Tag Archives: women
Sam in the City has written another delightfully insightful post – this time she talks about ‘deal breakers’ – what attributes can another person have so absolutely heinous that you will not consider dating them? Atrributes that make your stomach turn, your knees tremble (in a bad way) and have you heading for the hills screaming “Get behind me Satan [not in a good way]“?
Her list is fairly instructional for the novice ‘Ask Sam’ reader as to who her bread and butter commentors are and what sort of tribalistic fevered ‘let’s assert our power by verbally tearing apart women and the kinds of women we *particularly hate*’ kinds of comment themes she’s fishing for. If you can get them going on that the comments (and therefore the hits) come rolling in.
So. What makes the list? Let’s see? Violent crimes? Blatant aggression? Terrifyingly poor attitudes to life? No?? Um…wait…gambling addictions? Fundamentalism? Wait, wait, I’ll pick one…a lackadaisical attitude to personal hygeine?
No. You guessed it. *Chicks with tats*, *Feminists*, *nice guys* and *pretty boys*
It’s just so EASY – she’s like a sitting duck. A big one. Out in the open. In duck season. With two broken wings, one leg and you’ve got a bazooka. Doesn’t seem fair really.
Let’s see. First up a *friend* with a dilemma “My b/f will dump me if I get a tat…should I do it anyway?”. Heavens NO young child, a man (ANY man!) is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD!!! What are you THINKING???
Then to illustrate her pearls of wisdom she goes for a little Paris Hilton slut-shaming and advises (quietly, carefully, like her friend’s an easily spooked animal who’ll freak being talked to like a real grown up) that said friend try a henna tatoo first – the alleged result?
” So she did. Half an hour after getting it done, she was ready to scrub it off. “It’s ruining all my outfits,” she wailed, and then removed it. Luckily she could …
She *wailed*??? After *half an hour*??? And a rose on her hip was ruining…all…her outfits? I’m beginning to suspect Sam in the City is not a *real* journalist, like sometimes she makes up pretend idiot friends who can’t make decisions and wail helplessly over the dilemma of a temporary tattoo that is ruining their outfits. Cos that is how women act. For real. We don’t know what we want. We change our minds more frequently than our underwear. When something goes ‘wrong’ we can’t fix it – even if it’s just washing a little texta off our hip, we have to sit on the floor and shriek over it first. We’re just *like that*
Then – feminism – new friend/contact “Oh helps! I’s feminist. Can’t find boyfriend! Should I sell out beliefs for boyfriend? Because clearly I must choose!” [Of COURSE you should ditch the lezzo hairy legged politics *girlfriend*, you''ll never get a root otherwise, and then HOW will you fake a pregnancy and make him marry you and fulfill your destiny by hating your husband, making him miserable, stealing his kids, taking his money and leaving him a shell of a man???]
Then…nice men. Oh yes, that old chestnut, thrown out by angry men world over. “It’s because I’m too nice…that those fucking bitches won’t fuck me! Goddamn those stupid sluts! They’re all the same! And they all want Collin Farrell! Or James Dean. Treat em mean keep em keen! They LOVE that shit! Why don’t they realise how NICE I am, that I’m hot shit, ready for action and they’re useless dumb girls who don’t know what’s good for them? I mean SHIT! It can’t be me right?”
Then…pretty boys. Because men should be rugged, manly and able to open beer bottles with their eye sockets. And if they are “hotter” than you, you will spend your life an anxious wreck, breathing into brown paper bags and vomiting into pot plants…because you couldn’t have anything else going for you. Since a woman is just a decoration, if he “outpretties” you, you’re FUCKED! (duh!) men CHEAT! Biological destiny! Written in the genes. Poor buggers.
Then she opens it right on up asking what are deal breakers for the readers, and what they think of her list. Let the slut-shaming, judgmental, woman bashing CRAP begin in earnest. Yeeeehaw! I gots me rifle, let’s shoot some kangaroo and drink rum til we pass out in our own vomit! (Where are all the supermodel hot, sports watching women who think that’s hot???)
So over at Hoyden About Town, there’s been a comment thread relating to this post on the discrepancies between the male and female uniforms for many Olympic sports. It discusses the fact that it cannot be reduced to performance issues if the men do not wear similarly small and tight fitting attire. It also began by discussing the cropping of the image of a Brazillian beach volleyball player (female of course) so that the picture in the Sydney Morning Herald was of this players arse…almost up it you might say giving us the chance to study exactly how well she’d taken care of her ‘Brazilian’ waxing.
So before you all get sidetracked into “clearly Fuckpoliteness you have a problem with the human body” and such claptrap – the point of this post, AND of that over at Hoydens is NOT that bodies are a problem, is NOT that nudity, or near nudity is a problem, it is the fact that this is *required* of female athletes in contrast to what is required of male athletes. That world class female athletes due only to the fact that they are female are *required* by the dress codes to subject themselves to the male gaze, to submit to being seen as a sex object first and an athlete second (bikinis are *required* to be no more than the maximum allowable fabric thankyou) purely in order to play the sport at which they are the best in the world. Ok? So if we’re going to argue, let’s argue about *that* and not some imaginary scenario where it’s about prudishness. I like bums, boobs and bodies in general just as much as the next person.
So. Some of the comments went into the ‘personal choice’ and ‘personal freedom’ arguments. Like “you should be GLAD you are ALLOWED to wear skimpy stuff”. First, we are not talking about being allowed to, we are talking about being required to. There is a big difference. As tig tog noted in her comment on the thread at Hoyden, Indian beach volleyball players refused to wear the bikinis - but the only reason these women could refuse the lycra and play in loose clothing like the men is because the rules allow “a change in the dress code out of respect for the religious, cultural and ethical sentiments of participating countries”. Not the women themselves mind you, only their country. So you can’t just say “No thanks, I’d like a pair of baggy shorts as I can’t be arsed with the waxing and I’m sick of sand wedgies”. As one commenter at Hoydens said cheekily
So if I’m a professional athlete, I can’t get out of wearing sexy clothes unless I’m religious?
“sky daddy says I can’t wear revealing outfits” is the only excuse to get out of it??
So there is no individual choice at stake here when the rules require it and the only way you can get out of it without being disqualified is if your *country* has certain beliefs about the appropriateness of the teeny tiny bikinis and therefore the *whole* team objects. If you have a problem – tough shit. Suck it up my friend, if you didn’t want to be ogled and wanked over, you shouldn’t have tried to play sport…what do you think you are, a man? And if you’re gonna keep whinging, well guess what, you’re off the team, just like that. You could be the shit hottest of the shit hot, but if you won’t do the bikini then you don’t get to play.
Further there is some discussion of the fact that women’s sports are being told that to ensure an audience sufficient to keep them on the tele, they need to sex it on up cos (so the logic goes) (hetero) men watch the sport, (gay men and women apparently lack the Sport Appreciation Gene) and (hetero) men like the tits and arse and require that ALL (with the exception of any they deem to be ew yuck) tits and arse be on display at ALL times, ergo, since (hetero) men are apparently all unrefined apes, we simply must combine the mandated twin (hetero) male passions of SPORT SPORT SPORT and FHM models into one, and (hetero) men might continue to watch you enough that we can lower ourselves to keep your silly “pretending at sports” on tele. Of course no one bothers question whether or not men are in fact not all great neanderthals who must must must have their beer, steak, misogyny and rough-house sportwatching all together at once. No one bothers to say to those neanderthals who DO think all this is A-OK with THEM (and who are only concerned with their own happiness) “Hey dudes, women playing sport? It’s not about your cocks”. No no, women will give way and accomodate…that’s what they’re supposed to do right? So where were we?? Oh yeah, that’s right, it’s all down to the individual choices of the individual women.
You know even if you could get me soundbites of every friggin beach volleyball player ever to say “I LOVE the bikini”, given it’s mandated, given women know the marketing pressure they’re under, given that women were little girls who learned VERY quickly that no matter what they do in their life nothing will win them quite as much glory as being deemed Teh Hot Chik and they are allowed to be acknowledged as excelling when and only when they’re hot enough to excuse their audacity – I don’t buy that it’s all explained away and made ok by recourse to the mantra of ”individual choice”.
Because even where individual players are ok with the bikini wearing it doesn’t *stop there* does it? Have you heard the commentators? Continual comments on the looks and vulnerability of the female athletes, on their social lives, calling them ‘girls’, talking about how when their mums aren’t there you just wanna give them a hug. Not only are female athletes *required* to dress to display every part of their body, but they are apprehended as ‘sweet pretty girls’ first and athletes second. (Bring on the counter examples of the weightlifters, I defy you…you know that counterexamples where you mock a woman’s *lack* of acceptable femininity don’t disprove that the commentary of women as decoration, objects of vulnerability, bearers of warm smiles that light up the nations hearts, the continual commenting on appearance, and *judging* femininity favourably or unfavorably and calling grown women, athletes top of their field ‘girls’ is an issue right?)
THEN we have the issue of EVEN if individual athletes are ok, even happy with being rated and assessed and often demeaned in such ways (please see Gold Diggers picture on my previous post – women who kick the arse of prior world record holders don’t win/achieve/earn gold…they do what women do and they DIG IT) what of the rest of society and the effects it has on us to keep reinforcing that women are for our visual appreciation/children/SEXAYYYY first, and anything else much much later…I mean really….what of the fact that every other woman (in fact every other man woman and child) in Australia is currently being subjected to the salivating lewd boring comments designed to signal one manly man to another how WELL you perform your manly masculinity over “Heheh…beach volleyball…hehe…hi five hot chicks for us…shall we wank to a porn video later” style comments.
I mean fucking REALLY??? Wow, you are just so UNIQUE for noticing and appreciating the oh so rare sight of young thin hairfree chicks in bikinis. It’s not just that you dig this image, I don’t give a good goddamn flying fuck what gets you off. Really. It’s that you think it’s ok to subject these and all other women to it, it’s that you don’t acknowledge that women are every day subjected to your bonehead assessing and ranking over where they fall ACCORDING TO YOU on the I’d Bone Her Scale.
You appear here not to be *getting* the difference – that you don’t have to perform and be judged in these same ways, not getting the links between this pervocracy and sexual violence against women, so where a woman performs the HOTNESS she is required to perform to a sufficient standard – if she actually does what is required of her – then if she gets raped it’s kind of *her fault* for provoking the dude, you don’t seem to get for a moment that you can wear as much or as little clothing as you like without thinking for a second that should YOU bare skin YOU would be considered to have been ‘asking’ to be raped).
I mean we have to deal with this every friggin day ANYWAY (see discussions HERE at Hoyden regarding the social pressures on women to look ‘good’ if they don’t want to be ignored in every aspect of their life) and we have to put up with bullshit double standards/harrasments/whatever reaction men *feel like* having to every woman who walks past/dares to exist. And NOW we have to sit around as if we’re not there while you bond with one another in our presence over how hot *those chicks* are, (all the rest being invisible and not worth worrying about offending) how awesome it is for you that their sport means more perving for you, how *mmm mm mmmmm nekkid chicks are ALL for me*…anyway. I’m tired now.
If you can’t have any goddamned respect for the athletes, or for the women in your life/at your workplace just COS they’re women, nay because they are living breathing humans, let’s indulge in the age old “imagine it’s your daughter” routine…imagine a/ your daughters being commented on like that, imagine b/ what it does to your daughter to hear others, or indeed you audibly objectifying/rating/comparing and swapping women and your Great Shared Ladder of Bonability in front of them…imagine what you’re doing to your sons…oh fuck. Just stop being such dicks and have a think about it for once eh?
[See also this discussion at Larvatus, the post is great, and is being engaged with/dismissed out of hand to varying degrees depending on the commentor]
So fuckthepostpolitical has really thrown down on our decision to bring the rants to the web.
I was bitching and moping to her the other day about feeling excluded from some of the poetry of lyricists such as Leonard Cohen. While I do love his lyrics, he is often *bleak*, in that “I’m a tragic misunderstoon poet/artist” way…on a good day I am moved, on a bad day I feel shut out of identification with the protaganists in his song…
So there are times where he’s waxing lyrical, romanticising remoteness, loneliness, solitude and the pain of it, where it feels like *woman* is locked in the role of temptress/muse…she’s the mythical, the beautiful, the source of sadness/loss, potentially loopy…she doesn’t have the same agency as him…she’s beauty and grace, temptation and pain, a ‘mystery’…what saps him of his strength, a source of temporary joy, of wonder, but bound to cause loss/grief/a stealing of strength…don’t stay in one place too long…
So there’s all this *poetry* of the man who is always and ever alone, who has *known* beauty and love, but is busy being/doing/feeling/observing/creating…who can never be contained, a man of action, wary of temptation in womanly form, exoticising it, but not recognising woman perhaps as an equal in agency? A source of strength, action, laugter and joy? I just wonder if there’s any mutuality or if it’s more of the archetypal stories of women…of course I’m not familiar with his entire catalogue, and am happy to be proven wrong (and today have had a lovely day of identification with some of his lyrics)…
Where is the female equivalent? Where are the men singing about the strength and fire of their women – how much they’ve learned through them? Where are the women singing about men as mysterious and confusing? As temptation and a sapping of strength? I’m not proposing that reversal solves issues, or that these lyrics are *bad*…I’m just trying to think through the ways gender is *done* even by the ‘deeper’ lyrics – maybe more particularly in those lyrics….what do I have to pin my identification with the strength and dynamism of womanliness on? On being the desired object, or…identification with a codependant pathetic love, an “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, you’re killing me, I will not be able to breath in your absence for I am dependant upon your approval”. Ugh. If only I could write decent poetry! Unfortunately it turns out more like Dr Seuss than Leonard Cohen…
Anyway…oops, distracted from my point…she’s written another post on this stuff, on Music and Meaning, the Exclusion of Women and the Romanticisation of Men…check her out…
So, I’ve joked about this with friends before before, but I really do think that the world would be a better and more equal place…if penises were attached by velcro.
Hear me out!
I started getting sexually harrassed by men as I walked down the street at thirteen. Groups of men making lewd comments at thirteen year old girls? Instant red card. Ref comes in, snatches the penis(es) and says “You can have THIS back when you behave”.
I walked past a man once who waggled his eyebrows at me and made a noise like he was having an orgasm. It was gross and uncomfortable. I told him it was rude and asked him to desist. Everytime I saw him after that he wolfwhistled at me then looked the other way to pretend it wasn’t him. I mean I do NOT want to be reaching down his pants, but if I confiscated his penis, you betcha he’d learn to shut the fuck up. And at least it would mean I didn’t jump up and pummel the fucker’s face til he cried for mercy.
I hear the counter-arguments amassing: HORROR! You wants to take the pee-pee??? What if WE took your VAGINA away??? Well, firstly, let’s be honest, sexual harrasment is a constant for women, and penises get used as weapons, or as the threat of harm quite often in society, particularly where rape is used as a tool of war, or a tool of control. The vulva does not have such a prominent role as a weapon of violence. Second, I don’t *want* to take it, I am not saying let’s pre-emptively remove them all, I’m saying act like a tool and you’re on the bench for a few days, though I do think if we’re talking war, the penises come off til you come home, seems fair really. Maybe you can be alloted some alone time with them at night. But for real? Don’t act like a turd and you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you’re sitting there moaning about “WHY do the feminists hates me so much?” if you AREN’T behaving like an ARSEHOLE then this is not about you!
So I really think it works as a concept: you get to confiscate something of importance, there’s no pain, no violence, no ridicule, just a straight up consequence, like confiscating a favourite toy from a child who’s having a tantrum. You take it away, they have quiet time, they apologise, you give it back reminding them to behave better next time – except where they’ve been violent with it. Then maybe we talk about more long-term solutions. And they know you fucking mean business. Men might think twice before harrassing or scaring women. Choices and consequences dudes. Remember those?
So I’m thinking I confiscate them (yep, I fancy myself the Penis-Confiscating-Avenger), label them, store them on racks (like pool queues) and then the men come and line up and make their cases for having them back again. Any macho misogynist anger will result in a lengthening (hehe) of your suspension. Sounds infinately reasonable to me!
I ran this by someone a while ago and they thought I’d be utilising them for pleasure. No way, this is strictly business yáll. Confiscate and return. Besides, dunno if you noticed guys but when you are being an arsehole, we don’t actually truck with your penis. So if I’ve got a wall of penises (penii?) lined up on racks for being JERKS then it’s hardly likely to make me feel saucy. And some stranger’s disembodied dick? Sorry, they’re just NOT that irresistable! Hate to crush you like this guys, but we’re not mad for dick like we’re mad for chocolate. It’s contextual.
I mean I might be tempted to draw little moustaches on them and take photos, but that would be veering away from the respect for the business-like structure I’d like to keep in place.
Anyway. What reminded me of this revolutionary theory? Today’s blog post by Sam and the City. I know, I shouldn’t read her, it just makes my ears bleed with rage. But I did and it was horrible.
So it’s all about this amazing new author (Gareth Sibson)! Who claims [gasp] women are all boring! And self absorbed! And far too ready for sex! And nowhere near as sexy as they think! It’s really offputting for him (why doesn’t this guy shag his mates then? I mean they’re apparently SOOOOO interesting, witty, demure and coy, which are all the right turn ons for him. If women turn you off and are so inferior compared to men…why don’t you get yourself a boyfriend? OHhhh right. Women are fine for acting as a mastubatory hole for you cos you don’t wanna be like “gay” or anything! Apparently “real men” shag women – while simultaneously hating them and everything they say/do/think/represent).
Says Sibson: “These women aren’t as sexy, strong and independent as they like to think they are,” he says. “They are unsavoury and positively rapacious ladies with a penchant for boasting about their bra size within moments of meeting.”
WTF??? Unsavoury? Rapacious? Dude, you have a SERIOUS problem!
Sam asks us if the author is right. Should we conclude we’re all insane? We’re all boring? We’re all desperate?
How about concluding that this prick read his dates DIARY and spazzed out over her having a thriteen year old moment which probably meant NOTHING other than she didn’t know him enough to loathe him like he deserves, how about concluding he’s full of shit, that he’s another attention-seeking misogynist?
He’s a PRIME candidate for the first one to go up on the rack. Simmer down buddy, work through your issues. Choose your dates more carefully. Stop reading other people’s diaries. Consider your own idiocy for a while. Once you’ve done this and have reached a zen-like state, where I can be sure that vitriolic women-hating bile will not pour forth from you, I will give it back.
Holy Crap, kiddies, it’s FEBRUARY already!!
You will NEVER guess what I found out today (go on, have a try!!)…well, you know, I always thought that browsing newspaper sites was just an attempt at procrastination, but I am just blown away by how much I can grow and change by a quick browse, how much incredibly powerful information is contained within a single edition.
First, today, we had a story about…wait for it…a woman! Who found! A camera! That woman doesn’t know WHO the pics belong to, so the website is gonna help to find these people! I hear your questioning minds from here, but BELIEVE me! There is no more newsworthy story happening anywhere in the world today than THAT.
But, tucked away, hidden in the corner…guess what I learned??
Women. Are. All. The. Same.
Today’s case in point? Well, courtesy of the DEAR Sam in the City, a discussion (albeit a very confused and haphazard one) of the fact that a survey found that all women want a man who looks like Jake Gyllenhaal (unsure of the spelling here, so going to rely on Sam in the City – danger-OUS!!). Gyllenhal to one side (we’ll keep him there for later fun shall we?) I am so surprised!!!
First of all, I am amazed by modern knowledge…how SMART are these people when they can glean from a random sample of say, ten, possibly one hundred women, that ALL WOMEN ARE HETEROSEXUAL???
The marvel doesn’t stop there, dear readers. Not only can these divine psychics discover this, but ALL HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN (which we’ve now deduced is all women) are attracted to the one type of man! Yes, I was as surprised as you, thinking that tastes varied (after all Lyall Lovett’s been married a few times, and well…Shane Warne manages to pull quite often…shudder) and that women had idiosyncratic preferences, or might indeed find a variety of persons attractive depending on whole range of variables…
But NO. We all, all the time, are strictly hetero, want one *look* in a man…AND…futher still…these incredibly gifted statisticians/seers have discovered WHO it is that possesses that look….
All de ladies, everywhere in de world (whether or not they’ve even seen a movie) want a man like Jake Gyllenhaal.
Now, I have to say, I LOVE a man who plays a gay cowboy, convincingly and sexily and with empathy…but, I didn’t know every woman out there liked that too.
I know, I know, I said I was going to write more theoretically engaged articles, but mockery is just so much more FUN.
So, not wanting to unduly sell Sam short, I should explain that was just the beginning of her article. The rest described a man confused by women. He had been seeing someone who said she really liked him and the sex was great, but she wasn’t feeling that *spark* or *connection*. Fair enough. He says he talked her into giving it another shot, but now he’s concerned there will be too much pressure. So he wrote to Sam that:
I’m really confused and have always been confused with women about what they want.
* What do you (if there is anything) to generate that spark?
* If there is no spark, can it be created?
* What do women usually look for and like in the first few dates (in terms of that spark)?
Sigh. You know, leaving all of this shit aside (dude, sometimes you like someone and they don’t like you. It sucks a pretty big one, but I don’t think it goes to proof of women being confusing creatures. It just happens) and perhaps I *shouldn’t*, perhaps I should write a *how to* guide since there seems to be such call for it. But perhaps next post…leaving that aside, Sam now goes on to pull her usual schtick of “Teee heee hee, how would we KNOW what we want?? We’re WOMEN! We like shoes and have periods, and we don’t know anything about anything, wait! I spot a survey! And a male “expert”! Help is on it’s WAY ladeez!”
So the survey contradicts the first survey and says “NO dummies! Not Jake! Tall, clean shaven, blue eyed, Mercedes driving (WOW that’s some specific mind reading – shii-it!) men who don’t play sport, quaff fine wine, attend the theatre etc etc etc…some kinda Mr Darcy stereotype. WHAT.EV.ER.
THEN she goes on to quote (eyeroll) Allan Pease. The next section is directly taken from Sam’s article, which you can find (if you really, really want to) here:
the real reason why Freud struggled to come up with the answer as to what women want, was because we tend to change our minds every week (or for some, every day) of the month.
According to Pease, during the days we ovulate, we want a macho man who looks like Russell Crowe, while the rest of the month we want someone who will stay at home, care for us and looks like Jake Gyllenhaal.
Oh, PLEASE Pease…
You know, all the FUCKING generalising about women *aside*, what really shits me about writing like this, is that it *absolutely* belongs in it’s context – it shouldn’t. The fact it’s allowed in a mainstream newspaper site should be cause for alarm and outrage…but it’s exactly the same dumbing down, simplifying, bubble-gum approach to news/information/entertainment that we see right across the board in mainstream media.
Forget political coups, natural disasters, elections, United Nations decisions, and a long overdue apology – front page news is a lost and found ad. Forget ditching the bullshit and saying “Dudes! Get over it! No one person is the same, there’s no five-step, failproof program guaranteed to get you laid every time, meet women, be nice to them, actually treat them like human beings, show some (genuine) interest and go with the friggin flow instead of determining exactly what you want and what should happen in advance, and sometimes she’ll dig you, sometimes she won’t” we have the endless regurgitation of the same old bullshit stereotypes, the ceaseless pouring forth of contradictory and ridiculous advice based on vox pops and pop psychs.
STOP IT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S GOOD AND HOLY AND GET A FUCKING CLUE!
I’m about to get my period. I better go find Russell Crow. (YUCK…do I HAVE TO?)
I got a kind of obscure, veiled criticism on my blog the other day…
In response to my ranting on men and women’s clothing I got: “Interesting…but…really?”
I was being a very confused person!!
Really *what*? Really do I think this (yes), really do men’s shirts measure the neck and arm length (yes), really can I not find a button down shirt that looks good on me/will do up properly across the chest (yes)…but none of that was in any way unfathomable…so what could she be asking “really?” about?
Then I visited her site…AHHHHH…dawning comprehension. The author of yet another biblically based book on women keeping their rightful places. One of “dutiful censorship” – I kid you not.
It did lead me to wonder why a woman whose website advertised her book (which was again about the horrible confusion of the modern women who is lost and sad because she’s forgotten her rightful place as the companion and subservient partner of the man), complete with autumn leaves picture and pan-flute music backing, would click on a link called “Fuckpoliteness”. “Interesting…but…really?”
Anyway…where do I go with this? Yes *really* in lots of ways, the things I said are true and irritate me…I don’t protest in the streets over it though, or lose sleep. But when I can’t dress to suit my body shape, yes, I get grumpy. And also *not* so “really” in other ways – see the header at the top of my page: “Political Ranting and Humour”?? It. Was. A. Rant. [Shakes head] A fluff piece on annoyances in being unable to find clothes that fit, when men’s shirts have measurements made for their *necks*…am I the only one who finds that kinda random and odd?
Well…I could argue with her, but really…I intensely disagree with her whole world view. I don’t feel that women are a *category* or that we have a *rightful* place, or that we have *lost* that place, or that there is any excuse in this day and age to continue to guilt trip women into the *obey your husbands* mentality using bible passages.
So my conclusion today is thus: My dear, there are a great many websites and blogs just like yours. Continue to read them. Continue to read mine if you so choose. However…if you are in some way *confused* by what you read here, if you really want to clarify something, or even make a point of dissent rather than sneering your disdain and disbelief that I could *possibly* think in such a way, then I ask you to use your words like a big girl. Engage with the parts of my post, or my blog in general, that you have a problem with so that I can engage with your concerns. Otherwise, don’t expect me to treat your “but…really?” with respect…after all, despite my utter disgust over what your book advocates, I don’t stop by your blog to do a hit and run of “Interesting…but…really?”.
I whinged at my boyfriend the other day that it’d be nice to be a man, to get up, put on pants and a shirt and go to work.
He responded “Women can do that too. And it’s damned sexy.”
Granted, many women can carry that look off and it’s hot. Those of us with those *nasty curvy bits* though don’t tend to look ‘sexy’ at all if we whack on an off the rack shirt and pants. And here’s why:
Men’s clothes are measured: you can buy a shirt to *fit your neck*, a shirt with sleeves the *right length*. Now that’s great. Obviously some men have bigger necks than others, and we wouldn’t want their necks to be uncomfortable, so we give them some options.
Women? Apparently we’re all of the same body shape, just larger or smaller, like human stacking doll sets. While the shape expands, there is no space for, say, being a generously proportioned, yet short woman, or a thin but very tall woman. There’s no space for flesh in general and there is certainly no space for breasts, which leads me to think that “If you’ve got it flaunt it” actually means, if you’ve got big tits, walk around naked cos you won’t get a shirt to close over them. I also remember an aunt of mine saying when you get up into the upper clothes sizes they seem to think you have arms like tree trunks, and said that often the under arm of the garment would be on the side of her lower ribs. (On a side note she also said it was like they were dressing circus clowns, you couldn’t, for many years, get something in a “plus size” range in neutrals or plains, it was all loud patterns, as if they were forcing the *jolly fat person* role on you).
And where men can have allowances made for neck size, women don’t get the same allowance for breast size…with the result that I’ve never, ever been able to find a button up shirt that looks good on me. They don’t close over my breasts. I’m a size twelve to fourteen through the abdomen, but I cannot get business shirts, or for that matter many dresses, to do up over my tits! Grr!! If I go up in size they swim. They rarely meet my wrists anyway, any more than jackets, and if they do, the only *just* do with the result that I can’t move my arms freely, which just doesn’t work for work clothes!!
Length: I suppose shorter women can go to the tailor to get pants taken up…but what about women like me, where most of my height is in my legs, and I’ll try on pairs of pants that fit…til I look down and see my ankles poking out like Steve friggin Erkle.
Width: Again, we’ve got the standard 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 etc. But let’s be real. What is usually stocked is 8-14…small makes to save on fabric, so *actually* 6-12. With the result that most women can’t get their thighs/arse into a pair of pants in a majority of stores making them blame the one Krispy Kreme they ate in 2002 rather than the fashion industry’s bizarre attitudes to women’s bodies. If I could go into a store and find pants upon pants upon pants which were made to specific measurements, ie said, if your waist is x cm, and your arse is x cm and your leg length is x cm, these will totally fucking fit you (as they are for men) I would be a happy (and well dressed) woman. As it is I can buy jeans off the rack, and occasionally a pair of business pants, but usually, to get them to fit me well enough that my body looks good (and my ankles aren’t poking out nerd-style) I am looking at boutique shops for $400!!! $400!!! When’s the last time a man had to pay that much for a pair of pants just to find a pair that look good?
Why am I crapping on about this? I have to go shopping for clothes again soon. I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel, and I have nothing appropriate for work which is summery. And I’m dreading it already. I have a great body. It’s just not catered to in women’s fashion – or in men’s, as the problem is really not a neck-size thing. So I’m gonna be standing there trying on overpriced garment after overpriced garment, only to feel like a total fatty all because I have big boobs and long legs so nothing fits me. Grr! I mean surely, surely, if we can measure for a man’s neck, we can measure clothes to fit women’s bodies without them having to hock their belongings to pay for it?
I live not too far from my boyfriend. Sometimes he stays here. Sometimes I stay there. Mid week though, sometimes I’ll pop over for some quality time and either he’ll drive me home, or I’ll walk.
One night a few visits ago, I got wigged about the walk home. It was particularly late and I had one of those granny carts with me, with a squeaky wheel, and I wasn’t wearing my ‘stealthy shoes’…I couldn’t quite articulate why I’d been fine to walk home other nights, but not this one. But I managed the whole “I’m not feeling comfortable about the walk past the bush” explanation…which is true…but not all of the story, not that I even had *words* for what the story was…I just knew I didn’t wanna walk that night, and it wasn’t about tiredness/convenience.
Walking over there tonight (before it got dark) in a shortish dress I suddenly realised what was bothering me. In this dress suddenly men are tooting and honking and staring – not cos I look particularly hot, just cos “Chick. Bare legs!”, so I was pondering masculinity and the consequent strange attitudes to women – take a random sample of passers by and they’ll perve and honk at my 30+ legs which are blindingly white and show my love for food, but in another setting those same dudes will absolutely slag women my age for daring to show their thighs in public. So one minute my thighs are “Woohoo – sexy”, next minute their cause for nausea, all dependant on…what exactly? The mood of the guy? The company he’s in?
Anyway (bear with my rambling brain) I started to think of baring my thighs in summer as activism, that’s right ppl, check em out…they’re curvy, and pretty well shaped, but they’re also squidgy (which, let’s be honest, feels pretty nice) and white – they don’t look like Barbie legs, and I’m not gonna forgo a doughnut if I feel like one, spend hours at the gym then fake tan it up before I feel I have the *right* to bare legs in summer. It’s HOT in Australia in summer! So I figure, right…bare the thighs more often, the more often ppl see ‘real’ thighs, *perhaps* the more they’ll realise the ideals are…are, like totally fucking ridiculous…right? Maybe? *Sigh* Probably not. Whatevs.
Anyway, I also felt kinda naked in this short dress, exposed, like you know, it might be taken as an invite to attack me for me to walk..alone…in a dress which happens to be shortish…in summer…in Australia, where we like to point the finger at everyone else for having bad attitudes towards women, conveniently ignoring our own damning stats. I hated that it crossed my mind…but I dunno. I’ve read the rape cases…and *BAM* – just like that it hit me. Part of the reason I don’t wanna walk home at night in the dark after visiting my boyfriend? Semen. It will still be on my body, and say if I get raped (a possibility always on my mind when I walk alone at night) and the medical examination finds my boyfriend’s semen as well as that of whoever attacked me…that gets raised in court. I’ve read this shit. The implication seems to be, well, slut, if you had sex once tonight, then walked around on your own, you’ve only got yourself to blame, cos a/ if you did it once you’re clearly *up for it, no questions asked* (they never do seem to distinguish between sex and rape) and/or b/well, men are like rabid dogs, and they’ll smell *sex* on you and then, well, we can’t expect them to be responsible for their behaviour or act like decent human beings, can we?
Anyone who thinks I’m being a psycho bitch feminist? I defy you – read the effing rape cases and then get back to me. Read the sentencing of Bilal Skaaf (the guy accused of ‘masterminding’ a series of organised gang rapes across Sydney) if you please, where in distinguishing the actions of these men who organised by mobile phones, the judge was at pains to distinguish it from other (less repugnant goes the implication) gang rape cases where drunken men *siezed an opportunity that presented itself*. You! Women? That’s what you are to the legal system…an opportunity to rape. If you’re there and they ‘seize the opportunity’…well…what can we say? Unlucky girls…you presented the ‘opportunity’.
So, y’know..it gets to me. I walk home from my boyfriend’s house at night – which is actually a damned pleasant walk in summer – and the legal system that’s meant to protect me as well, since, you know, it *claims* to be all neutral and protect everyone equally, has cast me, by their own comments in rape cases as an opportunity to rape, who deserves it for being a slut in a short dress who had sex once already that day.
More on this (more well thought out, I promise) sometime soon. Tonight I’m going to bed.
Reading the wonderful M.LeBlanc on BitchPhD I came across the phrase above “I call total bullshit” – I love it. It’s so friggin direct, and it brings to mind the card game which is a nice allegory for politics at the moment. You can just see them at the table, thinking, shit I am lying my arse off but if they buy it….wooHOO!
Since the time drew nigh for this latest Australian Federal Election the Coalition (Liberal/National parties) has announced that, if elected, they will *do something* about climate change – not sign Kyoto, not specify what exactly they *would do*, but they would do something and it would be BIG, allright?? How dare you doubt the government who refused (and still refuses) to sign Kyoto, who advocate(d/s) the building of nuclear processing facilities, who supported uranium mining in Kakadu?? Frankly Howard is insulted by your pessimism and doubt.
Also, Howard has now changed his tune on *special interest groups* – you know, women, the poor, gays and lesbians, and well, the actual owners of this land we call Australia, Indigenous Australians. How? Well, no, he’s absolutely still going through with the military occupation of certain Aboriginal Communities, and no he isn’t about to change the laws banning alcohol (or get them printed into Indigenous languages, and make efforts to ensure that people KNOW why they are being arrested). Nor, if elected, will he say “sorry”, as in his *white male hetero wisdom* he’s decided that it’s purely symbolic, and what’s needed is practical reconciliation – ie/more Aboriginals in jail than ever before. “We ain’t done yet! The Howard brand of practical reconciliation has more to do”. (See You Just Think That Because You’re a Radical post for the attachment outlining what the Howard government has *really* done for “practical reconciliation” in this country)
Suddenly after refusing to engage with the issue Howard has announced that, if fucking electedthere will be 12 months of paid maternity leave for all women. Hallelujah right? NO…the Government will not be paying for this, the business will…now given that we know that many businesses either cannot or consider that they cannot afford to pay this, the inevitable outcome will be discrimination against women of childbearing age (which, let’s face it, extends from adolescence, to late forties) in favour of men. So the Government looks good for supporting this (after 11 years of refusing to) without having to do a SINGLE THING, and the upshot? More discrimination. Oh you are a true friend of women Howard. Of course, as my conservative boss pointed out (tongue in cheek) Howard could merely be trying to help out the women over childbearing age – though you know, if you’ve been unable to build your career in any way before that, what exactly are your chances of getting a job in your fifties?
Now he’s announced an end to the discrimination against same sex partners in terms of superannuation access – that’s right, if elected. BullSHIT Howard – you have said you are *conservatively tolerant* to gays, I’m not sure if you’d even know what transgendered meant, and at the last minute you are Lord of the Gays by announcing that you *will* do exactly what you promised three years ago and didn’t fucking deliver on? Excuse me if I don’t swallow your horseshit point scoring. If you meant it, you would have done it already…and quite frankly given your loose relationship with the truth in general evidenced over the last eleven years, and specifically the fact you promised to do this three years ago and haven’t I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!
In each of these areas, he has taken a tokenistic stance. After damaging the cause of reconciliation irreperably, he now wants to use it as a slogan to get re-elected, but not if it will cost him anything. He has commited to paid maternity leave – to SOMEONE ELSE (business) paying, someone we already know WON’T pay, someone we’ve given free reign to with Work Choices. And he’s now trying to trade off a broken promise to establish his gay-cred. Wow. Too little far too fucking late? I’m sorry, but you simply CANNOT actively disparage and ignore and damage communities you have maintained are dangerous *special interest groups* that Australia *will not and should not* be *beholden to* and then expect me to believe the cards in your hand are what you say they are. We KNOW BETTER ARSEHOLE! On the 24th November this year you are going to hear a resounding cry of I CALL TOTAL BULLSHIT.