Category Archives: Sexism

Halloween makes me Cry

Halloween: How stuff is.

Halloween: How stuff really isn’t.

via the fabulous Fucknosexisthalloweencostumes.

Take a minute to check it out. And realise that for men, Halloween choices are virtually infinite. And that for women, the choice is ‘woman in sexy outfit’.

Seriously? THE WOMEN’S ‘COSTUMES’ DON’T EVEN LOOK LIKE WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!

Seriously, check it out.

Ever seen a pilgrim look like that bloke? Why, yes, indeedy. Ever seen a fucking pilgrim dressed like that woman?? Are you frickin’ kidding me? No wonder they burnt them as witches.

The bloke looks like a fucking Angry Bird, right? You get that the woman is just a woman wearing a dress with an Angry Bird on it??? Right?

And scary? Because excuse me, but aren’t Halloween costumes supposed to be scary? Sure, the male mummy is scary. The female mummy looks like she’s just stepped off a Lanvin catwalk. Scary, yes, but not in the traditional sense.

And quite apart from anything else: DO YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING COLD IT IS THIS TIME OF YEAR?? I know which Melon I’d prefer to be and I’m Northern.

And just in case you think the kids are left out of this idiocy, check this out. No prizes – no, none at all – for guessing which type of ‘child’ is hiding behind that werewolf mask. And no, no prizes for guessing the same for the Reaper mask. Oh, and just in case you were really confused, no prizes for guessing which type of ‘child’ is wearing the pretty dress, complete with swirling skirt and out-turned leg. Because nothing says scary like a pretty dress and an out-turned leg.

Fuck’s sake.


Volleyball. Or Bums Aloft. As You Like

God, this made me laugh. In a trying-not-to-cry kinda way.

What if every sport was photographed like beach volleyball.

I think you know how this is going to go.


How Feminism can Ruin Your Viewing Pleasure

Boogie can read. This has proven to be a mixed blessing; on the one hand, I don’t have to constantly read stuff for her, on the other, I can no longer tell her that the sign on buses of a wine bottle with a red line through it is a humorous way of telling passengers that no whining is allowed (wine, whine; see, hilarious, right Boogs?! Now quit it before the driver throws us off).

She can now, obviously, read adverts which means that even if we turn off the TV and go for a walk, she still gets ‘the wants’. Bummer, eh?

It’s a particular bummer when it comes to adverts for kids’ films, none of which, basically, I have any intention of actively letting her watch. I tell you, feminism sucks like a brand new Dyson.

Having weathered The Pirates phase, we’re now into the Top Cat phase.

Now, I have very fond memories of Top Cat. It was, as a child, one of my faves. Oh, the stupidity of Officer Dibble! The cutesy dimness of Benny! The wiley cunning of that loveable Top Cat!

Notice anything?

All male. Every frickin’ member of ‘the gang’ was male. The police officer was male. From memory, even the peripheral characters – butcher, shopkeeper – were all male.

Again from memory, females only made an appearance as ‘sexy’ cats, simpering and blushing and acting all come hither while Top Cat and the gang – tongues a’ hangin’ – wolf whistled at them.

What’s the betting that particular problem hasn’t been fixed in the new movie?

My hopes are not high.

So I should say: I did have very fond memories of Top Cat. Before I was reminded this week that it was just another shitload of patriarchal indoctrination designed to keep me in my fucking place.

Feminism doesn’t just ruin your life. It retroactively ruins your life. That’s some deep shit right there.

No, she ain’t watching it.

Postscript: Having skimmed this, it seems the film features the standard one, single, solitary female character allowable under patriarchal laws applying to kids’ films and she’s (yawn), the ‘love interest’. Radical, huh?


I Hate Eavesdropping

Overheard after Boogie’s Football club session:

‘Coach':  Yeah, it’s really good, we’ve got a few girls in the junior team now and four or five younger girls coming through who have a real chance of making the team.  They’re really holding their own against the boys.

My girl can outpace virtually every boy in her class, her ball work can be exquisite at times, her tackles are full on and her strategic knowledge of the game is becoming awesome.

My girl is not ‘holding her own’ against anyone.  She is excelling.

Full stop.


It’s All About the Love

Ohio Senator Nina Turner is all about the love.

As am I, and I love this woman.  Watch her in action.

Turner has introduced a Viagra bill into the State Senate: Any man wishing to access Viagra has to see a sex therapist, undergo a cardiac stress test and produce an affidavit from their sexual partner before getting a prescription for the drug.

And, yes, of course she’s serious.  As she puts it:

Women have abdicated our responsibility to show men as much love in the reproductive health arena they have shown us over the years.  So we must do something about this. 

‘My bill is all about the love and making sure that we look out for men’s sexual health.’

Genius.


It’s Really Very Simple: Part II

Now everybody lookin' good!

I get more like this every day.  If shit happens to me, shit happens to everybody.  See how they like it.

This is not a good phase.

From the very talented Theamat.


How to Prove Anything

some scientific collaboration going down

As you know, we love science here in Boogieville.  However, as I’m sure you’ve also gathered, we also understand that bullshit is a virus that can infect anything.  Or, to put it another way, or in context (as you prefer), scientists are potentially as full of crap as anybody else and so they don’t get no free pass on the last helicopter leaving the stinking bullshit-crazed hordes for the land of bovine-free pastures.  Or something.  It’s late, OK?  Well, it’s not late but it’s been a vaccination day here in Boogieville, as in a real vaccination day not some faecal metaphor I’ve (badly) made up, and I always get crazy on vaccination day because the idea of deliberately injecting my kids with germy crap just makes me a bit hyper-active.  For want of a better word.  For the very reason that I don’t entirely trust doctors because they are as susceptible to bullshit as…etc etc.

Anyway.

My point* is this:

When you’re tempted to believe something just because it’s ‘science’, remember this:

Cigarettes may be useful for distance runners

Or: You can prove anything.  If you want to.  Or even if you don’t ‘want ‘ to but snakes curling around your subconscious do.

The review paper is a staple of medical literature and, when well executed by an expert in the field, can provide a summary of literature that generates useful recommendations and new conceptualizations of a topic.

‘However, if research results are selectively chosen, a review has the potential to create a convincing argument for a faulty hypothesis. Improper correlation or extrapolation of data can result in dangerously flawed conclusions.’ [emphasis mine]

And it may well be – and most often is – the case that the bias is subconscious and is simply a product of the prevailing cultural mores.

‘…take the phenomenon of “White Hat Bias“, where researchers distort “information in the service of what may be perceived to be righteous ends”. And even the most objective and ethical researcher is still going to be looking at data through their own world-view, which may cause them to miss something that is in the data, or to “see” something that isn’t really there.

This is something that Steven Jay Gould at least had a handle on (yes, I’m finally getting round to reading ‘The Mismeasure of Man’), though he’s not the only one.  And this is basically the whole bloody point of Cordelia Fine, but maybe now a man has said it (again), it’ll be regarded as a real thing rather than some shrieking-feminist-optical-illusion.

Most scientists, however, still don’t really get it.  They still think they can shrug off their prejudices when they shrug on their nice white lab coats, like the coat is some sort of super-hero cape that confers upon the wearer the power of super-objectivity.

As with the racism we’re all guilty of, you have to accept there’s a problem to find your way to a solution.  Scientists, like everybody, have to accept they do have bias; only then can they do their utmost to negate it. Otherwise, you’re just blowing smoke up your arse.

When you’re a raging misogyistic homophobe with a lifetime membership of the KKK who just happens to be a ‘scientist’,  just to say ‘I’m not biased, me’ does not actually remove your bias.  Amazing, I know, but TRUE nonetheless.

So when you’re next pondering an article that tells you you’ll never rule the world because women are more suited to ironing and that’s just the way it is, and you are considering thinking the article may be THE TRUTH, haul your running shoes on, spark up a fag and chainsmoke through a marathon, and see where ‘independently reviewed truth’ can get you.

Note: I really wouldn’t do this.  I suspect you might die.

*There is no real point to this post.  I just thought it was an interesting article.


Paradigm Shifts

Some people – no names will be mentioned – do not like change.  Scared of uncertainty in an uncertain world, they resist change in the very place it matters most: in their heads.

The older you get, the more scared you get.  Or maybe just more tired.  Or maybe the more scared you get the more tired you are?  Being scared takes way more energy than flying full face into everything, weird though that may sound.

Now, I get scared and I certainly get tired but there is nothing, nothing I like better than having the eggs in my head scrambled.  Having my paradigms shifted, so to speak.

So I really liked this:

Fashion is a Feminist Issue by Greta Christina (via Femblr)

because it really made me think.  It took a subject I had a view on and made me think really hard about whether it changed that view or not.  I thunk really hard until my head hurt.  Jeez, I love it when that happens!

The basic point was thus:

‘Fashion is one of the very few forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men.

‘And I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain.

‘It is the height of irony that women are valued for our looks, encouraged to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental… and are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. And it’s a subtle but definite form of sexism to take one of the few forms of expression where women have more freedom, and treat it as a form of expression that’s inherently superficial and trivial.

‘Like it or not, fashion and style are primarily a women’s art form. And I think it gets treated as trivial because women get treated as trivial.’

But read it, cos it’s pretty cool, cos stuff that makes you thunk and thunk is always cool.

On a related side note, I think I just cured Boogie of her nascent ‘Christianity’ by introducing her of the more Catholic, more ‘Old Testament’ god, y’know, the smiter of nefarious types, the giver of boil plagues and such.  It quickly became apparent that Boogie has, so far, only made the acquaintance of the cuddlier, New Testament hippy, Jesus.

‘But Mummy, why does god do these things?’

‘Why sweetheart, I don’t know, but trust me, god gets way pissed easily and really often,’

‘But why, mummy?’

‘Hell, I don’t know, you’re the god-botherer, you tell me.’

Let’s not go into the discussion of ‘mummy, but what is hell?‘ that followed because, frankly, that all just got unnecessarily graphic for a 6 year old about to go to sleep, and I feel slightly bad…but there is a part of me…which shouts, welcome to my world, kid! – born and raised Catholic, going to sleep was always scary as shit; first, the ‘if I die before I wake’ prayer (just so the thought of dying was right there), followed by the realisation that I’d sinned a fucking lot in the day and if I died in my sleep I wouldn’t make it to confession beforehand and I would therefore go to hell! if I did die…

Sometimes it’s just too much fun to fuck with your kid’s head to resist.

Like, Boogie is pretty sure that Santa doesn’t actually live on ‘homework juice’ and is therefore pretty sure that he won’t actually die if she doesn’t do hers, but there is always, just always, that iddy-biddy, teensy-weensy bit of doubt.  And so with god, as with Santa: better to believe just in case, eh?


With Every Silver Lining comes a Cloud

I write about how much I’m looking forward to Christmas.  I then peruse my FeedDemon and the first thing I see?

This: Can you find the female in the Arthur Christmas poster? courtesy of ReelGirl.

Hint: Yes, you can; Mrs Christmas is squished in amongst 12 males, including the main character of the film, the main character of Christmas (Father himself), random guy showing off upper arm strength, miniature version of Father Christmas (Father’s father??) and numerous elves (all elves are male?  are you kidding me? I remember watching Huey, Dewey and Louis Christmas cartoons which featured female elves and how long ago was that??  WHY ARE WE GOING BACKWARDS??)  I suppose we’re just supposed to be grateful that there isn’t a single, solitary ‘elfette’ in a mini-skirt and false eyelashes, sigh.

can you kindly stop this?

And the tagline underneath this Christmas dude-fest?  ‘2 billion presents delivered in 1 night…It takes a family.

Which immediately put me in mind of something I’d read years and years ago in the fantabulous book, ‘The Stronger Women Get, The More Men Love Football‘, by Mariah Burton Nelson, which is a delightful romp through the innate sexism and misogyny in sport, not only in how it’s played but in how it’s decided what sports are ‘exciting’ and what is ‘sporty’ and what isn’t.  Really fab stuff and indispensible for any arguments you may have about women’s (lack of) sporting prowess.

Anyhoo, one part of the book relates to experiences of female sports journalists trying to cover sporting events and, specifically, dealing with the ‘tradition’ of interviewing baseball players in the locker room itself straight after a game.

These women were routinely subject to deliberate sexual aggression as the players met the journalists fully naked (making special efforts to ensure they were naked if a female was in the room) and, often, hinting at threats of sexual assault and rape.  Despite this, the women kept doing their jobs and so legal efforts were made to ban them from the locker rooms on the grounds of ‘decency’.  One such case went to court (forgive me a lack of details – my copy of the book is in storage), with an official from a certain club arguing that it shouldn’t be allowed, because ‘baseball is a family game’.

The beautiful judicial response?  ‘The last time I looked, the family included women.’*

The last time I looked, women made up about HALF THE POPULATION OF THE FUCKING WORLD BUT YOU WOULD NEVER GET THAT LOOKING AT CHILDREN’S FUCKING FILMS!

I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

D’you know, it makes me so sad.  I mean the whole sexism crap makes me mad, of course, but you know what makes me really fucking mad?  The fact I make it worse for my own daughter.  Because Boogie has been raised with a level of gender awareness that – certainly in my experience – is unheard of in the general population, she sees this stuff.  She, equally (and it wouldn’t be the first time), can look at a poster like Arthur Christmas and see that nowhere is she represented; for her, even Mrs Christmas wouldn’t count, because she doesn’t yet see the connection between children and adults, between her, a girl, and a grey-haired old woman.  She is not there.  Heart-breakingly, she very rarely is.

And I see her seeing these things and part of me wants to erase the knowledge, the awareness that girls aren’t valued enough to make films about, to write books about, to tell stories about and just make it all go away.

Jesus, I hope this’ll all be worth it in the end.

*Now don’t go thinking that this meant the women were legally allowed to ogle men in locker rooms and the men had no recourse.  Post-game interviews are now generally conducted outside the locker room by reporters of both sexes, which is just far more professional, isn’t it?


Joss Whedon: Not Disappointing

I know, right?  A video.  It’s almost like this blog is finally crawling into the 21st century.

I will surprise you even further by not being sarcastic at all about this video.  I remember watching it at the time and just being really impressed by its simple effectiveness.  I was also incredibly relieved by it.  Despite being a massive Buffy and Angel fan, I’d never encoutered their creator before (I don’t do that kind of fandom) and it was lovely that it wasn’t one of those situations  where you love something only to find out something really disappointing about it.  Like the guy I lusted after for a month, only seeing his head above the desk dividers way on the other side of the office.  Oh, that face!  The face of a dirty angel… I finally ended up going to someone’s leaving do and meeting this guy and I was so lustful (and a wee bit drunk) I even managed to get over the shock that he wore loafers (tasselled!!) and a signet ring (onyx!!), but when he opened his mouth…Well, if I tell you he opened his mouth to ask if I’d care to shag him in the toilets? you will understand my crushing disappointment.  Nothing to spoil a Friday like realising you’ve spent a month trying to engineer a water cooler meeting with a complete arsehole.

Oh, and please don’t tell me that Joss Whedon has in fact turned into an arsehole since 2006.  Does every bubble need to be popped? No, it does not.

[Memory rekindled by the Feminist Law Professors]


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