved and respected the women in their lives. We’re all part of the system, as much as we like to believe we are the pure and noble exception. And saying that the ‘angry feminist’ will respond by talking about how men are privileged in our society? Men are privileged in our society! Is that even up for debate?? Pointing out the flawed system, and how we too are all part of it (by virtue of existing in it) and are also flawed doesn’t make one some sort of militant. It is important to talk about these things, because this is how we start to change them. And another thing, saying that you’ve always loved and respected the women in your life? That doesn’t negate privilege. And, additionally, what you view as love and respect is easily shaped by what ‘the system’ views as loving and respectful behaviour towards women.  I know plenty of guys who say they respect women, and give an example of some sort of cliche “I’m good to ladies!” move which is more about what we are taught to believe respect looks like than it is about actual respect (and what that individual woman actually wants/needs).

Tip 2. Never ever EVER mention sex. Ever!

“…any mention of sex between a man and a woman, no matter how innocent, consensual or woman-centric, is likely to be twisted into a rape-inciting hate comment by an angry feminist. This type of feminist believes that any woman who wants and enjoys sex is contributing to the oppression of not just herself, but the entire female population. Yet, she will also argue that a society controlled by men stifles a woman’s right to express her sexuality. Pointing out the inherent contradiction in her argument will only result in her accusing you of being a rape supporter. Better to go find yourself one of those women who wishes to cement her submission to the big, bad patriarchy by allowing you to give her satisfying orgasms.”

You’re right, when someone says the word sex, feminists are really hearing RAPERAPERAPERAPE. There is so much wrong with this, starting with the fact that the promotion of sex-positivity is relentlessly promoted by feminists. Feminists generally like the idea of people having satisfying and consensual sex. Who wouldn’t like that idea? But sometimes, rape really is the issue. And sometimes the man might think he is talking about sex, but really he is talking about exploitation and manipulation and coercion and rape. So yeah, sometime the conversation is about rape. But a lot of the time, it’s about sex. If sex is really what is being talked about, it isn’t going to get “twisted into a rape-inciting hate comment”.

Also; a society controlled by men does stifle a woman’s right to express her sexuality. Again, why is this even up for debate? Why is this treated as the ludicrous hallucinations of a twisted mind? It’s simple: if one group has control over what another can do (thus dictating what is good and bad, admissible and not), then they are creating rules that hey, just might be stifling some people’s free expression. Whodathunkit? Acting like this is a silly feminist idea made up for laughs is trying to marginalize people who believe it, stifling another form of their expression too.

And  “better to go find yourself one of those women who wishes to cement her submission to the big, bad patriarchy by allowing you to give her satisfying orgasms” ? Yes, men ‘giving’ women orgasms is what feeds the patriarchy! We’ve been trying to tell everyone for all these years, but really our hearts weren’t in it, because orgasms are just so good. This is patronizing bullshit at it’s best. There are plenty of things that cement the big bad patriarchy, but having an orgasm with a man really doesn’t seem like the biggest thing we should be worried about. I mean, I know consensual sexual pleasure will bring down the empire and all that, but we’re a bit busy with rights to work, parent, choose, etc. We’ll deal with the orgasm thing later, and stamp out that dirty practice of ladies having orgasms with men all together. Sisters unite!

Tip 3. “Don’t prove her right”.

Angry feminists can be infuriating in their stubbornness and complete disregard for any sense of logic or reason. Yes, she’s trying to push your buttons, but don’t fall for it. If you say what you really want to say to her, you’ll just be stooping to her level. Don’t supply more evidence for her theory that all men suck by acting like an asshole. Stay calm and remember that common sense is on your side.

When she’s talking about a way in people treat feminists like garbage, don’t prove her right by saying something like, I don’t know, “You’re such an angry feminist!”, even though you totally think it. You’ll show her, yes indeedy.

Disregard for any sense of logic or reason? Bish please, that’s just unfounded. I’m pretty sure saying “See this observable thing in the world? The one that disadvantages people? Disadvantage is bad, thus this thing that causes it is bad” isn’t unreasonable. Common sense may not be on the side of feminists, according to this author, but it sure isn’t on her side either.

Tip 4. “Don’t be a bother”

Sometimes, the best way to deal with an angry feminist is to put your hands in the air and back away slowly. You will never win an argument with this woman, and trying will only get you labelled as an oppressive patriarchal pig. Best to save your common-sense arguments for someone who will actually listen to them and engage you in conversation instead of blaming your entire gender for everything that makes her life difficult.

Angry feminists are like bears, y’all! Big, dangerous bears! Or maybe tigers; yeah, tigers! Back away from them before you wake them from their slumber of man-hating dreams, and sink their teeth into your sexism-reinforcing self. (Except they wouldn’t actually sink their teeth into you, because that is soooooo evocative of penetration, and penetration is satan and Garth George all rolled into one).

You know what makes someone oppressive? Having to shit all over someone’s beliefs and pwn them in an argument by shouting them down. So, were you to do that, then yeah, I would call you oppressive. You aren’t always going to  “win” an argument, which is a lesson even children learn at some stage. We all lose sometimes.

I think what you mean by “find someone who will actually listen and engage in conversation” is find someone who will nod and smile while you talk about yourself and vainly stroke your taut, muscled chest. Because the feminists I know (even then angry ones, like me!) actually really love to engage in conversation. Reasonable, logical, passionate, emotional, angry, enthusiastic, open conversation. So I think maybe your dictionary is out of date or something. Maybe you should come over and we could have a conversation about it? I’ll bake cookies shaped like male genitalia so we can rip the balls off with our teeth.

This is how the article concludes:

For the record, not all feminists are angry. Some of them are perfectly reasonable people who simply believe in equality. Not even all radical or militant feminists are all that scary, but you are certainly more likely to find the mean, frightening, extreme ones among those that use those labels. When we hear the word “sexist,” we usually picture a guy who looks down on women, but don’t forget that there are women out there who think that men are the weaker sex and that revolution and world domination are the only logical responses to the paternalistic ideals of our time. These women are every bit as harmful and distasteful as misogynist men.

Brain explode from so much ridiculousness. First up, what’s with this hatred for being angry? Why is anger a bad thing? Or is it just bad when the angry person is a lady, or a feminist? Because I think anger is fine, and healthy, and often and awesome motivator for people to do something about things they feel are wrong (also great motivator for creating a blog!). And I think part of this is a conflation of anger with passion. Neither of these things is bad.

Apparently when we hear “sexist”, we think of a man who looks down on women. Well, yes. But there are a lot of people who say “But I love women! Some of my best friends are women!”, and this does not mean they aren’t sexist, not by a long shot. In fact, “I have female friends” is a fairly good indicator of sexism… Yes, sexim is looking down on women. But the problem is, a lot of people think that because they don’t hit their girlfriends or because they hired a female employee that they are bastions of awesome woman-love and respect. But sexism is sneaky, and subtle, pervasive and ingrained. So some people don’t really get how some things can be sexist because those things aren’t “that bad”, or because they “don’t mean anything”. The thing is, they do mean something. And this is why feminists are passionate, why they want to talk about problems: because problems, both big and little, exist; and people who say “I’m not sexist because I like women” exist; and people who say feminism, a movement about all people getting treated well, is as harmful as men who hate women, those people exist too.

Smell like Summer’s Eve

Posted in What the what? on August 27th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Smell like Summer’s Eve

Hey ladies, have you ever wondered why you aren’t getting those raises and promotions that you deserve at work? Well, it’s probably because your boss (and everyone else at work) can smell your stinky vag. Yep, your stank is holding you back. So bust out the ‘Feminine Wash’ and and you’ll be a CEO in no time!

Tips may not guarantee success in the workplace.

Why was I never taught “princess manners”?

Posted in gender stereotypes, kids, What the what? on August 25th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Why was I never taught “princess manners”?

I’m not going to beat around the bush here; I am not even slightly cool with this . Just watching those videos made me cringe and groan. Everything about them, right down to the music, is like a shitstorm of gender-stereotype reinforcement.

If a girl choose princesses, or a boy choose warriors, then ok. But do you think they get a choice? I wouldn’t bet on it. What if a girl doesn’t want to be a princess, or a boy a warrior; there are no other choices, and they will most likely end up shunted into the ‘appropriate’ one (through pressure from parents or friends, or to avoid being the one who is left out; and I don’t think ‘neither of them’ would be seen as a valid choice). This kind of thing is based on stupid, narrow conceptualizations of what is ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ behaviour and roles, and what ‘real’ girls and boys are like. And not only is it founded upon shitty stereotypes, it serves to reinforce them (and normalize them too!). So it’s a twofer, really. Plus, you get lots of extra play time hammering home those messages while the children’s brains are nice and impressionable, and while they might not be getting any other message to provide alternative perspectives. Brainwashing all around.

Blubber diet sounds good to me

Posted in diets, What the what? on August 25th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

Crazy fad diets are morbidly fascinating to me. The lengths people will go to when desperately trying to fit in with a shamefully limited standard of socially-sanctioned acceptability can be scary indeed. I already wrote about a super healthy sounding diet regime consisting of 500 calories and top ups of homeopathic form of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) per day. Others of interest:

  • The Inuit Meat-and-Fat Diet In 1928, celebrated arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson outlined his proscribed diet, which he based on his time spent living with the Inuit. Like the Inuit, whose diet has long been a source of fascination to scientists, he recommended everyone subsist on fish and blubber regardless of geographical locale or body type – or, lacking blubber, meat and fat. Exclusively.
  • The Tapeworm Diet Among the vilest of all known diets, the Tapeworm Diet was – maybe – an urban legend that still persists. Word was, stars of the 50’s were able to get their hands on a capsule that set a parasite loose in your body and caused dramatic weight loss; there was some antidote pill that prevented one from dying. When opera diva Maria Callas lost a dramatic 65 pounds, rumor had it the tapeworm diet was her secret. Others just thought she had a tapeworm due to her propensity for eating raw liver. Yes, some people still talk about “swallowing the worm.” They should be avoided.

  • The Vegetable Oil Diet: In the early 60s, obstetrician Dr. Herman Taller advanced a novel dieting theory: eat as much as you want, and wash it down with vegetable oil. (Dispensed via pill.) Calories Don’t Count was a national bestseller – even though, technically speaking, they do. The FDA later charged Taller with just peddling safflower oil and he was convicted of mail fraud.
  • and who could resist trying this little beauty
  • The Sleeping Beauty Diet: You’ve heard that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain…doesn’t it follow that if you sedate yourself and sleep for days, you’ll get really thin? Some folks in the 1960s thought so; and anyone who’s read Valley of the Dolls will recall that it’s how Neely O’Hara gets showbiz-slim..
  • Insaneville diets I have heard of or known people trying:

    Kimchi diet, where you pretty much just eat kimchi. I suppose this is a sort of cousin to the cabbage soup diet, but with some spiciness thrown in there (and, as ladymags tell us, spicy food aids weight loss!)

    Slimming teas, slimming shakes, etc. I was in a pharmacy the other day and a group of young women were asking the woman behind the counter about the slimming shakes, and one of them asked if she could just eat breakfast and then only have a shake for lunch.

    Eating shit-tons of celery, because apparently celery has negative calories (the calories in it are burned by all the chewing you have to do!). I have been told this by a friend, who was not joking.

    The ‘lemonade’ or lemon diet: mixing up some lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water and pretty much using that as your food source. Also called the Master Cleanse, and technically a fast because you aren’t really getting enough nutrients. Downsides? Glad you asked! Feeling lethargic, depressed, lacking focus, dizziness, nausea and the possibility of death. I was once asked to do this diet with a friend as her “diet buddy”. Yeah nah.

    General starvation-based diets. You know, some sort of no breakfast or no lunch or no dinner, or only eating a handful of popcorn for lunch, type thing.

    The babyfood diet. After all, babies aren’t fat, right? So just do what they do! Oh, except for that whole being much much tinier than an adult and needing less food to survive thing…

    All up, this shit sounds like a pretty good way of punishing your body. You know, that thing you live in and experience the world through, and only have one of. But desperation and feelings of inadequacy are pretty fucking powerful motivators. As one of the Jezebel commenters pointed out, this is one of the most popular diets of them all:

    The Shame Diet: Popularized before record keeping existed, the shame diet involves forcing women to hate themselves and deny themselves the foods that give them pleasure. Practiced by both men and women, usually on women, but occasionally men and even animals. So popular, it’s been used in old Hollywood, modern Hollywood, Broadway, Buckingham Palace, and even the White House! Celebrity Fans: Pretty much all of them.

    (Edit: I realize I sound like some sort of condescending super-human who has never been susceptible to stupid societal pressure to do crazy shit to my body. That is most definitely not the case. I write this post because I have been fully in the throes of this stuff, and loathe it).

    The Onion infiltrates mainstream media

    Posted in Pole fitness, What the what? on August 17th, 2010 by steph – 9 Comments

    Is it just me, or does this article about pole dancing classes for children read like it is something from The Onion?

    Langley, has taught students age nine and up in regular classes, and has gone as young as five years old in private lessons.There’s even talk of introducing a mommy-and-me pole class.

    “I just had a baby six months ago and I’m hoping she’ll start to learn pole-dancing as soon as she can,” says Tammy Morris, owner of Tantra Fitness. “Kids love the pole. If anything, it’s hard to get them off it because they’re such naturals.”

    and

    Notably, the only Tantra classes on which there are firm age restrictions are Exotic Dance and Lap Dance, leaving open those with names such as Bellylicious, Sexy Flexy, Pussycat Dawls and Promiscuous Girls. But for anyone underage to participate, Morris says a waiver must be signed by the youth’s parents.

    and

    In the case of seven-year-old Kennedy Benko, who’s been taking lessons for two years — and had Morris at her last birthday party, to teach her friends some pole tricks of their own — this isn’t a problem. Her mother is a fellow student at Tantra.

    “It’s just another form of exercise, and an awesome core workout . . . You should see (Kennedy’s) little abs — they’re rockin’,” says Randi Moscovitch-Benko, a fitness instructor.

    Yikes.

    I, like others, am not denying that there is a huge level of athleticism needed for some of the stuff people pull off on a pole, but I really don’t know about  young girls attending classes called Promiscuous Girls, or Sexy Flexy. Even with the required parental consent. If anything, that kind of makes it worse… (and doesn’t really serve to subvert people’s opinions that pole dancing/fitness is only sexual, as Tammy Morris claims she is trying to do).