Saturday, March 21, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
But now I'm just pissed. Because of this. And this. Oh, and this.
If you're too lazy, ahem, busy, to click on these links, I'll fill you in on what a six-month jail sentence, the Arizona fucking House of Representatives, and Dora the Explorer have in common: they are all pissing me off!
Some scumbag, let's call him Michael Philbin, son of a Green Bay Packers coach (I know, it's a real shocker), was kinda convicted on two counts of rape. At a single party (wow, a rapist with a real work ethic!). What does he get? Six months in prison and the chance to petition the court to remove the convictions from his record. Oh, and he doesn't have to register as a sex offender because the judge thinks that's overkill.
Then the Arizona House passed a bill requiring women who choose abortion to have a 24-hour waiting period and be subjected to "information" about the fetus' physical characteristics at that stage of pregnancy. Hmmm . . . You know what doesn't have a 24-hour waiting period so an individual can reflect and consider his actions? Rape.
And then there's this "Dora the Explorer" fiasco. As I mentioned earlier, Mattel is debuting an older, sexier Dora in the fall. Her image has finally been released and - surprise, surprise - she's got highlights! And nice slender legs. And a ladylike way about her. She loves to shop too! She's the perfect replacement for solid, adventurous, black-haired Dora because she was just too smart and too, you know, ethnic.
Women will never get ahead in this country by passing the occasional anti-discrimination bill or giving money to politicians who claim to care about their interests. We'll never see a nation that values women and girls and their contributions and talents and capacities with a Women's Equality Day or a two-week paid maternity leave. No, I've always believed that the only way women will access all of our rights is by taking them; by coming together and committing direct actions that challenge - and ultimately defeat - the powers of capitalism and patriarchy that are keeping us down (whew, who's this misty-eyed "idealist?"). And my own fantasy direct action involves breakin' stuff up and burnin' stuff down.*
And so, as I am reminded on this crisp Tuesday morning that the courts don't consider rape a serious crime, that politicians don't consider women capable of making the "big" decisions, and that corporations don't consider girlhood sacred, I'm thinking it's finally time to lace up the sneakers and grab my bat.
Anyone with me? Anyone?
*If "the Man" is reading this, I'm not actually advocating burning anything down. Yet. I'll let you know, though.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Ruby watches very little tv, but if she had her way, she'd be hooked up to a "Dora the Explorer" IV. She loves Dora. She reads Dora books and kisses her Dora pillowcase; she sings the Dora song and dances the Dora dance, and she's even working on her Spanish (she's a pro at "pantalones"). And for the most part, I'm comfortable with this. Dora is short ans squat. She looks like a toddler. She's brown. She's bilingual. She's fearless and adventurous and compassionate. She's not the typical scrawny, blond image that Ruby will be inundated with as soon as she gets to watch television outside of our home or walk down a toy aisle.
The Barbies I played with (who were, admittedly, little vixens) came with their own set of expectations about what a woman's body should look like. But today, girls are playing with Bratz dolls, and let's just say the lips on those dolls were not meant for whistling.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
It seems that Ms. Obama, nearly six-feet-tall, often chooses to wear flats rather than the more traditional pump. The Huffington Post even ran a photo retrospective on Obama's fashionable flats, which I scrolled through to discover that the First Lady really knows how to buy a shoe. But then I read the comments. Many readers lauded Obama's choice to wear flats for health reasons; others congratulated her on her willingness to shirk tradition and pursue her own style. But then there were then countless readers (many of them women) who claimed that, because Obama is so tall, she really should stay out of heels, lest her husband - you know, the president - look short. Huh?
Some less-than-informed attempted-feminists think that, because heels are bad for the foot, women should never wear them. Some even go so far as to suggest that, because heels are generally worn to look sexy, they always make a woman an object of desire (i.e., "objectify" her). And even many Huffington Post readers, and dare I say many women living in this country, think a tall women should not wear a shoe that would make her appear taller than her male counterpart because it would, you know, like, emasculate him. There are two kinds of arguments going on here, but I think they're both all kinds of crazy!