Twisty recovers from injury and illness enough to deliver an apt attack on the semantics of mediocrity:
I allude to the confident, photogenic, entirely fictitious female who inhabits TV ads, “Sex in the City,” Oprah, and the popular imagination. Today’s woman isn’t a feminist. She doesn’t need to be, because she’s empowered.
She may only earn 3/4 of what a man earns, but she damn well has the empower to look sexy doing it in her cheapcrap push-up bra from Victoria’s Secret. She has the empower to demand pink products from manufacturers. She has the empower to cry out ‘I did it for me!’ when she gets her boob job; maybe she even has the empower to believe it. The empowerful woman is saucy, yet feminine. Clever, yet feminine. In her early thirties, yet feminine. Heterosexual, yet feminine. Stays in shape eating Lean Cuisine and sweating blue Gatorade while kickboxing in slow motion, yet feminine. Yes, the empowerful woman is many things. Too bad powerful isn’t one of them. That’s because feminine is all of them.
Hey, look at the day glow puritans! For only $89 $79, you too can experience the freedom of safely concealed dirty pillows and all the sundry naughty bits... like knees. And, for those who are offended by exposed elbows, WholesomeWear will do itself one better:
We also offer a Slimming Swimmer suit that extends to the midarm (between the elbow and the wrist) and covers down to the lower leg (between the knee and the ankle).
Emphasis all them. Jill from Feministe has an idea why these "wholesome" folks are so arm-phobic in their effort to cover all but hands, feet and face:
Because the rest of her is a temptation to sin, my friend. You see, God may have created woman with breasts and hips and an ass, but these things are nonetheless evil, and any indication of them is bad.
Insert painfully obvious Taliban snark here. Sure there's too much serialization of women in our culture. I was reminded again this weekend that Hooters really is considered a family restaurant for some Americans. I'm appalled each time I hear it, and have yet to actually reconnoiter for myself, but I'm with Jill in contextually celebrating scantily clad women:
The bikini was scandalous because it publicly revealed the female body. And, while I think we can all agree that objectification isn’t liberating, the bikini was sort of a big middle finger to the people who saw the female body as inherently sinful and needing to be covered.
It's a fine line to tread, the celebration vs. objectification of women's bodies - and even though context is everything, WholesomeWear is so clearly wrong. Nudity is a natural for swimming - not serving chicken wings.
Lets be honest. Part of why I'm posting this grab of a RegenderizedLiberal Serving is to take another look at Mary's (near-)scandalousness. Aside from the de-gaying of "oh Mary," regender makes my blog more sexist, not less. ("Proof of male superiority!"), though I'd appreciate it if all gay stereotypes replaced "oh mary" with "oh mark," if only for variety. Seriously, let the stereotypes evolve - every image of queers I see on the teevee is 10 years passee. If you're going to spew hegemonic homophobia, at least keep it au courant.
A better use of regender is de-bullshitting Mens New Daily. Best would be extinguishing their whiny faux-victimhood (whatever evil genius invented the myth of straight white guy victimization should be tarred and feathered. Or forced to watch every Oprah episode where she looks in the face of oppression with an air of smug self-congratulation), but "Radical Masculist" certainly satisfies and itch.
via a random Twisty Faster remark (yes, I realize it's become obsessive. I'll get over it, but think of all the great links you get to enjoy anyhow)
Nine years ago, a Belgian film, Ma Vie en Rose, explored the
most common reaction to a young boy's decision to live as a girl. In
other words, the parents panicked. So did the rest of the neighborhood,
who shunned and ridiculed the boy's family until they felt compelled to
move away. In real life, meanwhile, another famous case in 2000 ended
even worse. When Zachary Lipscomb's parents attempted to enroll him as
a girl named Aurora in an Ohio school at age six, a state child
protection agency took the child away.
Best article ever in the Village Voice about a trans preschooler - yeah they throw in the expected transphobic voice for "balance," but it's a great read - and lovely to read about what have to be among the most supportive parents ever. (the photo at right is of "Nicole" in what I'm guessing are the Little Mermaid flip flops!).
With odds showing Felicity Huffman in the race to win an oscar for her role in Transamerica it seems like as good a time as any to pull out this dead horse and beat it with some great quotes from Feministe. (it's a great thread that you should check out in it's entirety - I'm just pulling quotes relevant to Transamerica for easy digestion). I know it breaks taboo to be down on the latest queer film - we're supposed to pile on support to keep these thing coming, but I can't help it that Jesus made me so damned critical. First, new Feministe blogger Piny:
It was like watching a madcap romantic comedy about a transman’s
hilariously ill-starred attempts to get to the post office and retrieve
his mail-order penis in time for his wedding...
You introduce a tranny in the first act, there’s gotta be a vicious assault by the third.
It was disheartening to see a movie that accepted totally uncritically
the idea that a transperson’s life can–or should–be divided in a
straightforward way between Before and After. Bree deserved better
treatment than that.
Duncan Tucker made a lot of concessions to the contrivance of dramatic arch that trivialize the trans experience in this film. Commenter StacyM articulates another stereotype the film relied on that I missed entirely:
There is a stereotype that pops up now and again that portrays
transsexuals as dishonest, deceptive people. (I suppose that this stems
from the prejudicial notion that we are not truly the gender/sex that
we claim to be.) I worry that this movie, on some level, will play into
this stereotype. While the movie resolves this issue in a fairly humane
fashion, I still worry about it.
Really just saddens me. The more I think and read about this film - which is being hailed as some kind of monumental leap forward in trans representation - the less I like it. It might be a sympathetic representation, but it carries so much hegemonic baggage that I wonder if it really matters? Is it laughing at or with it's trans protagonist? Is it trying to play the audience so that you could either laugh at or with, depending on your point of view? Again, this is asking a lot of one film, but with so few images out there, I think this film has more responsibility than the makers want it to...
More than just awesomely offensive web design (replete with the most hideos font color I've ever seen), abortmemommy.org is perhaps one of the most offensive websites... ever. Quoting infallible rhetoric such as:
"I first asked myself, 'Is it right to kill my unborn fetus?' But then I was like, 'Wait a second. My fetus doesn't have any rights.' I'm going to do it" — Sonja, Lexington, Kentucky
Makes me laugh and grimace all together. I almost sorta started believing the quotes were real for a second (no, not really) but then I spotted a faux Mary plant:
"The angel Gabriel came to me one night and said, 'Tonight you will conceive in your womb a baby, and you will name him Jesus.' The next day I went straight to the clinic. That was the last thing I needed in my life." — Mary, Nazareth, Pennsylvania
Come on - they're pulling our collective leg. But really I should let you decide. What do you think? Pro-Choice? Pro-Life? Onion-y satire? A bit from columns a & b? I love me some satire... Via a Feministe commentor.
Oh no she di'int. Where to start on this absolutely bizarre political grandstanding from the hateful, hateful Patricia Miller pictured at right?
Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."
So now they come for the lesbians. After all those years of gay men riding the front line of homophobia - even moreso with the now-mandatory straight guy lesbian fantasy (dude, real lesbians wouldn't be very interested in you) - this hate monger aims a precise blow at turkey baster dyke moms-to-be. That or she's still smoking Dan Quayle's crack and trying to rid the world of imaged Murphy Brown middle-class single moms. As if either were a menace in any way as they go through absurd (sometimes humiliating) hoops to make some of the most wanted babies that come into the earth. (the kind that are loved and turn into happy, adjusted and productive adults)
Meanwhile, dumbass straight couples who can't manage to figure out birth control would be free to reproduce, bringing more neglected kids into society. Perhaps they can't afford to take care of them, so they'll eat up tax payer money. Maybe they'll be so neglected that they'll go nuts and blow up their schools. There's no way to know, and although I'm unaware of any study on the subject, I'd be willing to bet that turkey baster babies do less bad in the world. So it's a bit of a leap, but if anything, I'd argue this ridiculous law would make the world not just pointlessly more hate-filled, but it would encourage it to be filled up with more assholes.
Lauren @ Feministe seems traumatised by the hate of her state, and she's got contact info for you to send valentines to the asshole-makin' Patricia Miller thanking her for her great idea.
So Elexa seems to be onsalealreadyin other parts of the world less puritanical than ours. If you're into it, they have a live Canadian site full of funny pr copy and packaging mock-ups. They've got some info and advice for women (anticipate your encounter [by buying our stuff] and product info, including condoms, vibrating condoms, warming lube (named, laughingly "intimacy gel") and freshening cloths:
lightly scented premium cloths designed to give you and your partner an
extra bit of freshness before and after an intimate encounter. Each
package also contains three premium Elexa™ latex condoms.
Seems like a wetwipe + marketing language to justify a higher price? My first thought was that this was some kind of douche, but post-coital cleanup is an area that could probably stand to use some improvement, though swiffer-style disposability would put a damper on tree-hugger romance. There also an interesting note on the vibrating condom:
Note: The Vibrating ring is not available in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia.
Why the fuck are they legislating sexual products? How could a vibrating condom possibly hurt anyone at all? I've heard of banned dildos, but this is absurd. I'm outraged at this small injustice, and yet smug in my home state's absence from that list. I knew better than to move to those states anyhow (Colorado, I'm talking to you!)