Because il n’y plus de nouveau sous le soleil, my dinner was again assorted vegetables sauced with a mixture of white wine, cornstarch, sugar, and a tablespoon of everything in my fridge that has a Japanese or Chinese label. Brown rice for the colon!
After receiving a hot tip that the tabloidical NY Daily News was featuring a “sexualized seven month old baby” on its cover, I ignored it for three days, because, frankly, there’s only so much shit you can fling at a spinster aunt before she begins staggering backward into the pits.
At the time I was still wiping away the clumps of despair that had collected in my furrowed brow while reviewing an ad campaign for a species of junk food. The campaign, directed at American male football fans, is called “Man Mom”. The Man Mom, a middle-aged linebacker-lookin’ dude in a frumpy wig and housecoat, likes football and feeds his kids bags of junk food, for which bounty they clasp hands and thank the lard. The website invites fans of the Man Mom to send in photos of their own ambiguously-gendered mothers, whereupon the degree of the subject’s compliance with the patriarchal femininity directive is rated by viewers. The sheer contempt for the “homemaker”– unpaid female domestic slaves — expressed by this ad series is mind-blowing.
My obstreberal lobe thusly strained, I was naturally leery of confronting the aforementioned Baby Sexbot in the Daily News. Fortunately, the wheels of the 24-hour news cycle stop for no spinster and I was too late to bask in the putrid subumbra of that particular sensational treat. Misogyny, however, marches ever onward. The NY Daily News website commences, as of this writing, with the following entertaining cavalcade of crazy or fallen or dead women stories, boom-boom-boom, beginning with a photo of Yoko Ono in a really ugly hat:
— Yoko Ono (few humans are as universally reviled for no reason at all as Yoko) is described as “Miss Crazy” in a story about a chauffer who has been jailed for trying to blackmail her out of $2 million. [here]
— Judith Regan, ‘scandal maven’ and ‘pain in the neck’, is fired by her woman boss (with whom she often had “verbal clashes”) over the OJ debacle; described as “[throwing] fits”. [here]
— Miss USA, virgin American bikinibot, is in the shithouse for doing coke, a public “kissy with teen missy,” and “sneaking men” into her apartment. A “small-town girl,” she apparently “went wild” in New York. [here]
— A “grandma” was shot to death with a 9-mil while sitting on her sofa; police are questioning her “hysterically crying” family. [here]
— A 63-year-old teacher/grandmother from Queens was run over by a BMW during her lunch break. “She was my favorite teacher!” [here]
The first three are takedowns of more or less powerful women who deserve their comeuppance for having achieved unnatural success. The last two are tear-jerky, woman-as-sentimental-repository stories. All five are the same old folktales, re-circulated, repeated, re-cast, but only minimally re-scripted, that must be told to women, about women daily.
Each contains a moral to aid the audience in patriarchy-compliance. Too much money and fame makes you a crazy old crone. Too much aggression in business gets you publicly humiliated and canned. “Goin wild” from virgin to whore can cost a princess her crown. And old grandmothers are maudlin figures, helpless innocents cruelly smote down by the hand of fate.
Every day, every day, every day, every day. Nothing changes. Nothing.