Archive for August, 2010

Comic funtimes

Posted in comics, Feminism on August 31st, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Comic funtimes

A classic from the xkcd archives: Girls suck at math

And a nice addition/homage from a softer world: lowered expectations!

(Rather than giving you the pics I thought I would link, so you get the sweet tooltip thingy when you move the cursor over the comic. The one for the a softer world comic is especially good!)

Another phrase I am so very sick of

Posted in Feminism on August 31st, 2010 by steph – 5 Comments

“Man up”. Yep, if I never heard that again I would be one very happy lady.

It’s like people write articles like this just to keep me in the blogging business. ‘WOmen told they must man up’. To be fair, it is only the author who uses the phrase man up. But the article itself is full of that attitude, just without the nasty phrasing. It gets off to a really good start

Behaving more like men could help women boost their sex lives, eat healthier and stress less.

But that would mean bitching less, not focusing as much on perfection and worrying less about being on a diet.

Becoming more comfortable with being sexually aroused would also help improve a woman’s sex life, according to experts.

Oh, we complain about things? And have worries. Sorry for being total Debbie Downers.

registered psychologist and director at Auckland’s MindWorks clinic, Sara Chatwin, said many women aired their problems with too many people and gossiped mercilessly among friends.

Men, on the other hand, tended to keep their problems to themselves or asked advice from one trusted person – something women could learn from.

“Women are more likely to canvas a raft of friends about an issue, whereas men are more self-contained,” said Chatwin.

“It is often really problematic, the way women gossip, and really anxiety-inducing.”

Chatwin said women should adopt the male “can-do” attitude.

“We should stop gossiping and start acting. Men make decisions well.”

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I dislike hearing gender-based generalizations like “men make decisions well”; “women air their problems with too many people”. Especially from a psychologist. Maybe I am hyper-sensitive, but I just loathe being told that I am a neurotic, catty, boundary-less insecure wreck; because that’s what you do when you make a generalization: you’re making that blanket statement about every member of that group. Guess what? I can make decisions pretty well, thanks. And I know plenty of men who don’t have that male “can-do attitude” (and would admit this themselves). Does this exempt them from the male group? Are they women now?

Chatwin said women who focused too much on being perfect – whether it involved keeping the bathroom clean to not having a hair out of place – could also be doing themselves a disservice.

Here’s a crazy idea: why don’t we do something to change the motherfucking culture that tells women that they need to be perfect? Because this worry doesn’t come from nowhere. It comes from repeated exposure to messages about being the best and having it all and looking good while doing it. And it comes from pressure on women to look after their kids and work a job so they can have a career and then come home and clean the bathroom, all with not a hair out of place. Women aren’t just worrying about these things and feeling inadequate because we don’t already have enough to stress about. These ideas come from somewhere. So telling women who worry about these things that they are doing themselves a disservice is pretty insulting, and very patronizing. Oh, you mean not worrying about being perfect is an option? I had no idea, silly me. If only I had known this, and it was that easy, then I wouldn’t have done it at all!

In the bedroom, women generally had things under control. But Wellington-based sexologist Michelle Mars said women could work on arousal.

“Men are comfortable with the idea of being aroused,” said Mars. “Women are less likely to say that something ‘turns them on’. They’re just not as comfortable with it but getting aroused is what makes all those feel-good hormones.

This too is missing a glaring point: women’s sexuality is pretty freakin’ maligned in society, and a lot of women don’t know how to ask for what they want, or think they can, or they think they have to be a certain way to be sexy – a way that they themselves might not find sexy and arousing at all – because of the messages they are exposed to about what sexiness is, and what is an acceptable form of sexuality for a woman. So is it surprising that some women might not feel totally comfortable with the sexuality and the idea of being aroused? This article is so superficially written, completely failing to mention any of the societal forces acting upon women. I know, it’s The Herald. But if you can’t accurately represent the situation, don’t do it a massive disservice by presenting only the shallowest of half pictures. Because people like me will get angry, and maybe shout about it. And someone will read this and feel bad about themselves because they have these problems and now feel like they are to blame, or someone will read it and go “yeah! Damn women just need to be more like men!” and start perpetuating that idea, which could do some damage.

The whole article is ladies do this silly thing; men do this sensible thing. Ladies swallow down tubs of icecream when they’re sad; men just swallow their feelings and get on with their lives! Aren’t men the smartest? Be like men! Men can just get up and go for a run; ladies decide not to because they have a physical injury – one that will probably be worsened by running! Oh, ladies.

Another terrible thing about this was the little tip list at the end by the actress (Sally Martin) who plays Nicole on Shortland Street about how she “lives like a man”. Oh, so there are tips on how to do this besides “if you identify as a man, you are living like one”? Because, in case some 101 is needed here, there is no one way to “live like a man”. A list of advice demonising ‘female’ behaviour, and praising the ‘male’ behaviour to perform in these situations is terrible, and I find it pretty offensive. If this was saying ‘hey, sometimes we all procrastinate, or we try to enjoy our lives more’, and was gender-neutral, then ok. But it isn’t. It’s pigeonholing behaviour (and people), saying that women do this, and men do that. Basically, the tip list and the whole article are saying here are ways that ladies are fucking up, and if you just act like men, you’ll be doing things properly. Which completely ignores the giant glaring fact that all of us -men and women- act in non-optimal ways sometimes, and making a mess of a situation, or having fears, or being flawed isn’t gender-specific behaviour.


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…

Aunt Flo

Posted in periods on August 31st, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Aunt Flo

I like what these women are aiming for, but I have to say that I don’t think making the box white and more minimalist will actually do much to make women buying pads and tampons feel “confident of their purchase and not embarrassed”. Mostly because the embarrassment comes from buying something that goes you-know-where. Generally, anything related to private bodily functions will always make some people embarrassed. And once people became familiar with this packaging it would be just as recognizable as something that is a recognizable tampon package now, and people will just be embarrassed buying this new kind. Maybe a two-pronged attack with subtle packaging+reducing the ‘eww, ladybleeding’ attitudes that some people seem to have? Also, to anyone out there who does hate buying this stuff: if part of it is the bit where the checkout operator is scanning your box of tampons, then fear not; as a former checkout person I can reassure you that I (at least) never paid any extra attention to people buying pads or tampons. Also, self-service checkouts were clearly made for this kind of situation where you don’t want anyone to see what you’re buying.

And also, how about some Blackbeard tampons?

Warming my cold, feminist heart

Posted in awwww, charity on August 30th, 2010 by steph – 4 Comments

This I like. How great would it be if an All Black pledged to donate money to Women’s Refuge or Rape Crisis for every try he scored? Or if Guppy gave me another reason to love him and donated for every six he hit?

Raffle

Posted in Uncategorized on August 30th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Raffle

Breast implants for a raffle prize? Whatever happened to the good ol’ meat tray?

“Dude, did you see that chick’s 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio?”

Posted in Allie Brosh, bodies, diets, exercise, Uncategorized on August 30th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

Ladies, have you been kidding yourself that the man in your life (surely you have one?) actually finds you attractive? Well, you’ll be shocked to know that he would actually find you more attractive if you looked like Jessica Alba or Kate Moss. Reality hurts, huh? It’s cool, this situation is fixable. Like the article says,

you don’t have to be a size zero to achieve this scientific definition of sexiness, it is after all, all about the ratio, so you could be a few sizes bigger than Alba and Moss but still achieve the desirable ratio, with 60s siren Marilyn Monroe an example.

You don’t have to be super thin; all you need is the ideal waist-to-hip ratio! No more struggling in vain to lose weight all over; now you can attempt to selectively increase or decrease specific separate areas of your body! Thanks for replacing an unattainable goal with another, different unattainable goal. Now,  if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get myself a Weasel Belt so I can trim my waist and transform into a hottie that my boyfriend is actually attracted to instead being someone he feels kinda dissatisfied with.

Feminism ruins everything

Posted in Feminism on August 30th, 2010 by steph – 2 Comments

Someone who is a Facebook friend of mine recently posted a status asking whatever happened to the independent woman and imploring all the ladies to burn their bras. One of the responses to this status (in response to a comment about chauvinism having had it’s turn) was

So has feminism, it took less time to do more damage. What, three generations (?) after the feminist movement we have women living on their own who don’t know how to cook healthy meals, don’t know how to sew, don’t want to sacrifice their careers to have children, they’d rather pay someone else to do it? – I’m not saying ALL women don’t know how to do this short example of things, but I am saying there is a large majority of the population that don’t – to me it seems like it’s time for the male vs female crap needs to stop being flung around and humanity needs to learn what it’s responsibilities in life are.

And all this time I thought I was a shitty cook because I hate it so never really did it much, but apparently it is, once again, the fault of feminism! Sneaky fucking feminism, getting all up ons and affecting my ability to cook a meal and sacrifice my (non-existent) career for my (non-existent) children. Dang it, feminism! Why you gotta be like that?

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.