As I go out and tonight mentally prepared (though perhaps not emotionally) for most women I come across to be clad in a Sexy ___ getup, and for the regrettfully harsh judgments I will inevitably pass on their taste and lack of ingenuity, I will remember my disturbing trip to the Halloween costume store a couple of weeks ago.
I will remember that these were not in the “Sexy” aisle of the costume store. No, they were all around me. Everywhere. There were no non-sexy options. The dude section was full of fully clothed doctors, cowboys, folktale heroes. What was the lady alternative was to those? I don’t even have to answer that. You know what I’m saying.
I have a friend that waited too long to get her costume together and ended up at the Halloween store. She wanted something funny and cool. She got Sexy Robin Hood. She hates it. Even though she had no intention of going sexy, she didn’t have much of a choice once she was there and in a hurry.
So I will remember all of that as I head out into the craziness tonight, and I will only blame the patriarchy for demanding that women are sex, even on the one day a year we’re supposed to get to be something else.
Remember the comics section in the thick ol Sunday newspaper, all full-color and fabulous? Dude, I loved the Sunday funnies. I so looked forward to lying on my tummy on the living room floor for hours, eating bowl after bowl of fake Lucky Charms, laughing at jokes I didn’t get and trying to understand what the hell Bloom County was about. The comics made great wrapping paper too.
Anyway, I don’t know about anyone else but I could really use some new Sunday Funnies. Welcome to the 2008 Feminist version.
Maybe I’m coming in a little late to the game and there’s already a whole bunch of incisive commentary about Pandagon’s ads. I’m new to that site, having just discovered the Google Reader iPhone app and gone batshit crazy on adding every femblog I could think of to it, so pardon my ignorance to the backlash, if one indeed exists.
So what the fuck? When did popular feminist blogs start being okay with ads using the faux-frightened, finger chewing women wearing only t-shirts to sell clothes and a naked Pamela Anderson to promote PETA, one of the most mysogonistic organizations to ever curse the planet? “Watch as this sexy icon lays it all out in this very graphic video.” Clever bait and switch, except not. Vile and disturbing and profoundly disappointing.
That’s the kind of shit I expect to see on just about every other kind of website in the universe – liberal and conservative and ecommerce and catholic and movie review and cooking tips and music downloading and nutrition and world news, whatever. It’s everywhere. But on a feminist blog? Are you freaking kidding me? Is nothing sacred? Nothing at all? Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing the writers at Pandagon are trying to change about the world?
I actively avoid sites/blogs that use this kind of imagery to sell or promote. It ain’t easy, I tell you what, but I do it because seeing that stuff a thousand and one times per day makes my hands shake and puts me in a funk that’s getting harder and harder to shake off. Of course I realize that I can’t entirely avoid provocotivey positioned ladies on the porn-addled, man-is-the-default-user innerwebs, and I’m more than adept at clicking away when I see it, but I honestly expect that the sites that I’ve designated in my little reader as Feminist will not actually contribute to the woman-hating horseshit I presume they’re rallying against.
For heck’s sake, Pandagon. I hope you get your priorities straight.
You know the world’s gone to shit when opera singers feel like they need to get gastric bypass surgery so they’ll have a better chance at getting parts.
Slimmed-down soprano Deborah Voigt, back at London’s Covent Garden four years after bosses fired her for being too fat, says opera, like other forms of entertainment, is increasingly obsessed with looks.
The 47-year-old American accepted an invitation from theto return to the same production she was dropped from in 2004 when the casting director felt she would not suit the “little black dress” he envisaged for the part.
The decision sparked heated debate in the world of opera and beyond about the importance of artists’ appearance. Voigt shed 120 pounds with the help of gastric bypass surgery and is back asin Richard Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos.”…
Voigt said she was initially upset at being dropped by the Royal Opera House, although she now understood she would have looked out of place in the stylized ‘Ariadne’ production.
Potential perk: “when the fat lady sings” is no longer part of the lexicon.
Potential bummer: Women increasingly starve themselves to infertility and death and the human species rides into extinction. Robots and aliens blame the End of Man on woman.
On a not-unrelated note, has anyone seen The Happening?
1. Does Kelly Ripa really expect us to believe that she runs home and cooks macaroni and cheese for her family after hosting a nationally televised morning talk show and then doing 6 other gigs? Ok, let’s say that’s even possible. Why is she doing this? Hubby Mark isn’t working these days, is he? I haven’t seen him since his All My Children days 10 years ago. I’d like to see the commercial where Mr. Ripa talks about the demands of supporting his wife’s career while taking care of the family and home. WAY more compelling.
2. Top Chef is the most gender-egaliatarian show on TV. Talented chefs compete against each other to make the best dishes with nary a mention of what gender is supposed to be like this and like that. No female chef is coined “the hot one.” None of the women talk about being a “girl winner” of Top Chef. (See The Biggest Loser for comparison). And there is no reason to believe that this competition isn’t entirely about the chef’s body of work and not the chef’s body. Love it. (For the record, I feel the same about the competitors on Project Runway, but the fact that they’re making outfits for rail-thin models and are consistently befuddled when presented with regular-woman-size challenges sorta negates its feminist goodwill).
3, Do the powers-that-be at Law and Order and CSI think that the raped and tortured and dead women will remind us of how dangerous it is to be a woman and we’ll proceed accordingly? Or do they know that TV watchers at large actually prefer to see women raped and tortured and dead as opposed to, uh, alive?
4. From The Office: “Yeah, I have a lot of questions. Number one: How dare you.” Ha! Kelly makes me laugh. Everybody on The Office makes me laugh. I love this show.
I’m in the kitchen washing dishes (!) and making dinner (!) and my teenager is in the living room watching the TV. A movie promo comes on and I hear these words: (in deep man voice)
“There comes a time in every man’s life when… ”
Take your pick: He must choose between good and evil. He must stand up and be counted. He must learn the meaning of redemption. He feels the need to make a difference in the world. Whatever.
Now let’s imagine for a second that the TV says: (in a woman’s voice, of course)
“There comes a time in every woman’s life when…”
No really, close your eyes and imagine hearing those words, and then try to hear the rest of the sentence.
Sure as shit ain’t you ain’t gonna be hearing the word redemption, I’ll tell you what. Experiences like that are way too human and serious to be the purview of women. No, when we hear this one it’s usually a personal cleansing cloth commercial or a shitty romantic comedy promo and the sentence always ends with something related to a wedding, fine jewelry, someone else’s’ precocious children, giving up a lucrative career, a bad boyfriend, getting old, or body odor.
Women are such funny little creatures, aren’t they? They’re all so exactly alike, so removed from the real business of life, so obsessed with stupid girly things.
(That is, of course, until they realize the important of sacrificing themselves for others and accepting change instead of making it. Duh.)
The bottom line, once again: Women are women and men are human. The male experience is the human experience. The female experience is not only specific to females, it is entirely insignificant.
And here’s what I say to that: